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;TH E: SAN:FRANGISCOfG ALI;; : . SATUB-DAY;.DEG£MBER^IB;-.1909.-^-.TH£ JUMQRcGAL,L _
Santa Claus' Aeroplane
ARTHUR L. PRICE
;^ -|;SHALLi always J,re«ret :f the dls
•. .• I ; coveryV of -" the~~ north "'pole," said
- * I *Mrs.^ Santa rClaus.V'f or tlt .seems
\u25a0 _y =\u25a0 to mean I ; that ybu^ are' to have
no. more .reindeer .toj draw/ your-slelgh,
my. dear.". \u25a0•;.; ;,>"4' . . .;. v • .
.- "Sleighs, niy-y good wife,", said Santa
Clause-knocking", the "ashes .^ from his
great German. pipe,- "slelgh*s : are out of
fashion -.now."/' Vy '\u25a0\u25a0'> ~ .-;*•.\u25a0 \u25a0 \u25a0
. "But"-- really; \Santy,"; ; .demanded the
great "benefactor's ilwife,- looking .sud
denly^, up from,-, the -i little ; doll
dresses she ' was^ smoothing c .out. pre
paratory to putting Itheny in ; her hus
band's ample pack,'*; "really, ;_my dear,'
you "are not .""g6in'gXt6 v try! to go over
the* snow.-; and*-;* ice"? in \- an. ; automobile
this .-year?',' >Tou; know •that'' last year
a • policeman' lnKVaricouyer; wanted to
stop you: for exceeding.the speed limit,
and when'you'gotto' Mount* Shasta the
snow was so'deep'that you were nearly
blockaded."- .'„- : \ \u25a0 .
: -Santa Claus \u25a0 arose ffom his great
armchair by the fire. and, bent down to
reach for his great boots. He did not
speak, for several - minutes, as' Santy
is a stout ; man, as every. r one > knows
who has interested himself. In the^life
of the finest man in the .world, and it
is not so easy for a stout man to draw
on his - heavy red top ' boots as it -is
for; a "small -boy to slip into his shoes
on a coid : morning. He drew on one
boot and then'stobd .up and stamped
his foot well into it-^Then he drew on
the other and. turned around several
times to see that they were comfort
able/;; ":..'.. 7. ".. ' \u25a0 ..'^.W/ .
"I shan't use my automobile this
year," he said with; his jolly- twinkle.
. "And there is -not~a reindeer in the
corral?"- . • ... >.
"No,- my dear; but what , of that?
It is true that when the deersaw Doc
tor Cook and Lieutenant; Peary com
ing up .toward the pole arm In arm
they . all rah away from us, heart
broken because they thought that their
master's domain was • being captured
by' other men, but I think, ; thanks to
the S Wright brothers," that I can da
nicely .this year without the- reindeei
on ,an automobile." '.. \u25a0 .
"The Wright brothers?" she asked
asif she had never heard <Jf them. >
: "Tea; Mr. Wilbur and Mr. ]\u25a0 Orville
Wright have come to my aid! this year
in ; the most splendid way. 'They have
sent me an aeroplane in. which : I can
deliver my presents to all the children
in, the land. in the fastest : time ; l have
ever made." -- . "
"What ' is an aeroplane?" asked' the
hard "working wife. .
"An aeroplane," replied : Santa - Claus,
"is.; a machine invented for the Especial
benefit of me— Santa Claus. .:•• It is^the
only* machine, . with which/ I /can "• go
from housetop to housetop, from chim
ney top to chimrieytop,*; without getting
down on i the ; ground. The v reindeer
were kind and '\u25a0 gentle and .fleet and
Vcr so willing to draw, me fall around
the world from Bethlehem' to; Berkeley,
but- they, could not always Jump from
housetop* \'o_, housetop.?- My ; bicycle car
'ri^d \u25a0 me/ swiftly^ but I had to work- it
hard X*'•"»• \u25a0 •-.•*-' \u25a0* • fe -'- •" '," \u25a0'''\u25a0''•: -\u25a0
there- Is v the motorcycle, ln
terrupted'hls.wife. J* v --V \u25a0. \u25a0*; .-.'
"Yes, but I have only* the one .motor
cycle this": year, r "and I have 'promised
that ; to Willie .who lives in -the^ Rich
mond district, 'San "Francisco, - and ;I
could not/fail him/ this year because
he: wrote* me that he -needed t it^ for
Christmas." morning, as he .was going
to have : his Christmas- dinner., out . of
the city . and . he" "depended - upon the
wheel 1 to -take h'im-to : the: place.". - \ -
"Of course you could- not; disappoint
Willie, my dear,"- said Mrsr Santa. Claus,
;.'but tell me* more about the aero
plane." . /\u25a0\u25a0•" "''."•\u25a0 . .•
•'How did y° u hear^ about itr /
-"The north pole explorers -told me,"
replied Santy with a laugh. ''When at
sight of . Doctor ; Cole and /Lieutenant
Peary all my reindeer fled I asked them
what I could : do to get \ around to the
houses of all my little friends and Mr.
