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The Worthington advance. (Worthington, Minn.) 1874-1908, December 24, 1891, Image 4

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025620/1891-12-24/ed-1/seq-4/

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a id a a
(rood night!
Shut little eye­
id a a
A is as
will soon be here.
Then up, up, up in the merry day,
With hearts and faces happy and gay.
And voices of ringing cheer."
"I meant to try if I couldn't keep
My eyes from shutting and going to sleep,
So as to get a little peep
At Santa Claus, flying, flying
Out in the frosty Christmas night.
When the moon and stars were shining bright,
And all the snow was white, white, white.
They said it was no use trying,
For straight the boys and girls all go
To the land of dreams before they know.
"But it was making a great mistake
To say that I couldn't stay awake.
How long it was I never could tell
'Twas hours and hours, I know very well,
When I heard a silvery, tinkling bell
Out in the moonlight stealing.
On it came—a ting-a-ling-ling,
And jingely, jingely. jingely, jing—
You never heard such a ring, rim ring
Of dear little sleigh-bells pealing.
"I held my breath, for at once I knew
'Twas Santa.Claus and his reindeer too.
Of course it would never, never do
To let them know 1 was weeping—
He might have carried the books and toys
To some other little girls and boys,
If 1 had made a speck of a noise
And he thought I wasn't sleeping.
"Ting a ling, ling, and ring a ring, ring
How it kept on sounding!
I surely heard the crack of the whip
And the queer little reindeers bounding.
Then—there was a noise about the bouse,
A stepping, stirring and humming.
I held myself as st'll as a mouse
Somebody, sure, was coming.
'Up, up, up for the merry day,
Christmas night has passed away.
Up. my little ones, all'—
The bells were ringing and ringing on—
But all the night and the dark was gone.
And mamma's own cheery call
Came along with the other din
Just as the sun was shining in.
—Sydney Dayre, in Christian Union.
or a is
trade as carpen­
ter in the same
village, near the
Hudson river, where he was born. His
little cottage with the tall lilacs in
front, and the kitchen garden in the
rear, was a very dear place to him. Ilis
pleasant-faced, sunny-hearted wife kept
the home always .bright and tidy, and
the three rosy children filled it with
glee and laughter. Margaret, the old­
est, was a sweet, loving girl Dick was
a sturdy, manly little fellow, and Rob­
bie was the darling of the house.
Mr. Oakley was a skillful mechanic
and an industrious, God-fearing man
but times were dull for him in Smith
ville Center. There was little going on
in the way of new building, and he
often had to be absent from home £or
weeks together, while employed at some
remote place.
After many earnest talks with his
wife they decided to remove to the west,
where new villages and cities were rap­
idly growing up. So they found a pur­
chaser for the little cottage, and had an
auction sale of the cow and horse and
all the furniture except some heir­
looms and a few articles which they
would not part with. Then, after bid­
ding their neighbors good-by, they en­
tered the cars and were whirled away
to anew home in a flourishing town in
It was early in spring. The red-bud
bushes were bright in the thickets, and
a thousand flowers, new and strange to
the immigrants, painted the prairies.
An air of bustling activity pervaded the
town. Buildings were going up on
every side, and Mr. Oakley soon found
employment at better wages than he
had ever received in his old home.
For a time everything went well with
him and his family. His work was in
constant demand, and if his thoughts
ever turned with tender regret to the
green hills which surrounded his former
home, he had only to look at his rosy
children and picture to himself the
career which seemed open for them in
the vigorous growing west.
Spring wore away into summer, and
under the Jong and rainless heat the
river which flowed past the town
shrunk into its bed, leaving great
stretches of slimy ooze festering in the
fierce sunshine. Autumn came at
length, with soft south' winds laden
with germs of disease. Robbie, the pet
of the house, was stricken with a
malarial fever. For long days and
nights he lay in his crib, tossing and
moaning, with flushed cheeks and
heavy, eyes. At length the crisis was
passed, but recovery was siow^and
while Robbie was still the mere shadow
of the ruddy-cheeked little boy lie had
been, the fever seized upon his father.
