• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 December
 President for one hour
 Maid Bess
 Max and the wonder-flower
 A dear little schemer
 How the Secretary of the Treasury...
 Snap-shots by Santa Claus
 "A visit from St. Nicholas"
 Santa Claus' pathway
 The fool's Christmas
 Merry Christmas
 A random shot
 Benevolent boy
 A race with an avalanche
 The Christmas sleigh-ride
 A new-fashioned Christmas
 Where the Christmas-tree grew
 How a street-car came in a...
 The tardy Santa Claus
 The picture
 The elfin bough
 Christmas in Bethlehem
 Misplaced confidence
 "The Christmas Inn"
 Waiting for Santa Claus
 Molly Ryan's Christmas eve
 Santa Claus Street in Jingleto...
 Christmas on the "Polly"
 A gentle reminder
 "This is Sarah Jane Collins"
 The Christmas-tree lights
 A Christmas goblin
 London Christmas pantomimes
 If you're good
 Santa Claus and the mouse
 The best tree
 Cousin Jane's mistake
 Ye merrie Christmas feast
 Santa Claus' pony
 The wandering minstrel
 The bloom of the Christmas-tre...
 A Christmas-eve thought
 A Christmas white elephant
 Osman Pasha at Bucharest
 A snow-bound Christmas
 A Santa Claus messenger boy
 Christmas eve
 Front Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: St. Nicholas Christmas book
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089034/00001
 Material Information
Title: St. Nicholas Christmas book Merry Christmas!
Physical Description: 217, 1 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lamb, Ella Condie, 1862-1936 ( Illustrator )
Schell, Frank Cresson, 1857-1942 ( Illustrator )
Kilburn, Samuel Smith ( Engraver )
Edwards, George Wharton, 1859-1950 ( Illustrator )
Bolles, J ( Illustrator )
Dumond, F. Melville ( Illustrator )
Church, Frederick S ( Frederick Stuart ), 1842-1924 ( Illustrator )
Birch, Reginald Bathurst, 1856-1943 ( Illustrator )
Peters, DeWitt Clinton, b. 1865 ( Illustrator )
De Vinne Press ( Printer )
Century Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Century Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: De Vinne Press.
Publication Date: 1899
 Subjects
Subject: Christmas -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Santa Claus -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Christmas trees -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Nonsense verse -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1899   ( local )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: Children's stories
Children's poetry
Nonsense verse   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
General Note: Illustrations signed by Ella Condie Lamb, F. Cresson Schell, Kilburn, George Wharton Edwards, J. Bolles, F. Melville Dumond, F.S. Church, Birch, and D. Clinton Peters.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy illustrations are hand-colored: probably by young owner.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089034
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002224626
notis - ALG4892
oclc - 271067157

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page i-a
    Front Matter
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
    Frontispiece
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    December
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    President for one hour
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Maid Bess
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Max and the wonder-flower
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    A dear little schemer
        Page 26
        Page 27
    How the Secretary of the Treasury once played Santa Claus
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    Snap-shots by Santa Claus
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    "A visit from St. Nicholas"
        Page 35
    Santa Claus' pathway
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The fool's Christmas
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Merry Christmas
        Page 47
    A random shot
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Benevolent boy
        Page 57
        Page 58
    A race with an avalanche
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    The Christmas sleigh-ride
        Page 65
    A new-fashioned Christmas
        Page 66
        Page 67
    Where the Christmas-tree grew
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    How a street-car came in a stocking
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    The tardy Santa Claus
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The picture
        Page 89
    The elfin bough
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Christmas in Bethlehem
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    Misplaced confidence
        Page 102
        Page 103
    "The Christmas Inn"
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Waiting for Santa Claus
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    Molly Ryan's Christmas eve
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Santa Claus Street in Jingletown
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Christmas on the "Polly"
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    A gentle reminder
        Page 129
    "This is Sarah Jane Collins"
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    The Christmas-tree lights
        Page 136
        Page 137
    A Christmas goblin
        Page 138
        Page 139
    London Christmas pantomimes
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    If you're good
        Page 155
    Santa Claus and the mouse
        Page 156
        Page 157
    The best tree
        Page 158
        Page 159
    Cousin Jane's mistake
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    Ye merrie Christmas feast
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    Santa Claus' pony
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
    The wandering minstrel
        Page 182
        Page 183
    The bloom of the Christmas-tree
        Page 184
    A Christmas-eve thought
        Page 185
    A Christmas white elephant
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
    Osman Pasha at Bucharest
        Page 204
        Page 205
    A snow-bound Christmas
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    A Santa Claus messenger boy
        Page 217
    Christmas eve
        Page 217
    Front Matter
        Page 218
    Back Cover
        Page 219
        Page 220
    Spine
        Page 221
Full Text




















IN












on wo:.






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... ........
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iw-














































































It,














The St. Nicholas


Christmas


Book








































































THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.
IN&P





The St. Nicholas


Christmas


Book


New York: The Century Co.
1899














































Copyright, 1874, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1886, 1887, I888, 1889, 1890, x89x,
1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, x896, 1897, 1898, by THE CENTURY Co.

Copyright, 1899, by THE CENTURY CO.


THE DEVINNE PRESS.




















Contents



DECEMBER . . . . . .... .

PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR .. ...... . . ..

MAID BESS . . . ... . .. . .

MAX AND THE WONDER-FLOWER . . . ....

A DEAR LITTLE SCHEMER . . .... .

HOW THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY ONCE PLAYED SANTA CLAUS .


SNAP-SHOTS BY SANTA CLAUS,. . .

" A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS" . .

SANTA CLAUS' PATHWAY . . .

THE FOOL'S CHRISTMAS .. . ..

MERRY CHRISTMAS . . ..

A RANDOM SHOT . . . .

BENEVOLENT BOY . . ..

A RACE WITH AN AVALANCHE . .

THE CHRISTMAS SLEIGH-RIDE .. .....

A NEW-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS .

WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW .

HOW A STREET-CAR CAME IN A STOCKING.

THE TARDY SANTA CLAUS . .

THE PICTURE ........ .........

THE ELFIN BOUGH ............

CHRISTMAS IN BETHLEHEM . .

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE .. .. ..

"THE CHRISTMAS INN" . ....

WAITING FOR SANTA CLAUS . .

MOLLY RYAN'S CHRISTMAS EVE . .

SANTA CLAUS STREET IN JINGLETOWN .
vii


PAGE

* I

4

S 19

S 23

S 26

28


. . 32

. . . 35

. . . 36

. .. . 44

. . 47

. . . 48

. . . 57

. . . 59

. . . 65

. . . 66

. . . 68

. . . 77

. . . 87

. . . 89

. . . 90

. . . 94

. . . 102

.. . 104

.. 112

.. . 17

. . 124







CONTENTS


CHRISTMAS ON THE POLLY" .. .

A GENTLE REMINDER . .....

"THIS IS SARAH JANE COLLINS" .

THE CIRISTMAS-TREE LIGHTS .

A CHRISTMAS GOBLIN .

LONDON CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES .

IF You 'RE GOOD . .....

SANTA CLAUS AND THE MOUSE .

THE BEST TREE . ......

COUSIN JANE'S MISTAKE . .

YE MERRIE CHRISTMAS FEAST .

SANTA CLAUS' PONY . ....

THE WANDERING MINSTREL .

THE BLOOM OF THE CHRISTMAS-TREE.

A CHRISTMAS-EVE THOUGHT .. ...

A CHRISTMAS WHITE ELEPHANT .

OSMAN PASHA AT BUCHAREST . .

A SNOW-BOUND CHRISTMAS . .

A SANTA CLAUS MESSENGER BOY. ..

CHRISTMAS EVE .. .....


PAGE

. . . . 126

. . . 129

. . . 130

. . 136

. . 138

. .. .. 140

. . . . 5 5

S. . 156


. . .. 173

. 176
. . . . 173

. . . . 176

. . . . 182
. . . 18
'84

. .. . . 18 5

. . . . 86

. . . . 204

... . 206

... 217














The St. Nicholas
Christmas Book






The St. Nicholas

Christmas Book

A- -A%

DECEMBER


I
Oh!holly branch and miistletoe.
And Christmas chimes wherever we go.
And stockings pinned up in a row!
These are thy gifts.December!









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For,. once.CoI) a DCCcn fb-l niglt
ASn naigcI hcld a candle bIliht,
2a7I A~nd lcd tlicc wise mcii by us liiiP.
To whcrc, a child \vas slccpiiuf.
Harriet F. Blodgeti r'















President for One Hour

BY FRED P. FOX

T was just eight o'clock as the passenger-train pulled out of
the Wayville station on the morning of December 24, 1891.
The train was heavily laden with merry people either
bound for their Eastern homes, or gay holiday shoppers
going to the city to purchase the last supply of presents
that were to make the coming day the happiest of the year.
The mail-car and express-cars were laden to overflowing with many
queer-shaped packages, and even the spaces in the vestibules between the
cars had to be utilized for through pouches and packages, so great was
the jam of Christmas presents.
If it was a jolly crowd that left the little station, it was not an unhappy
one that remained. The fog had so settled down upon and around every-
thing that the little lamp in the telegraph and ticket office shed but a feeble
light upon the persons seated around the stove. There is always a crowd
in a country station at train-time, and in spite of the rules a few privileged
persons always find their way into the office.
Merrily the telegraph instrument ticked away, sending its messages of
hope or grief across a continent. As he sat beside the instrument, Fred
Clarke, the operator, once in a while gave out a bit of electric gossip to the
entertained listeners. No. 13 is five minutes late at Bloss," he remarked.
Then he smiled as he said, "The general manager has just left High
Ridge on his 'special,' coming west. He must have a jolly party with
him, for he has ordered fourteen dinners at Glenmore to be ready when
he arrives there. His car will pass here at 9: io."
"What engine's pulling the 'special'?" asked Bob Ford, one of the
listeners.
No. 39."
"That's father's old engine," spoke up Tom Martin, a dark-eyed, dark-
haired boy of fifteen years, who had been gazing intently into the fire.






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


" He used to run her on all the specials, until he was killed in the accident
at Oak Bridge two years ago."
Right you are, lad," said Bob Ford; "and it 's many the time I fired
for him on old 39. He was as brave and as true a man as ever pulled a
lever. You used to ride with us often, too did n't you, Tom ? "
"Yes; until one day the general manager saw me sitting in the cab,
and issued an order that after that day no one but regular employees in
the discharge of their duty should ride upon the engines. I have never
been on an engine since; but I learned a great deal about them did n't
I, Bob?"
"Yes, you did, Tom; and, for a boy, you can do as much about an
engine as any youngster I know. I would rather have you around than
many a fellow I know who 's now running an engine. What are you
doing now ?"
Since father's death I do whatever I can to help support my mother,
and I find enough to keep me out of mischief. I attend night-school, and
during the day I carry the mail between the depot and town, carry din-
ners and lunches for the men, sell papers, and deliver messages. Besides,
I am Fred's pupil, and have learned telegraphy."
Are you making a living at all these odd jobs ? "
Yes, I am; but of course I can't make what father made; and we are
trying to pay off the mortgage on the house. I do wish, though, I could
do better. Here it is Christmas-time, and I have been saving money for
three months--yes, six--in order to buy mother a nice warm cloak;
but when I came to price them I found that the five dollars and a half I had
saved would not get anything at all like what I wanted. It would take
three dollars more, at least. How I would like to have surprised my dear
old mother! But then, no matter; I can get her something else that 's
nice, and we will have a merry Christmas, anyway."
"You say you can telegraph," said Bob, after a moment; "what are
S the wires saying now? "
"The operator at High Ridge is asking whether No. 14 left here on
time. What's that ?" he continued excitedly. Keep still! Rockville is
saying, 'Freight-train No. 37- broke into three sections at Cantwell.
Engineer- thinking there was one break and that rear section was under
control started back to couple on. Dense fog met middle section com-
ing at full speed engineer and fireman thrown from engine. Engine and
three cars running east down-grade at full speed.' That 's terrible he
said. "But listen 'Middle section, one mile behind, just passed -ten
loaded stock-cars Jack Flynn clinging to rear car. Must stop train if you






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


can. If 14 has not yet left, switch her to west-bound track or she '11 be
lost.'" Then the instrument stopped ticking.
Is that right, Fred ?" Bob asked the operator, as soon as he found his
breath; or has Tom been joking with us ? "
It 's all true "answered Fred. That's just what's happened What
shall we do? What can we do? "
There was no answer to this appeal. The blanched faces of the listeners
showed that all understood the horror of the situation.
No. 14, the passenger-train that had just left, was bowling leisurely along
at thirty miles an hour, crowded with passengers. Behind, and coming with
resistless force, was a runaway engine and three cars, running sixty miles
an hour, and behind that train was the heavy broken section, ten loaded
stock-cars, coming nearly as fast.
There seemed to be no hope for the doomed passengers, since on the
west-bound track the general manager's through express was approaching.
To attempt to switch the runaway engine or section would be likely to tear
up the track, and the chances were that the loss of life would be just as
great, if not greater, than to let the engine speed on its way. No wonder
the men turned pale as they understood the situation of affairs. No wonder
that the stoutest hearts stood still. For, as they reflected, horror seemed to
pile on horror.
Then out of the gloom there came a steady voice: it seemed filled
with an inspiration. It was an opportunity for the genius of a true rail-
road man"; and the man, or rather boy, was there, ready to prove his
capacity.
The boy Tom spoke up: "All of you men get out and oil the track-
pour on oil, put on grease, smear it with tallow, or anything! That will
keep back the engine a little perhaps enough. After the engine has
passed, keep on with the work. Remember we've got to save Flynn's life -
yes, and save the cattle, too."
The men at once ran out of the depot, Fred and Bob leading.
"Now, I must save No. 14!" said Tom to himself. "I '11 have to
keep the west-bound track clear, and then switch No. 14 on to it at
Lewistown."
With steady fingers he grasped the telegraph key, and this message flew
along the wire:
Operator, Mount Vernon: Flag special train of general manager, and tell him to wait for
orders. T. M.

Back came the inquiry, in a moment, from the Mount Vernon office:






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


"THE MEN HAD OILED THE TRACK THOROUGHLY FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED YARDS."

T. M., Wayville: Who has right to stop special? Track has been cleared for the general
manager's train. By whose orders shall I tell him he has been flagged ?

It was no time to stick at trifles or to make explanations, so Tom flashed
back the answer:

By orders of president of the U. S. R. R., per T. M.

O. K.," answered Mount Vernon, as a sign that the order was under-
stood and would be obeyed.
"Now, to get 14 switched from the east- to the west-bound track!
There is just a chance." Again he touched the key.

Operator, Lewistown: Turn cross-over switch at your station; transfer passenger-train
No. 14 from east- to west-bound track, and hold her there until released. T. M.

Then the key ticked in reply:

T. M., Wayville: Track has been cleared for special of general manager. His train ap-
proaching from east with regular orders giving right of way. Make your order more definite,
and give authority.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


As before, Tom was ready, and answered:
Operator, Lewistown: President of U. S. R. R. Co. does not have to show authority.
Carry out the orders at once. Important. T. M.