Peary told me I had better write to the
Wright brothers;and they would Qt me
out with /Just /what /I. needed. So I
wrote; The machine .arrived last night.
Come, wife.lwe will look at it together.".
" Santa Claus 'gave ,his arm to. his wife
and together.* the dear ".old", couple went
to see this" new .machine.', -At that time.'
it was on the morntngof Christmas eve,
Santa Claus* house was" packed "full [l ot
toys and dolls and other, presents for
boys and girls.: There^were sleds" and
snowshoes and skates ; for „ the chil
dren.: who i live up. in ; the High' Sierra;
there were sunshades and bathing suits
and ! canoes for ; those, who livejn I San
Diego : or Los 'Angeles, and ; thousands of
roller. coasters,^ tennis rackets,.- baseball
mits, footballs and roller skates for'the
boys and girls of : San- Francisco, who
live- out of doors • all the year around
and "who receive ; the presents which
make them the hardiest and; healthiest
children" In i the .whole world. :. Between
great piles of 'goods.in- the-ware
house- Santy ; and .Mrs. Claus^ picked
their way cautiously,. for. many of Uhe
presents were 'fragile and would break
if rudely touched.^ '.'\u25a0\u25a0:• a : . \u25a0 . \
"I. would feel like a brute,'^ said Santa
Claus, ."if I delivered a smgl6' present
that iwasrnot; perfect., -If thelchiWren
want to play- with smashed toys on New
\u25a0Year's. 'day they can .'doj: the; smashing
themselves.":- . : : •
" "Nothing^ shall leaved our hands but
will be" whole,", replied his good wife.
•"They passed:; the .candy; kitchen and
Santa Claus could not" resist, taking, a
great handful of molasses kiases," for. all
fat men i; like candy— -that is the reason
they are fat. ; .. -
- Beyond the candy kitchen was a
large gymnasium, where all: the boxing"
gloves, ... Indian ' ! clubs, -' dumbbells " and
horizontal^ bars 'were^tested by Santa
Claus' -gnomes 'before! they, were \u25a0 sent
out to the 'playrooms of world. -.ln
the center.of. this big -"gym". Mrs.. Santa'
Claus saw a wonderful machine. There
was a frame of light woodwork,. tightly
bound; and braced by "taut piano wires
which vwouldrslrig at .the Itouch." The
frame was in the shape of a long oblong
box without 'any rsides; nor^ends. i; It was
about 35'feet;long;.and "at the end was
six "feet-square. lOver the top of" the
upper .frame rand, the upper side of the
lower> frame\,were:. stretched plane or
nearly > flat '< surfaces of: white cloth.
Sticking out -in front and behind were
\u25a0 box-like *?.- frames ." covered _ with cloth.
Dlrectly-in the_center of the framework
was a bright engine, and behind it. and
connected with it by a shaft, was a long
blade of wood,' the : propeller blade.
. ••There . is my,' aeroplane," said Santa
Claus -proudly. -.. -'~ -
1 ; He gave a whistle and Immediately
340. little men ran to him from all sides
of th<j" room. , .' \u25a0 .
Santa Claus raised hia hand and com
manded silence. " \u25a0 '
-, my good little men," he said
to the. gnomes and^ dwarfs, . "now it is
Chrißtmas;eve again.. You have labored
,well'for',me v all yearaod yourtask Is
about" to end. .All that. now^reraains to
be done is to load up my, aeroplane. /Do
that and then you ican'have your holi
day.;;- Tomorrow you can all celebrate.
I have ordered -for.each of you a yellow
bowl", full \\of-f cranberry sauce, four
mince pies, two pumpkin pies, red and
green' ice "cream, mashed potatoes— " =
- "And 3 nothing else, - sir?" ; asked . the
'smallest gnome, tears coming \u25a0 Into his
eyes.- -"" \u25a0 : '.V ': .• /,...- : -
Santa Claus laughed and laughed for
' five minutes. His big sides rolled with
. When he could catch his breath again
he said: "Yes. something else for you.
To each one I will give a turkey with
four drumsticks." • ' \~ .
pect of the feast. they were to have.
, .The little men set to - work with a
will and within a" very few minutes
they had piled all-;- the toys in the
world . on the planes of Santa Claus'
flying machine. :
-. "They ' say that flying machines can
not -/carry / freight/* murmured r Santa
Claus as ho bent over his engines and
tinkered them up to their fullest-power.
"I'll show^ them." : J -'-\u25a0.\u25a0
"We are all loaded now, sir," said the
littlest . gnome, sa.l v ting ; Santa . Claua.
-- "'All'right.then.-my^Doyß, Til b« home
early in the to sit at table
witli. % , and \u25a0 to have some of tho
turkey with the" four drum sticks."
lie. .wheeled' the flying machine out
into the snow .. that surrounded his
north pole home. He turned the crank
ot the engine and the propeller started
to spin. J "-.'