There were sorrowful times now in the
little household. Mrs. Oakley watched
day and night beside her husband and
little boy, and helpful Margaret proved
herself a treasure.
When the first brief, wintry days
came Robbie was once more playing
around the house, and his father, upon
whom the fever had spent its fordfe,
could only sit, wan and pale, in his arm­
chair.. II is little-savings were rapidly
melting away and a long winter had
only just begun. Christmas was near
at hand, and who was to fill the chil­
dren's stockings and make the day a
merry one for them?
Margaret was a thoughtful little girl,
and she pondered long over the mat ter.
Two days before Christmas she got a
postal card, and sat down and wrote on
it as follows
"DEAR SANTA CLAUS:—We have moved
since last Christmas, and 1 am afraid you won't
know where to find us, so I write this. We
live now at No. 3tt East Fourth street. Papa
and Robbie have been awfully sick, and papa
isn't well yet Please bring Robbie a ball and
Dick a sled, and would like a doll, for I lost
mine when we moved. Good-by.
She wrote the name of Santa Claus
on the other side of the postal card,
and just then her mother called and di­
rected her to go to the grocery for some
things. So she took her basket and
started, accompanied by Prince, the
dog. As she passed the corner she
dropped the card into a mail box
which was fastened to a lamp post. All
that day and the next Margaret went
singing through the house, in the old
light-hearted way she had shown so
little since sickness had invaded the
Soon after the postal card was
dropped into the box the postman came
around and threw it, with a lot of other
cards, letters and newspapers, into a
bag, which he carried to the post office.
There a clerk took the bag, poured the
contents out on a table and began sort­
ing them over. When lie eame to Mar­
garet's little let­
ter he laughed
and showed it to
a I a
on a
clerk who was
busily engaged at
an a
read it through.
The name Oakley
attracted his at­
tention. "What
if it should be
James Oakley, the
friend of my boy
hoodv" he asked
Christmas eve
came, and Mar­
garet, Dick and
Robbie, with the
unwavering faith
of childhood, hung
up their stockings,
said their prayers
around their mo­
ther's knee, and
were soon tucked
away in their lit­
tle beds, dream­
ing of Christmas
and Santa Claus.
Mr. Oakley, too
feeble to sit up
more than a few
hours at a time,
had already re­
tired. Mrs. Oak­
ley sat thinking
sadly of the disap­
pointment which
seemed awaiting
the children for
the first time in
their lives. Sud­
denly the doorbell
rang, and as Mrs.
Oakley opened
the door, there
stood an express­
man and in the
street a loaded
wagon. From its
depths he drew
out a big fat tur­
key, a hand-sled
and a heavy paper
box wrapped up
in thick paper.
Having deposited
the things in the hall, he hur­
ried out to his wagon and drove
away, leaving Mrs. Oakley greatly
puzzled. Surely there must be
some mistake, she thought. But no the
packages were all plainly marked:
"James Oakley, No. 36 East Fourth
street," and on the sled was neatly
painted: "Dick Oakley." In the paper
box was a French doll with real' hair
and eyes that closed when she was laid
down. A little card attached to it was
marked: "Margaret." There was also
a ball marked "Robbie," and such lots
of candy and pretty things for all. The
stockings were soon filled to the very
tops, and the other things laid out on a
table, where the children found them
the next morning.
There was a joyful meeting around
the breakfast table, but Mrs. Oakley's
face wore a puzzled expression. Finally
she asked: "Where could all those
things have come from?"
"Why, mamma," said Margaret,
"Santa Claus sent them. I know he
did, 'cause I wrote to him."
"You wrote to him?" said her mother.
"Yes, I wrote and told him where we
This made the matter clear enough to
the children, but only deepened the
mystery for the father and mother.
In the afternoon, when full justice
had been done to the turkey, Margaret
sat holding her beautiful new doll,
Dick was out drawing his sled through
the streets, and Robbie was asleep, a
summons came from the front door.
