Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Chapter XIII
 Chapter XIV
 Chapter XV
 Chapter XVI
 Chapter XVII
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: Santa Claus's partner
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088847/00001
 Material Information
Title: Santa Claus's partner
Physical Description: 176, 1 p., 7 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Page, Thomas Nelson, 1853-1922
Glackens, William J., 1870-1938 ( Illustrator )
Updike, Daniel Berkeley, 1860-1941 ( Printer )
Charles Scribner's Sons ( Publisher )
Merrymount Press ( Printer )
Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: D.B. Updike ; Merrymount Press
Publication Date: 1899
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Wealth -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Selfishness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kindness -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fathers and daughters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christmas stories   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Nelson Page ; illustrated by W. Glackens.
General Note: First edition.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy lacks illustration facing page 43.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088847
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002235276
notis - ALH5719
oclc - 00301692
lccn - 99005311

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
        Title Page
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Chapter II
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Chapter III
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Chapter IV
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 42a
        Page 42b
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Chapter V
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Chapter VI
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Chapter VII
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Chapter VIII
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Chapter IX
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Chapter X
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
    Chapter XI
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Chapter XII
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 132a
        Page 133
    Chapter XIII
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
    Chapter XIV
        Page 144
        Page 144a
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    Chapter XV
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    Chapter XVI
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 162a
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    Chapter XVII
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
        Page 177
    Back Matter
        Page 178
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text









Copyright, 1899, by Charles Scribner's Sons


who among all the men the writer knew in his
youth was the most familiar with books; and who
of all the men the writer has ever known has ex-
emplifed best the virtue of open-handedness, this
little Book is affectionately inscribed by his son,




Vignette. Title-Page

"Guess who it is?" she cried. Facing page 32
Livingstone had to dodge for his life. 42
Half a dozen young bodies flung themselves
upon him. 64
He took the shopkeeper aside and had a little
talk with him. 1S2
The little form snuggled against him closer and
closer. 144
And James with sparkling eyes rolled back the
folding doors. 162
Standing in the Christmas evening light in a
long avenue under swaying boughs. 176


successful man, a very successful man,
and as he sat in his cushioned chair in
his inner private office (in the best office-
building in the city) on a particularly snowy
evening in December, he looked it every inch.
It spoke in every line of his clean-cut, self-
contained face, with its straight, thin nose,
closely drawn mouth, strong chin and clear
gray eyes; in every movement of his erect,
trim, well-groomed figure; in every detail of
his faultless attire; in every tone of his as-
sured, assertive, incisive speech. As some one
said of him, he always looked as if he had
just been ironed.

He used to be spoken of as "a man of
parts;" now he was spoken of as "a man
of wealth- a capitalist."
Not that he was as successful as he in-
tended to be; but the way was all clear and
shining before him now. It was now simply a
matter of time. He could no more help going
on to further heights of success than his "gilt-
edged" securities, stored in thick parcels in
his safe-deposit boxes, could help bearing in-
He contemplated the situation this snowy
evening with a deep serenity that brought a
transient gleam of light to his somewhat cold
He knew he was successful by the silent
envy with which his acquaintances regarded
him; by the respect with which he was
treated and his opinion was received at the
different Boards, of which he was now an
influential member, by men who fifteen years

ago hardly knew of his existence. He knew
it by the numbers of invitations to the most
fashionable houses which crowded his library
table; by the familiar and jovial air with which
presidents and magnates of big corporations,
who could on a moment's notice change from
warmth-temperate warmth-to ice, greeted
him; and by the cajoling speeches with which
fashionable mammas with unmarried daughters
of a certain or uncertain age rallied him about
his big, empty house on a fashionable street,
and his handsome dinners, where only one
thing was wanting-the thing they had in
Berryman Livingstone had, however, much
better proof of success than the mere plaudits
of the world. Many men had these who had
no real foundation for their display. For in-
stance, "Meteor" Broome the broker, had
just taken the big house on the corner above
him, and had filled his stable with high-step-
[ 3 ]


ping, high-priced horses-much talked of in
the public prints-and his wife wore jewels
as handsome as Mrs. Parke-Rhode's who
owned the house and twenty more like it.
Colonel Keightly was one of the largest
dealers on 'Change this year and was adver-
tised in all the papers as having made a cool
million and a half in a single venture out
West. Van Diver was always spoken of as
the "Grain King," "Mining King," or some
other kind of Royalty, because of his infallible
success, and Midan touch.
But though these and many more like them
were said to have made in a year or two more
than Livingstone with all his pains had been
able to accumulate in a score of years of ear-
nest toil and assiduous devotion to business;
were now invited to the same big houses
that Livingstone visited, and were greeted by
almost as flattering speeches as Livingstone
received, Livingstone knew of discussions as
[ 4 1

to these men at Boards other than the "festal
board," and of "stiffer" notes that had been
sent them than those stiff and sealed missives
which were left at their front doors by liver-
ied footmen.
Livingstone, however, though he kept out
of the papers," having a rooted and growing
prejudice against this form of vulgarity, could
at any time, on five minutes' notice, establish
the solidity of his foundation by simply un-
locking his safe-deposit boxes. His foundation
was as solid as gold.
On the mahogany table-desk before him lay
now a couple of books: one a long, ledger-like
folio in the russet covering sacred to the bind-
ing of that particular kind of work which a
summer-hearted Writer of books years ago
inscribed as "a book of great interest;" the
other, a smaller volume, a memorandum book,
more richly attired than its sober companion,
in Russia leather.


For an hour or two Mr. Livingstone, with
closely-drawn, thin lips, and eager eyes, had
sat in his seat, silent, immersed, absorbed, and
compared the two volumes, from time to time
making memoranda in the smaller book, whilst
his clerks had sat on their high stools in the
large office outside looking impatiently at the
white-faced clock on the wall as it slowly
marked the passing time, or gazing enviously
and grumblingly out of the windows at the
dark, hurrying crowds below making their
way homeward through the falling snow.
The young men could not have stood it but
for the imperturbable patience and sweet tem-
per of the oldest man in the office, a quiet-
faced, middle-aged man, who, in a low, cheery,
pleasant voice, restrained their impatience and
soothed their ruffled spirits.
Even this, however, was only partially suc-
"Go in there, Mr. Clark, and tell him we


want to go home," urged fretfully one youth,
a tentative dandy, with a sharp nose and blunt
chin, who had been diligently arranging his
vivid necktie for more than a half-hour at a
little mirror on the wall.
"Oh! He'll be out directly now," replied
the older man, looking up from the account-
book before him.
"You've been saying that for three hours !"
complained the other.
"Well, see if it does n't come true this
time," said the older clerk, kindly. "He '11
make it up to you."
This view of the case did not seem to ap-
peal very strongly to the young man; he sim-
ply grunted.
"I 'm going to give him notice. I'11 not be
put upon this way-" bristled a yet younger
clerk, stepping down from his high stool in a
corner and squaring his shoulders with martial


This unexpected interposition appeared to
be the outlet the older grumbler wanted.
"Yes, you will!" he sneered with disdain,
turning his eyes on his junior derisively. He
could at least bully Sipkins.
For response, the youngster walked with a
firm tread straight up to the door of the pri-
vate office; put out his hand so quickly that
the other's eyes opened wide; then turned so
suddenly as to catch his derider's look of won-
der; stuck out his tongue in triumph at the
success of his ruse, and walked on to the win-
"He '11 be through directly, see if he is
not," reiterated the senior clerk with kindly
intonation. Don't make a noise, there's a
good fellow;" and once more John Clark,
the dean of the office, guilefully buried him-
self in his columns.
He must be writing his love-letters. Go in
there, Hartley, and help him out. You're an

adept at that," hazarded the youngster at the
window to the dapper youth at the mirror.
There was a subdued explosion from all the
others but Clark, after which, as if relieved by
this escape of steam, the young men quieted
down, and once more applied themselves to
looking moodily out of the windows, whilst
the older clerk gave a secret peep at his
watch, and then, after another glance at the
closed door of the private office, went back
once more to his work.
Meantime, within his closed sanctum Liv-
ingstone still sat with intent gaze, poring over
the page of figures before him. The expres-
sion on his face was one of profound satisfac-
tion. He had at last reached the acme of his
ambition-that is, of his later ambition. (He
had once had other aims.) He had arrived at
the point towards which he had been straining
for the last eight-ten-fifteen years-he
did not try to remember just how long-it


