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SHOP-GIRL DVESUI N an excellent short 3tory published not long ago, O. Henry gave to his shop-girl heroine a colossal char acter, emphasized that in her were combined the notable attributes of Hercules, Joan of Arc, Una, Job and Lit tle Red Riding Hood. And at this season of the year—"glad Christ mas days"—it easily might seem to a less pa etic person than the regretted O. Henry that the shop-girl most stands in need of the •strength of Hercules, the heroism of Joan of Arc, the truthfulness and oth er singular excellencies of Una, the patience of Job. Think what it must mean, from eight to six, or eight to ten, as the case may be, to face and serve the rattled throngs that are now surging through the shops, think of the strain on endurance and nerve, on temper and manners. The wonder is not that she often comes up to the de mands on her, but that she ever does. Some of the veterans, survivors of many' hard-fought Christinas battle fields, are marvels may be seen at lag-end of day still alert, though droop ingly so still clear-headed, though with conscious effort still with cour teous attitude in their serving, though those they serve have lost the last shred of any politeness with which they may have started out. Compare the manners of some spoiled darling, some indulged, arro gant child of wealth, with the dignity and patience and sweetness often shown by the girl behind the counter. The one self-centered, of most restrict ed vision, captious, petty the other self-effacing, far-seeing, charitable big. Caleb in search of a wife might well pursue his quest along the aisles of the big stores, find womanly ideal standing there behind the counter. They are not all caricatures of fash ion, with hair tortured into latest ex aggeration, frocks cheap copies of showy splendors not all more given to powder and rouge than to soap and water. And in the attainment of the so highly-desirable neatness and trim ness heroism again has to come to the fore, it is no easy matter after long hours of labor to labor more, take pains for personal cleanliness, sew and darn when eyes are heavy, back is aching. Heroines every one of them that make a good show. I know a girl in a fashionable candy shop that every other night washes and irons that she may be presentable the next day. Her moderate wage is the chief part of the family support, there is not enough money for enough blouses to last the week, and so the midnight laundrying is done as a mat ter of course. But how pretty and sweet and fresh the girl does manage to look in her snowy white and well brushed black much better dressed, she seems to me, -than the woman of fuss' and feathers. What little mothers they are, a lot of them, simple affectionate, domestic creatures—though so often character ized as vain, shallow, foolishly am bitious, thinking only of dress and "dates." I know one girl that worked in one of the department stores which keep open evenings at Christmas time, who the night before Christmas did not leave the store until midnight, then after traveling an hour on the street cars to her home stayed up hours to trim a wonderful Christmas tree for the children of the family, the bunch of little ones the poor seem al ways to have with them. I know an other girl that at this season goes down unusually early mornings to ar range "stock," comes home unusually late evenings but after dinner cheer fully dons kitchen apron and helps with giant plum pudding and other Christmas preparation that yearly Is repeated in honor of old England and the home left behind when there was made search for fortune in the rich land of 'America. The'se are Just two "Instances, the one quite commonplace, unheroic, but you may pick up a few for yourself by eavesdropping a bit in your shopping observing among the buyers the many shop-girls "purchasing toys and silver "pusher," children' THE IDEAL WORKSHOP. And the Jolliest and best old work man in tbe world. To rule and reign with gentle svay, The King of Love vas born today. No palace 'waits enclosed him round, 'Bui in a. manger was he found Thai so the boastful 'world might see The greatness of humility. He came, a. child, in lovely grace, Thai so a child might seek his face So poor was he, the humblest born Might come, without a fear of scorn. To all mankind he showed the way, And ushered in the davn of day. And so, u)ith grateful love and praise, We hail this blessed day of days. The children's joy, the poor man's feast, The star of hope to great and least When holy angels ccme to earth, And sing anew a Savior's birthI gloves and sweater, or gray dress for mammy, muffler for daddy. Of course there is any number of pert, incompetent girls that wait on hapless customers, rather keep hap less customers waiting, but they have been pictured with enough frequency, this sort repeatedly held up as typical, thereby obscuring the virtues of the many worthy ones following the pro fession of "waiting on." For some time past I have been gathering