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The Princeton union. [volume] (Princeton, Minn.) 1876-1976, January 05, 1905, Image 7

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016758/1905-01-05/ed-1/seq-7/

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Chapter eighteenth
aailiBff''
,a
5fe Life and Adventures
of Santa Cl&us
By L. FRANK BAU M,
Author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," "The Master Key." "Father Goose"
Copyright. 1902. by the Bowen-Merrill Company
Be* the first Stochings JOttc Bung \y thetough
Chimney
^yWHEN you remember that no
\\J, child, until Santa Claus began
his travels, had ever known
the pleasure of possessing a toy, you
will understand how joy crept into the
homes of those who had been favored
with a visit from the good man and
Bow they talked of him day by day In
loving tones and were honestly grate
ful for his kindly deeds. It is true
that great warriors and mighty kings
and clever scholars of that day were
often spoken of by the people, but no
one of them was so greatly beloved as
Santa Claus, because none other was
so unselfish as to devote himself to
making others happy for a generous
deed lives longer than a great battle
or a king's decree or a scholar's essay,
because it spreads and leaves its mark
on all nature and endures through
many generations.
The bargain made with the Knook
Prince changed the plans of Claus for
all future time, for. being able to use
the reindeer on but one night of each
year, he decided to devote all the oth
er days to the manufacture of play
things and on Christmas Eve to carry
them to the children of the world.
But a year's work would, he knew,
result in a vast accumulation of toys.
so he resolved to build a new sledge
that would be larger and stronger and
better fitted for swift travel than the
old and clumsy one.
His first act was to visit the Gnome
King, with whom he made a bargain
to exchange three drums, a trumpet
and two dolls for a pair of fine steel
runners, curled beautifully at the ends
for the Gnome King had children of
his own, who, living in the hollows un
der the earth, in mines and caverns,
needed something to amuse them.
In three days the steel runners were
ready, and when Claus brought the
playthings to the Gnome King his
majesty was so greatly pleased with
them that he presented Claus with a
string of sweet toned sleighbells in
addition to the runners.
"These will please Glossie and Flos-
sie," said Claus as he jingled the bells
and listened to their merry sound.
"But I should have two strings of
bells, one for each deer."
"Bring me another trumpet and a
toy," replied the King, "and you shall
have a second string of bells like the
first."
"It is a bargain!" cried Claus, and
he went home again for the toys.
The new sledge was carefully built,
the Knooks bringing plenty of strong
but thin boards to use in its construc
tion. Claus made a high, rounding
dashboard, to keep off the snow cast
behind by the fleet hoofs of the deer,
and he made high sides to the plat
form so that many toys could be car
ried, and finally he mounted the sledge
upon the slender steel runners made
by the Gnome King.
It was certainly a handsome sledge,
and big and roomy. Claus painted it
in bright colors, although no one was
likely to see it during his midnight
journeys, and when all was finished he
sent for Glossie and Flossie to come
and look at it.
The deer admired the sledge, but
gravely declared it was too big and
heavy for them to draw.
"We might pull it over the snow, to
be sure," said Glossie, "but we could
not pull it fast enough to enable us to
visit the faraway cities and villages
and return to the Forest by daybreak."
"Then I must add two more deer to
my team," declared Claus after a mo
ment's thought.
"The Knook Prince allowed you as
many as ten. Why not use them all?"
asked Flossie. "Then we could speed
like the lightning and leap to the high
est roofs with ease."
"A team of ten reindeer!" cried
Claus delightedly. "That will be
splendid. Please return to the Forest
at once and select eight other deer as
like yourselves as possible. And you
must all eat of the casa plant to be
come strong and of the grawle plant
to become fleet of foot and of the
marbon plant that you may live long
to accompany me on my journeys.
Likewise it will be well for you to
bathe in the Pool of Nares, which the
lovely Queen Zurline declares will ren
der you rarely beautiful. Should you
perform these duties faithfully there is
no doubt that on next Christmas Eve
my ten reindeer will be the most pow
erful and beautiful steeds the world
has ever seen!"