had been a good while. He had at length ac-
cumulated, "on the most conservative esti-
mate" (he framed the phrase in his mind,
following the habit of his Boards)-he had
no need to look now at the page before him:
the seven figures that formed the balance, as
he thought of them, suddenly appeared before
him in facsimile. He had been gazing at them
so steadily that now even when he shut his
eyes he could see them clearly. It gave him
a little glow about his heart;-it was quite
convenient: he could always see them.
It was a great sum. He had attained his
Last year when he balanced his books at
the close of the year, he had been worth only
-a sum expressed in six figures, even when
he put his securities at their full value. Now it
could only be written in seven figures, "on the
most conservative estimate."
Yes, he had reached the top. He could walk
[-10 ]

up the street now and look any man in the
face, or turn his back on him, just as he chose.
The thought pleased him.
Years ago, a friend-an old friend of his
youth, Harry Trelane, had asked him to come
down to the country to visit him and meet his
children and see the peach trees bloom. He
had pleaded business, and his friend had asked
him gravely why he kept on working so hard
when he was already so well off. He wanted
to be rich, he had replied.
"But you are already rich-you must be
worth half a million? and you are a single
man, with no children to leave it to."
"Yes, but I mean to be worth double that."
"Oh!-so that I can tell any man I choose
to go to the d-l," he had said half jestingly,
being rather put to it by his friend's earnest-
ness. His friend had laughed too, he remem-
bered, but not heartily.
[ 11 ]

"Well, that is not much of a satisfaction
after all," he had said; "the real satisfaction
is in helping him the other way;"-and this
Livingstone remembered he had said very
Livingstone now had reached this point of
his aspiration-he could tell any man he chose
"to go to the devil."
His content over this reflection was sha-
dowed only by a momentary recollection that
Henry Trelane was since dead. He regretted
that his friend could not know of his success.
Another friend suddenly floated into his
memory. Catherine Trelane was his college-
mate's sister. Once she had been all the
world to Livingstone, and he had found out
afterwards that she had cared for him too,
and would have married him had he spoken
at one time. But he had not known this at
first, and when he began to grow he could
not bring himself to it. He could not afford
[ 12 ]

to burden himself with a family that might
interfere with his success. Then later, when
he had succeeded and was well off and had
asked Catherine Trelane to be his wife, she
had declined. She said Livingstone had not of-
fered her himself, but his fortune. It had stung
Livingstone deeply, and he had awakened,
but too late, to find for a while that he had
really loved her. She was well off too, having
been left a comfortable sum by a relative.
However, Livingstone was glad now, as he
reflected on it, that it had turned out so.
Catherine Trelane's refusal had really been
the incentive which had spurred him on to
greater success. It was to revenge himself that
he had plunged deeper into business than
ever, and he had bought his fine house to
show that he could afford to live in style.
He had intended then to marry; but he had
not had time to do so; he had always been
too busy.
[ 18 ]

Catherine Trelane, at least, was not dead.
He had not heard of her in a long time;
she had married, he knew, a man named-
Shepherd, he believed, and he had heard
that her husband was dead.
He would see that she knew he was worth
-the page of figures suddenly flashed in be-
fore his eyes like a magic-lantern slide. Yes,
he was worth all that! and he could now
marry whom and when he pleased.

[ 14 ]


L IVINGSTONE closed his books. He
had put everything in such shape
that Clark, his confidential clerk,
would not have the least trouble this year
in transferring everything and starting the
new books that would now be necessary.
Last year Clark had been at his house a
good many nights writing up these private
books; but that was because Clark had been
in a sort of muddle last winter,-his wife
was sick, or one of his dozen children had
met with an accident,--or something,-Liv-
ingstone vaguely remembered.
This year there would be no such trouble.
Livingstone was pleased, at the thought; for
Clark was a good fellow, and a capable book-
keeper, even though he was a trifle slow.
Livingstone felt that he had, in a way, a
high regard for Clark. He was attentive to
[ 15 ]

his duties, beyond words. He was a gentle-
man, too,-of a first-rate family-a man of
principle. How he could ever have been con-
tent to remain a simple clerk all these years,
Livingstone could not understand. It gave
him a certain contempt for him. That came,
he reflected, of a man's marrying indiscreetly
and having a houseful of children on his back.
Clark would be pleased at the showing on
the books. He was always delighted when the
balances showed a marked increase.
Livingstone was glad now that he had not
only paid the old clerk extra for his night-
work last year, but had given him fifty dol-
lars additional, partly because of the trouble
in his family, and partly because Livingstone
had been unusually irritated when Clark got
the two accounts confused.
Livingstone prided himself on his manner
to his employees. He prided himself on being
a gentleman, and it was a mark of a gen-
[ 16 ]

tleman always to treat subordinates with ci-
vility. He knew men in the city who were
absolute bears to their employees; but they
were blackguards.
He, perhaps, ought to have discharged
Clark without a word; that would have been
"business;" but really he ought not to have
spoken to him as he did. Clark undoubtedly
acted with dignity. Livingstone had had to
apologize to him and ask him to remain, and
had made the amend (to himself) by giving
him fifty dollars extra for the ten nights'
work. He could only justify the act now by
reflecting that Clark had more than once sug-
gested investments which had turned out
most fortunately.
Livingstone determined to give Clark this
year a hundred dollars-no, fifty-he must
not spoil him, and it really was not "busi-
The thought of his liberality brought to
[ 17 ]

Livingstone's mind the donations that he
always made at the close of the year. He
might as well send off the cheques now.
He took from a locked drawer his private
cheque-book and turned the stubs thought-
fully. He had had that cheque-book for a
good many years. He used to give away a
tenth of his income. His father before him
used to do that. He remembered, with a
smile, how large the sums used to seem to
him. He turned back the stubs only to see
how small a tenth used to be. He no longer
gave a tenth or a twentieth or even a-he
had no difficulty in deciding the exact per-
centage he gave; for whenever he thought
now of the sum he was worth, the figures
themselves, in clean-cut lines, popped before
his eyes. It was very curious. He could actu-
ally see them in his own handwriting. He
rubbed his eyes, and the figures disappeared.
Well, he gave a good deal, anyhow-a good
[ 18 ]

deal more than most men, he reflected. He
looked at the later stubs and was gratified to
find how large the amounts were,-they
showed how rich he was,-and what a di-
versified list of charities he contributed to:
hospitals, seminaries, asylums, churches, soup-
kitchens, training schools of one kind or an-
other. The stubs all bore the names of those
through whom he contributed -they were
mostly fashionable women of his acquain-
tance, who either for diversion or from real
charity were interested in these institutions.
Mrs. Wright's name appeared oftenest. Mrs.
Wright was a woman of fortune and very
prominent, he reflected, but she was really
kind; she was just a crank, and, somehow, she
appeared really to believe in him. Her hus-
band, Livingstone did not like: a cold, selfish
man, who cared for nothing but money-making
and his own family.
There was one name down on the book for
[19 ]

a small amount which Livingstone could not
recall.-Oh yes, he was an assistant preacher
at Livingstone's church: the donation was
for a Christmas-tree in a Children's Hospital,
or something of the kind. This was one of
Mrs. Wright's charities too. Livingstone re-
membered the note the preacher had written
him afterwards-it had rather jarred on him,
it was so grateful. He hated "gush," he said
to himself; he did not want to be bothered
with details of yarn-gloves, flannel petticoats,
and toys. He took out his pencil and wrote
Mrs. Wright's name on the stub. That also
should be charged to Mrs. Wright. He car-
ried in his mind the total amount of the
contributions, and as he came to the end a
half-frown rested on his brow as he thought
of having to give to all these objects again.
That was the trouble with charities,-they
were as regular as coupons. Confound Mrs.
Wright! Why did she not let him alone!
[ 20 ]