data, ma king experiment and have found it the rule rather than exception that courtesy meets with courtesy. "Soft and fair go far in a day," not only on highway but In the miles of. space in a huge department store. A man said to me recently "How little of church is brought into the Christmas of today." And how sadly true this is—"church" in this connec tion' standing for whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are good, of full import to all religions. And bully ing and bullyragging a shop-girl at this season seems about as far from "lovely and good" as one may wander. Put,yourself In her place, remember ing previous failures of your own when bodily weariness snapped strained nerves, broke down poise. Ye gods and little fishes, in what condition is the shop-girl to "enjoy' Christmas! I am sure if I were she Sew and Darn When Eyes Are Heavy all I would ask of good Saint Nicholas would be a dark, airy room far, far away from people (from man, and es pecially woman) a great, soft bed where I could stretch out long and wide silence and sleep forever and forever. No dreams to disturb that sleep no vision of past haggling, no vision of wearisome "exchanges" to come. But the reality is a long way from this that I would ask. Do you suppose such a proud wage earner as she would be content to let Christmas day go by without displaying wealth and power? No, every dependent in the household must partake of her bounty, every pensioner be given good proof of what it means to have her dress up and go down town every day. Noth ing of niggard is the shop-girl at Christmas, she is as much a Lady Bountiful as any millionairess of them all. What a creature! A "Hercules, a Joan of Arc, a Una, a. Job" and a Lady Bountiful on eight dollars and less a week! (Copyright. 1910.) Agnes' Prayer. Our little five-year-old Agnes, hav ing been reprimanded by her mamma for some slight misdeed, went and knelt by a chair and prayed as fol lows: "Oh, Lord, make me a good little girl. I want to be a good little girl but I don't know how. But, if I am naughty, please send Santa Claus just the same.'" Christmas Time. I have often thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belong ing to it can be apart from that—as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charit able, pleasant time.—Charles Dlckena. "God With Us 9* By A. D. WATSON The world had long been waiting The coming of the King, When one sweet morn in Beth lehem, Ere birds were on the wing, The sons of God came singing Down from the skyey dome, And mortals heard the message: Immanuel is come. Now let 'the ample standard Of righteousness, unfurld, Proclaim to every people That God is in His world Let every form of evil From earth be put away, That all may sing rejoicing, The King is born today. The bright and solemn glory, The angel harps glad ring, The strange, 3weet song of wonder, The cherub voices sing— These in our hearts abiding, The Prince of Peace shall come, Make our glad lives His temples, Our happy hearts His home. CXDOOOCXXXXXXXOCOOOOOOOOOOO OLD STORIES OF CHRISTMAS Some Have Interest. Freshness and Beauty That Keep Them Al ways New. There are some so-called "old sto ries" that are really not old, for they have an interest, a freshness and a beauty that keep them always new. Of such are the story of Christmas and all the legends and tales that be long to the great festival. There is a legend in Germany that when Eve plucked the fatal apple the leaves of the tree immediately shriv eled into needle points and its bright green turned dark. The nature of the tree changed and" it became an evergreen, in all seasons preaching the story of man's fall through that first act of disobedience. Only on Christmas does it bloom brightly with lights and become beautiful with love gifts. The curse is turned into a blessing by the coming of the Christ child, and thus we have our Christmas tree. The visits of St. Nicholas to the homes of the people on Christmas eve as an annual custom grew out of a festival in honor of Hertha, a Norse goddess. At this festival the house was decorated with evergreens and an altar of stone was set up at the end of the hall, where the family assem bled. From Hertha's stone we get our word "hearthstone." On the stones so set up were heaped fir branches, which were set afire, and through the smoke and flame Hertha was supposed to descend and influence the direction of the flames, from which were pre dicted the fortunes of those present CLOSE QUARTERS.' He eyed the Christmas tree with a look of grim determination on his face. It was a fine tree, tall and straight, with many symmetrical boughs—just such a tree as would de light the hearts of his children. But he chased them away as he prepared for his work of destruction. Taking oft his coat he rolled up his sleeves, and with a hatchet ruthlessly lopped off all the branches. He eyed tbe re sult with satisfaction. Then he took up a saw and divided the tree in the middle. It seemed heartless, but what else could the poor