A Book Of Short Stories page 61
Bob's Merry Christmas
It was Christmas Eve. All the people were bustling home from their day's work. A small figure could be seen trudging down one of the brightly lighted streets of New York. He paused in front of a toy shop and gave a longing glance at a shiny new sled that lay in the window. "Only five dollars," the tag red but Bob knew that it was far beyond his reach. He turned away and passed on. Finally he came to a dingy looking gray stone house on a long, narrow street. He walked up three flights of stairs and entered a narrow doorway in the garret. In the room were four pieces of furniture, two broken-down cots, a chair, more or less damaged, and a table that stood on three and a half legs. In the chair sat a woman.
"Oh, Bob," said she, "I am so worried. Our funds are low and the landlord raised the rent a dollar."
"That's all right, mother, " replied Bob, "I am sure everything will turn out for the best."
"I hope so and wish I had your spirit, Bob," answered his mother.
After they had eaten their scanty meal they went to bed, if it could be called a bed.
Now it happened that nearby lived a wealthy old gentleman who had taken a great fancy to Bob and his mother. He had often sent his negro servant to watch the actions of the couple. On this very night he had heard Bob's mother's remarks. He reported it to his master, who at once was very busy. He went from store to store buying many things, a Christmas tree, a basket of provisions and the sled Bob had so longingly looked at. That night had Bob and his mother been awake they would have been alarmed to see a dark face appear at the skylight. It was opened by a husky figure who dropped cat-like to the floor carrying many bundles.
Just as the moon was fading and the first pink streaks of dawn were lighting the eastern sky the figure closed the skylight and disappeared. When Bob awoke he thought he was in a dream for the hot breakfast, the sled and Christmas tree seemed all unreal. He reached out cautiously and touched the sled. No it was real! He raised a shout that awoke his mother and then showed her all the splendid things. When he had finished he said between mouthfuls of buttered toast, "Now who said there isn't a Santa Clause, Mother?"
School No. 56