However, she was an important woman-the
leader in the best set in the city. Living-
stone sat forward and began to fill out his
cheques. Certain cheques he always filled
out himself. He could not bear to let even
Clark know what he gave to certain objects.
The thought of how commendable this was
crossed his face and lit it up like a glint of
transient sunshine. It vanished suddenly as he
began to calculate, leaving the place where
it had rested colder than before. He really
could not spend as much this year as last-
why, there was-for pictures, so much; chari-
ties, so much, etc. It would quite cut into the
amount he had already decided to lay by. He
must draw in somewhere: he was worth only
- the line of figures slipped in before his
eyes with its lantern-slide coldness.
He reflected. He must cut down on his
charities. He could not reduce the sum for
the General Hospital Fund; he had been
[ 21 ]


giving to that a number of years.-Nor that
for the asylum; Mrs. Wright was the presi-
dent of that board, and had told him she
counted on him.-Hang Mrs. Wright! It was
positive blackmail!--Nor the pew-rent; that
was respectable-nor the Associated Chari-
ties; every one gave to that. He. must cut
out the smaller charities.
So he left off the Children's Hospital
Christmas-tree Fund, and the soup-kitchen,
and a few insignificant things like them into
which he had been worried by Mrs. Wright
and other troublesome women. The only re-
gret he had was that taken together these
sums did not amount to a great deal. To
bring the saving up he came near cutting
out the hospital. However, he decided not to
do so. Mrs. Wright believed in him. He would
leave out one of the pictures he had intended
to buy; he would deny himself, and not cut
out the big charity. This would save him
[ 22 ]

the trouble of refusing Mrs. Wright and would
also save him a good deal more money.
Once more, at the thought of his self-denial,
that ray of wintry sunshine passed across Liv-
ingstone's cold face and gave it a look of dis-
tinction-almost like that of a marble statue.
Again he relapsed into reflection. His eyes
were resting on the pane outside of which
the fine snow was filling the chilly afternoon
air in flurries and scurries that rose and fell
and seemed to be blowing every way at once.
But Livingstone's eyes were not on the snow.
It had been so long since Livingstone had
given a thought to the weather, except as it
might affect the net earnings of railways in
which he was interested, that he never knew
what the weather was, and so far as he was
concerned there need not have been any
weather. Spring was to him but the season
when certain work could be done which in
time would yield a crop of dividends; and
[ 28 ]

Autumn was but the time when crops would
be moved and stocks sent up or down.
So, though Livingstone's eyes rested on the
pane, outside of which the flurrying snow was
driving that meant so much to so many people,
and his face was thoughtful-very thoughtful
-he was not thinking of the snow, he was
calculating profits.

[ 24 ]


ANOISE in the outer office recalled
Livingstone from his reverie. He
aroused himself, almost with a
start, and glanced at the gilt clock just above
the stock-indicator. He had been so absorbed
that he had quite forgotten that he had told
the clerks to wait for him. He had had no.
idea that he had been at work so long. He
reflected, however, that he had been writing
charity-cheques: the clerks ought to appre-
ciate the fact.
He touched a button, and the next second
there was a gentle tap on the door, and Clark
appeared. He was just the person to give just
such a tap: a refined-looking, middle-aged,
middle-sized man, with a face rather pale and
a little worn; a high, calm forehead, above
which the grizzled hair was almost gone;
mild, blue eyes which beamed through black-
[ 25 ]


rimmed glasses; a pleasant mouth which a
drooping, colorless moustache only partly con-
cealed, and a well-formed but slightly retreat-
ing chin. His figure was inclined to be stout,
and his shoulders were slightly bent. He
walked softly, and as he spoke his voice was
gentle and pleasing. There was no assertion
in it, but it was perfectly self-respecting. The
eyes and voice redeemed the face from being
"Oh!-Mr. Clark, I did not know I should
have been so long about my work. I was so
engaged getting my book straight for you,
and writing-a few cheques for my annual
contributions to hospitals, etc.,-that the time
slipped by-"
The tone was unusually conciliatory for
Livingstone; but he still retained it in ad-
dressing Clark. It was partly a remnant of his
old time relation to Mr. Clark when he, yet
a young man, first knew him, and partly a re-
[ 26 ]


cognition of Clark's position as a man of good
birth who had been unfortunate, and had a
large family to support.
"Oh! that's all right, Mr. Livingstone,"
said the clerk, pleasantly.
He gathered up the letters on the desk and
was unconsciously pressing them into exact
"Shall I have these mailed or sent by a
messenger ?"
"Mail them, of course," said Livingstone.
"And Clark, I want you to-"
"I thought possibly that, as to-morrow is-"
began the clerk in explanation, but stopped
as Livingstone continued speaking without no-
ticing the interruption.
-"I have been going over my matters,"
pursued Livingstone, "and they are in excel-
lent shape-better this year than ever be-
The clerk's face brightened.
[ 27 ]


"That's very good," said he, heartily. I
knew they were."
-" Yes, very good, indeed," said Living-
stone condescendingly, pausing to dwell for
a second on the sight of the line of pallid
figures which suddenly flashed before his eyes.
"And I have got everything straight for you
this year; and I want you to come up to my
house this evening and go over the books
with me quietly, so that I can show you-"
"This evening?" The clerk's countenance
fell and the words were as near an exclama-
tion as he ever indulged in.
"Yes-, this evening. I shall be at home
this evening and to-morrow evening-Why
not this evening?" demanded Livingstone
almost sharply.
"Why, only-that it's-. However,-" The
speaker broke off. "I '11 be there, sir. About
eight-thirty, I suppose ?"
"Yes," said Livingstone, curtly.
[ 28 ]

He was miffed, offended, aggrieved. He had
intended to do a kind thing by this man, and
he had met with a rebuff.
"I expect to pay you," he said, coldly.
The next second he knew he had made an
error. A shocked expression came involuntarily
over the other's face.
"Oh! it was not that!-It was-" He
paused, reflected half a second. "I'll be
there," he added, and, turning quickly, with-
drew, leaving Livingstone feeling very blank
and then somewhat angry. He was angry with
himself for making such a blunder, and then
angrier with the clerk for leading him into it.
"That is the way with such people!" he
reflected. "What is the use of being consid-
erate and generous ? No one appreciates it !"
The more he thought of it, the warmer he
became. "Had he not taken Clark up ten-
fifteen years ago, when he had not a cent in the
world, and now he was getting fifteen hundred
[ 29 ]

dollars a year-yes, sixteen hundred, and al-
most owned his house; and he had made every
cent for him!"
At length, Livingstone's sense of injury
became so strong, he could stand it no longer.
He determined to have a talk with Clark.
He opened the door and walked into the
outer office. One of the younger clerks was
just buttoning up his overcoat. Livingstone
detected a scowl on his face. The sight did
not improve Livingstone's temper. He would
have liked to discharge the boy on the spot.
How often had he ever called on them to
wait? He knew men who required their
clerks to wait always until they themselves
left the office, no matter what the hour was.
He himself would not do this; he regarded it
as selfish. But now when it had happened by
accident, this was the return he received!
He contented himself with asking somewhat
sharply where Mr. Clark was.
[ 30 ]


"Believe he's gone to the telephone," said
the clerk, sulkily. He picked up his hat and
said good-night hurriedly. He was evidently
glad to get off.
Livingstone returned to his own room; but
left the door ajar so that he could see Clark
when he returned. When, however, a few mo-
ments afterwards Clark appeared Livingstone
had cooled down. Why should he expect grati-
tude ? He did not pay Clark for gratitude, but
for work, and this the clerk did faithfully. It
was an ungrateful world, anyhow.
At that moment there was a light knock at
the outer door, and, on Clark's bidding, some
one entered.
Livingstone, from where he sat, could see
the door reflected in a mirror that hung in
his office.
The visitor was a little girl. She was clad in
a red jacket, and on her head was a red cap,
from under which her hair pushed in a profu-
[ 31 ]


sion of ringlets. Her cheeks were like apples,
and her whole face was glowing from the
frosty air. It was just her head that Living-
stone saw first, as she poked it in and peeped
around. Then, as Mr. Clark sat with his back
to the door and she saw that no one else was
present, the visitor inserted her whole body
and, closing the door softly, with her eyes
dancing and her little mouth puckered up in
a mischievous way, she came on tiptoe across
the floor, stealing towards Clark until she was
within a few feet of him, when with a sudden
little rush she threw her arms about his head
and clapped her hands quickly over his eyes:
"Guess who it is ?" she cried.
Livingstone could hear them through the
open door.
"Blue Beard," hazarded Mr. Clark.
"No-o "
"Queen Victoria?"
[ 2]