As Mrs. Oakley went to answer it she
found there a tall, bearded man, who
inquired for Mr. Oakley. She led him
to the little sitting-room where her hus­
band sat propped up with pillows in
his armchair. The caller went
straight to him, seized his thin hand
and asked: "James, don't you know
ypur old friend Tom Raymond?" It
was indeed the friend and playmate of
his early days.
"But how did you find me?" inquired
Mr. Oakley.
"Oh, I had it from 8anta Claus,"
laughingly replied his friend, and then
he sat down and the two talked over
the events of their boyhood. They had
sat together in school together they
had climbed the hills and hunted squir­
rels, gathered nuts and rowed their
boats on the broad Hudson.
As the talk went on a suspicion grew
upon Mrs. Oakley of the manner in
which Santa Claus happened to send
the presents. But the visitor gave no
clew to the mystery, nor did she see
through it until Margaret had told her
the whole story of her letter to Santa
Claus.—American Agriculturist.
"Not One Cross Word ID ON* Kind
never spoke an angry word to
It was just one year ago, December
31, that the tearful wife of my neighbor
made to me the above remark. Poor
^harley! He ran a locomotive between
Boston and He was killed on the
last day but one of the year.
Now this simple verdict from the lips
of his wife set me to thinking. I re­
member that I took the resolve that
very night, as, in company with a
brother of our lodge, I turned away
from Charley's door: "So help me God,
my wife shall be able to say as much
of me this coming year." And now I
may, I trust, record it. I have lived
one kind year. To many other people
I presume I have been about the same
sort of a fellow as for many years. But
to my faithful wife I have not spoken
one fretful or cross or complaining
word, to the best of my knowledge and
belief, for twelve months last past. I
have not made much money this year,
but I have made one heart glad.
Now let me tell you how difficult this
was. Did you ever stand by a running
stream and think how smooth as oil its
swift flow was? Then you thrust your
hand in the water, and lo! it was a mill
race. The waters boiled and spattered
about your hand till you could hardly
hold it there.
Well, now I never realized the force
of my snappy, scolding habit to that
woman till my new vow began to check
it. I found that I had been in the con­
stant habit of playing the coward—that
is, scolding a good woman. A dozen
times each week the fretful words
sprang to my lips. I shut my mouth
tightly, and my! how the bitter stuff
bubbled and boiled against my teeth on
the inside! You may laugh„but, actual­
ly, I had to chew the words. My wife,
quite a lady for proprieties, used to ex­
claim: "Harkley, I do wish you would
not chew that spruce gum as you leave
the door. How it looks on the street!"
Which generally made me laugh as I
kissed her good morning. Dear heart,
it was far better that I chew my spleen
than her gentle spirit with biting words,
this one kind year.
I have noticed an increased fondness
in my wife, this one kind year. She
draws near to me oftener, she confides
in me more, she has lost that "I'm
afraid-of-you" look that half the time
she used to wear. We consult now
about family matters before we used
to telephone to each other, as it were.
Her spirit has improved. The irrita­
tion that I had inflicted, it seems she
caught, and now that I am a better
man she is a sweeter woman. It makes
my heart ache to recall how often she
used at first in this kind year to glance
up at me with a surprised and ques­
tioning look, when I spoke gently. I
caught her studying me, curiously, as
if she were wondering if I had secretly
made a fortune recently, or had met
with what the minister calls a change
of heart, or was growing to be a boy
again. I think she decided on the lat­
ter, for her eyes grew soft and young,
like the girlish eyes I first loved year4s
ago. And she began to act young her­
self. She resumed the use of the pet
name she gave me long, long ago. I nev­
er let on, I just silently kept to my re­
solve: "Not one cross word in one kind
The best of all is the decided improve­
ment in the dear woman's health.
Now some of you doctors explain that
if you can. My wife eats better, has
more nerve, more vitality every way.
The children do not worry her half as
much as they used to. She gets along
with less fretting at the servants. Can
it be because I worry and fret her less?
Is there anything to that old sore about
a man being "the head of the family?"
If so, why, when the head goes wrong
the whole body is sick, eh? Exactly.