man do? It was the only way he could make the tree fit, for he lived in a flat. A Merry Christmas A REAL SANTA CLAUS liiiflllBBSs'* All over the country, all over the world—a few years hence It will be also all through the air—sounds the greeting Merry Christmas! On the sea and, land, in the palace and in the hovel, in the hospitals and in the pris ons, in the asylums amid the orphans and in( the homes for the friendless and for the aged, wherever even two persons meet who know and love the story of Christmas, the greeting is ex changed. Where can there be a par allel to the universal, greeting? Is there any other sentiment that has the sovereignty of this cheerful and heartfelt word? It travels through the mails like nothing so much as the doves to the altars of whiqh the Scrip ture speaks, for surely the sentiment flits from altar to altar of the hearts of men and Is as gentle as the dove. Grudges and animosity vanish before the wafting of Christmas greeting, the smile of hope illumines the counte nances of those under the pall of de pression, the dimpled cheeks of the babies seem like veritable nooks for fairy hiding as the lips coo in response to the Merry Christmas, with the little emblem of the day that comes to the infant from its loving parent. In the days of romance hostile forces passed upon the field, sheathed their swords and clasped hands across the battle line, greeting one another with the sentiment of universal good will. Merry Christmas has brightened more hearts, has healed more grievances, has brought more happiness to the lives of men and women, lias proved to be the talismanic sentiment for more home reunions than any other that has ever been heard in this old world. Christmas stands for love and for charity, for hope and for Joy at the fruition of that long-made promise of the prophet of the coming of one who should bring peace and good will to earth so the churches hold their serv ices and the people congregate to join in singing or to listen to the ren dition of carols, some of which have come down frbm the early ages of the church. The children have their Christmas treats, and they are the very merriest of the marry in their participation In these annual school festivals. HIS VISITING LIST. -4 Old Santa—My, my, how this list does grow. No wonder I occasionally miss one. HER IDEA. "The custom of hanging mistletoe on the chandelier is foolish." "I think so, too. It ought to be bung in the cozy corner." PB-FOR-SJIORTS N Q.vYLourse .. urthcun OW, our baby had never encountered a locked door. The lovesome pit-pat of his busy feet was herald at whose coming every door in the house swung open and over thresholds he went into assured wel comes. But we were plan ning a tree. And the library door was locked. He paused in his as cent of the stairs to button in a button that would not stay buttoned. It required much time and he sat down on the step and with all his ten fat, wee fin gers labored. Then, "Das a doodle boy," he objurgated himself as he resumed his climb of the stairs, the button buttoned "Das a daryin' yittle gentleman!" He shook the knob. Waited, jug ging on the toes of him and discours ing to Nicodemus. The door remained closed. Two fat palms smote it wrathfully. "Open," he commanded "pease open dis door." Nobody answered. "P-o-c-r yittle boy," he wheedled at keyhole "zere ain't nobody loves 'im." Nicodemus yapped and made feints at desertion when a dog barked out side. Fawned back, and licked the fingers where bread and honey aroma lingered. Sat up and waved an affable paw at him. He sat down on the floor and gath ered his yellow dog into his pinafore and hugged. "'Cept Nitodemus an' myssef," he said. 1 Great-grand came up the hall. "Is you been a bad boy, dreat-dran?" ho said. "Is you all shutted out?" Great-grand sighed. "Seems like this horse just will run away," in doleful tone, "and I've got a bone in my foot and I can't run after him." In a wink he was after the rampant steed. Captured and mounted, rode it lordily hither and yon, and when at last he came back from the breath less miles we had slipped down the back way and at stairfoot waited. Slowly, with dignity, he dismounted, put his steed in stall, came back to stair-head, and, legs astride and head thrown 'back, surveyed us from the heights of remembered injury. Be side him, perky, tongue lolling out, Nicodemus squatted. Long legs gathered to his chin, great-grand ranged himself on the top step and twinkled. "Yes, sirs," quoth great-grand "shutted us all out!" Our baby nodded confirmation and Nicodemus yawned in our faces. "Me'n mys Nitodemus an' mys dreat dran," he said. "An mys dreat-dran is dot a bone In his foot an* I needed to kiss mys muvver." But for three long days the library ddoor remained locked. And regularly, after each morning's breakfast, he mounted the stairs and tried the knob and cogitated to Nico demus, and poked broom straws under the door. Christmas eve we sat about a great open fire. Great-grand loved to dig and delve in the red-charred