"Mary, Queen of Scots?--I know it's a
"No. Now you are not guessing- It is n't
any queen, at all."
"Yes, I am-Oh! I know-Santa Claus."
"No; but somebody 'at knows about him."
"Mr. L-m-m-"
Livingstone was not sure that he caught the
"No!!" in a very emphatic voice and with
a sudden stiffening and a vehement shake of
the head.
Livingstone knew now whose name it was.
"Now, if you guess right this time, you'll
get a reward."
"What reward?"
"Why,-Santa Claus will bring you a whole
lot of nice-"
"I don't believe that;-he will be too busy
with some other folks I know, who-"
"No, he won't-I know he's going to bring
[ 33 ]

you- Oh !" She suddenly took one hand from
Clark's eyes and clapped it over her mouth-
but next second replaced it.-"And besides,
I'11 give you a whole lot of kisses."
"Oh! yes, I know-the Princess with the
Golden Locks, Santa Claus's Partner--the
sweetest little kitten in the world, and her
name is-Kitty Clark."
"Umhm-m!" And on a sudden, the arms
were transferred from about the forehead to
the neck and the little girl, with her sunny
head canted to one side, was making good her
promise of reward. Livingstone could hear
the kisses.
The next second they moved out of the line
of reflection in Livingstone's mirror. But lie
could still catch fragments of what they said.
Clark spoke too low to be heard; but now and
then, Livingstone could catch the little girl's
words. Indeed, he could not help hearing her.
"Oh! papa!" she exclaimed in a tone of
[ 34 ]


disappointment, replying to something her
father had told her.
"But papa you must come-You promised !"
Again her father talked to her low and
"But papa I 'm so disappointed I 've
saved all my money just to have you go with
me. And mamma-I'11 go and ask him to let
you come.
Her father evidently did not approve of
this, and the next moment he led the child to
the door, still talking to her soothingly, and
Livingstone heard him kiss her and tell her to
wait for him below.
Livingstone let himself out of his side-door.
He did not want to meet Clark just then. He
was not in a comfortable frame of mind. He
had a little headache.
As he turned into the street, he passed the
little girl he had seen up-stairs. She was wip-
ing her little, smeared face with her hand-
[ 35 ]

kerchief, and had evidently been crying. Liv-
ingstone, as he passed, caught her eye, and
she gave him such a look of hate that it stung
him to the quick.
"The little serpent!" thought he. Here he
was supporting her family, and she looking as
if she could tear him to pieces It showed how
ungrateful this sort of people were."

[ 36 ]


SIVINGSTONE walked up town. It
would, he felt, do his head good.
He needed exercise. He had been
working rather too hard of late. However, he
was worth-yes, all that!-Out in the snow
the sum was before him in cold facsimile.
He had not gone far before he wished he
had ridden. The street was thronged with
people: some streaming along; others stop-
ping in front of the big shop-windows, block-
ing the way and forcing such as were in a
hurry to get off the sidewalk. The shop-win-
dows were all brilliantly dressed and lighted.
Every conception of fertile brains was there
to arrest the attention and delight the im-
agination. And the interest of the throngs
outside and in testified the shopkeepers' suc-
Here Santa Claus, the last survivor of the
[ 37 ]

old benefactors, who has outlasted whole hie-
rarchies of outworn myths and, yet firm in the
devotion of the heart of childhood, snaps his
fingers alike at arid science and blighting
stupidity, was driving his reindeer, his teem-
ing sleigh filled with wonders from every
region: dolls that walked and talked and
sang, fit for princesses; sleds fine enough for
princes; drums and trumpets and swords for
young heroes; horses that looked as though
they were alive and would spring next mo-
ment from their rockers; bats and balls that
almost started of themselves from their places;
little uniforms, and frocks; skates; tennis-
racquets; baby caps and rattles; tiny engines
and coaches; railway trains; animals that ran
about; steamships; books; pictures-every-
thing to delight the soul of childhood and
gratify the affection of age.
There Kris Kringle, Santa Claus's other self,
with snowy beard, and fur coat hoary with the
[ 38 ]

frost of Arctic travel from the land of unfail-
ing snow and unfailing toys, stood beside his
tree glittering with crystal and shining with
the fruits of every industry and every clime.
These were but a part of the dazzling dis-
play that was ever repeated over and over
and filled the windows, for squares and squares.
Science and Art appeared to have combined
to pay tribute to childhood. The very street
seemed to have blossomed with Christmas.
But Livingstone saw nothing of it. He
was filled with anger that his way should be
blocked. The crowds were gay and cheery.
Strangers in sheer good-will clapped each
other on the shoulder and exchanged views,
confidences and good wishes. The truck-driv-
ers, usually so surly, drew out of each others'
way and shouted words of cheer after their
smiling fellows.
The soul of Christmas was abroad on the air.
Livingstone did not even recall what day it


was. All he saw was a crowd of fools that im-
peded his progress. He tried the middle of
the street; but the carriages and delivery-
wagons were so thick, that he turned off,
growling, and took a less frequented thor-
oughfare, a back street of mean houses and
small shops where a poorer class of people
dwelt and dealt.
Here, however, he was perhaps even more
incommoded than he had been before. This
street was, if anything, more crowded than the
other and with a more noisy and hilarious
throng. Here, instead of fine shops, there were
small ones; but their windows were every bit
as attractive to the crowds on the street as
those Livingstone had left. People of a much
poorer class surged in and out of the doors;
small gamins, some in ragged overcoats, more
in none, gabbled with and shouldered each
other boisterously at the windows and pressed
their red noses to the frosty panes, to see
[ 40 ]

through the blurred patches made by their
warm breath the wondrous marvels within. The
little pastry-shops and corner-groceries vied
with the toy-shops and confectionaries, and
were packed with a population that hummed
like bees, the busy murmur broken every now
and then by jests and calls and laughter, as
the customers squeezed in empty-handed, or
slipped out with carefully-wrapped parcels
hugged close to their cheery bosoms or carried
in their arms with careful pride.
Livingstone finally was compelled to get off
the sidewalk again and take to the street.
Here, at least, there were no fine carriages to
block his way.
As he began to approach a hill, he was
aware of yells of warning ahead of him, and,
with shouts of merriment, a swarm of sleds
began to shoot by him, some with dark objects
lying flat on their little stomachs, kicking
their heels high in the air; others with small
[ 41 ]

single or double or triple headed monsters
seated upright and all screaming at the top
of their merry voices. All were unmindful of
the falling snow and nipping air, their blood
hot with the ineffable fire of youth that flames
in the warm heart of childhood, glows in that
of youth, and cools only with the cooling brain
and chilling pulse.
Before Livingstone could press back into
the almost solid mass on the sidewalk he had
come near being run down a score of times.
He felt that it was an outrage. He fairly
flamed with indignation. He, a large tax-
payer, a generous contributor to asylums and
police funds, a supporter of hospitals,-that
he should be almost killed!
He looked around for a policeman--
"Whoop! Look out! Get out the way!"
Swish! Swish! Swish! they shot by. Living-
stone had to dodge for his life. Of course, no
policeman was in sight!
[ 42]




had to

dodge for his life)

Missing From




had to

dodge for his life)