So Glossie and Flossie went to the
Forest to choose their mates, and
Claus began to consider the question
of a harness for them all.
In the end he called upon Peter
Knook for assistance, for Peter's
heart is as kind as his body Is crooked,
and, be Is remarkably shrewd as well.
And "Peter agreed to furnish strips of
leather for the harness.
This leather was cut from the skins
of lions that had reached such an ad
vanced age that' they died naturally,
and on one side was tawny hair, while
the other side was cured to the soft
ness of velvet by the deft Knooks.
When Claus received these strips of
leather he sewed them neatly into a
harness for the ten reindeer, and it
proved strong and serviceable and
lasted him for many years.
The harness and sledge were pre
pared at odd times, for Claus devoted
most of his days to the making of
toys. These were now much better
than his first ones had been, for the
immortals often came to his house to
watch him work and to offer sugges
tions. It was Necile's idea to make
some of the dolls say "papa" and
"mamma." It was a thought of the
Knooks to put a squeak inside the
lambs, so that when a child squeezed
them they would say "baa-a-a-a!" And
the Fairy Queen advised Claus to put
whistles in the birds, so they could be
made to sing, and wheels on the horses
so children could draw them around.
Many animals perished in the Forest,
from one cause or another, and their
fur was brought to Claus that he
might cover with it the small images
of beasts he made for playthings. A
merry Ryl suggested that Claus make
a donkey with a nodding head, which
he did and afterward found that it
amused the little ones immensely. And
BO the toys gww in beauty and attrac
tiveness every day until they were
the wonder of even the immortals.
When another Christmas Eve drew
near there was a monster load of beau
tiful gifts for children ready to be
loaded upon the big sledge. Claus fill
ed three sacks to the brim and tucked
every corner of the sledge box full of
toys besides.
Then, at twilight, the ten reindeer
appeared, and Flossie introduced them
all to Claus. They were Racer and
Pacer, Reckless and Speckless, Fear
less and Peerless and Ready and
Steady, who, with Glossie and Flossie,
made up the ten who have traversed
the world these hundreds of years
with their generous master. They
were all exceedingly beautiful, with
slender limbs, spreading antlers, vel
vety dark eyes and smooth coats of
fawn cok spotted with white.
Claus loved them at once and has
loved them ever since, for they are
loyal friends and have rendered him
priceless service.
The new harness fitted them nicely,
and soon they were all fastened to the
sledge by twos, with Glossie and Flos
sie in the lead. These wore the strings
of sleighbells and were so delighted
with the music they made that they
kept prancing up and down to make
the bells ring.
Claus now seated himself in the
sledge, drew a warm robe over his
knees and his fur cap over his ears
and cracked his long whip as a signal
to start.
Instantly the ten leaped forward
and were away like the wind, while
jolly Claus laughed gleefully to see
them run and shouted a song in his
big, hearty voice:
"With a ho, ho, ho!
And a ha, ha, ha!
And a ho, ho, ha, ha, he!
Now away we go
O'er the frozen snow,
As merry as we can be!
"There are many joys
In our load of toys,
As many a child will know
We'll scatter them wide
On our wild night ride
O'er the crisp and sparkling snow!"
Now it was on this same Christmas
Eve that little Margot and her brother
Dick and her cousins Ned and Sara,
who were visiting at Margot's house,
came in from making a snow man,
with their clothes damp, their mittens
dripping and their shoes and stock
ings wet through and through. They
were not scolded, for Margot's mother
knew the snow was melting, but they
were sent early to bed that their
clothes might be hung over chairs to
dry. The shoes were placed on the
red tiles of the hearth, where the heat
from the hot embers would strike
them, and the stockings were careful
ly hung in a row by the chimney, di
rectly over the fireplace.