O. K.," ticked back the reply.
Now," said Tom to himself, "if I can only delay the engine until 14
gets across on the other track, everything will be all right. The poor horses
and cattle will
have to take their
chances. Let 's
see- I4hasbeen
gone fifteen min-
Sutes; she is due
at Lewistown in
thirty minutes.
The runaway en-
gine will be here
sin about five min-
utes, unless her
speed is reduced;
the passenger-
train will be over-
taken about five
miles this side
of Lewistown.
There is only
one hope now.
l I must risk it."
D Just then
the ticket-agent,
"WITH STEADY FINGERS HE GRASPED THE TELEGRAPH KEY."
hearing the men
hurrying about, had come down-stairs and asked the trouble. As briefly
as he could, Tom told him the situation, and then said: Mr. Lenox, I 'm
going to climb into the runaway engine, if it 's a possible thing, and check
her up. I 've five dollars or so here. Take it and, if I 'm hurt, give it to
my mother. Tell her I was going to get her a Christmas present, and tell
her I know that she would tell me to do just what I 'm going to do. God
bless her! If I come out all right and there is a chance--don't ever
let her know what I did. Promise, quick!"
Don't think of such a thing, Tom," pleaded the agent. Why, it 's






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


suicide! If you can slow down the engine, when you get aboard, the rear
section will run into you and crush you. If you can't, you are sure to run
into the passenger-train and die in the collision. In this fog, even if you
get control of the engine,- and I doubt if you can,-- you cannot tell what
second you will be upon the passenger-train, or what second the other sec-
tion will be upon you. You are the only support of your mother. Just as
likely as not, you will be killed in your attempt to get on the engine. No
one ever got on an engine going as fast as this one is; why, to try it is
worse than suicide! Then, the engine might blow up. You must not
attempt it! "
"It 's all very true, Mr. Lenox; but it 's better to try, even if I fail,
when so many lives will be lost unless an effort is made to save them. I am
going to do all I can, and as for mother why, God bless her! Good-by.
I must get out on the platform to be ready."
Good-by, and Heaven help you, Tom," replied Mr. Lenox.
Before going out, Tom took off his well-worn overcoat and jacket, tight-
ened up his belt, and prepared to run the race of his life. He then went
out to the platform and found that the men had oiled the track thoroughly
for several hundred yards. He did not dare tell them of his purpose for
fear that they would stop him; but he said to Bob: After the engine passes,
get all the men you can at work more are coming every minute; put on
all the oil you can, and tallow, but be careful to see that there is nothing to
make the cars jump the track, for that will kill all the cattle and horses, and
perhaps poor Jack Flynn! He was seen clinging to the last car at Rock-
ville. But he dared not climb up or jump off, it seems, on account of the
speed of the train. There she comes now-I can hear her. I '11 run up to
the other end of the platform to meet her."
The engine could be heard thundering down the track long before she
could be seen coming through the fog. Tom was at the far end of the depot,
where the men had first begun to apply the oil and grease; and, as they had
worked back, he was in a position to get all the benefit of the loss of speed
in consequence. The men flew back from the track. When the engine
struck the oiled rails she trembled, and her wheels slipped rather than
revolved along the track. The momentum was so great that at first the
speed was scarcely affected; but as successive sections of track were passed,
there began to be quite a marked reduction in speed. Tom noticed this
with joy.
The engine was coming rapidly toward him. He turned and ran along
.the platform in the same direction as the engine, at a speed that would have
carried him fifty yards in about six seconds. The engine gained on him,





THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


and, just as the step was passing, he reached up, grasped the handles, and
swung himself up on the step. He rested there for a few seconds, and then
climbed slowly up into the cab. His face was as white as the card on the
steam-gauge, and, in spite of the cold wind that blew upon him, he was
dripping with perspiration.
Tom glanced up at the gauge, and saw that the supply of steam was
being rapidly exhausted, and, to his horror, he understood that the engine
was running by its own inertia down the steep grade. He closed the
throttle, set the lever one notch on the reverse side, and then tried the air-
brake. It worked in a feeble way, but checked the engine a trifle. He
found that in order to gain control of the engine he must get up more
steam, and get the air-pump running.
Tom slowly crept along the flying engine over the tender, and was
pleased to find that there was plenty of water in the tank. Being as strong
a young fellow of fifteen years as one often sees, he had no trouble in getting
up a brisk fire. He then went back to the engine, and was gratified to see
the steam was rapidly coming up. There was no thought of fear in the
brave boy, but he did not forget that he was between two fires." He
must keep his own engine from running into the passenger-train, and he
must keep ahead and out of the way of the runaway section. Anxiously he
peered out into the fog; but he could see nothing of the train he was pur-
suing, and could hear nothing of the train that was pursuing him. On sped
the flying steed of steel, and still the pointer on the steam-gauge moved
slowly upward. Twenty pounds more pressure, and he felt that he would
have complete control of the engine. He was using but little steam now-
only enough to try the air-pump now and then. In a few moments he
moved back the lever another notch toward the reverse, and cautiously
pulled out the throttle a little. The effect was good, and he knew that he
was gaining control of the engine; but how she flew along over culvert,
bridge, and trestle, like a thing of life on a wild holiday!
Out came the throttle a little farther, and back went the lever another
notch. The engine was running slower. By reversing her and putting
on the 'emergency air,'" Tom said to himself, I can now stop her in three or
four lengths. It would be a bad thing to do, but I '11 do it if I have to." He
looked up at the clock. In five minutes more No. 14 will have passed to the
other track and the switch will be closed. I'11 slow up a bit"; and so he did.
The engine promptly responded, and settled down to a forty-mile gait.
'Tom, with his head far out of the window, with one hand on the throttle
and the other on the air-lever, tried to pierce the mist with those bright
dark eyes, but in vain. Boom! and a torpedo exploded under the wheels.





PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


"No. 14 has stopped-to switch!" said Tom. Boom! boom! Again
came the warning torpedoes. "'Run slowly, with the engine under full
control'; that 's what those mean." Suddenly Tom's attention was called
to a thundering sound from the rear.
It 's the broken section coming like a whirlwind. Now I 'm in for it.
If she will hold off for two minutes I '11 be all right." Tom threw the lever
full ahead, and opened the throttle; the engine seemed to leap forward. In
a minute more he caught just a glimpse of the rear lights on the passenger-
train, and knew that a minute later he would be upon her. Nearer came
























the thundering roar behind him, and he dared not look back. The light in
front swerved to the left. Would the switch be closed in time for him to
keep ahead of the pursuing section ? was the question which flew through
his brain. His engine was at the switch, and it had just been replaced!
"Thank God for that!" was the brief prayer he murmured. "The passen-
ger-train is safe, if my orders have been carried out. Now to save myself,
and the cattle behind me. It 's a race for life, and I ought to win "
A tangent1 of twelve miles lay straight before him, with a gently de-
scending grade, then a mile level, and then a four-mile up-grade into Mount
Vernon. Once more he crept down into the tender, opened wide the fur-
1 A section of track without a curve.





THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


nace doors, raked the fire, and threw in the coal evenly over every part of
the great fire-box. He left the ash-pit door open for better draft, and then
climbed upon the coal to see if he could distinguish his relentless pursuer.
The light had begun to dispel the fog, and three hundred feet away he could
see the on-coming train. "It will take all the speed she 's got," he
thought, and leaving the tender he crept back into the cab.
He opened the throttle wide, pushing the lever over forward as far as it


would go. The steam kept up, and the only thing to


9~9?

.R .

I5 --If.

phi

/ ;


"HE OPENED WIDE THE FURNACE DOORS AND THREW IN THE COAL."


fear was that the
axle-boxes would
get heated on ac-
count ofthe fright-
ful speed of the
engine; but then
he reflected that
the pace would
tell on thefreight-
axles even more,
since they were
not geared to so
high a speed as
were those of the
locomotive.
The engine
was now going at
the rate of a mile
a minute, or fas-
ter. More coal
was necessary,
and he resolved
to leave the win-
dow and stand by
the furnace. In
ten minutes the
level was struck,


and the pursuer had gained two hundred feet, on account of its greater
weight; a minute later the up-grade was reached. More coal was needed,
and the shovel was kept busy feeding the fiery mouth whose tongues of flame
seemed never to be satisfied. As the engine began the ascent of the up-
grade, the freight section was only fifty feet away. After a mile on the grade,
the locomotive pulled slowly away from the freight. Then Tom closed the






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


ash-pit door, went back to the window, closed the throttle a little, tried the
air-brakes, and three minutes later pulled into the depot at Mount Vernon,
and came to a stop. He looked out of the window, perched high in air,
and said to the operator: Just wire Wayville that engine 303 has arrived
here safely, and that Tom 's all right."
The crowd of people who were on the platform surrounding the general
manager's special car looked with amazement on the young engineer seated
in the cab of the smoking engine. The general manager himself was not
pleased at the sight, nor at the "unaccountable delay caused by some
drunken operator," as he thought, who had imagined that he was the presi-
dent of the road. He had not yielded with the best grace to the order
stopping his train, and would not have heeded it but for the informa-
tion that the same person had ordered the east-bound passenger-train
over to the west-bound track, and his order had been obeyed, thus block-
ing the way. This passenger-train might now pull in at any minute. The
operator could not get any reply from Wayville, to find out about the
order.
Well, young man," said the manager, "what are you doing up in that
engine? Don't you know it 's against orders? Where are the engineer
and fireman? It makes no difference they are discharged. Get down
out of there Where did you steal the engine ? "
Tom could say nothing, but he did not move.
Be lively there," continued the manager, in a rage. Officer, arrest
that boy for stealing the engine! "
Grandpa, give him a chance to explain," said a young girl who stood
near the angry official. He does n't look as if he had stolen anything,"
she continued.
I '11 attend to him, Mary. He will have a chance to explain in court!"
"Please don't have him arrested," pleaded the young girl--and she
seemed to be the only one who dared address her grandfather.
My dear child, you don't understand these matters. Officer, get that
fellow out of there. The engine looks as if it had been badly used."
The officer climbed up into the cab, and roughly shook Tom by the
shoulder. Tom seemed dazed. What a fate, after all he had braved and
done--to be received, instead of with thanks and praise, with threats of
arrest and imprisonment!
"Come, get out of here-lively," said the officious policeman, anxious
to show his authority before so high an official as the general manager of
the U. S. R. R. Co. You look to me like a pretty tough customer."
This roused Tom's ire.





THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


Don't touch me, please; I '11 get down myself. I want to say just a
word to Mr. Holmes." He walked up to that official and said: I did not
steal your engine, and "
I don't care to hear any talk," said the manager.
"I don't care to talk, either," said Tom, "but you 'd better send the
engine back to the grade, and see what 's become of Jack Flynn. He was
clinging to the rear car of a runaway section of train No. 37."
"What do you say? -the train broken in two? Where did it hap-
pen ?" asked Mr. Holmes, all interest at once.
At Cantwell; the train broke in two places, coming down the grade.
The engine was struck by the flying center-section, hurling the engine crew
off, and starting the engine the other way. I climbed on the runaway
engine at Wayville, and brought her here. The rest of the train is back
about two miles unless she has run back down to the level."
"That's a pretty story. How did you pass No. 14?" asked the man-
ager, sternly, after thinking a moment.
"She .was switched tothe west-bound track at Lewistown," answered
Tom.
"Tell the engineer and fireman on 39 to get up in this engine and run
her back," said the manager to the conductor. Officer, you bring the boy
along, and I '11 go with you. If his story is true, he can go; but if not, it
will be all the harder for him."
The trainmen soon had the engine oiled up, finding it was none the
worse for its fast run and that Tom had left everything in shipshape order.
After backing down about two miles, a man was seen limping up the track.
As the engine came nearer, Tom cried out: It 's Jack Flynn -he 's all
right! "
Sure enough it was Flynn, but he was picked up more dead than alive.
No one had ever taken, or perhaps will ever take, a ride like his. Briefly he
told the story of the breaking of the train into three parts an unheard-of
thing, almost. He had been on the center-section, alone; he had tried to
apply the brakes, but the section he was on collided with the first section.
He was thrown down on the top of a car, but had retained his senses enough
to cling on. Then he had attempted to climb down on the last car, and drop
off; but the speed had been so great that he knew the fall would be fatal,
and so he had clung to the rear car, expecting death at any moment. But
the train came to an up-grade, and speed had been so reduced that he
managed to climb up and set two of the brakes, but then he had to stop.
The train gained in speed as it passed the down-grade, and he was glad to
climb back again to his old place at the rear of the last car. Next the






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


brakes had parted, and it seemed as if he were rushing to swift destruction.
At last, the up-grade being reached, the cars lost speed; he could then
have stepped off, but he resolved to stay on until the train stopped, because
it was his duty. Just before the cars started to run back to the level, he had
dragged a tie across the track and held the section.
You can 'lay off' until New Year's day," said Mr. Holmes, after Flynn
had finished his story. The engine had by this time stopped in front of the
section of the stock-train. The cars were coupled on, and a few minutes
later the whole train pulled into the depot at Mount Vernon.
The officer by this time had concluded not to put the handcuffs on Tom.
Officer, you can let that boy go," gruffly ordered Mr. Holmes. Who
are you ? he asked Tom.
I am Thomas Martin's son," he answered; he used to run the engine
of your special 39."
I thought I had seen you before. Go into my car and get warm. I
see you have neither coat nor overcoat on, and this is a pretty cold day.
Mary, get my overcoat and put it on that boy as soon as you can, and see
that he gets a warm place; he is nearly frozen."
Tom was a little abashed as he walked into the magnificent private car
of the general manager, escorted by that official's granddaughter. But he
was soon at ease, and warmly wrapped in a big ulster.
Mr. Holmes went into the telegraph office, and directed that the passen-
ger-train held at Lewistown should be switched back to its own track and
started on its way.
He asked the operator at Wayville who had sent from that office the
messages stopping his train, and by whose orders. No one at Wayville was
in the office when the despatches were sent, and no copy of the messages
could be found. The operator had been greasing the track, and had
supposed Tom was similarly employed, as on account of the fog he could
not tell the men apart.
"That 's very strange," muttered Mr. Holmes, as he entered his car and
signaled the engineer to go ahead. He was an honest, high-principled man,
quick in his methods- the first to see a wrong, the first to right it. He
was stern in all his dealings with his men, but he was also just, and they all
respected him. He came back to where Tom was seated and said: "Well,
young man, how are you coming on, and where do you want to get off? "
I 'm all right, and I want to get off at Wayville. The mail must be at
the station, and I have to take it over to town."
George," said Mr. Holmes to his son, who was the train-master of the
road, "do you happen to remember where the president is to-day?"









C-- -------I~


"'IT'S A RACE FOR LIFE, AND I OUGHT TO WIN!'"


4~at* 4





















At




A


1






PRESIDENT FOR ONE HOUR


I think he is in New York."
"Well, I wonder who sent these messages?" said Mr. Holmes, handing
them over to his son.
Tom flushed, but said nothing.
They were sent from Wayville, by some man who must have had the
running of the trains at his fingers' ends. A train-despatcher could have
done no better. I don't know of any man at Wayville who could do it. Do
you, Tom ?" asked the train-master.
"Well, I don't think it was very much of a thing, only a fellow had to
think pretty quick."
Did you do it? asked the general manager, suddenly.
"Yes, sir, I did."
"You sent the messages? "
"Yes, sir."
"Are you-besides being a fireman and an engineer -a train-de-
spatcher and operator?"
"And president for an hour," chimed in Mary.
Yes, sir; I plead guilty to all. But I was only acting president," said
Tom.
How dared you do such a thing? asked Mr. Holmes.
I dared do anything that would save human life. If some one had not
dared, what would have happened? There was but one thing to do, and I
did the best I could."
"You are not working for the company? "
No, sir."
"Would you like to be ? "
"Yes, sir."
George, you see that Tom Martin is put on the rolls at fifty dollars a
month, as messenger in the general manager's office. His salary began on
December ist, and he reports for duty on January 2d."
"Thank you, sir," said Tom, heartily.

WHEN the train pulled in at Wayville, there was a large crowd at the
depot; and Tom was greeted with cheers as he stepped from the private
car. He immediately threw the mail-pouches into the hand-cart that was
standing near, and, without saying a word, started to fulfil his duty. Duty
was first with him.
SThe general manager and his guests got off the train, and, mingling with
the crowd, soon learned all that Tom had done in saving the train. They also
learned, as they had already guessed, that he was brave, honest, and generous.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


The story of his father's death, and the struggle of Tom and his mother
to save their little home, found many listeners.
In the depot, Mr. Lenox, the ticket-agent, was telling Mr. Holmes the
whole story over again of the money Tom had saved to buy a present for
his mother, of his last request as he started for the flying engine. Tears
stood in both men's eyes as the recital was finished.
Saved hundreds of lives, and thousands of dollars, by his practical
knowledge. A wide-awake boy -fearless and true; risked his own life -
a thorough American boy. I like him," said the general manager to the
agent, in his crisp short way.
Then the special train pulled out of the depot; but Tom was not for-
gotten by its passengers, as the sequel will show.
Christmas day dawned bright and fair on all the world, yet there was a
peculiar brightness and happiness around Tom Martin's home. Tom had
purchased a rocking-chair for his mother with the money he had earned,
and was contented with the past and hopeful for the future.
At ten o'clock "Doc" Wise, the express-messenger, delivered a large
box at Widow Martin's home, and Tom, with all the curiosity of a wide-
awake boy, soon had it open. There was a beautiful cloak from Mrs.
Holmes for his mother; there was an overcoat and a suit of clothes for Tom,
given by George Holmes. There was a gold watch from the general
manager, bearing the inscription: He risked his life for others. Decem-
ber 24, 1891." Then there was a check to pay off the mortgage, from Mr.
Holmes and his guests. Last of all, in a pretty frame, was a little painting
of the runaway engine, No. 303, on which Tom had taken his momentous
ride. On the back of the picture was this inscription : Be always brave
and true, and you may indeed be president. MARY HOLMES." Of all the
presents, Tom liked this one best.
In the evening came the men from the depot, bearing various gifts. It
was a fit crowning of a happy day for Tom, because of the knowledge that
he had the affection and respect of the men and boys who had known him
always. .








-, r.


,l, e Li'Crt er lie-r.i, d .
i g the l-ig G N..e Th rd.


O ,r th- r,,, to \\illou dhby H:,Il.
r-Irr,,ier the ,r-.-,_he,. ind r l "
T hL Squire 's co:.,h nr.. lis h.:.r-.: Lr i,:, .. .
r,- tr- e;r mn tcr r,.rn L.-.r.: T:.r ,, n :
Frm London T,, n, h,-r,-.: .r ee!. be l:
Thv :,:., h ,. :, ar -t .-.. Lo-c d.or.
Ancl p. o r John F',_trr, i, i .: ..,:t finc.
H[i-.1 at and1 *I at ,,Quern C rotlie.


,tNo'-. frt r tie t urt i1h...i e i o.-.ie ,re-.
,h,: "S,.iir, '. hii '; ,. i h, [ iei iuhIr ,Less.

\\ i:t.- ou their onai hr Ae t,, \Vdt,:uh M, H all.
Thi,: Su. ts t% .' ...' a,-ut


hIy L.-~,dv 'v, _i ,- rin,% : ,l 'n d ,,e ,-1.11.1,
ML) ,L- l ird i ound-

A 1.f ,1, l i t 11 n. hen i ari : lent 1oun.
1a purl,! a a -i 7 d Iin.













Bess, in her mantle of paduasoy,
Hugg'd to her bosom a fine new toy -
A slender whip with a silver head,
To startle her pony, dappled "Ned."
Now with each passing white mile-stone
The little maiden had gayer grown,
Till, in spite of the bitter freeze,
She begged "to sit by the coachman, please!"
So with joy at her novel ride,
Prattled and laughed at John Peter's side.

Sudden, from out the trees near by
Standing dark againstt the sunset sky,
Six black figures on horseback sped
Close on the coach. Ere a word was said,
A pistol was cocked, and a voice cried, "Stop!"
(Poor John Peter was ready to drop,
Cried out Mercy!" and made such a fuss
They threatened him with a blunderbuss!)
The Squire, he blustered; the Lady screamed-
Something had happened that nobody dreamed:
Nobody thought they should have to fight
Six great robbers that very night,
Even though, just the week before,
Highwaymen halted a coach-and-four!