Missing From

SLivingstone pushed his way on to the top
of the ascent, and a square further on he
found an officer inspecting silently a group of
noisy urchins squabbling over the division of
two sticks of painted candy. His back was
towards the hill from which were coming the
shouts of the sliding miscreants.
Livingstone accosted him:
"That sliding, back there, must be stopped.
It is a nuisance," he asserted.-It was dan-
gerous, he declared; he himself had almost
been struck by one or more of those sleds and
if it had run him down it might have killed
The officer, after a long look at him, turned
silently and walked slowly in the direction of
the hill. He moved so deliberately and with
such evident reluctance that Livingstone's
blood boiled. He hurried after him.
"Here," he said, as he overtook him, "I
am going to see that you stop that sliding and
[ 43 ]


enforce the law, or I shall report you for fail-
ure to perform your duty. I see your number
"All right, sir. You can do as you please
about that," said the officer, rather surlily, but
Livingstone walked close after him to the
hilltop. The officer spoke a few words in a
quiet tone to the boys who were at the sum-
mit, and instantly every sled stopped. Not so
the tongues. Babel broke loose. Some went off
in silence; others crowded about the officer,
expostulating, cajoling, grumbling. It was "the
first snow;" they "always slid on that hill;"
"it did not hurt anybody;" "nobody cared,"
"This gentleman has complained, and you
must stop," said the officer.
They all turned on Livingstone with sudden
"Arr-oh-h!" they snarled in concert. "We
[ 44]


aint a-hurtin' him! What's he got to do wid
us anyhow!"
One more apt archer than the rest, shouted,
"He ain't no gentleman-a gentleman don't
never interfere wid poor little boys what ain't
a-done him no harm !"
But they stopped, and the more timid or im-
patient stole off to find new and less inconven-
iently guarded inclines.
Livingstone passed on. He did not know
that the moment he left and the officer turned
his back, the whole hillside swarmed again
into life and fun and joy. He did not know
this; but he bore off with him a new thorn
which even his feeling of civic virtue could
not keep from rankling. His head ached, and
he grew crosser and crosser with every step.
He had never seen so many beggars. It was
insufferable. For this evening, at least, every
one was giving-except Livingstone. Want
was stretching out its withered hand even
[ 45 ]


to Poverty and found it filled. But Livingstone
took no part in it. The chilly and threadbare
street-venders of shoe-strings, pencils and
cheap flowers, who to-night were offering in
their place tin toys, mistletoe and holly-
boughs, he pushed roughly out of his way;
he snapped angrily at beggars who had the
temerity to accost him.
"Confound them! They ought to be run in
by the police! "
A red-faced, collarless man fell into the
same gait with him, and in a cajoling tone be-
gan to mutter something of his distress.
"Be off. Go to the Associated Charities,"
snarled Livingstone, conscious of the biting
sarcasm of his speech.
"Go where, sir?"
"Go to the devil!"
The man stopped in his tracks.
A ragged, meagre boy slid in through the
crowd just ahead of Livingstone, to a woman
[ 46 ]

who was toiling along with a large bundle.
Holding out a pinched hand, he offered to
carry the parcel for her. The woman hesitated.
-"For five cents," he pleaded.
She was about to yield, for the bundle was
heavy. But the boy was just in front of Liv-
ingstone and in his eagerness brushed against
him. Livingstone gave him a shove which
sent him spinning away across the sidewalk;
the stream of passers-by swept in between
them, and the boy lost his job and the woman
his service.
The man of success passed on.

[ 47 ]


IF Livingstone had been in a huff when
he left his office, by the time he reached
his home he was in a rage.
As he let himself in with his latch-key his
expression for a moment softened. The scene
before him was one which might well have
mellowed a man just out of the snowy street.
A spacious and handsome house, both richly
and artistically furnished, lay before him. Rich
furniture, costly rugs, fine pictures and rare
books, gave evidence not only of his wealth
but of his taste. He was not a mere business
machine, a mere money-maker. He knew men
who were. He despised them. He was a man
of taste and culture, a gentleman of refine-
ment. He spent his money like a gentleman,
to surround himself with objects of art and to
give himself and his friends pleasure. Con-
noisseurs came to look at his fine collection
[ 48 ]

and to revel in his rare editions. Dealers had
told him his collection was worth double what
it had cost him. He had frowned at the sug-
gestion; but it was satisfactory to know it.
As Livingstone entered his library and
found a bright fire burning; his favorite arm-
chair drawn up to his especial table; his fa-
vorite books lying within easy reach, he felt a
momentary glow.
He stretched himself out before the fire
in his deep lounging-chair with a feeling of
relief. The next moment, however, he was
sensible of his fatigue, and was conscious that
he had quite a headache. What a fool he had
been to walk up through the snow! And those
people had worried him!
His head throbbed. He had been working
too hard of late. He would go and see his
doctor next day and talk it over with him.
He could now take his advice and stop work-
ing for a while; he was worth-Confound
[ 49 ]


those figures! Why could not he think of
them without their popping in before his eyes
that way!
There was a footfall on the heavily carpeted
floor behind him, so soft that it could scarcely
be said to have made a sound, but Livingstone
caught it. He spoke without turning his head.
"James! "
"Yes, sir. Have you dined, sir ?"
"Dined? No, of course not! Where was I
to dine ?"
"I thought perhaps you had dined at the
club. I will have dinner directly, sir," said the
butler quietly.
"Dine at the club! Why should I dine at
the club? Have n't I my own house to dine
in?" demanded Livingstone.
"Yes, sir. We had dinner ready, only-as
you were so late we thought perhaps you
were dining at the club. You had not said
anything about dining out."
[ 50 ]

Livingstone glanced at the clock. It was
half-past eight. He had had no idea it was so
late. He had forgotten how late it was when
he left his office, and the walk through the
snow had been slow. He was hopelessly in the
Just then there was a scurry in the hall
outside and the squeak of childish voices.
James coughed and turned quickly towards
the door.
Livingstone wanted an outlet.
"What is that?" he asked, sharply.
James cleared his throat nervously. The
squeak came again-this time almost a squeal.
"Whose children are those?" demanded
"Ahem I thinks they's the laundress's, sir.
They just came around this evening -"
Livingstone cut him short.
"Well! I-! He was never nearer an out-
break, but he controlled himself.
[ 51 ]

Go down and send them and her off imme-
diately; and you-" He paused, closed his
lips firmly, and changed his speech. "I wish
some dinner," he said coldly.
"Yes, sir."
James had reached the door when he
"Shall you be dining at home to-morrow,
sir ?" he asked, quietly.
"Yes, of course," said Livingstone, shortly.
"And I don't want to see any one to-night,
no matter who comes. I am tired." He had
forgotten Clark.
"Yes, sir."
The butler withdrew noiselessly, and Liv-
ingstone sank back in his chair. But before
the butler was out of hearing Livingstone
recalled him.
"I don't want any dinner."
"Can have it for you directly, sir," said
James, persuasively.
[52 ]

"I say I don't want any."
James came a little closer and gave his mas-
ter a quick glance.
"Are you feeling bad, sir ? he asked.
No, I only want to be let alone. I shall go
out presently to the club."
This time James withdrew entirely.
What happened when James passed through
the door which separated his domain from his
master's was not precisely what Livingstone
had commanded. What the tall butler did was
to gather up in his arms two very plump little
tots who at sight of him came running to him
with squeals of joy, flinging themselves on
him, and choking him with their chubby arms,
to the imminent imperiling of his immaculate
Taking them both up together, James bore
them off quietly to some remote region where
he filled their little mouths full of delightful
candy which kept their little jaws working
[ 53 ]

tremendously and their blue eyes opening and
shutting in unison, whilst he told them of the
dreadful unnamed things that would befall
them if they ventured again through that
door. He impressed on them the calamity it
would be to lose the privilege of holding the
evergreens whilst they were being put up in
the hall, and the danger of Santa Claus passing
by that night without filling their stockings.
The picture he drew of two little stockings
hanging limp and empty at the fireplace while
Santa Claus went by with bulging sleigh was
At mention of it, the tots both looked
down at their stockings and were so over-
come that they almost stopped working their
jaws, so that when they began again they
were harder to work than ever. To this James
added the terror of their failing to see next
day the great plum-pudding suddenly burst
into flame in his hands. At this, he threw up
[ 54 ]


both hands and opened them so wide that
the little ones had to look first at one of his
hands and then at the other to make sure
that he was not actually holding the dan-
cing flames now.
When they had promised faithfully and
with deep awe, crossing their little hearts with
smudgy fingers, the butler entrusted them to
some one to see to the due performance of
their good intention, and he himself sought
the cook, who, next to himself, was Living-
stone's oldest servant. She was at the mo-
ment, with plump arms akimbo on her stout
waist, laying down the law of marriage to a
group of merry servants as they sorted Christ-
mas wreaths.
"Wait till you've known a man twenty
years before you marry him, and then you'll
never marry him," she said. The point of her
advice being that she was past forty and had
never married.
[ 55]