That was the reason Santa Claus
noticed them when he came down the
chimney that night and all the house
hold were fast asleep. He was in a
tremendous hurry, and seeing the
stockings all belonged to children he
quickly stuffed his toys into them and
dashed up the chimney again, ap
pearing on the roof so suddenly that
the reindeer were astonished at his
agility.
"I wish they would all hang up their
stoekings," he thought as he drove to
the next chimney. "It would save me
a 16t of time, and I could then visit
more children before daybreak."
When Margot and Dick and Ned and
Sara jumped out of bed next morning
and ran downstairs to get their stock
ings from the fireplace they were filled
with delight to find the toys from
Santa Claus inside them. In fact, I
think they found more presents in
their stockings than any other chil
dren of that city had received, for
Santa Claus was in a hurry and did
not stop to count the toys.
THE PRINCETON XtNIOK? THTJBSDAT, JANTJABY 5?1905.
er
Of course they told all their little
friends about it, and of course every
one of them decided to hang his own
stockings by the fireplace the next
Christmas Eve. Even Bessie Blithe
some, who made a visit to that city
with her father, the great Lord of
Lerd, heard the story from the chil
dren and hung her own pretty stock
ings by the chimney when she re
turned home at Christmas time.
On his next trip Santa Claus found
so many stockings hung up in antici
pation of his visit that he could fill
them in a jiffy and be away again in
half the time required to hunt the
children up and place the toys by
their bedsides.
The custom grew year after year
and has always been a great help to
Santa Claus. And, with so many chil
dren to visit, he surely needs all the
help we are able to give him.
Cbe mantle of immortality
Chapter Nineteenth w.
Che first Christmas Cm
CLAUSohasealways
f!SiyyE&J&S.ft
kept his prom
ise th Knooks by returning
to the Laughing Valley by day
break, but only the swiftness of his
reindeer has enabled him to do this.
for he travels over all the world.
He loved bis work and he loved the
brisk night ride on his sledge and the
gay tinkle of the sleighbells. On that
first trip with the ten reindeer only
Glossie and Flossie wore bells, but
each year thereafter for eight years
Claus carried presents to the children
of the Gnome King, and that good
natured monarch gave him in return a
string of bells at each visit, so that
finally every one of the ten deer was
supplied, and you may imagine what a
merry tune the bells played as the
sledge sped over the snow.
The children's stockings were so long
that it required a great many toys to
fill them, and soon Claus found there
were other things besides toys that
children love. So he sent some of the
Fairies, who were always his good
friends, into the Tropics, from whence
they returned with great bags full of
oranges and bananas which they had
plucked from the trees, and other
Fairies flew to the wonderful Valley
of Phunnyland, where delicious candies
and bonbons grow thickly on the
bushes, and returned laden with many
boxes of sweetmeats for the little ones.
These things Santa Claus on each
Christmas Eve placed in the long
stockings, together with his toys, and
the children were glad to get them,
you may be sure.
There are also warm countries where
there is no snow in winter, but Claus
and his reindeer visited them as well
as the colder climes, for there were
little wheels inside the runners of his
sledge which permitted it to run as
smoothly over bare ground as on the
snow, and the children who lived in
the warm countries learned to know
the name of Santa Claus as well as
those who lived nearer to the Laugh
ing Valley.
Once, just as the reindeer were ready
to start on their yearly trip, a Fairy
came to Claus and told him of three
little children who lived beneath a rude
tent of skins on a broad plain where
there were no trees whatever. These
mmmimmmmmiUuam MMiaiiiiiiiBBii
poor babies were miserable and un
happy, for their parents were ignorant
people who neglected them sadly.
Claus resolved to visit these chTldren
before he returned home, and during
his ride he picked up the bushy top
of a pine tree which the wind had
broken off and placed it in his sledge.
It was nearly morning when the deer
stopped before the lonely tent of skins
where the poor children lay asleep.
