Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, December 19, 1930, Image 2

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It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold;
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.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lonely plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow!
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing:
Oh, rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing.
The house had a pinched, aristo-
cratic air; it leaned back, as though
holding its nose against the odors
which in its youth doubtless had
arisen from the dark, narrow street.
The street now, though, was smooth
and clean; it had been so for many
years; and tonight its noisy and
colored vivacity had given way to
the clam beauty of falling snow.
Elizabeth and Maryan were in
their room; already they had on
their long, cool night-dresses; side
by side, hands behind their backs,
their small stomachs prominent, they
were following with big blue eyes
the movements of Father and Moth-
er. These fond and not quite grown-
up parents were examining the big
fire_place— examining it with an in-
terest beyond even that which they
had shown when visiting, to rent
this odd house in a queer quarter of
old Paris.
“’This is pure Renaissance,” said
Father, passing his hand over the
undulant marble.
“And in need of repair, as every-
thing else,” said Mother. “I'm glad
I've had the furnace put in.” She
held her slim, white hands over the
grating from which breathed a gen-
tle warmth.
“Your are, my dear, the finished
product of a New York flat,” said
“And you a colored picture out of
an old story-book.”
Having thus insulted each other,
they looked at each other and smil-
ed, Father stepped within the big
“It’s snowing!” he
triumphant as a boy.
But when he came out to prove
it, everybody laughed. For the snow
upon his face, having passed through
soot, was black.
He was excited, and his eyes were
bright. “Just step in there, Maud,”
he cried. “It’s the bulliest old place.
You can see the clouds drive by,
and at times a bit of moon, and you
feel the snow falling!”
“Thank you,” said Mother. “I
dont like black sonw upon my nose.”
“You're an unregenerate Harle-
Father vanished again within the
had a staid expression of one who
had returned to a contemplation of
serious affairs, and it was Elizabeth
and Maryan that he addressed. Their
four blue eyes were steady upon
him, just about atthe height of his
waist-line, “Well, this is the place
all right,” he announced. “You can
hang your stockings right here. For
surely it is down this chimney he
will come.”
But the jumping and hand clap-
ping which he expected. failed to
follow his words. tead, four big
blue eyes remained upon him, solemn
and immobile. A slight hesitation,
like the shadow of a cloud, passed
through them. “Tain’t stockings,”
lisped Maryan. “It’s shoes!”
“Of course, Father,” said Eliza-
beth. “You always think yourself
in the United States still! In France,
it’s shoes.”
“Yes, Mr. Sharon,” chimed Mother,
glad to regain the advantage. “In
France, we don’t hang stockings be-
fore the fireplace, In France, we
place our shoes before the hearth on
Christmas eve.”
“Oh, very well!” said Father
cheerfully. “Shoes it is! They don’t
hold as much as stockings, anyway.
But I should advise you to put them
right here, before this fire-place. It
is surely down this chimney that
Santa Claus will come.”
“But the four hig eyes remained
just where they were, across their
azure there fled again a slight haze
of doubt. “But 't ain't Santa
Claus!” exclaimed Maryan, takinga
deep breath.
“No father. You see, you know
very little about such things,” said
Elizabeth indulgently. “Hlsie told
us. In France, it's the little Jesus
come down and puts toys.”
“The little Jesus!”
“Yes, Mr, Sharon,” said Mother,
taking a smiling part in Father's
discomfort. “In France, it is not
Santa Claus at all; it is the petit
Jesus, the infant Christ himself, who
comes down the chimney Christmas
“To fill the stockings!”
“To fill the shoes, Mr. Sharon.”
“Oh, very well, very well!” said
Father, still cheerful. But he put
his hands to his head, being all mix- |
When he reappeared, he ; the other.
ed up over those international com-
“We saw him once,” said Maryan
dreamily. :
“You saw him!” cried Mother.
“Yes,” said Elizabeth.
remember? You took us.”
“Oh—his picture—at the Louvre!”
“With his mamma. He was all
smooth and naked, And he had
brown eyes, but golden hair.’
“Yeth,” said Maryan. “His hairs
was gold.”