The butler beckoned her out and confided
to her his anxiety.
"He is not well," he said gloomily. "I have
not see him this a-way in ten years. He is not
The cook's cheery countenance changed.
"But you say he have had no dinner." Her
excessive grammar was a reassurance. She
turned alertly towards her range.
"But he won't have dinner."
"What!" The stiffness went out of her form
in visible detachments. "Then he air sick!"
She made one attempt to help matters.
"Can't I make him something nice? Very
nice?-And light?" She brightened at the
"No, nothing. He will not hear to it."
"Then you must have the doctor." She
spoke decisively.
To this the butler made no reply, at least in
words. He stood wrapt in deep abstraction, his
[ 56 ]


face filled with perplexity and gloom, and as
the cook watched him anxiously her face too
took on gradually the same expression.
"I has not see him like this before, not in
ten year-not in twelve year. Not since he
got that letter from that young lady what-."
He stopped and looked at the cook.-"He
was actually hirascible !"
"He must be got to bed, poor dear!" said
the cook, sympathetically. And you must get
the doctor, and I'11 make some good rich
broth to have it handy.-And just when we
were a-goin' to dress the house and have it so
She turned away, her round face full of
"Ah! Well!-" The butler tried to find
some sentence that might be comforting; but
before he could secure one that suited, the
door bell rang, arid he went to answer it.

[ 57 ]


IT was Mr. Clark, who as soon as the door
was opened stepped within and taking
off his hat began to shake the snow from
it, even while he greeted James and wished
him a merry Christmas.
James liked Mr. Clark. He did not rate
him very highly in the matter of intelligence;
but he recognized him as a gentleman, and
appreciated his kindly courtesy to himself. He
knew it came from a good heart.
Many a man who drove up to the door
in a carriage, James relieved of his coat
and showed into the drawing-room in si-
lence; but the downcast eyes were averted
to conceal inconvenient thoughts and the
expressionless face was a mask to hide views
which the caller might not have cared to
discover. Mr. Clark, however, always treated
James with consideration, and James re-
[ 58 ]


ciprocated the feeling and returned the treat-
Mr. Clark was giving James his hat when
the butler took in that he had come to see
Mr. Livingstone.
"Mr. Livingstone begs to be excused this
evening, sir," he said.
"Yes." Mr. Clark laid a package on a chair
and proceeded to unbutton his overcoat.
"He says he regrets he cannot see any
one," explained the servant.
"Yes. That's all right. I know." He caught
the lapels of the coat preparatory to taking it
No, sir. He cannot see anybody at all this
evening," insisted James, confident in being
within his authority.
"Why, he told me to come and bring his
books! I suppose he meant-!"
"No, sir. He is not very well this evening."
Mr. Clark's hands dropped to his side.
[ 59 ]


"Not well! Why, he left the office only an
hour or two ago."
"Yes, sir; but he walked up, and seemed
very tired when he arrived. He did not eat
anything, and-the doctor is coming to see
Mr. Clark's face expressed the deepest con-
"He has been working too hard," he said,
shaking his head. "He ought to have let me
go over those accounts. With all he has to
"Yes, sir, that's it," said James, heartily.
"Well, don't you think I'd better go up
and see him?" asked the old clerk, solicit-
ously. "I might be able to suggest some-
thing ?"
"No, sir. He said quite positive he would
not see anybody." James looked the clerk full
in the face. "I was afraid something might
'ave happenedd down in the-ah-?"
.[ 60 ]

Mr. Clark's face lit up with a kindly light.
"No, indeed. It's nothing like that, James.
We never had so good a year. You can make
your mind easy about that."
"Thank you, sir," said the servant. "We'll
have the doctor drop in to see him, and I
hope he'll be all right in the morning. Snowy
night, sir."
"I hope so," said Mr. Clark, not intending
to convey his views as to the weather. "You'll
let me know if I am wanted-if I can do any-
thing. I will come around first thing in the
morning to see how he is. I hope he '11 be all
right. Good-night. A merry Christmas to you."
Good-night, sir. Thankee, sir; the same to
you, sir. I'm going to wait up to see how he
is. Good-night, sir."
And James shut the door softly behind
the visitor, feeling a sense of comfort not
wholly accounted for by the information as
to the successful year. Mr. Clark, somehow,
[ 61 ]

always reassured him. The butler could un-
derstand the springs that moved that kindly
What Mr. Clark thought as he tramped
back through the snow need not be fully de-
tailed. But at least, one thing was certain, he
never thought of himself.
If he recalled that a mortgage would be
due on his house just one week from that day,
and that the doctors' bills had been unusually
heavy that year, it was not on his own account
that he was anxious. Indeed, he never con-
sidered himself; there were too many others
to think of. One thought was that he was
glad his friend had such a good servant as
James to look after him. Another was pity
that Livingstone had never known the joy
that was awaiting himself when at the end
of that mile of snow he should peep into
the little cosy back room (for the front rooni
was mysteriously closed this evening), where
[ 62 ]

a sweet-faced, frail-looking woman would be
lying on a lounge with a half-dozen little
curly heads bobbing about her. He knew
what a scream of delight would greet him as
he poked his head in; and out in the darkness
and cold John Clark smiled and smacked his
lips as he thought of the kisses and squeezes,
and renewed kisses that would be his lot as
he told how he would be with them all the
Yes, he was undoubtedly sorry for Living-
stone, a poor lonely man in that great house;
and he determined that he would not say
much about his being ill. Women did not al-
ways exactly understand some men, and when
he left home, Mrs. Clark had expressed some
very strong views as to Livingstone which had
pained Clark. She had even spoken of him as
selfish and miserly. He would just say now
that Livingstone on his arrival had sent him
straight back home.
[ 6 ]

No, Mr. Clark never thought of himself, and
this made him richer than Mr. Livingstone.
When Mr. Clark reached home his expecta-
tion was more than realized. From the way in
which he noiselessly opened the front door
and then stole along the little passage to the
back room, from which the sound of many
voices was coming as though it were a mimic
Babel, you might have thought he was a
And when he opened the door softly and,
with dancing eyes, poked his head into the
room, you might have thought he was Santa
Claus himself. There was one second of dead
silence as a half-dozen pair of eyes stretched
wide and a half-dozen mouths opened with a
gasp, and then, with a shout which would
have put to the blush a tribe of wild Indians,
a half-dozen young bodies flung themselves
upon him with screams and shrieks of de-
light. John Clark's neck must have been of
[ 64 ]


fki o

iron to withstand such hugs and tugs as it was
The next instant he was drawn bodily into
the room and pushed down forcibly into a
chair, whilst the whole half-dozen piled upon
him with demands to be told how he had man-
aged to get off and come back. No one but
Clark could have understood them or answered
them, but somehow, as his arms seemed able
to gather in the whole lot of struggling, squeez-
ing, wriggling, shoving little bodies, so his ears
seemed to catch all the questions and his mind
to answer each in turn and all together.
"'How did I come?'-Ran every step of
.the way.-'Why did I come back?'-Well!
that's a question for a man with eight children
who will sit up and keep Santa Claus out of
the house unless their father comes home and
puts them to bed and holds their eyelids down
to keep them from peeping and scaring Santa
Claus away!
[ 65]