Claus at once planted the bit of pine
tree in the sand and stuck many can
dles on the branches. Then he hung
some of his prettiest toys on the tree,
as well as several bags of candies. It
did not take long to do all this, for
Santa Claus works quickly, and when
all was ready he lighted the candles,
and, thrusting his head in at the open
ing of the tent, he shouted:
"Merry Christmas, little ones!"
With that he leaped into his sledge
and was out of sight before the chil
dren, rubbing the sleep from their eyes,
could come out to see who had called
them.
You can imagine the wonder and joy
of those little ones, who had never in
their lives known a real pleasure be
fore, when they saw the tree, sparkling
with lights that shone brilliant in the
gray dawn and hung with toys enough
to make them happy for years to come!
They joined hands and danced around
the tree, shouting and laughing, until
they were obliged to pause for breath.
And their parents also came out to
look and wonder, and thereafter had
more respect and consideration for
their children, since Santa Claus had
honored them with such beautiful
gifts.
The idea of the Christmas tree pleas
ed Claus, and so the following year he
carried many of them in his sledge
and set them up in the homes of poor
people who seldom saw trees and plac
ed candles and toys on the branches.
Of- course he could not carry enough
trees in one load for all who wanted
them, but in some homes the fathers
were able to get trees and have them
all ready for Santa Claus when he ar
rived, and these the good Claus always
decorated as prettily as possible and
hung with toys enough for all the
children who came to see the tree
lighted.
These novel ideas and the generous
manner in which they were carried
out made the children long for that
one night in the year when their
friend Santa Claus slkmld visit them,
and as such anticipation is very pleas
ant and comforting the little ones
gleaned much happiness by wondering
what would happen when Santa Claus
next arrived.
Perhaps you remember that stern
Baron Braun who once drove Claus
from his castle and forbade him to
visit his children? Well, many years
afterward, when the old Baron was
dead and his son ruled in his place, the
new Baron Braun came to the house
of Claus with his train of knights and
pages and henchmen and, dismounting
from his charger, bared his head hum
bly before the friend of children.
"My father did not know your good
ness and worth," he said, "and there
fore threatened to hang you from the
castle walls, but I have children of my
own, who long for a visit from Santa
Claus, and I have come to beg that
you will favor them hereafter as you
do other children."
Claus was pleased with this speech,
for Castle Braun was the only place
he had never visited, and he gladly
promised to bring presents to the
Baron's children the next Christmas
Eve.
The Baron went away contented,
and Claus kept his promise faithfully.
Thus did this man, through very
goodness, conquer 'the hearts of all,
and it is no wonder he was ever merry
and gay, for there was no home in the
wide world where he was not wel
comed more royally than any king.
^pi^^^^p^^S5
Chapter Twentieth
Che Wantte of Immortality
*e
ND now we come to a turning
point in the career of Santa
Claus, and it is my duty to re
late the most remarkable circumstance
that has happened since the world be
gan or mankind was created.
We have followed the life of Claus
from the time he was found a helpless
infant by the Wood Nymph Necile
and reared to manhood in the great
Forest of Burzee, and we know how
he began to make toys for children and
how, with the assistance and good will
of the immortals, he was able to dis
tribute them to the little ones through
out the world.
For many years he carried on this
noble work, for the simple, hardwork
ing life he led gave him perfect health
and strength. And doubtless a man
can live longer in the beautiful Laugh
ing Valley, where there are no cares
and everything is peaceful and merry,
than in any other part of the world.
But when many years had rolled
away Santa Claus grew old. The
long beard of golden brown that once
covered his cheeks and chin gradually
became gray and finally turned to pure
white. His hair was white, too, and
there were wrinkles at the corners of
his eyes, which showed plainly when
he laughed. He had never been a very
tall man, and now he became fat and
waddled very much like a duck when
he walked. But in spite of these
things he remained as lively as ever
and was just as jolly and gay, and his
kind eyes sparkled as brightly as they
did that first day when he came to the
Laughing Valley.