Father pounced upon Maryan,
whisked her up aloft, and with one
mighty heave tkrew her through
the air, clear across the room, to
the eider-down comforter upon the
bed. Instantly, he seized Eliza-
“Don’t you
beth and sent her sprawling after.
They lit in a tangle of giggles and!
legs. “Time to go to bed!” he.
roared in a terrible voice.
“Oh, Frank,” said Mother. And
going to the bed, she laid the chil-
dren in it right. “Now you must
go to sleep, quick, quick, so the
petit Jesus won't get scared, and
turn back, and forget you.” |
“Goodnight,” said Elizabeth, push. |
ing her lips out for a kiss, i
“Good-night,” said Maryan, reach-
ing upward with pink arms. |
“Good-night,” said Mother, kissing.
“Good-night,” said Father, kissing.
The light went out; the door
closed softly.
In the hall, Father and Mother
stopped a moment, groping for each
other in the darkness. Mother put
both her hands on his shoulders, and
her brow against his chest. “Oh,
Frank,” she whispered, “ if Harold
were only still here—poor Harold!”
Father placed one arm about her;
his other hand went down into a
pocket for a handkerchief, for he
suddenly realized that he had a cold .
in the head.
‘He would be ten years old now,
Frank. Ten!”
“He's an angel, I guess,”
They pressed up close and, side by
side, went on down the corridor.
The night, in the children’s room,
was silent for perhaps five minutes
—five minutes that seemed much
longer than five minutes. Then
there came a Strange, small sound.
It was like the vibration of an
electric bell; but less precise, less
metallic and more gentle; like the
faint hesitant burr of a new-born
eletecric bell, muffled beneath eider-
down quilts. ’
Almost immediately, there arose
another. Another ringing, also
muffled, hesitant and soft; but
with a lower note, more mellow
and more gray.
“T-t-r.r-r-ee-hee-hee,” went the
fiirst little bell.
“Th-th-r-r-roo-hee-hoo_hoo,” went
the second more mellow little bell.
“Tree-hee, thro-hoo; tree_hee-hee,
throo-hoo,” they now went, both to-
gether. :
Then the second little bell be-
came a little human voice. “They
think we are asleep, said the first
little bell, also stil under the
‘“Tr-r-ee-hee_hee-hee, th-r-0o-hoo-
hoo,” Tihs time the sound was clear.
The klankets had been thrown off.
But if the blankets were off, the
night remained. “It’s awful dark,”
said one of the voices.
“I got the candle all ready,” said
“It's in the lowest draw-
er, under the towels, where we can
find it.”
“Then light it.”
“It is awful dark, isn’t it?”
“Light it!” repeated the littlest
voice; and there was a movement,
as of some impatient elbow nudging
a sensitive rib.
A body slid down the side of the
bed, bare feet thumped to the floor;
there was a fumbling within the
dresser, the crackle of a match.
Upon the night-table a light glowed,
lighting Elizabeth's head, throwing
gold upon gold,
“Now, come back to bed, quick!”
called Maryan. She never liked to
be left alone in bed.
Elizabeth leaped back, knelt, fac-
ing her pillow, and raised it till it
stood up straight against the back
of the bed. Then, with an adroit
movement, without letting it fall
down, she turned and sat up against
Maryan tried to imitate her sister.
But her knees not being sharp like
Elizabeth’s, but round, she slipped
and went head-first into the pillow,
while the lower part of her rose in
the attitude of a tumble_bug. With
help though, she righted herself
and, panting, achieved Elizabeth's
position. The little girls now sat up-
right in bed, side by side. The ex-
pression on their faces was that of
a kitten which had just lapped
cream. They looked at each oth.
er, and sniggered. Then their eyes
turned to the big-fire place and re-
mained there. Maryan's left hand
slid along the counterpane; FEliza-
beth’s right slid through it; they
met and clasped,
“Do you think he'll come?” ask-
ed Maryan, after a while.
“Of course. Isn't it Christmas,
and aren’t the shoes all ready?”
“Will he be pretty and soft, like
in the picture?”
“Of course.”
“But hew will he come?”