The Squire was gagged ere his sword was out,
All the packets were tumbled about;
The footman ran without staying to fight;
Poor John Peter was stiff with fright!
The Lady fainted in dire distress.
Nobody thought very much about Bess-
She had not stirred, nor screamed, nor made
Sign to show that she felt afraid;
i But safe in her place, she bolder grew,
For the wise little maid saw what to do.

The robbers were careless, sure of success
(Nobody counted on little Bess).
She, who saw while the moments sped
A robber move from the horse's head,
Seized the whip, pushed the coachman back,

















S %. -. -: .. .















"H it v Firo % ii rr- i .. ..1 1 : r ,ii -na k
U11) wcnl t Ii- o:. P0 ith 'i uf.n., of s corn
(This is how it was told next morn),
Flung out his hoof (so the papers said),
Hit a robber and broke his head!
Then was off with the speed of the wind,
SLeaving the robbers all behind!-
Off like mad o'er the snowy course,
Ere a robber could mount his horse!

How My Lady hugged Bess and sobbed!
How John Peter told who was robbed!
How the Squire, with pride and glee,
Cried, "She did for 'em, trouncingly!"
How old Janet, the nurse, cried "Jack!
What a marcy ye all came back!"
How maid Bess, at her father's side,
Carved the pudding at Christmas-tide-
The great big pudding with every plum
Worthy of little Jack Horner's thumb!
SHow her grandam and cousins five
Pledged her "the pluckiest girl alive."
The longest words could not tell it all,
t The joy and the laughter at Willoughby Hall.


2-
































61T o
V E-NV E ASU ES ICAVE
S A' A I Aor o ED ',, .ouL D
FILL Ir AND EVEN HEL PEID HiI\ NEYEP ,AVINC A
-i---e "^- ^ p -- oU














Max and the Wonder-Flower

BY JULIA D. FAY

ONG before the great king Charlemagne ruled over Germany
and France, the mountain forests that border the Rhine were
L peopled by gnomes and dwarfs, witches and fairies, some of
whom were very mischievous and could never be trusted,
while others did kind deeds for the people.
They all were under the control of a fairy king, who lived in the deepest
recesses of the mountains, and whose palace was so vast that it reached even
under the river. On moonlight nights, the river fairies could be seen
playing in the clear .waters, sometimes enticing fishers to their death, by
showing them gold and jewels; for the poor simple fishermen would dive
down into the water and would never be seen again. But then, there were
good fairies among the mountains, and these gave presents to persons whom
they thought deserving of rich gifts, for the mountains were filled with
treasures of gold, silver, and precious jewels; and my story is about a little
boy who was rewarded by these good fairies.
He was only a poor little shepherd-boy, and tended the flocks of a rich
baron, whose castle stood high up on a rock that looked down over the valley
where the little boy lived. His father was dead, and he was the only help
of his mother and two little sisters, Roschen and Elsie. They owned a little
cottage, a goat, and a small bit of ground, which Max-for that was the boy's
name-tilled in the evening, after the sheep were all safely penned for the
night.
He was always cheerful, and kind to all. He loved the beautiful river
that flowed along so peacefully, and the vine-terraces where grew the purple
grapes. The dark forests, that seemed so still to others, filled his heart with
wonder and reverence toward the great Being who had made such a lovely
world.
Max longed to know how to read, so as to learn more about it all, and
yet he worked on, early and late, and enjoyed even the air and the flowers;
and the butterflies, as they flew by him, made him glad that he was alive.




Js~c~e, ~ OteIYAq 3~~n)i


24 THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK

But there came a day of sadness for poor little Max in the winter-time,
for his mother was taken very ill, and the old nurse of the village, who took
care of her, said that she must die unless an herb could be procured that
grew in the mountains; and these were now covered with snow, beneath
which the herb lay buried. But Max did not despair; he started forth, with
his snow-shoes and a stout stick, to climb the mountain and find the herb
that should cure his sick mother.
It was cold, and the wind blew drearily through the trees; still he
tramped on boldly, until at last he stood on the summit of the mountain.
The snow lay around like a soft white blanket, covering all the herbs, ferns,
and flowers, keeping them warm and tucked out of sight until the spring-
time. It was not very deep, and Max, with a little spade he had brought
along, pushed it aside, and there was the brown earth beneath. Yet in that
spot there was no herb, but before his eyes there grew a beautiful, strange
flower, whiter than snow, its heart like gold, and its perfume so sweet that
it seemed like a breath from the gardens of heaven. Max gazed with
longing upon its beauty, and his first thought was to pluck it and take it
home, that they all might see its loveliness; but his second thought was:
" Oh, no; I must find first the herb for to cure mother, and then I can come
here again for this flower with which to gladden her eyes." So, with a
parting look, he went farther on his search, found the precious herb, and,
with it safely in his pocket, came back to the spot where he had left the
lovely flower.
Alas, it had disappeared! But while the tears filled his eyes, the moun-
tain where he stood opened wide, like a door, a dazzling fairy figure ap-
peared, and a silvery voice said:
Enter, little Max, for thou didst first thy duty. Take what thou wilt
of the treasures before thee. The Wonder-flower that thou hast seen, thou
canst not take with thee. It blooms but once in a thousand years, and can
only be seen by the pure in heart. Take of the gold and diamonds, love
thy mother ever as now, aim to be a good man, and keep thy heart pure,
that thou mayest again see the flower in the gardens of heaven, where a
thousand years are but as a day."
And the fairy vanished; but around in a great marble hall shone
diamonds, and rubies, and bright bars of gold, before the eyes of the.
bewildered Max. A little brown dwarf, who seemed to be a guard over the
treasures, gave him a sack and motioned that Max should fill it, and even
helped him, never saying a word. When it was filled, it was so heavy that
Max wondered how he could ever carry it home; but while he hesitated,
the dwarf threw it over his own shoulder, and beckoning Max to follow,





MAX AND THE WONDER-FLOWER


crept out of the door; and as Max followed, the mountain closed behind
them, and the snow lay over it as before.
It all would have seemed a dream, only that there stood the dwarf, with
his pointed little hat, and strange face with eyes like a squirrel's. Not a
word did he speak, but he trotted on down the mountain, and it seemed to
Max scarcely an hour before they stood at its foot. There, with a bow, the
dwarf set down the sack, and then he clambered up the mountain.
Max hastened home as fast as he could with his heavy treasure, and
gave the nurse the herb, hiding the sack under his bed until his mother
should be able to hear of his good fortune.
The herb did its work so well that in a few days his mother was able to
sit up; and then Max, with his hand in hers, and his little sisters standing by
him, told her all.
She clasped her hands, and said:
My sweet child, the dear God has been very good to thee. Thou hast
seen the Wonder-flower that first blossomed when Christ was born, and that
no one but an innocent child may see. Keep its beauty always in mind, else
the treasure it brought will give thee no happiness. Let us thank the great
God of heaven for his love to thee, a poor little shepherd-boy, to whom he
has shown the Wonder-flower, which even the king himself may not see "
And it was in this strange manner that Max's wish was at last granted;
for with his treasure to help him, he now could go to school and learn all
about the great world outside of his little Rhine valley. He lived to be an
honored and learned man, always doing good to others; and with all his
wisdom he was as unassuming as a child.















A Dear Little Schemer

BY M. M. D.

HERE was a little daughter once, whose feet were oh, so
small!
That when the Christmas eve came round, they would n't
do at all.
At least she said they would n't do, and so she tried
another's,
And folding her wee stocking up, she slyly took her mother's.

" I '11 pin this big one here," she said then sat before the fire,
Watching the supple, dancing flames, and shadows darting by her,
Till silently she drifted off to that queer land, you know,
Of Nowhere in particular," where sleepy children go.


She never knew the tumult rare that came upon the roof!
She hever heard the patter of a single reindeer hoof;
She never knew how Some One came and looked his shrewd surprise
At the wee foot and the stocking so different in size !

She only knew, when morning dawned, that she was safe in bed.
" It's Christmas Ho! and merrily she raised her pretty head;
Then, wild with glee, she saw what dear old Santa Claus had done,
And ran to tell the joyful news to each and every one:

" Mama Papa Please come and look! a lovely doll, and all! "
And See how full the stocking is Mine would have been too small.
I borrowed this for Santa Claus. It is n't fair, you know,
To make him wait forever for a little girl to -grow."
































-a
r:dV


k+i,


. ,i I Ii '


r '"


"SHE NEVER KNEW HOW SOME ONE CAME AND LOOKED HIS SHREWD SURPRISE
AT THE WEE FOOT AND THE STOCKING -SO DIFFERENT IN SIZE."


-7

IW;











3O O TH C TAQ
--, -,, .i'-*family, afr"" the ea"r' s"" p' per.e-re g t h;
'r "* ; ', .









f was straed -i loTk on was a bitter cold night in No-
Svember, 1865. The Howard








asedr 's m family, after the early supper, were gath-
Stered around the fire, laughing and chat-
tig for a hour eore the hidre, two itte is ouie ad e,
i zI"t,,r-, TY~5A 'A LCUEVIN.


thi nkn g-(A Tue Story.)

fag X T was a bitter cold night in No-
Pp i- r-- ,- ",," member, 1865. The Howard
"- --' -' family, after the early supper, were gath-
ered around the fire, laughing and chat-
ting for an hour before the children, two little girls, Louise and Jean,
went to bed.
Mr. Howard, in the big Boston rocker, was swaying gently back and
forth; there was a strained, anxious look on his pleasant face, and he
answered the children's many questions in an absent-minded way which
was startling.
"Now, papa," said Louise, "that 's three times you have said 'Yes,
dear,' when you should have said 'No.' What is the matter--are you
thinking ?"
Papa is thinking very hard, deary," said the mother; "he has a hard
problem to solve."
Their father looked at the two eager faces for a moment, and then said,
" Come here, chicks. I will tell you all about it."
The children sprang to him, and clasping them closely in his arms, he
began: "Let me see how wise and sensible you can be. You are both
well-grown girls now; do you think you could make a sacrifice for our
sakes mama's and mine ? "
Oh, yes, yes! of course we could," chorused both children. "What
is it?"
Could you two little girls give up your Christmas-tree this year?
Now, do you think you could?"
The curly heads drooped softly to the father's shoulder. He went on:
It is just this way. You see, I am in the employment of the govern-
ment a servant of Uncle Sam. The war has been cruel and long; all the






HOW THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY PLAYED SANTA CLAUS 29

money has been used for the poor soldiers; so Uncle Sam has n't paid me
for some months, nor, I heard at the office to-day, will he be able to do so
for some time to come. Almost all my money is used up. I dare not spend
a penny for anything but food and clothes for us all, deaf girls; so you see
a Christmas-tree and presents are out of the question. I want you both to
help us bear this; for, believe me, my little lassies, 't is harder for us than it
will be for you."
Oh, papa," wailed Jean, "we 're too little to bear such dreadful things.
Why, I 'most think I could n't live without a Christmas-tree! Why, we
always have a tree "
The father sighed as he kissed the tear-wet face of his darling. What
has my big girl to say?" he asked, looking at Louise. The brown curls
were tossed back from the flushed face.
Papa, don't mind Jeanie, she 's too little to bear things; but I 'm a big
girl. Only here a sob was choked down -"you see we 're so used to
it, you know."
"We will not talk about it any more to-night, for it is time to go to bed,"
said mama.
As'the children were going slowly up the stairs, Louise heard her father
say, If the Hon. Hugh McCulloch could know how I suffer for my chil-
dren's sake to-night, he would make an effort in my behalf."
Everything went wrong at school the next day. The pretty young
teacher looked at Louise in amazement, for the child's thoughts seemed to
be everywhere but on her lessons.
After school hours, the busy teacher looked up from her weekly reports
to find Louise gazing at her intently.
"Well, dear, what is it? "
Why, Miss Annie, I did not say anything."
No, dear, not with words, but you know that the eyes talk. What is
the trouble? "
I want to ask some questions. I know the owner of the United States
is Uncle Sam, but what 's his last name? and who is the Hon. Hugh
McCulloch? and do you know where they live?"
"You funny child!" laughed Miss Graham. "I have never heard of
Uncle Sam's family name, but Mr. McCulloch is an intimate friend of his -
in fact, carries his purse and pays all his bills for him; and he lives in
Washington."
Oh Well, I am going to write to him-- a big letter."
Indeed? What about, dear? Can I help you in any way ? "
"You have helped me, Miss Annie. I think I can get it written all






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


right. I excuse me, but I can't tell you about it, because it's something
about my father's business."
Miss Graham smiled again at the little one's dignity, but she drew the
excited child to her loving arms, and said, That 's quite right, my dear.
Go to your desk and write your letter; I will give you a stamp for it."




.
































"'WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE TREE WE HAD!'"

Late that afternoon the important letter was taken to the post-office.
Don't you think the great man must have been amused when his secretary
handed him the letter, addressed in the funny, childish writing?
handed him the letter, addressed~in the funny, childish writing ?







HOW THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY PLAYED SANTA CLAUS 31

HONEREBLE HUGH McKULLOCH.
WASHINGTON.

I think the correspondence which was carried on by the distinguished
man and the little girl will tell you best how it all ended.

Nov. 30, 1865.
DEAR MR. MCKULLOCH: Won't you plese excuse me for Writing to you. I am in such
trouble and want you to help me please my papa says we can't have a chrismus tree this year,
now is n't that too offley bad? He says uncle sam owes him some money and he can't get it.
My papa is in the revenue business, the revenue business has stamps in it his name is mr henry
Howard, 52 Sprague St Newark N. J. won't you plese ask him to pay him else we can't have a
tree, my teacher says you pay all the bills for him. wont you ask Uncle Sam to let you pay my
papa ? my little sister Jeanie crys all the time, she wouldent care mutch if she was ded, she feels
so bad shes so littel not to have a tree. have you got any little girls. May be the war would n't
let you get paid too. I hope your little children won't have to go without any tree. Won't you
plese beg uncle sam to pay up his bill to my papa plese exkuse bad spelling and Writing my
mamma always helps, but she don't know about this nether does my papa. Truly your littel
friend, LOUISE HOWARD.
P. S. Arent you glad the war is over.
Dec. 4, 1865.
MY DEAR LITTLE FRIEND: I was very much pleased to receive your letter. I am glad you
wrote to me in your trouble, for I can and will help you.
The check for the amount the Revenue Service owes your father will be forwarded to him,
without fail, by the 22d of the month- so, dear child, tell him to proceed with his arrangements
for the tree. It will be all right.
I have a dear little girl like you. Her name is Louise, too. She was pleased with your
letter, and wishes she could have a picture of you and little Jeanie. Can you not send her one ?
Yes, my little girl will have a tree too, so I am sure of the happiness of three children, at
least. Wishing you and Jeanie a Merry Christmas, I am yours sincerely,
HUGH MCCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury.
P. S. Yes, I am very glad the war is over.
Dec. 28, 1865.
DEAR MR. MCCULLOCH: My papa was so surprised when i got the big letter all seeling
wax. he laughed and kissed me hard and said what a child but he was glad and so was mamma.
I was so glad and so was Jeanie we both cryed, we thought mamma did too she says she
dident. oh what a beautiful little tree we had, not so Big or so fine as other years, but we liked
it better, ever so much better than others because we dident expect it.
You are such a kind Gentleman, do you see those round spots on this letter, they are kisses
from Jean and me to you, this is our picture taken with the tree, do you like it, do you see that
littel man hanging right in front,- that's george Washington, its a pen-wiper a littel boy in my
fathers sunday school class made it for his chrismus gift those are my skates hanging on the tabel
and that's jeanies doll, is n't she nice. Jeanie has light hair and blue eyes I have brown hair and
gray eyes anser soon.
Your loving friend, LOUISE HOWARD.
P. S. I am glad you are pleased about the war being over,- but do you know there a
dredful lot of sick soljers in our hospittel yet I go and sing to them every saturday afternoon.






32 THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK

Jan. 15, i866.
MY DEAR LITTLE LOUISE: I was more than pleased, I was delighted, with your picture. I
had it on my library table on New Year's day, and it created great interest, and also admiration.
The tree is beautiful, but to me your happy little faces are more so. My little Louise clapped
her hands with joy when she saw it. I inclose to you a picture of her.
I knew that was George Washington before you told me. It is a striking likeness. I think
that is a very nice tree for hard times.
I will close with many kind wishes for the new year- indeed, for your whole future.
Sincerely your friend,
HUGH MCCULLOCH.
That was the end -no, not quite. I think if the great Secretary could
have looked into the children's room at bedtime, and seen the two little
white figures kneeling at their mother's knee, his heart would have glowed
within him; for the ending of their prayer, said in unison, was always this:
"God bless papa and mama and Mr. Hugh McCulloch, and make
Louise and Jean good girls. Amen."






Snap-shots by Santa Claus


DON'T see," said Santa Claus, as he took a last look
around before going out to climb into the waiting sleigh,
why I should n't take my camera with me! So he
picked it up and deposited it on the seat by his side.
Swish and away they went, but not so fast as usual,
since Dunder" and Blitzen" were lame, and Prancer" was not well.
You know what the genial old gentleman did in the present-giving way,
and I mean to tell you only about a few of the pictures he took. He spoiled
a good many, for they were all taken by flash-light and in a hurry. But he
got one good view of a village church near which lived a favorite little boy
and his two sisters; and also a picture of their stockings hanging from the
holly-covered mantel.
At another house one little girl woke up when Santa Claus was taking
her picture; but she thought next morning it was only a dream, so Santa
Claus did n't mind having been seen.
A picture of some snowy chimneys, showing his path to and from the
flue, and of the tired reindeer team, also proved successful; but a very timid






SNAP-SHOTS BY SANTA CLAUS


---


SNAP-SHOTS BY SANTA CLAUS.
little girl, and a cross black cat who snarled at Santa Claus, were frightened
by the flash-light, and so spoiled their pictures.
Santa Claus took plenty of other pictures, but he does n't care to show
any but these. He says it is fun to take pictures on Christmas eve.