Yet a time is sure to come when
every mortal who has grown old and
lived his life is required to leave this
world for another, so it is no wonder
that, after Santa Claus had driven his
reindeer on many and many a Christ
mas Eve, those stanch friends finally
whispered among themselves that they
had probably drawn his sledge for the
last time.
Then all the Forest of Burzee be
came sad, and all the Laughing Valley
was hushed, for every living thing that
had known Claus had used to loved
him and to brighten at the sound of
his footsteps or the notes of his merry
whistle.
No doubt the old man's strength was
at last exhausted, for he made no more
toys, but lay on his bed as in a dream.
The Nymph Necile, she who had
reared him and been his foster mother,
was still youthful and strong and
beautiful, and it seemed to her but a
short time since this aged, gray beard
ed man had lain in her arms and smil
ed on her with his innocent baby lips.
In this is shown' the difference be
tween mortals and immortals.
It was fortunate that the great Ak
came to the Forest at that time. Necile
sought him with troubled eyes and
told him of the fate that threatened
their friend Claus.
At once the Master became grave,
and he leaned upon his ax and stroked
his grizzled beard thoughtfully for
many minutes. Then suddenly he stood
up straight and poised his powerful
head with firm resolve' and stretched
out his great right arm as if determin
ed on doing some mighty deed, for a
thought had come to him so grand in
its conception that all the world might
well bow before the Master Woods
man and honor his name forever!
It is well known that when the great
Ak once undertakes to do a thing he
never hesitates an instant. Now he
summoned his fleetest messengers and
sent them in a flash to many parts of
the earth. And when they were gone
he turned to the anxious Necile and
comforted her, saying:
"Be of good heart, my child our
friend still lives. And now run to
your Queen and tell her that I have
summoned a council of all the immor
tals of the world to meet with me
here in Burzee this night. If they
obey and harken unto my words, Claus
will drive his reindeer for countless
ages yet to come."
At midnight there was a wondrous
scene in the ancient Forest of Bur
zee, where for the first time in many
centuries the rulers of the immortals
who inhabit the earth were gathered
together.
There was the Queen of the Water
Sprites, whose beautiful form was as
clear as crystal, but continually drip
ped water on the bank of moss where
she sat. And beside her was the King
of the Sleep Fays, who carried a wand
from the end of which a fine dust fell
all around, so that no mortal could
keep awake long enough to see him,
as mortal eyes were sure to close in
sleep as soon as the dust filled them.
And next to him sat the Gnome King,
whose people inhabit all that region
under the earth's surface, where they
guard the precious metals and the
jewel stones that lie buried in rock and
ore. At his right hand stood the King
of the Sound Imps, who had wings on
his feet, for his people are swift to
carry all sounds that are made. When
they are busy they carry the sounds
but short distances, for there are many
of them, but sometimes they speed
with the sounds to places miles and
miles away from w\iere they are made,
The King of the Sound Imps had an
anxious and careworn face, for most
people have no consideration for his
Imps, and especially the boys and
girls make a great many unnecessary
sounds which the Imps are obliged to
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carry'when they m~ighTT em
ployed.
The next in the circle of immortals
was the King of the Wind Demons,
slender of frame, restless and uneasy
at being confined to one place for even,
an hour. Once in awhile he would
leave his place and circle around the
glade, and each time he did this the
Fairy Queen was obliged to untangle
the flowing locks of her golden hair
and tuck them back of her pink ears.
But she did not complain, for it was
not often that the King of the Wind
Demons came into the heart of the
Forest. After the Fairy Queen, whose
home you know was in old Burzee,
came the King of the Light Elves, with
his two Princes, Flash and Twilight,
at his back. He never went anywhere
without his Princes, for they were so
mischievous that he dared not let them
wander alone.
