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JANUARY 2, 1910.
A Christmas Present for a Lady IT was the week before Christmas, and the First Header class had, almost to a man, decided on the gills to be lavished on '' teacher.'' She was quite unprepared for any such observance on the part of her small adherents, for her first study of the roll book bad shown her that its numer ous Jacobs, Isidors and Rachels belonged to a class to which Christmas day was much as other days. And so she went serenely on her way, all unconscious of the swift and strict relation between her manner and her chances. She was, for instance, tho only person in the room who did not know that her criticism of Isidore Belchatosky 's hands and face cost her a tall "three for ten cents'' candlestick and a plump box of candy. But Morris Mogilewsky, whose love for teacher was far greater than the combined loves of all the other children, had as yet no present to bestow. That his "kind feeling" should be without proof when the lesser loves of Isidore Wishncwsky, Sadie Gonorowsky and Bertha Bindorwitz were taking the tangible but surprising forms which were daily ex hibited to his confidential gaze was more than he could bear. The knowledge saddened all his hours and was the more maddening because it could in no wise be shared by teacher, who noticed his altered bearing and tried with all sorts of artful be guilements to make him happy and at case. But her effort! served only to increase his un happiness and his love. And he loved her! Oh, how be loved her! Since first his dread ing eyes had clung for a breath 's space to her "like" man's shoes'' and had then crept timid ly upward past a black skirt, a "from silk" apron, a red "jumper," and "from gold" chain to her "light laic,' she had been mis tress of his heart of hearts. That was more than three months ago. And well he remem bered the (lay! His mother had washed him horribly, and had taken him into the big, red schoolhousc, so. familiar from the outside, but so full of un known terrors within. After his dusty little shoes laid stumbled over the threshold he had passed from ordeal to ordeal until at last he was torn in mute and white-faced despair from his mother's skirts. He was then dragged through long halls and up tall stairs by a largo boy, who spoke to him disdainfully as "grecnie," and cautioned him as to the laying down softly and taking up gently of those poor dusty shoes, so that his spirit was quite broken and his nerves were all unstrung when lie was pushed into a room full of bright sunshine and of children who laughed at his frightened little face. The sunshine smote his timid eyes, the laughter smote his timid heart, and he turned to flee. But the door was shut, the large boy gone, and despair took him for its own. Down upon the floor he dropped, and wailed, and wept, and kicked. It was then that he heard, for the first time the voice which now he loved. A hand was forced between his aching body and the floor, and the voice said: "Why, my dear little chap, you mustn't cry like that. What's the matter I" The hand was gentle and the question kind, and these, combined with a faint perfume Sug gestive of drug stores and barber shopsbut nicer than cither —made him uncover his hot little face. Kneeling beside him was a lady, and he forced his eyes to that perilous ascent; from shoes to skirt, from skirt to jumper, from juniper to face, they trailed in dread uncer tainty, but at the face they stopped. They had, found —rest. Morris allowed himself to be gathered into the lady's arms and held upon her knee, and when his sobs no longer rent the very foundations of his pink and wide-spread tie, he answered her question in a voice as soft as his eyes, and as gently sad: "I ain't so big, und I don't know where is my mamma." So, having cast his troubles on the shoul ders of the lady, he had added his throbbing head to the burden, anil from that safe retreat had enjoyed his first day at school immensely. Thereafter he had been the first to arrive every morning, and the last to leave every afternoon; and under the care of teacher, his liege lady, he had grown in wisdom and love and happiness. But the greatest of these was love. And now, when the other boys and girls were planning surprises and gifts of price for teacher, his hands were as empty as his heart was full. Appeal to his mother met with denial prompt and energetic. "For w hat you go und make, over Christmas, pres ents? You ain't no Krisht-, you should better have no kind feelings over Krishts, neither; your papa could to have a mad." "Teacher ain't no Krisht," said Morris stoutly; "all the other fellows buys her presents, und I'm loving mit her too; it's polite I gives her presents the while I'm got such a kind feeling over her." LOS ANGELES HERALD SUNDAY MAGAZINE MYRA KELLY COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO. '' Well, we ant got no money for buy nothings,'' said Mrs. Mogilewsky sadly. "No money, und your papa, he had nil times a scare he shouldn't to get no more, the while the boss" — here followed incom prehensible, but depressing, financial details, until the end of the intervew found Morris and his mother sob bng and rocking in one another's arms. So Morris was helpless, his mother poor, and teacher all un knowing. A ND the great day, the Friday before Christmas ** came, and the school was, for the first half hour, quite mad. Doors opened suddenly and softly to admit small persons, clad in wondrous ways and bear ing wondrous parcels. Room 18, generally so placid and so peaceful, was a howling wilderness full of brightly colored, quickly changing groups of children, all whispering, all gurgling, and all hiding queer bundles. A newcomer invariably caused a diversion; the assembled multitude, athirst for novelty, fell upon him and clamored for a glimpse of his bundle and a statement of its price. Teacher watched in dumb amaze. What could be the matter with the children, she wondered. They could not have guessed the shrouded something in the ' *iitfffE *^3_^B ob_HL,^__H>^_b '' J ?■'■-' a %f At _■ 7 .-JJ t'liv IBKZ^. »5 aa__Bß#»_sM 5 AoosmV "^W ' // S_Bfi^^______HHßp HiLjflp& *%>* bb_3l B JSP-^^ISB Bl •I^BPy^ "^*^*^"^, ' -^.xsra. ..