Itfa i
IL
dS~I~.













Jh f a~ c~ c t e Ad a S t a/em{;jY








W,6tcii OA vtt c dWUd fi vWn" # ( dCt/ v"eh I

ltJo CftnCa whoe fthr/l^. tas sf ofMrMoe and indlyl


C


tiC l/moeoO. oLn dcay tu oeAJ jdviJv;


Vall CA OM /Le -



J k2tu^ i/n aLcm& ^Ld Ckt7V i) U CAI ^jv^-
The original manuscript of these famous verses is in the possession of the Hon. R. S. Chilton, United States
consul to Clifton, Canada, whose father was a personal friend of Mr. Moore, and who very kindly allowed
us to make this facsimile copy of a page of the manuscript.
34










"A Visit from St. Nicholas"

F any of us should happen to have an old friend whom we had
never seen, we would be delighted to have his photograph,
that we might know exactly how he looked.
On the opposite page is the likeness of an old friend-
certainly an old friend to most of us. It is a facsimile, or
exact imitation, of the original manuscript of that familiar poem which is
now as much a part of Christmas as the Christmas-tree or the roast turkey
and mince-pies. No matter who writes poetry for the holidays, nor how
new or popular the author of such poems may be, nearly everybody reads
or repeats "'T was the night before Christmas" when the holidays come
round; and it is printed and published in all sorts of forms and styles, so
that the new poems must stand aside when it is the season for this dear old
friend. Just think of it! Jolly old St. Nicholas, with his sleigh and his
reindeer and his bags full of all sorts of good things, made his first ap-
pearance to many of us in this poem. Until we had heard or read this, we
did n't know much about him, except that on Christmas eve he shuffled
down the chimney somehow, and filled our stockings.
Now here is a part of the poem,- as much as our page will hold,-
exactly as the author, Mr. Clement C. Moore, wrote it: Here we see just
how he dotted his i's and crossed his t's, and how he wrote some of his lines
a little crookedly. If we knew nothing about Mr. Moore but what we read
in the biographical notices that have been written of him, we would never
suppose that he troubled his brain about St. Nicholas and his merry doings;
or thought of such things as reindeer and sleighs and wild gallops over
housetops. For he was a very able and learned man. He was the son of
Bishop Benjamin Moore, and was born in New York, July 15, 1779. He
was graduated at Columbia College (of which his father was at one time
president). He was a fine Hebrew scholar, and published a Hebrew and
English lexicon and a Hebrew grammar. He was afterward professor of
Hebrew and Greek literature in the Protestant Episcopal Seminary in
New York. He was a man of property, and had something of the St. Nicho-
las disposition in him, for he gave to this seminary the plot of ground on
which its buildings now stand. Mr. Moore wrote many poems, which
were collected and published in a book in 1844, and he did other good liter-
ary work; but he never wrote anything that will keep his memory green so
long as that delightful poem on the opposite page.
















Santa Claus' Pathway

BY JULIA W. MINER

SNOW everywhere- not the city snow, which is so quickly
trampled down and smirched, and which one gladly sees
carried off in carts, certain of its swift transformation to
Sslush and mud, but the clean, white, lasting country snow.
o a^o It covered the paths, the roads, the fields, lying in great
drifts against the buildings and fences; each low roof had its frozen white
covering, fringed here and there with icicles; the mountains were gray to
their tree-clothed summits, matching the gray sky, whence tiny flakes fell
now and again.
Over the fields trudged Nan and Ned, caring nothing for snow or
drifts; for on their feet were strapped big snow-shoes, and they scuffled
along securely enough.
First fall!" cried Ned, as Nan, inadvertently pointing her big shoe
into the snow, stuck, and settled hastily and ungracefully on the ground.
Give me your hand, Neddy. What a stupid I am Up she scram-
bled, shaking the white powder from her scarlet toboggan-suit. With the
thermometer at ten degrees, there is little fear of dampness from a tumble
into a drift.
Now for a race," said Ned; "I '11 give you a start, and beat you to
the little bridge."
"Thank you for nothing. You need n't give me a start, my boy, but
I '11 beat you just the same. Ready "
Off scuffled the two, Nan with a careful remembrance that her feet must
be kept flat.
"Good for you, Nan!" Ned said, as his sister kept close by him.
" It '11 be nip and tuck, sure enough."
Suddenly the boy's toe struck a projecting rock. Over he went, while
Nan, at that moment a little in advance, pushed on unseeing. Arrived,
triumphant, at the goal, she turned to look for her opponent. Half-way






SANTA CLAUS' PATHWAY


back sprawled a dark-gray figure; a handkerchief fluttered from one ele-
vated foot, while close to this flag of truce stood two childish figures.
Back rushed the victor.
"Oh, Ned! Not hurt, are you?"
Oh, no; just resting. Strap 's broken. Sorry I can't rise and bow
and congratulate you, ma'am. It was nip and tuck, was n't it? I got
nipped and you tuck it." And the vanquished one sat up and proceeded to
mend his snow-shoe with some string. Having offered her handkerchief
and a further store of cord produced from her own pocket, Nan turned her
attention to the new-comers- a boy of about her own age, and
a girl several years younger.
Good morning," she said pleasantly.
Morning," said the girl, in a low voice. ,ij
You 're strangers in the village, are n't you? "
"Yes, we are. Father's here for his health; we 've
just come. Mother 's going to take in washing, 'cause
father can't work now."
Find it rather cold, don't you ?" said Ned.
Yes, it '. a l.l c i,- [u lath 'r li it. and the

him." -GO "
"That 's ,:, ,.,,_I sN A. T K, SUR ,
we know all ,_l.u, it. 1',r ,
've always lil\'d he-re. \ ..
re the docr,:,r' l,ilren.
And Nan nod,_ld: phlas itI, t-,
to the two, n tin.2 tIhir .
coarse yet neat clhi in.
and their s,:,,!i hat
sad young face,. ; ..;
You 're
lucky to be ,
here for the
first snow,"
said Ned, -". .-
scrambling
up, and giv- "
ing a stamp
to test the
"'GOOD FOR YOU, NAN NED SAID, AS HIS SISTER KEPT CLOSE BY HIM.
fastenings. 'IT 'LL BE NIP AND TUCK, SURE ENOUGH.'"






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


"And Christmas, you know, is the day of all the year that makes every-
body feel jolly."
"We 're not going to have any Christmas this year," the girl said.
Can't help yourselves, I guess," was Ned's cheerful reply. "Decem-
ber 25th brings it every time, and that 's to-morrow, sure pop "
Gerty means we can't have presents," joined in the boy. But we
don't mind, do we, sis? It costs a lot to get them, and it cost so much to
get here, we can't hang up our stockings. We always have before,
though," he added quickly.
Dave 's real good, but I can't help minding some. I wish Christmas
did n't come so expensive," Gerty sighed after a pause, during which Nan
and Ned had looked at them in silence.
"Where do you live? asked Nan, at last.
Down that road there, alongsidee o' the river, beyond the pines. First
there 's a blue house, and ours is the second pink one." (Houses of many
colors flourished in the little mountain village.) Dave tried coasting down
that funny open place there in the pines; it looks like a V turned upside
down. He tried it on a board, and he stuck; it was too soft."
Oh, that 's Santa Claus' Pathway," laughed Nan. Then, as the
strangers stared, "That 's what we were told when we were little. You
see, Santa Claus is the only person who can coast down it; I suppose the
reindeer understand the road. And sometimes they run down so quickly
that things drop out of the sleigh. Ned and I looked for them when we
were small. Did n't we ?"
Yes, indeed; many a time. Well, good-by, youngsters. Come along,
Nan."
Left alone, Gerty and Dave looked at each other a moment.
Is n't she a beauty ?" said Gerty, at last, with a long-drawn sigh.
"And, oh, Davy, let 's go there and look to-morrow; will you? "
The boy laughed. "Yes, if you like," said he. "But don't expect
anything; it 's only a story."
Nan's spirits were low that afternoon. The thought of the two new "
children troubled her, and she knew of nothing she could do, for her last
penny had been spent in her girlish Christmas preparations, and all her
available cast-off things had been contributed already to the various big
packages that her kind mother made up for the poorer village folk at this
time. A talk with Ned brought no balm to her spirit; like her, he was
penniless. Dead broke, my dear, and no use. Father 's advanced some
of my January allowance already. But we might ask him."
No, we must n't. Mother told me he 's given away more than he can






SANTA CLAUS' PATHWAY


afford now. It 's hard times for him, too. I don't see why it makes any
difference with a doctor, Neddy. People have to be sick just the same,"
she said reflectively.
Ned offered no explanation, so Nan retreated to her own pretty room to
look, for the twentieth time, at the dainty, ribbon-tied packages she had
prepared for the morrow. It must be just horrid not to have any Christ-
mas fun," she thought again.
The next day dawned bright and sunny and crisp, a perfect Christmas
morning. The doctor's household was stirring betimes, for the four stock-
ings with their abundant overflow must be inspected at an early hour, and
Ned and Nan, youthful tyrants on that day, tapped early at their parents'
door. Who does not know the fun of rummaging a Christmas stocking !
According to their usual custom, Dr. Lowe looked at his gifts first,
being, as Ned said, the oldest child." And few of his patients would
have recognized their grave physician, as he guessed and peeped, and
pulled out the presents, as eagerly as any boy. Nor was Mrs. Lowe one
whit less excited when her turn followed.
Mother and father are two spoiled children," said Ned, laughing, and
casting a suspicious glance at the large package that leaned against the
fireplace close to his own stocking. Could it be the wished-for toboggan ?
They have so many presents, they will get to be like the little girl who
had Christmas every day." For the doctor's family was remembered by
nearly everybody in the village.
What a beauty! Oh, father, how did you know I wanted it so?"
cried the boy, as the new toboggan was unwrapped and admired.
Down in his stocking's deepest depths Ned found a tiny box, "From
Grandma Lowe." Nan looked on with interest, for the shining five-dollar
gold piece would, without doubt, have its double among her own gifts.
And so it was. The girl's quick brain was busy with plans -a decision
was reached at once; now the long-wanted gold beads could be bought !
Breakfast was soon over. Down the toboggan-slide and up again the
children sped and clambered with untiring enjoyment. And who could
grow weary of such a beauty as that new toboggan! Ned and Nan were
fearless and sure of their balance, and neither could be brought to under-
stand why their rapid rush, as they stood erect on their toboggan from
top to bottom of the snow-clad hill, was considered a difficult feat by their
companions.
Get on and have a slide," said Ned, affably, noticing among the little
group of onlookers the two strangers of the day before. Hold on tight,
now. If you 're not used to bumps you '11 fly off.'






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


Down sped the four, Gerty's small shriek lost in the laughter her hasty
rise and fall aroused. But Ned had grasped her quickly, so she was spared
a tumble.
"You '11 like it better next time, so let 's try again," said he, encour-
agingly.
We can't; there's the church bell, Ned," said Nan. We must hurry."
As Nan stooped to tie a refractory shoe-lace, she overheard Dave say
to Gerty:
Now you 've had a Christmas treat, you see, Gerty, even if we did n't
find any dropped things on Santa Claus' Pathway."
Nan's toilet for church was hasty, but she and Ned were ready in time
to follow their father and mother into the pretty little church, pine-trimmed
and holly-decked; and Nan's clear voice rang out sweetly when the con-
gregation sang the Christmas hymn:
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King;
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Over in the corner sat Gerty and Dave. They were singing, too, and
once Nan saw Gerty stop and furtively wipe her eyes.
ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,"

sang Nan, as she wondered. Now the meaning of the words came to her.
She had not thought of it before.
The doctor's daughter did not listen to the sermon. Her Christmas
sermon had been preached to her in that first hymn, and she was thinking
it over seriously and not without some inward struggles. Poor Gerty and
Dave! A sick father, a poor hard-working mother! Nan stole a look at
her own strong, handsome, well-dressed parents, then glanced once more
at the sad-looking pair in the corner. And for them there was, as Gerty
had said, no Christmas."
But the village shops close early Christmas day, and they have so few nice
things in them, anyhow," whispered a selfish little spirit in her heart. And
Grandma Lowe meant you to buy something for yourself with that money."
There was a little rustle as the congregation rose for the recessional:
0 holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.






SANTA CLAUS' PATHWAY


"NED DREW BACK, LETTING DAVE PULL OUT THE SCARLET SLED."

Nan wiped away some tears from herown eyes as shedroppedon her knees.
"Ned, I want to speak to you," she whispered, almost dragging him
down the church steps as the congregation filed out.
"Those Lowe children are never happy long under a roof," laughed
somebody, as the two ran off on the board walk.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


THE pink house down by the river was not the most cheerful place in
the world that Christmas afternoon. Its few furnishings were not yet en-
tirely unpacked; the big air-tight stove smelled of varnish; and the invalid,
seated by the curtainless window, was having one of his bad days." The
poor man looked doleful enough. Sick and suffering, he felt himself the
cause of his family's poverty.
There comes the doctor's sleigh, with his pretty daughter," he said.
"He rides in style. Why, it's stopping here!"
"Father sends the sleigh," began Nan, after the usual greetings, and
hopes you will like to take a little drive, as he is n't using it to-day."
The invalid glanced out at the beautiful black horses with their jingling
bells and scarlet plumes, at the sleigh heaped with fur robes.
Your father's too good, Miss," he stammered, his face flushing with
pleasure.
"And perhaps Gerty and Dave might go coasting with us-Ned and me."
Got on your boots, Dave? queried Ned. "Then we 'll go through
the pines." He chatted merrily as they.started off, the two girls cozily
tucked up on the toboggan, the boys acting as steeds for the chariot.
Santa Claus' Pathway, like a big, white tent, stretched up by their side
as they skirted the hill. "Hello!" said Ned, "er-we might climb up
and see if--er--there 's anything there; St. Nick might have dropped
something."
"He did n't," said Gerty. "Dave and I looked." Ned and Dave
exchanged glances.
'Try, try again,' suggested Nan. "You and I '11 go, too, Gerty. It
is n't deep, and it 's dry as dust."
Up scrambled the youthful quartet.
Let me talk, Ned," said Nan. "You hesitate, and they '11 suspect."
Well, how can a fellow think up things all of a sudden ?" whispered
Ned, in return, his tone expressing his injured feeling.
"Oh oh! Why, look! cried Gerty, pointing to a patch of red half
hidden by the snow. "There There !. near that pine "
The others ran forward, but Ned drew back, letting Dave pull out the
scarlet sled that rewarded his search.
"Whew! That 's a stunner!" cried Dave. "How did it get here?
Some one must have lost it."
"Santa Claus, to be sure," cried Nan; and Ned added: "'Finding 's
keepings."
Do you really think so?" said Dave, wistfully, unable to believe his
good fortune.






SANTA CLAUS' PATHWAY


Certain sure," returned Ned. And since his own hands had put it
there, who could have known better?
Somebody told me there was n't any Santa Claus, but I guess he's been
here," said Gerty; and she nodded her head with satisfaction.
See here !" she cried. "And they 're marked 'Gerty.'" She held up
a box containing a lovely warm hood, a pair of mittens, and a box of candies
as she spoke.
"Oh, goody! goody!" cried the child. "And look! here's a game!
We can play it evenings, Dave; and maybe father 'd like it, too. But," she
said quickly, "you ought to take something we must n't have them all."
"That would be unfair; we 've had our presents this morning," replied
Nan. Prob'ly these things were left here for you, for maybe Santa Claus
did n't know where you'd moved to."
This explanation seemed to satisfy Gerty, and she began to search again
with fresh interest.
"These must be yours, Dave." Ned held up some mittens just as
Gerty cried:
What a love-i-ly doll! Just to think it's mine Oh, you dear dolly !"
"And here 's a book with my name in it," called Dave, in a few moments.
I guess that's all," remarked Ned, after a few minutes' further search.
Has n't it been scrumptious ?" said Gerty to Nan, as they descended
the hill. And Nan thought decidedly that it had been.
Say," said Dave to Ned, as they waited for the two girls to get settled
to their liking, one on the toboggan, the other on the newly found sled,
" I 'm pretty sure you and your sister put those things there. Gerty believes
in Santa Claus she 's little, you see. But I don't know how to say it
- we 're awful much obliged."
Tucked up warm and snug on the toboggan, Nan was softly singing,
under her breath, a joyous Christmas carol.





























a by FlorenceM Ay Alt eB*


ON Christmas eve, the king, disconsolate,
Weary with all the round of pomp and state,
Gave whisper to his fool: "A merry way
Have I bethought to spend our holiday.
Thou shalt be king, and I the fool will be-
And thou shalt .rule the court in drollery
For one short day! With caper, nod, and grin,
Full saucily replied the harlequin:
"A merry play; and, sire, amazing strange
For one of us to suffer such a change!
But thou? Why, all the kings of earth," said he,
"Have played the fool, and played it skilfully!"
Then the king's laugh stirred all the arras dim,
Till courtiers wondered at his humor grim.

And so it chanced, when wintry sunbeams shone
From Christmas skies, lo! perched upon the throne
Sat Lionel the Fool, in purple drest,
The royal jewels blazing on his breast.