“Down the chimney.’
“But how down the chimney?”
“Down the chimney; how do you
suppose ?”
“In a sleigh?”
“No-0; that’s old Santa Claus does
“Then how?"
"A bu-a-a
“Ob, he'll come all right!”
Silence. They stared solemnly at
the fireplace. But Maryan was not
good at waiting.
“Will his mamma be with him?”
“No, goosie.” :
“ 299
as a gutter-cat.
sees at a circus,
red handkerchief, knotted about his
neck, made him sinister. His move-
ments were precise and unerring,
and his eyes were sharp and quick
as a ferret’s.
The second was a small boy, thin
He followed the
man closely, leaping as he leaped,
; crawling as he crawled, placing his
right hand here, his knee there,
imitating each gesture with a fidelity
that gave him the appearance of one
of those touching little monkeys one
secretely tied to
their crafty trainer by an invisible
and inexorable chain. Twice, though,
he stopped suddenly and clung con.
vulsively with elbows, feet and
nails, while his eyes, a wild,
nged along the pree us slope
plunged him. The first time, a
sharp ejaculation of his leader suf-
ficed to start him on again. The sec-
ond time, the leader's hand came
down upon his shoulder with a
heavy, pinching grip.
“Well, he has to have his break-
fast when he gets back, doesn’t he?
Who'd have his breakfast ready, if
his mamma wasn’t there!”
“Then she stays home?”
“In heaven?”
“Of course.”
“But "Lisbeth, how does he come?”
“Qh, Maryan, I told you already!”
“Will he fly down?”
“Ma, 3
“He's got little wings, hasn't he?”
“No, goosie. That’s Cupid. And
e little angels what's got only
“Then how ?”
“Oh, Maryan, you make me ner-
“But he's got an aeroplane.
little toy aeroplane what buzzes.”
“Ain’t that cute!”
“Yes, but you mustn’t talk any
Hore Else he won't come at all, at
al 2
“I'll keep still.”
They were silent, looking steadily
at the fireplace. Before them, on
the white counterpane, their hands
lay clasped; above, their yellow curls
mingled. : i
A strange thing began to happen.
The fireplace began to go away. It
would go away, then suddenly come
back; go away and come back, go
away and come back. Finally, it
went away, without coming back.
The big blue eyes saw nothing
now. And seeing nothing, very
sensibly they closed.
Between the golden heads, a crack
slowly appeared. It grew. One
small head was sliding to the left,
the other small head was slipping
to the right. The separation quick-
ened; there was a sudden divergnt
rush, and two white-robed little
bodies sprawled across the bed, like
two dolls who should have fought to
a mutual knockout.
The candle spluttered. Its small
flame went up and down, as though
it were winking.
It was thus that Father and
Mother found the room an hour
later. Father entered first. He
said: “The little devils! Look!
The lit-tle dev-vils!”
‘Did you ever!” said Mother,
“Did you ever!”
“A candle,” growled Father, point-
ing to the taper, which had quickly
assumed at their entrance an ex-
pression of having seen nothing.
“That's Miss Elizabeth!” said
Mother. :
Father took Maryan by the leg,
and drew her down to her right
place in bed. With Elizabeth, who
was not so chubby, and hence slept
less soundly, more precaution had to
be taken; but at last they were
both sleeping in position, the cov.
ers up to their chins.”
“What now?” asked Father.
‘Put out the light; it will be
The candle was blown out, and
also the lamp. Then, in the dark,
Father and Mother worked mysteri-
ously, They went out and came in;
they fumbled about the hearth.
Their steps were a-tip-toe; their
words were murmurs. But, in the
obscurity and the silence, several
times there were odd disturbances.
of baby sheep; a queer,
flat voice saying, ‘pa-pa, ma-ma;”
an abrupt whirr as of a clock run-
ning down, and a sweet jangle of
little bells. At each accident,
Father and Mother were petrified
for several moments into complete
Finally, the door was closed, and
they were again alone in the desert
hall. way. And again, as if feeling
lonely there, Mother threw herself
upon Father's sturdy frame. “Oh,
Frank,” she said, “if little Harold
were only here!”