I'd rather have any kind of an ache
than an ache in my head-piece. Now
if it is true that by cheerful kindness I
have saved my wife's nerves and turned
the doctor out of doors, ought I not to
give her a present of the amount of her
usual doctor's bills? Jupiter! That's
an idea, and I will! It is a good way to
round up this one kind year.
It is curious how smiles furnish a
house. I presume you know what it is
to have your wife beg you to buy anew
chair, or picture, or some other thing.
Our things get worn out. Well, ny
wife hasn't asked me such a thing all
this one kind year. Yet somehow I say
the old home looks better furnished
than it did a year ago. Maybe it's the
sunshine on the old things. Sunshine
can do almost anything.
I have been surprised by my own in­
creased appetite for breakfast and din­
ner. A fellow can't eat and scold too.
Now breakfast was my favorite time
for scolding—except dinner at night—
for I take my lunch down town. Let
me see that makes every meal at home
a growler's feast. Well that was about
so. My lunch was my best meal, for I
ate alone, and there was nobody to fret
at. Now all is changed. Meals at
home, I like them. There are no salt
tears on the bread. God forgive me!
How often I used to make somebody
cry, wife or one of the two children, at
table. All is now changed in this one
kind year.
In fact, the thing has gone with me to
the store. I have gradually got in the
habit of being first civil, then kind, to
the boys. It is like oil down there the
last few months. It is queer, but every­
body hates to be scolded even I do. A
kind word is better than a whip with a
Yankee clerk. Now I am going on one
kind year more. I don't make any very
loud pretensions, but I think there's a
deal of gratitude to the Almighty in be­
ing kind to His creatures. Perhaps it
will go further than longer creeds. For
if a man is not kind to his fellow, whom
he has seen, how shall he be to his God
whom he has not seen?—Harkley Hark
er, in N. Y. Weekly
UCH a laughing
and chattering
of tongues as
there was in
cozy and pleas­
an it in
I a
enough to drive
a a is
tracted," as the good doctor himself as­
serted, though he looked as if he en­
joyed it as well as the youngest among
the merry group that surrounded him,
none of whom ever thought it necessary
to put on a long countenance because
"father had come.*' Indeed, this
always the signal
or in re a
mirth and happi­
The hoi id a
were approaching,
and the doctor's
four daug
were all discuss­
ing the important
subject of Christ­
mas and New
Year gifts, and
comparing notes
as to the beauti­
ful articles they
had seen in the
shop windows.
We said all. and
yet there was one.
a fair, sweet-look
ing girl, sitting a
little apart from
the rest, who did
not join in this
animated conver­
sation, though ev­
idently from no
unfriendlv mo
This was Dr.
Byrne's oldest and
best-loved daugh­
ter, and he noticed
her quiet mood.
"And what does
Helen want for
her New Year
The doctor re­
gretted the ques­
tion as soon as it
passed his lips.
Helen's quickly
averted eyes filled
with tears,her lips
quivered, and, af­
ter silently strug­
gling for a few
or a it
her feelings. she
arose and left the
As soon as the
doctor could do so
unobser d, he
going directly to
where he found
el so in
with an abandon­
ment of grief that
alarmed him.
"My daughter,
he said, in a tone
proach, "do not
give way to your
sorrow thus."
Helen lifted her
head from her fa­
ther's should r,
with a smile that
was sadder even
than tears.
"I know how ungrateful it must
seem, papa, when I have so many bless­
ings remaining. But I could not help
thinking how
was with us a year
ago, so strong and full of life, and
Here the sobs again choked her utter­
The good doctor was strongly affect­
ed, for Robert Tracy had been as dear
to him as a son.
"But, Helen, it is not certain that
Robert went down with the ship—"
Here Dr. Byrne checked himself, too
wise, as well as honest, to hold out
false hopes.
One morning, a few days later, Helen
entered her father's study.
"Papa, would the present you spoke
of buying me cost as much as fifty dol­
"Yes, my dear all of that, certainly."
"Then would you as soon let me have
the money instead?"