On Christmas morning, too, the king arose,
And donned, with sense of ease, the silken hose
Of blue and scarlet; then the doublet red
With azure slashed; upon his kingly head,
That wearied oft beneath a jeweled crown,
He drew the jingling hood, and tied it down.
All day he crouched amid the chill and gloom-
None seeking him-within the turret room.
But when calm night with starry lamps came down
Her purple stairs, he crept forth to the town.















I '' ,-:


















'' l.
b.
ie










,P,








i4i






















"'WE HAVE NOT MUCH TO GIVE, DEAR FOOL,' THEY SAID,
'BUT THOU ART COLD; COME SHARE OUR FIRE AND BREAD !'
45
.;/






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK

His scanty cape about his shoulders blew,
Close to his face the screening hood he drew.
He knocked first at a cottage of the poor,
And lo! flew open wide the ready door.
"We have not much to give, dear fool," they said,
"But thou art cold; come share our fire and bread!"
With willing hands they freed his cape from snow,
And warmed and cheered him ere they let him go.

And so 't was ever. By the' firelight dim
Of many a hearthstone poor they welcomed him;
And children who would shun the king in awe,
Would scamper to the doorway if they saw
The scarlet peak of Lionel's red hood.
"Dear fool," they called him loudly, "thou wert good
To bring the frosted cake! Come in and see
Our little Lisbeth-hark! she calls for thee!"

And so 't was ever. On his way the king
With softened heart saw many a grievous thing:
But love he found, and charity. And when
He crept at dawn through palace gates again,
He knew that he who rules by fear alone
May sit securely on his dreaded throne:
But he who rules by love shall find it true
That love, the milder power, is mightier, too.
"Dear fool," he said, "thou art a king, in sooth:
The king of hearts! To-day no farce, but truth!
For I have seen that thou, beneath my rule,
Hast often played the king,-and I the fool!"
















iMfor the music, merry and clear;
E for the Eve,the crown of the year,
Rl fo the Romping of bright girls and boys:
PF for the Reindeep that bring them the toys
Y for thefule-log. softly aglow.

Sfor the Cold of the sky and Ihe snow;
H for the hearthh where they hang up the hose
R for the Reel which the old folks propose.
Sfor the Ocicles seen through the pane;
for the Sleigh-bells,with tinkling refrain,
fop the Tree with gifts all abloom;
for thekistlefoe hunq in the room;
A for the Anthems we all love to hear;
S for Ti 0emo.=-joy of the year.-



Y, ,,
1 ^ /^L :
xC^ i -;i 1)/ ~
















A-,n



-~---~-


BY MARION HILL.

T HE "Scavenger" had gone to bed; but, as we knew from experi-
ence, far from being asleep, she was listening to every word of our
conversation, and was storing it in her memory with the intention of quot-
ing it at some future time to our discomfiture.
She was only twelve years old, and, being the youngest, was doomed to
run the family errands. Though she rebelled each time she was asked to
go anywhere, yet in her heart she gloried in any chance to scour the neigh-
borhood and find out whatever was new or interesting. In her innocent
babyhood she had been christened Lillian; but when, as a growing child,
tucks were let out, and she began to depend upon old iron, bottles, and the
contents of the rag-bag as the chief sources of her income, and consequently
was forced to collect the articles of her trade with much unscrupulousness
and energy, we bestowed upon her that eminently more descriptive title,
the Scavenger."
By this time you have learned that we were poor. Mother was down-
stairs sewing, and supposed that we four girls had gone to bed; but three
of us sat before the dying fire and bemoaned our poverty.
We were Vivian, Clara, and Nan. I am Nan, the eldest of the sisters.
Vivian and I have no nicknames, but Clara is called Herc," short for
Hercules-a well-won honor bestowed upon her in recognition of her
prowess in such feats as lifting the kitchen stove, moving the bookcase, and
beating carpets.
"To be poor is hard at any time," sighed she, "but it is doubly hard at
Christmas. Here it is the middle of December, and we have not a dollar."






A RANDOM SHOT


My heart aches for mother," said Vivian. "She is fretting herself ill
over the bills."
"I should like to scalp the butcher!" murmured Herc, in serious
meditation.
An odd sound from the bed, a half-strangled sob, caused us to look at
each other in surprise.
"What is the matter, darling?" asked Vivian, going over to the bed
and trying unsuccessfully to lift from the Scavenger's face the bedclothes
which were dragged over her features and clutched fiercely from beneath.
"Tell your Vivian what troubles you, dear."
After being adjured several times, the grief-stricken one raised a corner
of the bedclothes and sobbed forth in a roar of woe:
Mother is sick! and all because she has no money. Yesterday I went
into her room for some pins, and I found her on her knees by the bedside,
crying and praying--praying in the daytime/ Ow-w!" and the long-
drawn sob betrayed that in the last statement she fancied her recital had
reached its acme of distress.
Don't cry, little girl; don't cry. Things may grow brighter by and
by," said Vivian, soothingly, but her own voice trembled. In fact, the sud-
den tears also started to Clara's eyes and to mine as we guessed at the
suffering our little mother had so bravely kept from us.
Vivian brushed the damp hair from the child's forehead, and petted her
into a more resigned frame of mind. When she found out after a while that
the much-comforted Scavenger was sobbing merely for her own private en-
joyment, and reveling in the way the bed shook with each convulsive throe,
Vivian came back to her old seat by the fire, and asked:
Is there no way in which we girls could make a little money and help
mother along? Is there nothing we can do ? "
"We have not an accomplishment in the world," I said, a little bitterly.
Here might give music-lessons said a voice from the bed, with a sob-
bing cackle of dismal mirth.
The sting of this suggestion lay in the fact that Clara (than whom no one
had less ear for music) in moments of dejection was given to twanking
viciously on an old banjo, which she played with so little melody and so
much energy as to drive the rest of us to distraction.
Here broke into an amiable burst of laughter, then sank back immedi-
ately into her former state of depression.
Vivian sighed wearily, and fell into a reverie that must have been far
sadder than we others could guess.
Two years before she had been engaged to be married to a young man






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


who was so affectionate, so boyish, so full of fun, that he soon won mother's
heart as completely as he had won Vivian's. As for us girls, we simply
adored him.
Brother Bob," for so we soon learned to call him, was summoned to.
England just three months before the day set for the wedding, to take
possession of a fortune which had been left him unexpectedly. And then
came the sad, sad news that on the vessel's return trip he was drowned.
After that news everything went wrong with us. We gave up our Phila-
delphia home and moved to San Francisco, expecting in a vague way to
do better; but we were disappointed, and only by severest economy were we
enabled to keep a roof over us. Poverty is a skeleton that may be kept
decently in his closet until Christmas-time; then he comes forth and rattles
his bones under one's very nose.
Indeed, the prospect was so dismal that it actually prevented us three tired
girls from going to bed. We sat around the grate, looking intently at the
fire, as if trying to wrest a helpful suggestion from the fast-dropping ashes.
This second silence had lasted fully ten minutes, when it was again
cheered by a speech from the bed.
See here," said the muffled voice. I have a splendid idea, but I am
afraid you- you things will laugh at me if you don't like it."
Why, Lil, of course we won't! said Vivian, reproachfully.
Thus encouraged, the flushed and blinking Scavenger struggled into a
kneeling position and addressed us with dignity :
"You know our old washerwoman, Biddy Conelly?"
SOf course we did, and said so.
You know the paper, cake, and boot-button shop she keeps? "
"Well?"
Biddy is laid up with rheumatism, and the shop is shut."
Well ? "
"Well!" defiantly, as the crisis grew nearer, "why can't we keep the
shop until Biddy grows better, and make a kind of Christmas place of it
with cornucopias and Christmas-tree things, and have lots of fun, and earn
lots of money ?"
Silence reigned. Breathless and astounded, we could only look at each
other.
Then what a gabble of tongues! what a deluge of fors and against!
what a torrent of questions and answers what a flavor of romance! what a
contagious excitement and freshness there was about the whole plan!
Shopkeepers! Delightful idea! We might be able to pay all the
bills and buy mother a new dress!" said Vivian.






A RANDOM SHOT 51

I shall be able to keep my rag-money all for myself, and I '11 buy a
bicycle," said the sanguine originator of the plan.
Let us go to bed and gain the strength needed to unroll the project
before mother in the morning," concluded I, with wisdom.
Well, we carried our point. Mother at first would not consent; but the
gentleman who rented our front parlor spoke loudly on our side by deserting
the premises without having paid his last month's bill; and we used this
deplorable incident to such advantage that mother finally gave in.
Two of us rushed at once to Biddy's, and had an entirely satisfactory
interview with her. Not only did she refuse to charge us rent for the shop
and stock on hand, but she lent us a little money that we might lay in goods
of an essentially holiday nature.
There was much to. be done before we could throw open our establish-
ment to an indulgent public. At home mother and Vivian worked untir-
ingly mother crocheting and knitting, Vivian dressing dolls and painting
little pictures for our show-window. At the store, Lil, Clara, and I were
equally busy, and afforded Biddy, who lived in rooms above, much pleasing
excitement.
Clara, especially, merited much praise.- Slender and girlish as she was
in figure, she performed many manly feats, especially in the way of carpen-
try; and when it came to cleaning, the rest of us were nowhere beside her.
Cleanliness is the thief of time," she panted; but it 's the only way to
be healthy, wealthy, and wise."
As we intended to be "shopkeepers" for two weeks only, and, more-
over, as we were such comparative strangers in the city that we had no
arrogant acquaintances to shock, the day on which we opened our little
store found us four of the most expectant, most excited, happiest girls in the
world.
Oh, you must hear a short description of our dear shop! It was on
Third Street, almost an hour's ride from our house. It had only one show-
window, and was a bakery, a confectioner's, and a stationer's, all rolled into
one. But our chief pride was in our Christmas goods and tree ornaments.
We considered our assortment of dolls and our stock of tin toys unrivaled;
and we reached our crowning holiday effect by means of wreaths and ropes
of fragrant evergreen.
At the back, opening out of the store, was a small room; and before its
bright fire we sat and chatted whenever we were off duty. We made fun of
everything and everybody; we roared at the poorest jokes; we were in a
touch-and-go state of good humor from morning till night. Indeed, we look
back upon those days as the merriest of our lives.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


Our first customer! The words send a thrill through me even now. We
fought so for the honor of first standing behind the counter (before the arrival
of any buyer, of course) that we finally drew lots for it; and the Scavenger
won. She made us retire into the back room and closed the door; then she
triumphantly mounted guard alone. The bell tinkled! A child came in! We
three in exile pressed our faces to the curtained glass door, and breathlessly
watched the proceedings. Child pointed to a tin horse; Lil handed it
to him; child nodded;.
handed it back; said
something; Lil wrapped '
horse in paper; gave it '..
again to child; child took Ij
laboriously a coin from i i',
his stuffed pocket; laid it ~ '
encounter; childwentout.
Simultaneously we .-- t,.]r,,
burst into the shop and Al ,''-
cried: "Let us see it! .E
Show us the money!" h. i
First blood for me!" iZ- i
shrieked the Scavenger, q_ _
dashing a ten-cent piece- I" r '
into the till. '
Vivian, who was book- ilI'' ,N ..
keeper, entered the ten Il
cents amid frenzied rejoic- i, i i
ings. Soon after her first
sale, Lil shoved her head
into the sitting-room and l
observed with a quiet "OUR FIRST CUSTOMER."
chuckle:
I say, Vivian, a young man was just straying past, and caught sight
of your paintings; and they were so.bad they made him, ill."
They did n't," cried Clara, indignantly.
Did, too. He gave one look and then reeled, positively reeled, away."
Vivian was so used to having her pictures ridiculed that she merely
smiled and said nothing.
Late in the afternoon Lillian and I were on duty together. We were very
tired, all of us, for we had had an extremely busy day, the stream of customers
being almost an unbroken one. Lest the uninitiated jump to the conclusion






A RANDOM SHOT


that we were on the highroad to fortune, the explanation is necessary that
very few of the purchasers expended more than a dime at a time. Some-
times, indeed, the worth of a nickel sufficed for their modest needs. Often
we suffered the shock of seeing them go out without having bought anything
at all. To Lillian and -me was vouchsafed the glory of having a customer
out of the ordinary. He came at twilight, just before the lights were lit-an
elderly-looking, heavily bearded gentleman with a gruff voice. He glanced
sharply at both of us, and then said to me in a nervous, rambling way:
Er ah got any paper ? note-paper ?"
"Yes, sir; plenty."
"Give me er five dollars' worth."
"Five dollars' worth ?" I repeated in amazement.
"Um yes."
When the enormous package was at last presented to him, he paid for it
promptly, but was not yet satisfied.
Have you any, well, er- any nice, first-class gold pens ?" he asked
again, in his uncertain fashion.
As he was looking directly at them, an answer was unnecessary, so I si-
lently placed the tray of pens before him. He took five, at two dollars each.
I tied them up for him, blushing hotly the while, and feeling very much
ashamed; for I had come to the mortifying conclusion that he was throwing
his money into our till from benevolent motives only, and did not really
need a solitary pen or a single sheet of paper.
"Nice store-very," he said, gruffly yet affably, catching the Scaven-
ger's glassy and dismayed stare. "Am setting up a Christmas-tree -will
want cart-loads of things. Have got-er-lots of children." Here he
described with his gloved hand an immense arc in the air to illustrate the
size and number of his children. "All will have to have presents. Must go
now. Will drop in again. Good-by."
The door closed behind him. Lil and I, after an astounded look at each
other, rushed into the little parlor to tell the girls.
"A nice sort of customer to have. I wish he would come again," said
Vivian.
He 's going to; he said so."
"Was he young or old?" asked Hercules.
Old," said I.
Young !" said Lillian.
He had a gray beard."
Well, the eye part of him was young -real young," insisted Lil; and
the subject was dropped.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


When the eventful, delightful day ended we ran up-stairs to bid
good night to Mrs. Conelly.
It 's a foine stroke o' luck yez been havin'. Oi 've sot by this windy,
an' it 's wan hundred an' thirty-noine paple Oi 've counted thot 's gone in
an' out o' the sture," she declared.
Impossible! we cried.
Oi 've counted, and Oi know," she maintained stolidly. Sixty-noine
gone in and sixty-noine come out. Wan of thim thot wint in did n't go in at
all, but ker up here and began pumpin' me about yez. Sorra a wurrud did
Oi give him. Oi only tould him where yez lived, phwat yer names was, and
how yez ker to be kapin' sture. Thin he tould me not to mintion him to
yez, and not to tell yez whether he was a man or woman. An' Oi won't.
Yez can't dhrag it out o' me."
Did he or she have a long gray beard ? I asked anxiously.
Sorra a hair on his face," she declared; adding, with a virtuous regard
for truth, "barrin' an eyebrow or so."
As we could obtain no further information from her, we hurried
homeward: It was charmingly dark, and we felt very independent and
businesslike at being out at such an unusual hour.
Mother had a hot supper for us, and whether we ate most or talked
most, she declared she could not tell.
When our hunger and excitement were both abated, we made the dis-
covery that mother had had a little excitement of her own, and that she was
trying to keep it from us. But we pounced upon her, like a pack of hyenas,
with:
"Now, mother, what is it? You are a bad hand at keeping a secret.
Tell us. Out with it! "
Between laughing and crying she finally told us all-that she had rented
the two parlors to a very rich old gentleman, who had not only given a high
price for them, but had positively paid three months in advance. She con-
cluded by drawing a great.bunch of money-real greenbacks-from her
pocket and fluttering them above her head, like little flags.
Our youngest relieved her feelings in a fantastic dance.
The next day at the store was a counterpart of the first, except that the
reckless buyer did not appear. For three days he kept away, but he per-
formed prodigies when he did return. Vivian, having stayed home with
mother, missed much of the fun, and had to hear second-hand a tale highly
complimentary to herself; for the old gentleman bought all of her paintings,
one after another, and stuffed them out of sight in his immense pockets.
They seemed only to whet his appetite for more. I will take- I want -






A RANDOM SHOT


give me that," and he pointed abruptly and without previous consideration
to the most gorgeous doll in our collection.
The poor little doll-loving Scavenger sighed deeply as she beheld
her favorite go head first into one of those rapacious pockets, whence the
paper-covered legs waved her a sad adieu.
Still unappeased, our customer demanded in his hearty way, "Now, then,
fetch me out Christmas-tree fixings; lots, please."
At this stage of events, Hercules, who was waiting upon him, blushed a
painful red, and said with meek determination; No, sir; I 'd rather not!"
"Bless my soul!-what 's the matter with you?" demanded he, bluntly.
Through her desperation Here answered honestly: "I don't think you
really want anything you are buying, sir! "
He broke into a spasm of gruff, good-natured laughter, but growled with
evident sincerity that he needed all he had bought and more, and would
have to go elsewhere if she refused to supply him; and on her showing him
what he asked for, he purchased articles enough -to decorate a banian-tree,
and departed with the promise that he would "drop in to-morrow."

THE night before Christmas! We had paid all the bills; we had secretly
bought mother and one another little presents; and the dear store which
had enabled us to do so much was to pass into the hands of Biddy's cousin,
who had come to take charge on our departure.
The delightful nervousness of Christmas eve was upon us all, and we all
four were gabbling together in the center of the shop, of which we were so
soon to lose possession.
Well, I just love the old man who bought such loads of things ex-
claimed Lillian. "We would n't have done half so well but for him."
Goodness !" said Clara, "speak of an angel and you hear his wings!"
His wings made a lot of noise, for he burst in with his usual hearty
clatter; but, instead of dashing to the counter as was his wont, he stood
looking steadily at Vivian, who blushed and trembled under his gaze. And
then the dear old fellow what did he do but rush at our lovely Vivian
and clasp her, in his arms It almost seemed that she had been put into one
of those pockets, so completely did she disappear in the overcoat's embrace.
Before we, an indignant trio, had time to remonstrate, Vivian had torn
herself away from him, and was looking at him less in anger than in an
undefined terror, that yet was not terror.
Vivian/ My Vivian!" As his voice rang through the room, our
pulses leaped with a strange remembrance, and Vivian, almost unconscious
with joy, flung herself of her own free will into his arms.