“Yes, dear, yes, dear,” said Fath-
er, petting her.
“He'd be ten years old now. Ten!”
“He's an angel,” said Father.
And holding each other close, they
went on down the hall. A light
flared, a door shut; a silence that
‘ seemed definite flowed slowly through
the house.
Above, upon the roof, the snow
was coming down steadily in large,
humid flakes; here and there it
melted, leaving small spots that
glistened vagtiely. The clouds were
very low; they seemed almost with-
in the reach of an upraised hand,
They passed swiftly, sulphur-hued,
and, tearing at times, gave a rapid
glimpse of a hurrying moon, tenuous
as a volute of green vapor.
To the right and the left, other
roofs stretched, covered with white;
spots of melted snow looked like
pools. And myriads of chimneys
some high, some low, some round,
some square, made about these pools
a fantastic and gesticulating forest
of small, mad, twigless trees.
Along this artificial sierra, through
the stiff and stunted landscape, two
human forms came gliding from the
south. They slid, they crawled,
they leaped, they made sudden shad-
owy rushés; they sprang across
chasms like flying Squirrels, and lit
on all-fours as on padded paws,
their bodies tight as rubber-halls.
The leader was a man. The vizor
of his cap was pulled down even
with his brow; rope sandals were
oh his. feet; and within his closely
buttoned jacket, his squat body had
a feline and disquieting resiliency. A
; of the big chimney and
! ring.
They were at length upon the
slate roof beneath which Elizabeth
and Maryan were sleeping. They
made for the rectangular masonry
stood up
against it. The man’s eyes were
just even with its top.
“This is the place,” he said. His
voice had no resonance. “That’s the
flue down which you go.”
The boy shrunk small. He wasa
thin little boy, and the wrist of the
arm he held against the chimney
was red and crevassed with cold.
“Tighten your belt,” said the man.
The boy had a broad belt about
his waist; sewed to it was a metal
He tightened the belt; then
his eyes went up toward the man.
In the raised chin and the cower of
the shoulders, there was once more
the expression of the little circus
monkey afraid of its trainer.
The man was unwindiny from his
own waist a rope. He tied
one end of it to the ring in the
boy’s belt. An agitation, which up
to this time the boy had success-
fully repressed, now burst out into
speech. “Oh master,” he pleaded,
“not tonight, not tonight!”
The man went on looping in his
right hand the loose extremity of
the rope.
‘Please, master. This time I am
afraid. All day I have been afraid.
There is something wrong. Some-
thing will happen.
“You go down the near flue,”
said the man calmly, and as though
he had not heard the boy. ‘That
takes you into the nursery. Idrew
it for you atthe cabaret. Nothing
there. The door is to the left. It
takes you into the hall-way. You
follow that to the bottom. Just be-
fore it turns to the right, thereis a
door to the left. That's your
door. Go in. The man’s clothes
will be on a chair, or somewhere
about. Get his wallet. Then take
one look at the woman's dressing
table. Light a match—just one—
for that. Grab everything that
shines. That's all tonight. The
wallet and what's on the dressing
table. You can do it all in ten
“Master, master, I've not eaten!
I'm faint—"” :
“Work on your knees, remember. ng
All the time on your knees. Get
up just once—at the dressing table.
All of the rest of the time, keepon
your knees.”
“Master, I'm afraid tonight! Mas-
‘‘Remember. The man’s wallet,
the jewels on the dressing table.
First door to the left, then down
the corridor, then again the door to
the left. And en your knees!”
“Master, I beseech you—not to-
night, not tonight! Master, I be-
seech you—please—"
In the neighborhood, a big bell
struck. A wave of golden sound
went flowing through the night,
whelming the manand the boy. The
bell struck again, and the boy, as
if attuned in harmony, began to
tremble to the deep vibration, Once,
twice, the bell rang; three times,
twelve times, and was still, leav-
ing a hum in the air. The boy
crossed his arms against the ma.
sonry, and buried his face in them
with a small, choking sob.
~The man pounced upon him and
gripped him hard. “Remember
what I did last time you were thus,”
he said coldly; “remember.”