Prince Flash bore a lightning bolt in
his right hand and a horn of gunpow
der in his left, and his bright eyes
roved constantly around as if he long
ed to use his blinding flashes. Prince
Twilight held a great snuffer in one
hand and a big black cloak in the
other, and it is well known that unless
Twilight is carefully watched the
snuffers or the cloak will throw every
thing into darkness, and Darkness is
the greatest enemy the King of the
Light Elves has.
In addition to the immortals I have
named were the King of the Knooks,
who had come from his home in the
jungles of India, and the King of the
Ryls, who lived among the gay flow
ers and luscious fruits of Valencia.
Sweet Queen Zurline of the Wood
Nymphs completed the circle of im
mortals.
But in the center of the circle sat
three others who possessed powers so
great that all the Kings and Queens
showed them reverence.
These were Ak, the Master Woods
man of the World, who rules the for
ests and the orchards and the groves
and Kern, the Master Husbandman of
the World, who rules the grain fields
and the meadows and the gardens
and Bo, the Master Mariner of the
WdVld, who rules the seas and all the
craft that float thereon. And all other
immortals are more or less subject to
these three.
When all had assembled the Master
Woodsman of the World stood up to
address them, since he himself had
summoned them to the council.
Very clearly he told them the story
of Claus, beginning at the time when
as a babe he had been adopted a child
of the Forest and telling of his noble
and generous nature and his lifelong
labors to make children happ?.
"And now," said Ak. "when he has
won the love of all the world, the
Spirit of Death is hovering over him.
Of all men who have inhabited the
earth none other so well deserves im
mortality, for such a life cannot be
spared so long as there are children
of mankind to miss him and to grieve
over his loss. We immortals are the
servants of the world, and to serve
the world we were permitted in the
Beginning to exist. But what one of
us is more worthy of immortality than
this man Claus, who so sweetly min
isters to the little children?"
He paused and glanced around the
circle to find every immortal listening
to him eagerly and nodding approval.
Finally the King of the Wind Demons,
who had been whistling softly to him
self, cried out:
"What is your desire. O Ak?"
"To bestow upon Claus the Mantle
of Immortality!" said Ak boldly.
That this demand was wholly unex
pected was proved by the immortals
springing to their feet and looking into
each other's face with dismay and then
upon Ak with wonder. For it was a
grave matter, this parting with the
Mantle of Immortality.
The Queen of the Water Sprites
spoke In her low, clear voice, and the
words sounded like raindrops splash
ing upon a window pane.
"In all the world there is but one
Mantle of Immortality," she said.
The King of the Sound Fays added:
"It has existed since the Beginning
and no mortal has ever dared to claim
it."
And the Master Mariner of the World
arose and stretched his limbs, say
ing:
"Only by the vote of every immor
tal can it be bestowed upon a mor-
tal."
*'I know all this," answered Ak quiet
ly. "But the Mantle exists, and if it
was created, as you say, in the Be
ginning, it was because the Supreme
Master knew that some day it would
be required. Until now no mortal has
deserved it, but who among you dares
deny that the good Claus deserves it?
Will you not all vote to bestow it upon
him?"
They were silent, still looking upon
one another questioningly.
"Of what use is the Mantle of Im
mortality unless it is worn?" demand
ed Ak. "What will it profit any one
of us to allow it to remain in its lone
ly shrine for all time to come?"
"Enough!" cried the Gnome King
abruptly. "We will vote on the mat
ter, yes or no. For my part, I say
yes!"
"And I!" said the Fairy Queen
promptly, and Ak rewarded her with
a smile.
"My people in Burzee tell me they
have learned to love him, therefore
I vote to give Claus the Mantle," said
the King of the Ryls.
"He is already a comrade of the
Knooks," announced the ancient King
of that band. "Let him have immor
tality!"
"Let him have itlet him have it!",
sighed the King of the Wind Demons.
"Why not?" asked the King of the?.
Sleep Fays. "He never disturbs the,
slumbers my people allow humanity.
Let the good Claus be immortal!"
"I do not object," said the King otfU.
the Sound Imps.
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