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


Then what a crazy set we were! Brother Bob!" Dear Bob!" "Not
drowned, but come to life again !" We shouted, we laughed, we cried; we
all became like raving lunatics in our mad happiness. I found myself crying
bitterly, all for no reason, over the Scavenger in a corner, while she was
shouting, "Bob! Bob! Bob!" at intervals, like a demented calliope.
When we were the least bit calmed, Bob sent us into hysterics again
by putting his wig and beard into his pocket. And then we saw the dear
remembered face !
My own, my beloved Vivian he cried. The glad tears were running
down his face quite as freely as down ours.
Vivian said never a word, but clung to Bob's arm like one in a dream.
How we got into the street we never clearly remembered, but I know we
found ourselves dashing homeward at a rousing pace, and all talking to-
gether. We didn't want to be heard, we only wanted to talk. Still we
were keenly conscious of Bob's narrative. He told us how he lost track of
us after he was saved from the lost ship, nobody seeming to know where we
had gone; how, at the end of a two years' search, a faint clue had sent him
to San Francisco; how he had seen in our shop-window Vivian's painting
of our old Pennsylvania home, and had recognized it; how he had learned
about us from Biddy; and how he had determined to mystify us and haunt
the "sture" until he could get a chance of finding Vivian behind the
counter.
Here we are at home. Don't tell us any more," commanded Lil. Save
it for mother."
On the door-step we formed, in whispers, an elaborate scheme for mo-
ther's mystification. Bob was to stay outside, while we went in and made
mother believe we had brought a homeless waif with us. Then she was to
go out, and bring him in to the light of her hospitable fireside; and he was
to fall upon his knees and disclose himself. Tableau / Bob assented with
cheerful readiness, and we, after a violent ring at the bell, waited in palpi-
tating expectation.
The door opened; we crowded past mother and tried to force her away
from the door, while we gabbled, "Oh, let us tell you. We knew you
would n't be angry, and we brought home with us a poor old tramp with no
home and no -" Here mother gently freed herself, poked her dear, pretty
head out of doors, and said placidly: Come in, Bob."
We were petrified. She knew all about it!
Don't try to deceive your poor old mother, girls," she said, throwing
open the parlor doors, and Well, words fail me. At one end of the
blazingly lighted room stood an immense Christmas-tree, dazzling with can-






A RANDOM SHOT


dies, and bearing on its drooping branches, besides myriads of costly gifts,
every single article we had sold our old man." It was like a child's dream
of a tree. In an arm-chair by the fire sat Biddy Conelly, beaming happily
upon us like a homely old fairy.
"Then Brother Bobis the 'rich old gentleman' who rented the rooms,
and you knew it !" I cried, as light suddenly began to dawn upon me.
Through the blissful silence "came a still voice": Oi did n't know thot
it wor the gintleman thot died, but Oi 'm glad Oi held me tongue aboud
him, or I ax yez where would 'a' been the surpioise of it ? "
But Here is looking admiringly at mother, and gasps at last: "Mama
dear, I did n't know you could be so underhanded!"













', A very benevolent boy, Oho!
S" Avery benevolent boy!
He sad, O I wish I had silver and gold
S/ "' I d fill a big house till no more it could hold
t''h every nice candy and toy !'
Thi exceedingly generous boy!
And my Christmas dollar ? 0 pshaw] don't you see ?
1 11 have to keep that to buy candy for me! '
This very benevolent boy! N_
._,

/ ,,'',.... ,.,





















































H TMI






































HO, FOR THE CHRISTMAS-TREE!












A Race with an Avalanche

BY FANNY HYDE MERRILL

VER a little town in the heart of the Rocky Mountains floated a
heavy cloud. A young girl stood by the window of one of the
pretty homes, and watched anxiously the sky above. As she
looked, her brother stepped up behind her. Never mind,
Kate," he said, "we '11 have a good Christmas, if it does snow."
Kate frowned. "What is the use of any more snow? It 's four feet
deep on the ground now, and all the roads are blocked. We can't get any
Christmas mail; the sugar in town is all gone; only one cow to give milk
for the children; not an egg to be had; we can't even bake a cake! "
And just then white flakes came floating through the air. Kate's
exclamation was a doleful "There it comes! It 's too bad!"
Over near the large stove sat the father. As he heard Kate's dis-
tressed voice he came to the window.
The doctor was a slender man with kind eyes and gray hair. There
were many lines across his forehead, but most of them had been drawn by
care and thought, few by age, and none at all by discontent. As he stood
and stroked Kate's hair, it was easy to see that the young girl was the
pride of his heart.
"Your mother, my dear," her father said slowly, "was always glad
when it snowed at Christmas-time. She always said, 'A real Christmas
should be a white Christmas.'"
Tears stood in Kate's eyes, and Harry turned away his head. He did
not wish Kate to know how desolate home had been to him since their
mother's death.
Through the gathering snow two heavy figures came toward the house.
Harry opened the door, and saw two strong men with resolute faces.
Does Dr. Ward live here? they asked.
The doctor stepped forward. In spite of the storm, the men lifted their
caps as they saw his face.
"There 's a man hurt up at the mines," said the taller of the two men.
"Will you come up, doctor? "
Certainly," said the doctor, promptly. I '11 come at once."
59






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


The man looked at the two young people. Doc-
tor." he saidi a l u know- the sn:s is sliding- badly ?
It a deal of risk."
The -doctor nodded, and [itut on his thick coat.
SOh. papa !" cried Kate. -" not to-day Not
v oni \ e can't let vo .i -o." In distre-s sihe
turned to tlhe men: Can't \ou ge some
younger man for such a hard trip ?
The man Ilooked troubled. I 'n
sorry, Mi- \\ did tr\. BLiut"-
hi. fac-c harcdening- -" n-o ott r 'Ei.c-
tor %\ilil o. .And the man is badly
hurt."


Poor Kate Father and
brother had hidden their
o\\ n grief over the
mi'ther's death, and
stri\en to, make her
liCf bright. N i\ she
cuildi not believe she


'4,'
.4'.
,q~ ~
tt~ ~
V -


4, ~t


ell. _hL .d. e ,L I.r tLii

"late," he saidi a

i,?' o le tolik hr hr andI i min
S. \ork is to s.-U' live,- -
S" t.But, papa youLr life-so

I' 1\ dear, i\ho can tell whichh liie is
m :,ot needeldpi Esccide6, \i!ur t; ears are
iolishi, dear-. There is probably no real
Sedan I-r. I shall come tI ack -i ael, n l er i e ar.i
H- st-opped vith his hi; an on her head. Theuni.
satchel in hand. lie \\ ei't to the door. As he -t ple:
across the threshold lhe took Harri'i hand. N" I\
Ibo-," he said. '' i-i arn e like our mother. I can trust
I'" Kate to : \,u "t and the d ,:oor clo:sedI. The three men
loved their vLia, upP hie street into the moun1i tain trail that
led to the mines. Kate watched the figures grow small in the
distance, till the snow hid them from sight. The mighty hills that


Could Ij
cther ct
her fa


f.,






A RACE WITH AN AVALANCHE


shut in the town never looked to Kate so high, so silent, so unmoved as
during the long hours of that day. In vain Harry planned diversions; she
watched the window with an anxious and a sorrowful face. Still the storm
raged; and, as the twilight gathered, Harry could not keep anxiety from his
face and voice.
Down in the valley the twilight fades early, and it was dark when a
heavy rap brought Harry to the door. There stood twelve men, and in
their midst, on a sled, an uncouth mass of snow-covered blankets.
Where 's father? gasped Harry, staring at the sled with its heavy
burden.
He said we were to tell you the storm was so bad he 'd stay up at
the mine to-night. We 're taking the fellow that was hurt down to the
hospital."
Noble fellows! cried Harry, with his face aglow, as the men set off
again. Those twelve men have brought that hurt fellow down the
mountain on a sled in this storm and darkness, over four feet of snow.
They faced death every step of the way, for the snow is sliding all the
time."
Kate stared at the fire, but said nothing. Suddenly a veil had been
lifted. She saw not only her noble father risking his life for others,- that
was no new vision,--but the rough, the faithful miners, twelve of them,
risking their lives to carry to greater safety one poor, hurt, perhaps dying,
man. And she -all day long she had brooded over her own selfish sorrow
and anxiety, letting Harry try to amuse her, but never thinking of his
troubles.
With a flush of shame she started up.
Harry," she said, "we '11 practise a little to-night; can't we?"
And Harry brought out his flute and the music with a face of such relief
and happiness that Kate's heart gave another throb of remorse.
The morning of the next.day dawned clear and cool. Gradually the sun
rose over the mountains, each moment touching into new glory the light
and shadow, the color and glittering sheen, of the vast snow-covered hills.
Kate sang over her morning work, and thought tenderly of the new comfort
she would bring into her father's life from that day forward. Nine o'clock it
was before the sunlight touched the town in the valley. Harry began to
watch the mountain trail for his father. All day long the "beauty of
the hills" glittered before the longing eyes of Kate and Harry, but no
father came down the shining mountain path. At three o'clock the sun
went down, and the tints of sunset glowed upon the snowy heights.
Kate bravely struggled through the pretense of a meal; but self-con-






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


trol is not learned in a day, and by evening Harry found her crying
softly by herself.
Kate," he said, don't worry; to-morrow I '11 go up the mountain and
see if father is still there."
Harry started early, next morning, and Kate bravely watched him out
of sight.
"We 'll be home for Christmas," he shouted back, for his spirits rose
with the prospect of something to do. He climbed to the mines, and
found, to his dismay, that his father had started down early the preceding
morning, the superintendent having watched him out of sight.
"Well," said Harry, I must go down and get up a party from town to
search for him."
"That is the best way," said the manager.
He said nothing of the danger Harry himself must pass through. Dan-
ger was around them all.
Harry was strong, active, and skilful in the use of the snow-shoes, or
skees, which he wore that day.
The boy's face was saddened by his fears for his father, but a resolute
look flashed into his eyes as he made ready for the perilous trip. Just as
he shot forward, came the thunder of a blast of dynamite in the mine above
him. A shout went up, "A snow-slide! and a mass of snow, dislodged by
the explosion, came crushing past: A corner of the shed containing the
men was carried away. The men looked at each other. Their escape had
been narrow; where was the boy who had just now shot forward in the very
path of the avalanche ?
It needed no shout to tell Harry what the result of that report would
be. He had started, and almost at that instant the snow was on his track.
There was no chance for turn or thought of pause. His only chance for life
was to reach the valley before the avalanche.
Over the shortest, steepest descent he flew,.the wind cutting his face, all
thought merged in one fire of effort to fly faster.
Faster, faster, he skimmed the glittering snow, till he shot like an arrow
from a bow into the plain below, and fell headlong covered by the frosty
spray at the edge of the spent avalanche. The breath seemed pressed out
of his body, and for some minutes he did not move.
Then a shout came through the air, and he lifted himself as a band of
miners came flying down the mountain toward him. They came on snow-
shoes from the mines above, and were overjoyed to find the boy alive.
" He beat the snow-slide!" they ejaculated, and Harry, a hero from that
hour, was escorted home in triumph.






A RACE WITH AN AVALANCHE


At the door stood
Kate, and back of
her the good father, Y -
safe and sound. On
his way down from -
the mine, the doctor
had been hailed by a
man who lived in a
little cabin sheltered
in the mountain-side.
The man's child had
broken an arm, and by
the time everything
was done for his re-
lief, the short day was
so far gone that the
doctor was obliged
to stay all night.
That Christmas .4
eve, as Kate and Har- ." ."-
ry and their father
stood watching the
stars glow and spar-
kle in the keen moun-
tain air, Kate put her
hand on her father's
arm as she said:
"There won't be
much for Christmas '
to-morrow; but any
other happiness that --
could come to me
would seem very
small, after having :P
you and Harry given
back to me."
My dear," said
her father, "since the HARRY'S RACE FOR LIFE.
Christmas angels first sang 'Peace on earth, good will toward men,' the
best gift that can come to any of us is an unselfish heart."











































4:


. -..I!


. :: '-.





"CHIME, CHIME, CHIME, CHIME,-SUCH A MERRY LOAD
SLEIGHING IN THE MOONLIGHT ALONG THE RIVER ROAD!


"'
. *r. -


-~i

"Y*\~4


;


,

:


D:i



---











The Christmas Sleigh-Ride


BY HELEN GRAY CONE


THEY started from the old farm-gate,
The happiest boys alive,
With Rob, the roan, and Rust, his mate,
Arid Uncle Jack to drive;
The snow was packed, that Christmas-time,
The moon was round and clear,
And when the bells began to chime,
They all began to cheer.
Chime, chime, chime, chime,-such a merry load
Sleighing in the moonlight along the river road!

They passed the lonely cider-mill,
That 's falling all apart;
The hermit heard them on the hill,-
It warmed his frozen heart;
They cheered at every farm-house gray,
With window-panes aglow,-
Within, the farmer's wife would say,
"Well, well, I want to know!"
Chime, chime, chime, chime,-such a noisy load
Speeding by the homesteads along the river road!

The river shone, an icy sheet,
As o'er the bridge they.flew;
Then down the quiet village street
Their Christmas horns they blew;
The sober people smiled and said,
"We '11 have to give them leave
(Boys will. be boys!) to make a noise,
Because it 's Christmas eve!"
Chime, chime, chime, chime,-such a lively load
Scattering songs and laughter along the river road!

But now it 's growing hard to keep
Awake, and now it seems
The very bells have gone to sleep,
And jingle in their dreams.
The lane at last,-the farm-gate creaks,
And Grandma cries, "It 's Jack!
Why, what a peck of apple-cheeks
These boys have brought us back!"
Chime, chime, chime, chime,-such a hungry load,
Rosy from the Christmas ride along the river road!
65







































% 7%. *.Tz I


BY JULIE M. LIPPMANN


i[lI "'. \\E had been busy talking, for hours, Christmas eve,
I''' .ill di-- grat improvements until-will you believe ?-
4., Ii'.-it quje dull and drowsy, and said, twixtt yawn and sigh,
S' i Oh an rl.in .:. ld-fashioned had best pass out and die!"

l Arid tli-er I i.:rned back smiling and quite self-satisfied,
S' ~- And .:l.:.s.d riy eyelids slowly, when, lo! they opened wide
S1|| In h'-.:-r am.:- and wonder, and would you know the cause ?
I i 1 be fore m.n standing, the form of Santa Claus.

But, oh so strange and altered! In clothes of latest style,
And not at all the Santa I 'd dreamed of all the while.
But still I recognized him, and said: I did n't see
You come out from the chimney,-'t was very dull of me."

The chimney ? said he gruffly, I beg of you to know
I clamber down no chimneys; I stopped that long ago!"
I said, Your load was heavy, you're tired; won't you rest ?"
Oh, no," he answered grandly, "my goods were all expressed!"
66


^y.ii







A NEW-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS


" You must have found it pleasant the sleighing, sir, I mean.
The roofs are much more snowy than I have ever seen."
" Indeed "-his air was lofty-" 't is not the present mode
To drive a sleigh. I travel by the elevated road."

'T- ;-i .-ill ;.:. :-tr:in : it clijle iii t t:. p.,: -: il I z :,l. N .:.. p -, -.-
'\1 u .. ,,'t -t,;et r._, ld u; of .our Christm.t S-tre:s.
The hil. jr -n iI .r:. :e ou d- rl a rid ir, t.:. be d."
H .?- :.-i : N .:.! tree :r.- ,r. I '-d ha. it urn dl t.:.,. i -

T" in -ict. 'h iin i ':-'er 'for C lir irm ,., I i ..u.
T hl- ,.s: >.Tr .,' ,,--. .I -t : 't i- t.'"n 'Li :iu. e r,-:.l :,y pi, ;-_,d

\ .: v nt t :- r.. a .t, dlear n jl. '. ii u
id I.
And. jl, -. ,u.. i ]. I d tIChiitr .i;a ir.

A. -1 th-n he s,:-,m ,:-l prDparinrg t..b. tak
hs Ia,, : and Z o.
But dLi ,iou Lthl k I let h'nia I 'cItled
,ut bra ei. ** No "
I ran hi in' ja d b2g- .-d himn. ber.-,:n .
ni, obt 3nd t ,ir;m,
T .alea e ,Li bl,':-:'.d Chr-nitm i, sust ; s in
'l rn :r -r ar .

To .:han,:- ',0o httle c:u itoni: t1 take r,.
hrli a',' 3 .
To -.a c ,_ .k r ,I :d-il ,hi ',n,-I. Lc,- *l;:,v,-,_
r h r i- i m :i; ,:LI ,,.i
And rh-n. oRi u:c on instiant, i-,
,:\ s V : re ci d ri i
\ tl i te-,r a,,.d ] ,hen I ii. / '-.t', ]
tdici'h I '. a liii in r g.-,
himl i 1 'K


-Ak'

-iF


S He hal.d i p ta,:l; upn hiis b_-tik as i,'ll.1 ai ciiiould

And as he beamed upon me i heard his reindeer prance.
Then sly old Santa gave me a smile and roguish glance.


"I wish you Merry Christ~as! I thought I heard him say.
And when I tried to answer him, he'd vanished quite away !
But though they say I dreamed it, I know we shall have still
Our dear old-fashioned Christmas, bringing "Peace on earth, good will!"