All resistance crumbled in the
boy. “I'm going master,” he said.
The man hoisted him up; feet first,
he vanished down the chimney.
The man, remaining outside held
the rope taut as it slid through his
hands. At times he threw a rapid
glance over the roofs. The rope,
slipping, made a scratching sound
upon the stone.
Suddenly, the man went back-
ward in a half somersault. With
an agile twist, he landed upon handy
and feet. But he was now on the
steeper part of the roof; on hands
and knees, he went sliding on,
downward toward the edge, His
face was contracted; his feet, his
hands stamped and clawed.
Finally, he stopped himself, not a
foot from the edge.
He remained here a long mo-
ment, as though he had lost the
courage to ‘attempt a movement;
then began slowly, cautiously, to
make his way upward again. When
he had reached the chimney, he
clung to it like a drunken man.
His face was livid. He took a
big breath. Then his eyes fell
upon his right hand. Clenched
within it, he still held the rope, and
the rope was broken.
A new panic seized him instantly.
In two springs, he had reached the
next roof, and was flitting, an acro-
batic shadow, through the tangle of
chimneys. He disappeared. A min-
ute later, he was down in the street,
sliding along the walls with the
smooth rapidity of a rat.
Elizabeth was dreaming that she
sat in a meadow dotted with daisies,
when she heard a rush, as of a fall
through the air, and then the shock
of a catastrophic landing.
She awoke—so quickly that,
awake, the sympathetic echo of the
fall rang still along her nerves—
and then,- immediately, did not know
where she was, With downward
palms, she felt for the grass; there
was no grass. She plucked at a
flower; there were no flowers. She
was in bed. But something was
missing. It was the light! There
had been a light, because they had
been watching. Watching for what?
Ah, for the little Jesus. All
time, they had been in bed. Then
that noise of something coming
down? It had been right here. It
had been in the chimney. Oh, it had
been little Jesus, maybe. He was
right here now, then, maybe, right
here in the room, in the dark!
Elizabeth began to tremble with
hope, with ecstasy and with awe.
But a tender body pushed itself
against her, She placed her right arm
about it. “Did you hear t?”
whispered Maryan.
hear dat?”
lips into a warm small ear.
“It’s hum;
‘“Sh-sh! Sh-sh!”
Very tense, her eyes
the |
“Oo, did you {gave a little sob,
making a!
ES ———————
“’Course! - I'd like to see yougo
down a chimney, missus, and not
get black all over!”
“But he ain't got wings.
wings at all!”
‘Oh, you're always getting mixed
up. It's Cupid has wings; and the
little angels with only heads!”
They remained there, hand in
hand, gazing in silence. Maryan
was not quite quelled. “Look at
his wrist,” she whispered, “his little
But Elizabeth had been looking
{at that wrist all the time; from
‘the first discovery, her eyes had
been hypnotized by that little nak-
jed wrist. And now, suddenly, she
“Oh, he is so
| snippety and small and cold and
murmured Elizabeth, her mis’able!” she sobbed.
“Yes.” i
Oo, maybe it's hum! do?” whispered Maryan, big silver
“What shall we do; what shall we
| globules appearing in her blue eyes.
“Oh, I don’t know! Oh, I don’t
round effort in the night, Elizabeth know!”
listened hard,
Against her side,
ment of a puppy-dog,
snuggled her
was not a
small nose.
sound in the
abeth’s ribs.
you make a light; make a
"Lisbeth, make a light!”
“I'm scared,” Elizabeth.
scared of scaring something,”
“But if you make a light, we'll
see!” hissed Maryan vehemently.
When Maryan became vehement
precautions trembled on the point of
being shattered.
word, Elizabeth slipped to the floor,
while Maryan nestled still closer in
the hollow resulting from the big
sister’s absence. Elizabeth's hands
shook a bit; two matches went
wrong; then a yellow light streamed
through the room, and Elizabeth,
turning, followed its invasion with
holding her breath. |
But almost instantly she knew
with the move. and dried her eyes with a dash of
Maryan had her sleeve.