-"'What did Mr. Livingstone say?'-
Well, what do you suppose a man would say
Christmas Eve to another man who has eight
wide-awake children who will sit up in front
of the biggest fire-place in the house until
midnight Christmas Eve so that Santa Claus
can't come down the only chimney big enough
to hold his presents? He would say, 'John
Clark, I have no children of my own, but you
have eight, and if you don't go home this
minute and see that those children are in bed
and fast asleep and snoring,-yes, snoring,
mind,-by ten o'clock, I'11 never, and Santa
Claus will never-!'
-"'Did I see anything of Santa Claus?'
Well, if I were to tell you-what I saw this
night, why, you'd never believe me.
There's a sleigh so big coming in a little
while to this town, and this street, and this
house, that it holds presents enough for-.
"'When will it be here?' Well, from the
[ 66 ]

sleigh-bells that I heard I should say-. My
goodness, gracious! If it is n't almost ten
o'clock, and if that sleigh should get here
whilst there's a single eye open in this
house, I don't know what Santa Claus might
And, with a strength that one might have
thought quite astonishing, John Clark rose
somehow from under the mass of little heads,
and, with his arms still around them, still talk-
ing, still cajoling, still entertaining and still
caressing, he managed to bear the whole
curly, chattering flock to the door where,
with renewed kisses and squeezes and ques-
tions, they were all finally induced to release
their hold and run squeaking and frisking off
upstairs to bed.
Then, as he closed the door, Clark turned
and looked at the only other occupant of the
room, a lady whose pale face would have
told her story even had she not remained

outstretched on a lounge during the preceding
If, however, Mrs. Clark's face was pale, her
eyes were brilliant, and the look that she and
her husband exchanged told that even in-
validism and narrow means have alleviations,
so full was the glance they gave of confi-
dence and joy.
Yet, as absolute as was their confidence,
Mr. Clark did not now tell his wife the truth.
He gave her in a few words the reason of his
return. Mr. Livingstone was feeling unwell,
he said. He had not remembered it was
Christmas Eve, he added; and, turning
quickly and opening the door into the front
room he guilefully dived at once into the
matter of the Christmas-tree which was stand-
ing there waiting to be dressed.
Whether or not Mr. Clark deceived Mrs.
Clark might be a matter of question. Mr.
Clark was not good at deception. Mrs. Clark
[ 68 ]

was better at it; but then, to-night was a
night of peace and good-will, and since her
husband had returned she was willing to for-
give even Livingstone.

[ 69 ]


IVINGSTONE, at this moment, was not
feeling as wealthy as the row of fig-
ures in clean-cut lines that were now
beginning to be almost constantly before his
eyes might have seemed to warrant. He was
sitting sunk deep in his cushioned arm-chair.
The tweaks in his forehead that had annoyed
him earlier in the evening had changed to
twinges, and the twinges had now given place
to a dull, steady ache. And every thought of
his wealth brought that picture of seven star-
ing figures before his eyes, whilst, in place of
the glow which they had brought at first, he
now at every recollection of them had a cold
thrill of apprehension lest they might appear.
James's inquiry, "Shall you be dining at
home to-morrow ?" had recurred to him and
now disturbed him. It was a simple question;
nothing remarkable in it. It now came to him
[ 70 ]


that to-morrow was Christmas Day, and he
had forgotten it. This was remarkable. He had
never forgotten it before, but this year he had
been working so hard and had been so en-
grossed he had not thought of it. Even this
reflection brought the spectral figures back
sharply outlined before his eyes. They stayed
longer now. He must think of something
He thought of Christmas. This was the
first Christmas he had ever been at home
by himself. A Christmas dinner alone! Who
had ever heard of such a thing! He must go
out to dinner, of course. He glanced over
at his table where James always put his mail.
Everything was in perfect order: the book he
had read the night before; the evening paper
and the last financial quotation were all
there; but not a letter. James must have
forgot them.
He turned to rise and ring the bell and
[ 71 ]


glanced across the room towards it. What a
dark room it was! What miserable gas!
He turned up the light at his hand. It
did not help perceptibly. He sank back.
What selfish dogs people were, he reflected.
Of all the hosts of people he knew,-peo-
ple who had entertained him and whom he
had entertained,-not one had thought to
invite him to the Christmas dinner. A dozen
families at whose houses he had often been
entertained flashed across his mind. Why,
years ago he used to have a half-dozen in-
vitations to Christmas dinner, and now he
had not one! Even Mrs. Wright, to whom he
had just sent a contribution for-Hello! that
lantern-slide again! It would not do to think
of figures. -Even she had not thought of
There must be some reason? he pondered.
Yes, Christmas dinners were always family re-
unions-that was the reason he was left out
[ 72 ]

and forgotten;-yes, forgotten. A list of the
people who he knew would have such re-
unions came to him;-almost every one of his
acquaintances had a family;-even Clark had
a family and would have a Christmas dinner.
At the thought, a pang almost of envy of
Clark smote him.
Suddenly his own house seemed to grow
vast and empty and lonely; he felt per-
fectly desolate,-abandoned-alone-ill! He
glanced around at his pictures. They were
cold, staring, stony, dead! The reflection of
the cross lights made them look ghastly.
As he gazed at them the figures they had
cost shot before his eyes. My God! he could
not stand this! He sprang to his feet. Even
the pain of getting up was a relief. He stared
around him. Dead silence and stony faces were
all about him. The capacious room seemed a
vast, empty cavern, and as he stood he saw
stretching before him his whole future life
[ 73 ]


spent in this house, as lonely, silent, and deso-
late as this. It was unbearable.
He walked through to his drawing-room.
The furniture was sheeted, the room colder
and lonelier a thousand-fold than the other;
-on into the dining-room;-the bare table
in the dim light looked like ice; the sideboard
with its silver and glass, bore sheets of ice.
" Pshaw He turned up the lights. He would
take a drink of brandy and go to bed.
He took a decanter, poured out a drink and
drained it off. His hand trembled, but the
stimulant helped him a little. It enabled him
to collect his ideas and think. But his
thoughts still ran on Christmas and his lone-
Why should not he give a Christmas dinner
and invite his friends? Yes, that was what he
would do. Whom should he ask? His mind
began to run over the list. Every one he
knew had his own house; and as to friends
[ 74 ]

-why, he didn't have any friends!, He had
only acquaintances. He stopped suddenly, ap-
palled by the fact. He had not a friend in the
world Why was it? In answer to the thought
the seven figures flashed into sight. He put
his hand to his eyes to shut them out. He
knew now why. He had been too busy to
make friends. He had given his youth and his
middle manhood to accumulate-those seven
figures again!-And he had given up his
friendships. He was now almost aged.
He walked into his drawing-room and
turned up the light-all the lights to look
at himself in a big mirror. He did look at
himself and he was confounded. He was not
only no longer young-he was prepared for
this-but he was old. He would not have
dreamed he could be so old. He was gray
and wrinkled.
As he faced himself his blood seemed sud-
denly to chill. He was conscious of a sensible
[ 75 ]

ebb as if the tide about his heart had sud-
denly sunk lower. Perhaps, it was the cooling
of the atmosphere as the fire in his library
died out,-or was it his blood?
He went back into his library not ten min-
utes, but ten years older than when he left it.
He sank into his chair and insensibly began
to scan his life. He had just seen himself as
he was; he now saw himself as he had been
long ago, and saw how he had become what
he was. The whole past lay before him like a
slanting pathway.
He followed it back to where it began-in
an old home far off in the country.
He was a very little boy. All about was the
bustle and stir of preparation for Christmas.
Cheer was in every face, for it was in every
heart. Boxes were coming from the city by
every conveyance. The store-room and closets
were centres of unspeakable interest, shrouded
in delightful mystery. The kitchen was lighted
[ 76 ]


by the roaring fire and steaming from the
numberless good things preparing for the next
day's feast. Friends were arriving from the dis-
tant railway and were greeted with universal
delight. The very rigor of the weather was
deemed a part of the Christmas joy, for it
was known that Santa Claus with his jin-
gling sleigh came the better through the
deeper snow. Everything gave the little boy
joy, particularly going with his father and
mother to bear good things to poor people
who lived in smaller houses. They were always
giving; but Christmas was the season for a
more general and generous distribution. He
recalled across forty years his father and
mother putting the presents into his hands
to bestow, and his father's words, "My boy,
learn the pleasure of giving."
The rest was all blaze and light and glow,
and his father and mother moving about like
shining spirits amid it all.
[ 77 ]