*
il'~
p.



ii
-I:"'






















BY MARY E. WILKINS


IT was afternoon recess at No. 4 District School, in Warner. There was
a heavy snow-storm, so every one was in the warm school-room, except
a few adventurous spirits who were tumbling about in the snow-drifts out in
the yard, getting their clothes wet and preparing themselves for chidings at
home. Their shrill cries and shouts of laughter floated into the school-room,
but the small group near the stove did not heed them at all. There were
five or six little girls, and one boy. The girls, with the exception of Jenny
Brown, were trim and sweet in their winter dresses and neat school-aprons.
They perched on the desks and the arms of the settee with careless grace, like
birds. Some of them had their arms linked. The one boy lounged against
the blackboard. His dark, straight-profiled face was all aglow as he talked.
His big brown eyes gazed now soberly and impressively at Jenny, then gave
a gay dance in the direction of the other girls.
"Yes, it does honest! said he.
The other girls nudged one another softly; but Jenny Brown stood
with her innocent, solemn eyes fixed upon Earl Munroe's face, drinking
in every word.
"You ask anybody who knows," continued Earl; "ask Judge Barker;
ask -the minister-"
Oh! cried the little girls; but the boy shook his head impatiently
at them.
Yes," said he; you just go and ask Mr. Fisher to-morrow, and you '11
see what he'll tell you. Why, look here,"- Earl straightened himself and
stretched out an arm like an orator,- it.'s nothing more than reasonable
that Christmas-trees grow wild with the presents all on 'em! What sense
would there be in 'em if they did n't, I 'd like to know? They grow in dif-





WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW


ferent places, of course; but these around here grow mostly on the moun-
tain over there. They come up every spring, and they all blossom out
about Christmas-time, and folks go hunting for.them to give to the children.
Father and Ben are over on the mountain to-day-"
Oh, oh cried the little girls.
I mean I guess they are," amended Earl, trying to put his feet on the
boundary-line of truth. I hope they '11 find a full one."
Jenny Brown had a little, round, simple face; her thin brown hair was
combed back and braided tightly in one tiny braid tied with a bit of shoe-
string. She wore a nondescript gown, which nearly trailed behind, and
showed in front her little coarsely shod feet, which toed in helplessly. The
gown was of a faded green color; it was scalloped and bound around the
bottom, and.had some green-ribbon bows down the front. It was, in fact,
the discarded polonaise of a benevolent woman, who aided the poor sub-
stantially but not tastefully.
Jenny Brown was eight, and small for her age- a strange, gentle, igno-
rant little creature, never doubting the truth of what she was told, which
sorely tempted the other children to impose upon her. Standing there in
the school-room that stormy recess, in the midst of that group of wiser,
richer, mostly older girls, and that one handsome, mischievous boy, she be-
lieved every word she heard.
This was her first term at school, and she had never before seen much
of other children. She had lived her eight years all alone at. home with her
mother, and she had never been told about Christmas. Her mother had
other things to think about. She was a dull, spiritless, reticent woman, who
had lived through much trouble. She worked, doing washings and clean-
ings, like a poor feeble machine that still moves but has no interest in its
motion. Sometimes the Browns had almost enough to eat; at other times
they half starved. It was half-starving time just then; Jenny had not had
enough to eat that day. There was a pinched look on the little face
upturned toward Earl Munroe's.
Earl's words gained authority by coming from himself. Jenny had al-
ways regarded him with awe and admiration. It was much that he should
speak at all to her.
Earl Munroe was quite the king of this little district school. He was the
son of the wealthiest man in town. No other boy was so well dressed, so
gently bred, so luxuriously lodged and fed. Earl himself realized his impor-
tance, and had at times the loftiness of a young prince in his manner. Oc-
casionally some independent urchin would bristle with democratic spirit, and
tell him to his face that he was "stuck up," and he had n't so much more to






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


be proud of than other folks -that his grandfather was n't anything but an
old ragman !
Then Earl would wilt. Arrogance in a free country is likely to have
an unstable foundation. Earl's tottered at the mention of his paternal
grandfather, who had given the first impetus to the family fortune by
driving a tin-cart about the country. Moreover, the boy was really pleas-
ant and generous-hearted, and had no mind, in the long run, for lonely state
and disagreeable haughtiness. He enjoyed being lordly once in a while,
that was all.
He did now, with Jenny. He eyed her with a gay condescension which
would have greatly amused his tin-peddler grandfather.
Soon the bell rang, and they all filed to their seats, and the lessons were
begun.
After school was done that night, Earl stood in the door when Jenny
passed out.
Say, Jenny," he called, "when are you going over on the mountain
to find the Christmas-tree ? You 'd better go pretty soon, or they '11 be
gone.
That 's so," chimed in one of the girls. "You 'd better go right off,
Jenny."
She passed along, her face shyly dimpling with her little innocent smile,
and said nothing. She would never talk much.
She had quite a long walk to her home. Presently, as she was pushing
weakly through the new snow, Earl went flying past her in his father's
sleigh, with the black horses and the fur-capped coachman. He never
thought of asking her to ride. If he had, he would not have hesitated a
second before doing so.
Jenny, as she waded along, could see the mountain always before her.
This road led straight to it, then turned and wound around its base. It had
stopped snowing, and the sun was setting clear. The great white moun-
tain was all rosy. It stood opposite the red western sky. Jenny kept her
eyes fixed upon the mountain. Down in the valley shadows, her little sim-
ple face, pale and colorless, gathered another kind of radiance.
There was no school the next day, which was the one before Christmas.
It was pleasant, and not very cold. Everybody was out; the little village
stores were crowded; sleds trailing Christmas greens went flying; people
with parcels under their arms, their hands full.
Jenny Brown also was out. She was climbing Franklin Mountain. The
snowy pine boughs bent so low that they brushed her head. She stepped
deeply into the untrodden snow; the train of her green polonaise dipped into






WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW


it and swept it along. And all the time she was peering through those
white fairy columns and arches for a Christmas-tree.
That night the mountain had turned rosy, and faded, and the stars
were coming out, when a frantic woman, panting, crying out now and then
in her distress, went running down the road to the Munroe house. It
was the only one between her own and the mountain. The woman
rained some clattering knocks on the door--she could not stop for the
bell. Then she burst into the house, and threw open the dining-room door,
crying out in gasps:
Hev you seen her? Oh, hev you? My Jenny 's lost! She 's lost!
Oh, oh, oh! They said they saw her coming' up this way, this morning .
Hev you seen her? Hev you? "
Earl and his father and mother were having tea there in the handsome
oak-paneled dining-room. Mr. Munroe rose at once, and went forward;
Mrs. Munroe looked with a pale face around her silver tea-urn; and Earl sat
as if frozen. He heard his father's soothing questions, and the mother's an-
swers. She had been out at work all day; when she returned, Jenny was
gone. Some one had seen her going up the road to the Munroes' that
morning about ten o'clock. That was her only clue.
Earl sat there, and saw his mother draw the poor woman into the room
and try to comfort her; he heard, with a vague understanding, his father
order the horses to be harnessed immediately; he watched him putting on
his coat and hat out in the hall.
When he heard the horses trot up the drive, he sprang to his feet.
When Mr. Munroe opened the door, Earl, with his coat and cap on, was at
his heels.
Why, you can't go, Earl!" said his father, when he saw him. Go
back at once."
Earl was white and trembling. He half sobbed. Oh, father, I must
go! said he.
Earl, be reasonable. You want to help, don't you, and not hinder ?"
his mother called out of the dining-room.
Earl caught hold of his father's coat. "Father -look here. I--I
believe I know where she is "
Then his father faced sharply around, his mother and Jenny's stood lis-
tening in bewilderment, and Earl told his ridiculous, childish, and cruel little
story. I did n't dream she 'd really be such a little goose as to
-go," he choked out; but she must have, for"-with brave candor- I
know she believed every word I told her."
It seemed a fantastic theory, yet a likely one. It would give method to






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


the search, yet more alarm to the searchers. The mountain was a wide
region in which to find one little child.
Jenny's mother screamed out, Oh, if she 's lost on the mountain,
they '11 never find her! They never will, they never will! O Jenny, Jenny,
Jenny!"
Earl gave a despairing glance at her, and bolted up-stairs to his own
room. His mother called pityingly after him; but he only sobbed back,
" Don't, mother please and kept on.


"THIS LITTLE GIRL CAME FLYING OUT WITH HER CONTRIBUTION; THEN THERE WERE MORE."

The boy, lying face downward on his bed, crying as if his heart would
break, heard presently the church bell clang out fast and furious. Then he
heard loud voices down in the road, and the flurry of sleigh-bells. His
father had raised the alarm, and the search was organized.
After a while Earl arose and crept over to the window. It looked to-
ward the mountain, which towered up, cold and white and relentless, like
one of the ice-hearted giants of the old Indian tales. Earl shuddered as he
looked at it. Presently he crawled down-stairs and into the parlor. In
the bay-window stood, like a gay mockery, the Christmas-tree. It was a
quite small one that year, only for the family,- some expected guests had
failed to come,- but it was well laden. After tea the presents were to





WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW


have been distributed. There were some for his father and mother, and
some for the servants, but the bulk of them were for Earl.
By and by, his mother, who had heard him come down-stairs, peeped
into the room, and saw him busily taking his presents from the tree. Her
heart sank with sad displeasure and amazement. She would not have be-
lieved that her boy could be so utterly selfish as to think of Christmas
presents then.
But she said nothing. She stole away, and returned to poor Mrs. Brown,
whom she was keeping with her. Still she continued to think of it all that
long, terrible night, when they sat there waiting, listening to the signal-
horns over on the mountain.
Morning came at last, and Mr. Munroe with it. No success so far. He
drank some coffee and was off again. That was quite early. An hour or
two later the breakfast-bell rang. Earl did not respond to it, so his mother
went to the foot of the stairs and called him. There was a stern ring in her
soft voice. All the time she had in mind his heartlessness and greediness
over the presents. When Earl did not answer, she went up-stairs, and
found that he was not in his room. Then she looked in the parlor, and
stood staring in bewilderment. Earl was not there, but neither was the
Christmas-tree nor his presents. They had vanished bodily!
Just at that moment Earl Munroe was hurrying down the road, and he
was dragging his big sled, on which were loaded his Christmas presents
and the Christmas-tree. The top of the tree trailed in the snow; its
branches spread over the sled on either side, and rustled. It was a heavy
load, but Earl tugged manfully in an enthusiasm of remorse and atonement,
-a fantastic, extravagant atonement, planned by that same fertile fancy
which had invented that story for poor little Jenny, but instigated by all the
good, repentant impulses in the boy's nature.
On every one of those neat parcels, above his own name, was written in
his big, crooked, childish hand, "Jenny Brown, from -." Earl Munroe
had not saved one Christmas present for himself.
Pulling along, his cheeks brilliant, his eyes glowing, he met Maud Bar-
ker. She was Judge Barker's daughter, and the girl who had joined him
in advising Jenny to hunt on the mountain for the Christmas-tree.
Maud stepped along, placing her trim little feet with dainty precision.
She wore- some new, high-buttoned overshoes. She also carried a new
beaver muff, but in one hand only. The other dangled mittenless at her
side; it was pink with cold, but on its third finger sparkled a new gold ring
with a blue stone in it.
"Oh, Earl!" she called out, "have they found Jenny Brown? I was






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


going up to your house to Why, Earl Munroe, what have you got
there?"
I 'm carrying my Christmas presents and the tree up to Jenny's -so
she '11 find 'em when she comes back," said the boy, flushing red. There
was a little defiant choke in his voice.
"Why, what for? "
I rather think they belong to her more 'n they do to me, after what 's
happened."
Does your mother know ? "
No. She would n't care. She'd think I was only doing what I ought."
All of 'em? queried Maud, feebly.
You don't s'pose I 'd keep any back ?"
Maud stood staring. It was beyond her little philosophy.
Earl was passing on, when a thought struck him.
"Say, Maud," he cried eagerly, "have n't you something you can put
in ? Girls' things might please her better, you know. Some of mine are -
rather queer, I 'm afraid."
"What have you got?" demanded Maud.
"Well, some of the things are well enough. There 's a lot of candy
and oranges and figs and books; there 's one by Jules Verne I guess she '11
like. But there 's a great bigjack-knife, and a brown-velvet bicycle suit."
Why, Earl Munroe what could she do with a bicycle suit ? "
"I thought, maybe, she could rip the seams to 'em, an' sew 'em some
way, an' get a basque cut, or something. Don't you s'pose she could?"
Earl asked anxiously.
I don't know; her mother could tell," said Maud.
Well, I '11 hang it on, anyhow. Maud, have n't you anything to give
to her ?"
I -don't know."
Earl eyed her sharply. Is n't that muff new ?"
Yes."
"And that ring? "
Maud nodded. She'd be delighted with 'em. Oh, Maud, put'em in "
Maud looked at him. Her pretty mouth quivered a little; some tears
twinkled in her blue eyes.
I don't believe my mother would let me," faltered she. "You-
come with me, and I '11 ask her."
All right," said Earl, with a tug at his sled-rope.
He waited with his load in front of Maud's house until she came forth
radiant, lugging a big basket. She had her last winter's red cashmere






WHERE THE CHRISTMAS-TREE GREW


dress, a hood, some mittens, some cake and biscuit, and a few nice slices
of cold meat. "Mother said these would be much more suitable for her,"
said Maud, with a funny little imitation of her mother's manner.
Over across the street, another girl stood at the gate, waiting for news.
"Have they found her?" she cried. "Where are
you going with all those :things t "
Somehow, Earl's gcn- .; '. ero: us, romantic impulse
spread like an epidemic. ..., This little girl soon
cameflyingoutwithhercon- tribution; then there
were more -quite a little r ce-si on hd Fnall
down the road to Jenny Bron's house.
The terrible possibilities f ofi th' e case ne\er c :c-
curred to them. The idea n eer entered their
heads that little, innocent, trustful Jnny milit
never come home to see /' that Christmas-trtee
which they set up in her ,.
It was with no surprise .
whatever that they saw, ,
about noon, Mr. Munroe'-;
sleigh, containing Jenny
and her mother and
Mrs. Munroe, drive up -:
to the door.
Afterward they
heard how a wood-
cutter had found Jenny .
crying, over on the -
east side of the moun-
tain, at sunset, and had
taken her home with.
him. He lived five .
miles from the village,
and was an old man, *ael
not able to walk so
far that night to tell "ALL TOO FAR AWAY HAD SHE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE
them of her safety. CHRISTMAS-TREE."
His wife had been very good to the child. About eleven o'clock some of
the searchers had met the old man plodding along the mountain road with
the news.
They did not stop for this now. They shouted to Jenny to "come in,







76 THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK

quick They pulled her with soft violence into the room where they had
been at work. Then the child stood with her hands clasped, staring at
the Christmas-tree. All too far away had she been searching for it. The
Christmas-tree grew not on the wild mountain-side, in the lonely woods,
but at home, close to warm, loving hearts; and that was where she found it.


r .
ry:
*L_(:



h i'
:r.


W'


SANTA CLAUS PUZZLED AT LAST.
"These apartment-houses are too much for me!"












How a Street-Car Came in a

Stocking

BY HARRIET ALLEN

S. AVID DOUGLAS wanted to be
-- a street-car driver. That did not
interfere in the least with his ambition
to be a plumber with a bag of tools, or
a doctor with a pocket-thermometer and
S a stop-watch. David was almost seven
years old. He had been in love with
the street-car profession for at least a
year; and there was nothing he could n't
4M, tell you about that business which can
be told to an outsider whose heart is
-P not in it.
Yet there was nothing remarkable
P .about David. He could read and
write as well as other boys of his age,
and he spelled with less originality per-
haps than most. He could run as
fast, jump as far, and spin tops with
the best. Although David had neither
brother nor sister to play with, and
"'I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS. IT'S ALL
ABOUT A STREET-CAR.'" no nursery full of toys, he managed to
have a lot of fun, and he had a rather
manly sort of character. As to playfellows-nobody could excel his mother.
She rode in his express-train, and had her ticket punched till there was
nothing left of it; and when the engineer struck a broken rail, she was a pas-
senger in the wreck, and he bandaged her up with handkerchiefs and old
string until you would n't have known her. Then, too, she had that rare fac-
ulty of knowing, from a boy's point of view, a funny thing when she saw it,
and sometimes they laughed together till the tears rolled down their cheeks.
Then there was "Jack." I nearly forgot him. He was David's beloved






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


dog. Jack was a short-haired yellow dog without pedigree or family con-
nections-what might be called a self-made dog. He owed his present
home and success in the world to self-respecting enterprise and a kind heart.
Jack was ever cheerful and cheery, fond of exercise and excitement, and
always on hand.
Now, David's father had a habit of reading aloud to David's mother, be-
fore breakfast, from the morning paper.
One morning, about three weeks before Christmas, David was transfixed
by hearing his father read the following announcement:

CARS TO GIVE AWAY

An Offer of the Street-Car Company

General Manager Miller, of the Citizens' Street-Railroad
Company, said to-day that he had on hand thirty or forty
old box street-cars which he would like to give away. The
company has no further use for the cars. Mr. Miller sug-
gests that the cars would make good play-houses for children.