“I know—let’s wake
There him up and give him something to
: room. eat,
Maryan began to speak again, the warm!”
muffled words tingling along Eliz- |
and put him in bed to get
“Oh, yeth!” exclaimed Maryan,
“Lisbeth, why don’t bringing her hands together in a
light, soundless clap, which was like an at-
titude of prayer.
They moved up against the barri.
cade of toys. “Little boy!” Hliz.
| abeth called out.
Without another :
; “Little boy!” cried Maryan.
“Little boy!” called Elizabeth:
called low, but tensely, rising on the
tips of their pink toes. But the boy
did not move.
‘Well go and shake him,” said
Elizabeth resolutely.
With their feet, the two children
began to toss the Christmas play-
things negligently to right and
left, thus clearing a path. When
they were near, Elizabeth started
her eyes. “Wat is it?” called Mary- |
an, her face still buried in the pil-
low, “wat is it?” »
But Elizabeth, her hands clutching
the opening of her night-dress upon
her little chest, could say only:
“Oh! On!”
“Well, wat is it?” Maryan re-
peated impatiently, but still without
opening her eyes. Jack-in-the_box,
Her hands went up “Oh, Maryan,
look, look! Toys!”
Maryan rose to her knees, like a
kitten, put her hand to her
throat, with a gesture like
Elizabeth's; her eyes opened wide.
“Ooh! Ooh!” she said.
“Come!” said Elizabeth, her feet
already beginning to prance. “Come,
She helped Maryan down, and the
two children, holding hands, went
wondrously toward the fire-place.
Before it rose a pyramid of toys.
Toys so numerous, so commingled,
that the eye could not distinguish
them at first. One saw only a
wheel here, a diminutive arm thrust
out there, an assemblage of new
shiny reds and blues, of shimmer-
ings and shapes—an uncatalogued
heap of pure joy. i
“There's a doll,” said Maryan, tak-
a step forward. “A blue dolly
with buckled shoes!” .
“And a dolly wash-stand,” said
Elizabeth, advancing a second step.
“A sheep, all
They took another step.
“A little watering-can for make-
believe flowers!” Each step marked
a new discovery,
“A tautmobile!”
“A doggy what barks!”
“A baby looking glass;
baby looking-glass.”
“A watch!”
“a A
They stopped short.
Elizabeth, “there's
Och, a
“Oh,” said
something be-
“They’s somefin behind!”
“Its a boy!” said Elizabeth.
“It's little Jesus,” said Maryan.
They were no longer going for-
ward. Hand in hand, they poised
in an attitude of ready fight. Be-
hind the toys—and their eyes now
saw not the toys, but only what
was behind—behind the toys, in the
very interior of the chimney, upon
the hearth-stone, a small boy lay
coiled, motionless.
“It is little Jesus, ain't it?” gasp-
ed Maryan.
“Must be,” said Elizabeth.
“Let’s go back to bed,” proposed
“No, you goosie; look,”
said Elizabeth.
She was standing very still, look-
ing hard, a small frown upon her
forehead. She stepped back, seized
the candle; then, light in hand,
looked again, her bare toes against
the first toys. Maryan, a little be-
hind, clung to her sister's night.
dress and shivered a bit.
“He's sleeping,” decided Elizabeth.
“Yeth, he’s thleepin’!”
“Isn't he cute!”
“Ain’t he thunnin’!”
The boy coiled there on the hearth
did not move. One arm was be-
neath his head; the other, crossed
above it as if warding off a menace,
hid partly a disorder of brown curls.
and the sleeve of this arm, drawn
back by the gesture, showed a thin
wrist, red and crevassed with cold.
Across the blue wonder of Mary-
an’s eyes, there crept slowly a
troubled doubt. “But ’Lisbeth,”
she said heavily, “’Lisbeth, he’s dres-
sed, all dressed!”
‘“Umph—of course!”
“But ’Lisbeth, when we saw his
pitture, he was all nice and pretty
and naked!”
“Umph—'t wasn’t winter then,
was it? Do you think he could go
out this weather and his mamma
not say: ‘Here, you little Jesus,
don’t you dare go out that way!