*" I •**\\\^&f * ■g^^Psr*T__i- ■ *mW ' ' ' a/F^J .»>"**'" rfh ' ■■'■:.y ■;V^vy■^M^■^< s>•<■v^v, *-••' '•<•_• "It'i fur ladies, und I didn't to have no snap." comer to be a Christmas tree. What made them be have so queerly, and why did they look so strange? They seemed to have grown stout in a single night, and teacher, as she noted this, marveled greatly. The explanation was simple, though it came in alarming form. The sounds of revelry were pierced by a long, shrill yell, and a pair of agitated legs sprang sudden ly into view between two desks. Teacher, rushing to the rescue, noted that the legs formed the unsteady stem of an upturned mushroom of brown flannel and green braid, which she recognized as the outward seeming of her cherished Bertha Bindorwitz; and yet. when the desks were forced to disgorge their prey, the legs restored to their normal position were found to support a fat —and Bertha was best described as '' skinny ' —in a dress of the Stuart tartan taste fully trimmed with purple. Investigation proved that Bertha's accumulative taste in dress was an estab lished custom. In nearly all cases the glory of holi day attire was hung upon the solid foundation of everyday clothes as bunting is hung upon a building. The habit was economical of time, and produced a charming embonpoint. Teacher, too, was more beautiful than ever. Her dress was blue, and "very long down, like a lady," with bands of silk and scraps of lace distributed with the eye of art. In her hair she wore a bow of what Sadie Gonorowsky, whose father "worked by fancy goods," described as black '' from plush ribbon costs ten cents.'' Isidore Belchatosky, relenting, was the first to lay tribute before teacher. He came forward with a sweet smile and a tall candlestick —the candy had Hone to its long home—and teacher, for a moment, could not be made to understand that all that length of bluish-white china was really hers "for keeps." "It's to-morrow holiday," Isidore assured her; "and we gives you presents, the while we have a kind feeling. Candlesticks could to cost twenty-five cents.'' "It's a lie. Three for ten," said a voice in the background, but teacher hastened to respond to Isi dore's test of her credulity: "Indeed, they could. 'I his candlestick could have cost fifty cents, and it's just what I want. It is very good of you to bring me a present." "You're welcome,'' said Isidore, retiring; and then, the ice being broken, the First Reader class in a body rose to cast its gifts on teacher's desk, and its arms around teacher's neck. Nathan Horowitz presented a small cup and saucer; Isidore Applcbaum bestowed a large calendar for the year before last; Sadie Gonorowsky brought a basket containing a bottle of perfume, a thimble, and a bright silk handkerchief; Sarah Bchrodsky of fered a pen-wiper and a yellow celluloid collar button, and Eva Kidansky gave an elaborate nasal douche, under the pleasing delusion that it was an atomizer. Once more sounds of grief reached teacher's cars. Rushing again to the rescue, she threw open the door and came upon Woe personified. Eva Gonorowsky, her hair in wildest disarray, her stocking fouled, ungartered, and down gyved to her ankle, appeared before her teacher. She bore all the marks of Hamlet's excitement, and many more, including a tear-stained little face and a gilt saucer clasped to a panting breast. "Eva, my dearest Eva, what's happened to you now?" asked teacher, for the list of ill chances which had befallen this one of her charges was very long. And Eva's wail was that a boy, a very big boy, had stolen her golden cup "what I had for you by present," md had left her only the saucer and her un dying love to bestow. Before Eva sobs had quite yielded to teach er's arts, Jacob Spitsky pressed forward with a tortoise-shell comb of terrifying .aspect and hungry teeth, and an air showing forth a de termination to adjust it in its destined place. Teacher meekly bowed her head; Jacob forced lis offering into her long-suffering hair, and then retired with the information, "Costs fifteen cents, teacher,' and the courteous phrase—by etiquette prescribed —"Wish you health to wear it." He was plainly a hero, and was heard remarking to less favored admirers nit '' teacher's hair is awful softy, and smells off of perfumery.' Here a big boy, a very big boy, entered hastily. He did not belong to room 18, but he lad long known teacher, He had brought her a present; he wished her a merry Christmas. The present, when produced, proved to be a pretty gold cup, and Eva Gonorowsky, with re newed emotion, recognized the boy as her as lant and the cup as her property. Teacher as dreadfully embarrassed; the boy not at all so. His policy was simple and entire de nial, and in this he perservered, even after Eva's saucer had unmistakably proclaimed its relationship to the cup. Meanwhile tlie rush of presentation* went steadily on. Other cups and saucers came in wild profusion. The desk was covered with them, and their wrappings of purple tissue paper required a monitor's whole at tention. The soap, too, became urgently perceptible, It was of all sizes, shapes and colors, but of uniform and dreadful power of perfume. Teacher's eyes filled with tearsof gratitude —as each new piece or box was pressed against her nose, and teacher's mind was full of wonder as to what she could ever do with all of it. Bottles of perfume vied with one another and with the all-pervading soap until the ait was heavy and breathing grew laborious. But pride swelled tho hearts of the assembled multitude. No other teacher had so many helps to the toilet. None other was so beloved. Teacher's aspect was quite changed, and the "blue long down like a lady dress" was almost hidden by the offerings she had received. Jacob s comb had two massive and bejewcled rivals in the "softy hair." The front of the dress, where aching or despondent heads were wont to rest, glittered with campaign but tons of American celebrities, beginning with James G. Blame and extending into modern history as far as Patrick Divver, Admiral Dewey, and ('apt. Drey fus. Outside the blue belt was a white one, nearly (Continued on Page 15.) 13