Do you wonder that such a notice sent David's appetite flying ?
Oh, papa," he cried, "let us get one of those cars!" whereupon his
father made big eyes of astonishment at David, and pretended to be abso-
lutely upset by the mere suggestion of such an idea, and was in such wild
haste to get out of reach of little boys who wanted to have full-grown, real
street-cars for their very own, that David was unable to get in a serious word
before he was gone. But David's eyes were shining and his fancy was
building the most beautiful castles. He took his cap and disappeared with
Jack.
Some hours later he came in glowing from the cold air, and saying
enthusiastically, Mama, I know where we can put that car, if we should
get it-in our side yard! You can just come to the window and see!
There 's plenty of room- I 've marked it out on the snow."
My dear little boy Did you really think we could ask for one of those
cars? "
David's face flushed; he certainly had hoped so; he had spent the
morning thinking about it. I did n't know," he faltered, with a sense of
bereavement tugging at his heart.
That 's too bad! I do wish you could have one to play in, David !"
Why can't I, mama?"
It would cost too much, dear."






HOW A STREET-CAR CAME IN A STOCKING


Cost too much? Why, mama," he said, brightening up, "did n't you
hear? The paper said they would give them away."
"So they will but even a present is sometimes expensive. You see,
it would cost a great deal to bring a street-car all the way over here and set
it up in our yard."
Why, mama-?" and his lip trembled. He did so want that car, and
it had looked so easy!
Because a street-car is so large and so heavy, it would take strong
horses, and a great big truck, and ever so many men to move it; and all that
costs money- a great deal of money."
Very gently she convinced him that it was out of the question. If you
could n't afford a thing-there you were Yet it seemed a thousand pities-
thirty or forty cars to be given away It was very comforting at this point to
have his mother thump him confidingly on the back, as she said that he was
the bravest little man in all the world; and to be asked what.he expected Santa
Claus to bring him, and whether he meant to hang up Jack's stocking, too.
David had a good many Christmas wishes: a bob-sled, for one thing,
and skates, and a gun to shoot a dart; and he longed for a hook-and-ladder
wagon, or, failing that, a police-patrol with a real gong on the front. It was
quite impossible to choose, so he had sent the entire list to Santa Claus in a
letter just to see what would happen.
But that night, as his mother tucked him into bed, he held her back by
the hand and said hesitatingly: "Mama, why could n't they bring the car
around here on the track that runs in front of our house ? "
"Because those cars have no wheels."
"No wheels!"
"Not a wheel, sir! It would just be a helpless old car all the rest of its
life"; and she shook her hand free, gave him a little pat, a good-night
kiss, and was gone.

NOT far from David there lived a little boy whose name was Harold
Wolfing; he was not quite five years old. He was a sturdy little fellow,
with dark hair and eyes, and a fine red in his cheeks; and he carried his
head and shoulders in quite a military fashion. He was fortunate enough
to live in the same house with his grandmama and grandpapa. Whether
they were equally fortunate in this arrangement is a matter I never heard
discussed; but certainly they loved and petted him, and he had four aunties
and three uncles-all of whom seemed really to lie awake nights thinking
what they could give him next.
Harold was very fond of having David come to play, and, it is needless






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


to say, David was very fond of going. David liked nothing better than to
ride the high-headed hobby-horse, and to work the fire-engine that squirted
real water through a rubber hose.
One day, not long before Christmas, David went to spend the afternoon
with Harold. He found the chubby little man bending over his nursery
table, busy with pencil and paper.
"Do you know what I 'm doin', David? I 'm writing' a letter!" A
moment was allowed for this fact to
impress the smiling David, then--
W \Vho sdo y\ou think I 'm writing' to?"
)Daid saidl promptly that he
ccO, ild n'[ S,+ -
Santa Claus! You can read
it it you x\%ant to," added the
w ri-tr, condescendingly. David
took the letter, which was
1?i s ddn covered with .mysterious,
wandering pencil-
marks. He was
quite embarrassed
4 to know what to
say to such a baby,
who could not even
print; but Harold
relieved him.
1 Can't you read,
David?" he said
pityingly. "Here,
4 "- I '11 read it to you."
,1 1 And he took the
letter back into his
fat little hand with
an important air.
"'DAVID, IF CHILDREN ASK TOO MUCH, SANTA CLAUS MUST After studying it
DISAPPOINT THEM.' "
very hard for a
moment, he fixed David with his eye, saying: "It's very long, David,
it 's very long; but never mind, I '11 tell you what it says. It's all about
a street-car. You see, I 'm goin' to have Santa Claus bring me a street-car
for Christmas." He spoke of the arrangement with such assurance that
David suddenly felt himself very young and inexperienced.






HOW A STREET-CAR CAME IN A STOCKING


Yes," he went on, highly pleased with the impression he was making-
"yes; I 'm goin' to have a street-car. Perhaps you think it's goin' to be
little, like that ? "- pointing to a toy car.
David did n't know.
"Well, it is n't. It is a real car, and as large-oh, almost a large as
this house You can come and play in it, David; and I '11 take you to ride,
all the way out to the park, and clear out -clear out to the end of the
world and 1 '11 drive as fast oh, so you can hardly hold on! Only,"-
and he pulled in his fancy a little, lest David's go too far,-" you '11 be in-
side, you know, and I '11 ring the bell when you pay me." Exciting as this
picture was, David's mind flew back at once to the forty cars to be given
away. Was Harold's car one of these ? Hardly, he thought; since Harold
looked to Santa Claus for his, and those cars belonged to the Street-Rail-
road Company. He decided to settle the doubt. Where will Santa Claus
get a street-car ? he asked. Harold gave him a look of astonished reproach.
Why, don't you know Santa Claus can get anything he wants, and he 'll
bring it to you if you ask him, and if you 're good ? "
David did know something very like this, and now on a sudden an idea
flashed into his mind that made his heart jump and sent the color flushing
up to his short yellow curls; it was this: You see, if Santa Claus was giv-
ing street-cars away, there was nothing to pay for hauling. No need of
money at all! You just wrote the right kind of a letter -and Santa Claus
did the rest! In that case he could have a car as well as Harold.
That night, when his early bedtime came, he handed his mother this letter
to read:

DEAR SANTA CLAUS Harold says you are going to bring him a Street-car. Wont you
please bring me one to. Not a little one but a Real one. I am trying hard to be a good boy,
and I want one very much. DAVID DOUGLAS.

"Why, David," his mother said, I thought you had given up the idea
of having a street-car."
"Yes, mama, I had; but you see this is different!"
Different? "
"Of course! Don't you see?" he explained joyously. "If Santa Claus
brings it, it won't cost us any money at all not even a cent! What makes
you look so sad ? Don't you want me to have a car- even if Santa Claus
brings it ? "
"Yes, dear, of course I would like to see you have one, but -"
"But what, mama? "
"David, if children ask too much, Santa Claus must disappoint them."
6






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


"Why?"
Oh, for many reasons. You know mama has to say 'no' sometimes,
much as she dislikes it."
He began to look troubled; then, suddenly recalling Harold's assurance,
he took heart and said: "Harold's grandpapa told him if he wrote and asked
Santa Claus for a car, he would get it-if he was a good boy; and I'm sure
if he brings Harold one, he will give me one too; please let me ask him!"
"Will you promise not to be unhappy if it does n't come after all ?"
Oh, yes He could promise that with a light heart. And next day the
letter, laboriously copied in. ink, with high-headed h's and short-tailed g's,
was posted at Harold's house" in a funny little Dutch house on the library-
table. "Santa Claus comes down the chimbly and gets them," Harold
explained. After that David's hopes ran sometimes high sometimes low.
In the latter state of mind he put the matter before Santa Claus again and
again with such entreaties and promises as desperate longing suggested.
Here are some of the letters Santa Claus found in the little Dutch house:
DEAR SANTA CLAUS Mama says a Street-car is too much, but I do want it so much, and
I '11 be better than I ever was if you will please bring me one. DAVID.
DEAR SANTA CLAUS You need n't bring me a Bob-sled if you will only give me a Car. I
can use my old sled till next Christmas. DAVID DOUGLAS.
P S I will do without the Fireman's Helmet. D. D.
DEAR SANTA CLAUS Please do bring me a Street-car. If I had a Car I would n't need a
hook and Ladder wagon. I will be very careful of it. Mama says I am a good boy.
DAVID DOUGLAS.

DEAR SANTA CLAUS Mama says I must n't expect a Street-car. But I want it more than
Skates or Anything. If it is to much to ask for please do bring it anyway and I will give
up the Skates, and the Police-patrol, and everything. You can keep the gun to.
Your loving DAVID DOUGLAS.
P S Even if it was a little broken in some places it would do. I could mend it. I 've got
a hammer and some nails. I pounded them out state. I hope you will. Please leave it in
our side yard. Good by. DAVID DOUGLAS.

CHRISTMAS morning David woke early; every one else was fast asleep.
His windows looked out on the side yard; if he had a car it was there now.
That thought was too much for him. He slid out of bed and ran to the
window; he had but to raise the shade; his heart was beating so hard he
could fairly hear it, and he almost made a little petition with his lips as he
put out his hand. One touch-it was up! He looked out upon a smooth,
shining surface of snow. There was no car! The disappointment was too
terribly desolating; he drew down the shade and crept back into bed, and






HOW A STREET-CAR CAME IN A STOCKING


there, since it was dark and no one would know, he shed a few hot, unhappy
tears, fighting all the time against them, and never made a sound, although
he could have sobbed aloud. He remembered his mother and his promise.
Then, at last, he wondered if Harold had been disappointed too. The more
he thought of it the more likely it appeared. He wished Harold no ill luck -
but if there had been no distribution of cars whatever, it would alter the case
considerably: it would be as though he had reached for the moon. He















I:,Jac an to mai!,, tie efist ed t. and tar
onder what Santa.L Clau; h ,:l lelt in 11s.
at, as it divulged one secrettokin, after thaanother;t David tr, hn ca fire-
an's helmt and nw sktes, with a lot of lesse hr t reures s rd a llm u
L 1- ,!;, 1, -ki 1 im g, :,o:l ii :,-rni ng, sa) ing, 'Santa
Claus slipped up on that car business,
." David,-must be he had no cars this
"THERE STOOD A STEET-CAR LARGE year,-but your stocking looks pretty
t o h a J s lumpy and tight," David was able to
smile quite cheerfully. A Christmas stocking is a Christmas stocking,
after all--mysterious and exciting, whatever yourjoys or sorrows. To
Jack the queer shape was matter for suspicion, to be defied and barked
at, as it divulged one secret after another; and when David tried on a fire-
man's helmet and new skates, with a lot of lesser treasures scattered all
about, Christmas seemed pretty cheery.
Breakfast over, he and Jack set out, according to previous agreement, to
see what Harold had in his Christmas stocking. They went in by the
carriageway. Just as they took the first turn in the drive, David's heart
gave a great jump and then stood still. Through the leafless lilac-bushes
he could see a great yellow-and-white street-car in the midst of a sea of






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


snow. It was a beautiful, heart-breaking vision; and there was Harold
in brown reefer, leather cap, and leggings, leaning out of the car,
shouting, "Hello, David! Hurry up! this car is just ready to start-
hurry! You see," he cried triumphantly, as David waded through the
snow, I told you Santa Claus was goin' to bring me this car-why don't
you get in ? "
David stood mute beside the step, stroking Jack's head. Then for the
first time the little boy remembered that David had had hopes too.
Did you get a car? he asked.
David's eyes filled; he tried to smile, but he could not speak, and he
only shook his head as he looked from Harold to Ellen, Harold's sister.
It was seldom Harold had to think of any one but himself, but he had a
kind heart, and now he bestirred himself to make David happy." He let him
work the change-slide and the doors, and gave him all coveted privileges.
Then they went indoors to see the Christmas-tree; the candles were lighted
and all the wonderful new toys displayed for David's benefit. There was
something on the tree for David, too. He flushed with pleasure and wonder
when Harold's grandpapa handed down books, candy, and a dark-lantern,
saying, with a twinkle in his eye, Queer, these things were left here by
mistake, David! Santa Claus must walk in his sleep."
But an hour or two later, as David went home, he was thinking that the
ways of Santa Claus were very strange. His whole soul had been set upon
a street-car; he was ready to give up everything else to have that one joy.
Now Harold merely asked for that along with a lot of other new pleasures.
Yet Santa Claus brought a car to Harold, and to David none. It was
matter to try the stoutest heart. Yet he was not envious. He had pluck and
good sense, and he felt somehow that he ought to be as happy as he could;
he tried to think about his skates and fireman's helmet. After all, a street-
car was a tremendous gift to ask, even of Santa Claus. He had realized
when he stood beside that dear car that it was a good deal even for Harold,
and Harold had so many treasures it was not easy to surpass them. The
dark-lantern swung in his hand; it was a comfort, and he felt dimly that in
a day or two he would play burglar and policeman with great effect; but it
could n't keep away a very choking feeling in his throat when he remem-
bered Harold winding up the brake. As he came around the corner near
home, with eyes fixed upon the slippery, trodden path, he had almost
reached the house before he noticed that a part of the fence was down and
wagon-wheels had cut the frozen crust of snow going through this opening
into their yard. Before he could be surprised at this he came in full view
of-what do you think?-a broad, strong truck, two strong gray horses

















r s~


DRIVER, TILL YOU GET A TALLER CONDUCTOR.' SAID HIS FATHER."


"s


L
t'~di
'4"ls/o, i


If f,
4i

I: ge


1; \


"'LWE 'LL HAVE TO LET THAT STRAP OUT A LITTLE,






THE ST. NICHOLAS CHRISTMAS BOOK


with heads down, looking at him from their soft eyes, and blowing a little
at the snow; four or five men standing about, and well, of course you 've
guessed it! There stood a street-car large as life; a beautiful yellow-and-
white car with No. II in gold figures on the side. A misty feeling swam
before his eyes, through which the car seemed a beautiful dream that some-
how had men in rough overcoats, gray horses, all strangely woven in it, as
well as his mother, smiling and holding her hands tight together, watching
him. Then somebody said, "Well, sir, how do you like it?" and David
went forward with feet that hurried and yet seemed slow,- exactly like feet
in a dream,- and somebody swung him up over the dash-board to the front
platform and said, "Let me off at i 6th Street, please, driver." And he
found a big white placard hanging to the front brake, very neatly printed
in black. David could spell out the words. They said, "For David
Douglas from Santa Claus." And then David really came back to earth.
He laughed and kissed his mother, and held his father's hand in both his
own; he walked back and forth in the car, and took note of the familiar
signs about no smoking and beware of pickpockets, and to use none but
Quigley's Baking Powder. There was the cash-box and the brass slide for
change in the front door. The brake worked, and the bell-strap rang a real
bell when his father held him up to reach it. "We '11 have to let that strap
out a little, driver, till you get a taller conductor." Well, it was perfect!-
surpassing all dreams of joy and Christmas. Indeed, a bit of Christmas
cheer had fallen to those rough-coated men who worked on Christmas day,
for they were drinking coffee and eating gingerbread, and had cigars to
smoke; even the horses, David noticed through his joy, had each an apple
to eat. And Jack -Jack lost his head completely, and barked, and jumped
on everybody with his snowy feet, and finally just tore round and round in
a circle like mad.
Suddenly David's mother said, "Where is the letter, Tom ? -did n't
he give you a letter? "
"To be sure! I almost forgot the letter-let me see -here it is in
this pocket"; and his father tore it open and began to read:

MY DEAR DOUGLAS: I have taken the liberty of asking Santa Claus to deliver one of
our old cars on your premises. I was growing rusty, but Santa Claus has waked me up by
showing me a one-sided correspondence he 's been having with a young man by the name
of David. I suddenly realized what a world of fun there was in Christmas, if you only knew
how to get hold of it by the handle, as my grandfather used to say. I hope you and Mrs.
Douglas will forgive me for getting my pleasure first and asking permission afterward. But
when a man takes a holiday I suppose he may be allowed to take it in his own way. So
please put this street-car into David's stocking! And I think this may not be a bad occasion






HOW A STREET-CAR CAME IN A STOCKING


for saying I 've never forgotten the time your mother made Christmas in my heart when I
was a poor youngster with scarcely a stocking to hang. God bless you You have a fine boy.
Very truly yours, JOHN MILLER.
P: S. That correspondence is a confidential matter between Santa Claus and me. No
questions answered at this office. J. M."

David wondered why his mother, who had been reading the letter over
his father's arm, turned suddenly, while she was smiling, and cried on his
father's shoulder.



The Tardy Santa Claus

BY KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN


K1


I AM a little Santa Claus
Who somehow got belated;
My reindeer did n't come in time,
And so of course I waited.
I found your chimneys plastered tight,
Your stockings put away,


I heard you talking of the gifts
You had on Christmas day;
So will you please to take me in
And keep me till November?
I 'd rather start Thanksgiving day
Than miss you next December!


^-*0 ?A

1 11


UMi ^^^K^ki e
V1C- k
~BB ~ ~ b~aONE= b-







































































BY PERMISSION OF BOU8SOD, VALADON & CO.
'AS THEY DANCED THEM A MEASURE ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT."













The Picture

BY MARY MAPES DODGE

LITTLE lady, a very young knight,-
Just a girl and a boy in each other's sight,-
Oh, their smiling faces were clear and bright,
Their velvets and satins with gems bedight!
Gold and laces and pearls had she,
And he was superb as a lad could be.
Their cheeks were rosy, their hearts were light,
As they danced them a measure on Christmas night.

'T was: "Ah, my lady! and "Yea, my lord! "
And he touched as lightly his jeweled sword
As if 't were a flower; yet he knew with pride
The trick of the weapon that decked his side.
And she- why, the very sweep of'her gown
Told how, in valor and grand renown
From sire to son, through court and crown,
The name she bore had been handed down!

And what was her name? And who was the boy ? -
The two who danced in their stately joy.
I do not know, and I hardly care -
Their story is neither here nor there.
For girls and boys, young, merry, and fair,
Gladden our firesides everywhere.
They thrive and flourish to-day, as then -
The little ladies, the little men!
And, grand or humble, their hearts are light
When they tread them a measure on Christmas night.




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