Just put your clothes on, all your
clothes on! Do you want to catch
your death-o’-cold?”
“But his clothes
and poor!”
“Well, they don’t wear clothes
much up there; so they don't have
new ones, 'cause it’s of no use;
and when they go out, they put on
anv old ones will do.”
“But ’Lisbeth, he’s all black, all
sooty and black!”
is all raggedy
soft and wooly!”
back with a cry. “Oh, he’s bleed-
‘He's bleedin’!” cried Maryan.
Across the forehead of the boy,
‘near the temple, a gash showed red,
“He went to climb back,” panted
Elizabeth, immediately getting a
vision of the catastrophe; “he went
to climb back, and he fell He
brought down all these pretty toys
for us, and then he went to climb
back to get home, and he fell. The
poor little Jesus! He went and
took all that trouble, and was good
to us,
“He felled and hurted himself!”
said Maryan; and the mouth utter-
ing these words was as round as her
eyes. “Oh, Lisbeth, will he die?”
We must do something, Maryan:
quick, we must do something. Oh,
Maryan, help me pull him out of
then he fell and hurt him-
there! It's all cold in that old fire-
place. Take his foot—t'other foot.
Now, pull, Maryan, pull!”
“I cai-ain’t,” puffed little fat
“You must, Maryan you must!
Come, I take this foot and you
take the other. Pull, now!”
This time, drawn by both legs,
the boy slid along the floor, by the
path through the toys. “Get pil
lows!” ordered Elizabeth.
Maryan went to their bed, and
successively brought three pillows.
Elizabeth made a mattress of them,
“Now, let’sroll him on it, Maryan.”
With much effort, they got him
upon the improvised couch. Then
Elizabeth squatted on her heels and
took his head upon her lap. It was
thus she always did with Maryan,
when playing this accommodating
younger sister was sick. Now, they
had a real patient, a divine patient.
Maryan instantaneously became a
nurse. “Get me some water, quick,
and a towel,” Elizabeth commanded.
And Maryan trotted to the wash-
The pitcher was big, and the bowl
was heavy, but standing on a chair,
Maryan managed to tilt some wa-
ter into the vessel, which she brought
to Eliazbeth. Elizabeth wet the
towel, and washed the patient's
sooty face, gently, tenderly; but with
a maternal thoroughness, pushing
back from the white forehead the
long, damp locks. “Isn’t he just
beautiful!” she exclaimed, forget-
ting, this duty done, the seriousness
of the situation, in an excusable ac-
cess of artistic enthusiasm,
‘Maryan was gazing at the pale,
pinched face, the wan and blue-
veined brow. “He don't look like
the picture,” she said sincerely.
“That’s because his eyes are clos-
ed,” said Elizabeth, fighting for her
“But his mouth ain't happy.”
Elizabeth's pensive eyes had also
noticed the mouth of the boy. The
corners of it were drawn slightly
downward, as though, perhaps, he
had been weeping. “That's the way
he looks,” she whispered, “in that
other picture, don’t you remember?
Where he is a man, and is carry-
ing a cross.”
“But he is so still.”
‘“That’s because he is hurt.”
“But ain't he never going to
move ?”
This precipitated Elizabeth back
into a desperate worry. “Oh,
Maryan, get the cologne; quick, get
the cologne water!”
There was not supposed to be any
cologne because when little girls
have cologne they dre liable to put
it on their handkerchiefs. But there
was some, any way-—at the bottom
of the basket, where were heaped
old toys, rags, ribbons and treasures.
Maryan went head first into the
basket, the other part of her rising
correspondingly, When her head
had emerged and the other parthad
resumed its natural position, she
held in her hand a bottle which
had once held extract of vanilla, but
which was now a quarter full of
cologne which Mother had missed
vaguely from her store.
Elizabeth took that bottle; her
lips pinched firmly, she poured it
out on her patient's wound. Then,
she gave a little cry. The head
pillowed upon her lap had stirred.
It was swaying gently from side to
side. It stopped, then slowly rais-
ed itself. Maryan drew back one
sten and remained thus, petrified.
The eyes of the hoy were open; they
(Continued on nage ¢ Col 1.)