Then he was a schoolboy, measuring the
lagging time by the coming Christmas; count-
ing the weeks, the days, the hours in an ecs-
tasy of impatience until he should be free
from the drudgery of books and the slavery
of classes, and should be able to start for home
with the friends who had leave to go with
him. How slowly the time crept by, and how
he told the other boys of the joys that would
await them! And when it had really gone,
and they were free! how delicious it used to
As the scene appeared before him Living-
stone could almost feel again the thrill that
set him quivering with delight; the boundless
joy that filled his veins as with an elixir.
The arrival at the station drifted before him
and the pride of his introduction of the ser-
vants whose faces shone with pleasure; the
drive home through the snow, which used
somehow to be warming, not chilling, in those
[ 78 ]

days; and then, through the growing dusk, the
first sight of the home-light, set, he knew, by
the mother in her window as a beacon shining
from the home and mother's heart. Then the
last, toilsome climb up the home-hill and
the outpouring of welcome amid cheers and
shouts and laughter.
Oh, the joy of that time! And through all
the festivity was felt, like a sort of per-
vading warmth, the fact that that day Christ
came into the world and brought peace and
good will and cheer to every one.
The boy Livingstone saw was now installed
regularly as the bearer of Christmas presents
and good things to the poor, and the pleasure
he took then in his office flashed across Liv-
ingstone's mind like a sudden light. It lit up
the faces of many whom Livingstone had
not thought of for years. They were all beam-
ing on him now with a kindliness to which
he had long been a stranger; that kindliness
[ 79 ]

which belongs only to our memory of our
Was it possible that he could ever have had
so many friends! The man in the chair put
his hand to his eyes to try and hold the
beautiful vision, but it faded away, shut out
from view by another.

[ 80 ]


HE vision that came next was of
a college student. The Christmas
holidays were come again. They
were still as much the event of the year as
when he was a schoolboy. Once more he
was on his way home accompanied by friends
whom he had brought to help him enjoy the
holidays, his enjoyment doubled by their en-
joyment. Once more, as he touched the soil
of his own neighborhood, from a companion he
became a host. Once more with his friends he
reached his old home and was received with
that greeting which he never met with else-
where. He saw his father and mother stand-
ing on the wide portico before the others with
outstretched arms, affection and pride beam-
ing in their faces. He witnessed their cordial
greeting of his friends. "Our son's friends are
our friends," he heard them say.
[ 81 ]

Henry Trelane said afterwards, Why, Liv-
ingstone, you have told me of your home
and your horses, but never told me of your
father and mother. Do you know that they
are the best in the world?" Somehow, it
had seemed to open his eyes, and the man-
ner in which his friends had hung on his
father's words had increased his own respect
for him. One of them had said, ."Living-
stone, I like you, but I love your father."
The phrase, he remembered, had not alto-
gether pleased him, and yet it had not al-
together displeased him either. But Henry
Trelane was very near to him in those days.
Not only was he the soul of honor and
high-mindedness, with a mind that reflected
truth as an unruffled lake reflects the sky,
but he was the brother of Catherine Trelane,
who then stood to Livingstone for Truth itself.
It was during a Christmas-holiday visit to
her brother that Livingstone had first met
[ 82 ]


Catherine Trelane; as he now saw himself
meet her. He had come on her suddenly in
a long avenue. Her arms were full of holly-
boughs; her face was rosy from a victorious
tramp through the snow, rosier at the hoped-
for, unexpected, chance meeting with her
brother's guest; a sprig of mistletoe was stuck
daringly in her hood, guarded by her mis-
chievous, laughing eyes. She looked like a
dryad fresh from the winter woods. For years
after that Livingstone had never thought of
Christmas without being conscious of a cer-
tain radiance that vision shed upon the time.
The next day in the holly-dressed church
she seemed a saint wrapt in divine adoration.
Another shift of the scene; another Christ-
Reverses had come. His father, through kind-
ness and generosity, had become involved be-
yond his means, and, rather than endure the
least shadow of reproach, gave up everything
[ 88 ]


he possessed to save his name and shield a
friend. Livingstone himself had been called
away from college.
He remembered the sensation of it all. He
recalled the picture of his father as he stood
calm and unmoved amid the wreck of his for-
tune and faced unflinchingly the hard, dark
future. It was an inspiring picture: the pic-
ture of a gentleman, far past the age when
men can start afresh and achieve success,
despoiled by another and stripped of all he
had in the world, yet standing upright and
tranquil; a just man walking in his integrity;
a brave man facing the world; firm as an im-
movable rock; serene as an unblemished
Livingstone had never taken in before
how fine it was. He had at one time even
felt aggrieved by his father's act; now he was
suddenly conscious of a thrill of pride in him.
If he were only living! He himself was now
[ 84 ]


worth-! Suddenly that lantern-slide shot be-
fore his eyes and shut out the noble figure
standing there.
Livingstone's mind reverted to his own
He was a young man in business; living in
a cupboard; his salary a bare pittance; yet
he was rich; he had hope and youth; family
and friends. Heavens! how rich he was then!
It made the man in the chair poor now to
feel how rich he had been then and had
not known it. He looked back at himself
with a kind of envy, strange to him, which
gave him a pain.
He saw himself again at Christmas. He
was back at the little home which his father
had taken when he lost the old place. He
saw himself unpacking his old trunk, taking
out from it the little things he had brought
as presents, with more pride than he had
ever felt before, for he had earned them him-
[ 85 ]


self. Each one represented sacrifice, thought,
affection. He could see again his father's face
lit up with pride and his mother's radiant with
delight in his achievement. His mother was
handing him her little presents,-the gloves
she had knit for. him herself with so much
joy; the shaving-case she had herself em-
broidered; the cup and saucer from the old
tea-service that had belonged to his great-
grandfather and great-grandmother and which
had been given his mother and father when
they were married. He glanced up as she
laid the delicate piece of Sevres before him,
and caught her smile-That smile! Was there
ever another like it? It held in -it-every-
Suddenly Livingstone felt something moving
on his cheek. He put his hand up to his face
and when he took it down his fingers were wet.
With his mother's face, another face came
to him, radiant with the beauty of youth.
[ 86 ]


Catherine Trelane, since that meeting in the
long avenue, had grown more and more to
him, until all other motives and aims had
been merged in one radiant hope.
With his love he had grown timid; he
scarcely dared look into her eyes; yet now
he braved the world for her; bore for her all
the privations and hardships of life in its first
struggle. Indeed, for her, privation was no
hardship. He was poor in purse, but rich in
hope. Love lit up his life and touched the
dull routine of his work with the light of en-
chantment. If she made him timid before her,
she made him bold towards the rest of the
world. 'T was for her that he had had the
courage to take that plunge into the boiling
sea of life in an unknown city, and it was for
her that he had had strength to keep above
water, where so many had gone down.
He had faced all for her and had conquered
all for her. He recalled the long struggle, the
[ 87 ]

painful, patient waiting, the stern self-denial.
He had deliberately chosen between pleasure
and success,-between the present and the
future. He had denied himself to achieve his
fortune, and he had succeeded.
At first, it had been for her; then Success
had become dear to him for itself, had ever
grown larger and dearer as he advanced, until
now- A thrill of pride ran through him,
which changed into a shiver as it brought
those accursed, staring, ghastly figures straight
before his eyes.
He had great trouble to drive the figures
away. It was only when he thought fixedly of
Catherine Trelane as she used to be that
they disappeared. She was a vision then to
banish all else. He had a picture of her some-
where among his papers. He had not seen it
for years, but no picture could do her justice:
as rich as was her coloring, as beautiful as
were her eyes, her mouth, her riante face, her
[ 88 ]


slim, willowy, girlish figure and fine carriage,
it was not these that came to him when he
thought of her; it was rather the spirit of
which these were but the golden shell: it was
the smile, the music, the sunshine, the radiance
which came to him and warmed his blood and
set his pulses throbbing across all those years.
He would get the picture and look at it.
But memory swept him on.
He had got in the tide of success and the
current had borne him away. First it had been
the necessity to succeed; then ambition; then
opportunity to do better and better always
taking firmer hold of him and bearing him
further and further until the pressure of busi-
ness, change of ambition and, at last, of ideals
swept him beyond sight of all he had known
or cared for.
He could almost see the process of the
metamorphosis. Year after year he had waited
and worked and Catherine Trelane had waited;
[ 89 ]

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