\u25a0 ' "Now I. am ready," said Santa Claus,
"but. where is mywifeT*
. . "Walt, J. husband/ wait," called the
good lady from 'the- door of the work
shop. . "you - have forgotten the beat
present you": "have," and Mrs. Santa
Clause came running but, trundling the
motor 'cycle, the* present for Willie of
the- Richmond district. - - • • « • ••"-" -• • • •'
."Goodness!" cried Santa, "I "nearly
"for rot. that.' and Willie la the beat boy
I * knoir.", T : He .'kissed hia wife .as the
snomea -lifted the- motorcycle to the
top of th« load. \. » j ?-,*>. "VA. Vi - - *
- \u25a0•-. The propeller blades spun again and
Santa Claus. soared .off.. \u25a0*-' ».' -'\u25a0\u25a0'.':'
'• : . It was a* splendid alght to *4ft £aata
Clause flyinj down from the north liko
', a. sreat white bird hi gh up, Jn the^ sky.
He passed r over Dawson ,'; City In "the
Klondike, .where the miners work In the
. Ice 'and snow getting / out :~ gotdi '\ ho
passed orer the black coal mines ot
British ' Columbia and . the : Immense for- •
"esta.of Chriatmaa treea of Washington
and -Oregon. At every house he stopped
.and left hia gifts. Jamming; eyery stock
ins with candy, nuts,* oranges, trumpets
and dates. "• .-'•_v«S^fS^S4?^^'*-"- ." •\u25a0 . :
;\; It:waa just midnight by. the ferry
building dock when . he".* crossed A , the
bay and entered over. San Fraincisco/
. Few Jcnew , that ' he waa here, because .
•crown up people can not se« "Santa
Claus,: no.- matter how hard they* look.
Only good : hearted children can - know
this generous -man! -.'Far' up over, .the
'tops of the great office buildings Santa
Claua guided his aeroplane. - ".' .
-**I will ' go out to Willies house In
the Richmond district. first." sald.Santa
"to himself, and he palled a" lever.. which
made his machine tilt toward the. right
and ' turned up . over California : street.
"I shall leave, the motorcycle with, the
boy and then I'll distribute my pres
ents out in Western addition, then, In
the Mission, and then around the hotel
district. .But Willie must \u25a0 haye v his
motorcycle — whoa. Donder iind *-. Blit
zeni what is this?" Somethings seemed
to be . happening to hia machine } and
Santa Claus in his excitement Involun
tarily called out -the names of his two
most famous reindeer.
The engine of the aeroplane began
to whimper and to cough as if. it
needed to have Its chest rubbed well
with goose grease. Slowly it sank to
the roof of a house. "I'll be eaten by
a Teddy bear!" exclaimed Santa "Claus.
The aeroplane J had alighted on the
flat roof of a large apartment house.
"I presume I am stuck." exclaimed the
old gentleman, "but. since I am here I
might as well attend to. the children
in this house. My stars. Willie liveu
here! It is lucky for me that he does,
for I must get his motorcycle to him."
The wheel was unstrapped from the
pack on the aeroplane and Santa Claus.
for all his fatness, slipped down the
gas stove .flue with the preaent , ; for
"Willie. Gently he deposited tne machine
and slipped back on to the roof. "Now
-111-h ave to j tinker up thla bird of
mine." he murmured, "or not a child
can ecrte t another present. The old saint
set to work, but he could not find what
was wrong:. . ;
. "I am afraid," he said, "it Is all over
with Christmas." Real tears fell from
hia eyes.' "How can I ever hold' up'my
head again,", he sobbed. "Nearly • all
the children of San Francisco are to be
disappointed. For the first thne In my
life I have failed in -my trust It Is all
because I relied on a modern | inven
tion. If only, there . was some one
around -who understood engines — but
grownups can not see me, and children
are too young. Hello, who's there T
"It, Is I, Willie," said a boy's vote*.
**I heard you on the roof and came up
to see what. was the matter."
"My aeroplane haa broken down and
I can't fix it. Willie. Did you ever hear
of suclua plight?"
* ."I'll look at it." . volunteered the boy.
"Why." he exclaimed, "all you need ia
a: plug— now,'- If I only knew where a
motorcycle . engine was — **
"Have you looked *nder your Christ
mas tree. yet?" asked Santa Claua with
a sly wink through his teary eyea.^
. "Oh. joy," cried the boy, and he "ran
from the , roof ' down the stairway Jnto
the house. A moment later he returned
bent over the machine and then said
to Santy, "There you are; crank her op
and off you go." v
"But you have crippled your own
engine, my good boy. You will be dis
appointed in your trip today."
* **It " la better that" I be disappointed
than that all the other children in the
world should be." declared the boy
handsomelyV"But I can get my motor
• "Next year I'll ' bring you an aero
pane of your own," Santa Claus prom
ised as he flew away again, high up
- ."Gee,. lt's. lucky I sot up early," said