Dr. Byrne smiled..
"What idea has entered your busy
brain now, Helen? Or is it that you are
getting mercenary?"
A faint color came into the pale
"It is not that, papa but the Widow
Howe—she that has the crippled boy,
you know—thinks that she could sup­
port herself and children nicely if she
had a sewing machine, and so—"
"I see! I see!" said the doctor, taking
out his pocketbook, and putting two
fifty-dollar notes in Helen's hand.
"There is no balm for such a wound as
yours, my daughter, like that of minis­
tering to the needs and alleviating the
sorrows of others."
"So I begin to find, papa, "said Helen,
with a smile that lighted up her face
with more than its old beauty.
The first day of the New Year had
dawned, and was near its close. It had
been a very busy one to Helen, and a
happy one as well for hers was one of
those sweet and loving natures that
find joy in the reflected happiness of
She had "caused the widow's heart to
sing for joy," and this consciousness
had brought into her own great peace.
All the younger members of the
family had gone out to some entertain
men. Helen had wanted to have a little
talk with her father, but a stranger was
with him, so the servant said, and, with
a lonely feeling in her heart, she went
up to her own room.
Dr. Byrne came up almost immediate*
ly. There was a strange light in his
eyes, and more than usual tenderness
and solemnity in his manner, as he laid
his hand on Helen's head.
"How is it with thee to-night, daugh­
"It is well, father."
"After night, the morning after win­
ter, the spring. God is often kinder to
us than we can even ask or think."
"He is very good, father."
Dr. Byrne drew his daughter's arm
within his.
"Come into my study, Helen, and get
your New Year's gift. Because you
have forgotten yourself in caring for
others, did you think your old father
is going to forget you?"
"Oh, no, papa but you gave it to me,
you remember, in money. I didn't ex­
pect anything—indeed, I don't think
you ought to give me anything more."
"Well, well, my child, just come and
look at it. If you don't want it, or
would prefer its equivalent in money,
you can tell me so."
With silent wonder in her heart, not
unmingled with curiosity, Helen stood
at the half open study door.
The shaded light upon her father's
desk revealed the faint outline of a man
who was standing near it, and who ad­
vanced eagerly toward her.
Helen looked up, bewildered, into the
face of the man she had mourned as
dead, and then, with a faint cry of joy,
threw herself into the arms that had
opened to receive her.
Dr. Byrne almost regretted his pre­
cipitancy as he looked upon his daugh
ter's pale face. But joy does not often
kill, and his fears were entirely dissi-
pated when he returned to the room an
hour later.
The good doctor was fond of a joke.
"If your present doesn't suit you,
Helen," he said, slyly, "I will try to
exchange it, or give you its value in
money—that is, if you don't rate the
young man too high."'
Helen glanced smilingly from her
lover's to her father's face.
ou are very kind, papa, but I am
very well satisfied with my New Year's
gift. As to receiving its value in money,
not all that the whole world contains
can give what it is worth to me."—
Mary Grace Halpine, in N. Y. Weekly.
She Was Particular.
A woman who had spent a full hour
in one of the stores "looking for some­
thing for her son," was finally asked if
she was not rather particular for a
would-be purchaser who had such a
choice of Christmas presents.
"Why, yes, I suppose I am," she re­
plied, "but I tell you I need to be."
"Then your son is also particular?"
"I should say so! Hardest boy to suit
you ever saw. Why, he's turned me
out doors, had a fight with his father,
set the house on fire and taken the
horse off and sold it. And if I should
get him anything he didn't happen to
like he'd kick all the furniture out of
the windows, order his father off the
premises and use me for a foot-wiper.
Oh, we know Tommy from top to bot­
tom, and we've got to be very particu­
lar and consult his feelings."—Detroit
Free Press.
Lady (to clerk)—I want to look at
something that would be a suitable
Christmas gift for my. husband.
Clerk—Yes, madam something cheap,
I s'pose?
Lady—Yes, something cheap but
good looking.
—Bobley says that Christinas is a
great give-away.—Rochester Post.

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