logs and imprison the swarms of rosy bees. Fascinated, I would watch the swirl ing upfled sparks, wondering what phantasms of youth he saw ai:#eauti ful in them, what faces went past in that rosy mirage that his own should wear so tender an answering look into eyes he alone was seeing. Some times our baby would come to stand between his knees, head leaned against his shoulder, and from within the encircling arms watch. Sometimes he would straddle one old knee and snug his head under the down-Jeaning old chin, gold hair and white hair com mingled, ahd hand over the old hand, help the poker that prodded and piled the embers. And the wide eyes seemed to be seeing with the old man's vision ing, so united he would sit Christmas eve we sat about the great open fireplace. Great-grand sort ed and piled his red-charred logs. Grandmother was watching, lost In idleness. Grand father had gone down cellar for apples and In my lap my baby was telling me secrets. We listened beyond the singings of the flames beyond the delicate soft sing ing and the sighing and the laughters of them, the wind in the chimney. From the end of the new back-log the saps distilled, all the summer's rains and dews and green growings in their whicker-whicker. We had hated to shut out the skies, so divinely near they closed In upon earth, with their starry strands garlanding the rim of hills. Our baby had seen his first me teor—a feathered trail of ethereal fire and a soundless splendor as the me teor burst and biggened Into a globe of slysian azure, and went out. And the black violet skies seemed yet deeplier black with that blue glory memoried against them, and the stars pallid and cold. And my baby won dered if there might not be another Christmas baby, In that blue glory. He wondered whether, If we'd go out, we might not find a few boys and girls and babies that got left over, when God forgot who bad asked to have some left at their houses. He wished he'd been there that night at the ox en's inn, to see the little child. So's he could have brought It home to hla own sef's bouse. He wanted a babv so bad. And even bis sweets-freighted babble picked up that blue »ky-i*istery and wondered about It And bis eye* were wide and fathomlessly sweet in tbe firelight, and his hand clang all the while to my face and deared it. and wove heavenly weave into my lif® in every least little touches of it to my lips, my cheeks, and in the com ings home of it to slip into my bosom and there nest Then we told him that It was going to be the Christmas baby's birthday tomorrow, and because we so love God's little son we give, year after year, all life long, gifts to him and to each other on that day. And the library door, tomorrow, would be win locked, and a surprise inside for us each and all. "Dracious!" was his sole comment and slowly the happy eyes slipped from us behind their curtain-fringes, the little warm body lay heavy in my arms. Slowly Great-grand unbuilded the house of red embers, and coming over took the little sleeper Into his arms, rocked and crooned and hugged and God-blessed him. And with grandmother's kisses on the wee feet that never were still save in slumber, and grandfather's proud look into the unwitting face following after, I bore him away to his crib so loved, so loved! "Is Trismus turn?" I wakened with the words break ing the crystal of my dreams and kiss ing themselves against my lips and a fat white body embracing my head. "Yes, sir," I managed to say through the strangling arms of him. "Happy Christmas, Bob-for-Short!" "Happy Christmas, Bob-for-Short!" echoed from the doorway and "Hap py Christmas, Bob-for-Short!" floated in from beyond the east and west shoulders of great-grand. He shouted. He danced. Never be fore had he been met by all the fam ily at crib-side. He jigged all over th« bed, trickling blarneyments and laughters at the three gray heads that waggled in unconscious tune to the prancings of him. Then, all his yellow body apant with haste, Nicodemus hustled his fat self up the stairs into the fun he was missing, and in his wake, Katy from her kitchen. And with a "Happy Christmas to yez, Misther Bob-fer-Short," she set a gray kitten on the floor. We were all very still, as he slipped from the bed and approached the kit-' ten. Ho had never owned a kitten. He eyed it in raptured silence. "Meou." said the kitten. Into his cheeks the red crimsoned. "Oh!" he gasped "wad you tail, titty pease wad you tail!" And she wagged her tail and arched her back against his feet and cajoled him, and as he gathered her into his nightgown and the white fat bare legs ran with their treasure, she broke into loud silken purrlngs. And Nicodemus sulked and fell into a helpless yellow bunch of """"WIIIIBI TO W-4 Jff He Had Never Owned a Kitten. protest, when the gray kitten was«held to his nose for a kiss. And we all dawdled until Katy's bell rang third summons to breakfast He went up the stairs alone. Then Nicodemus. Then Great-grand. Then I. And then the rest of his adorers. He stopped at the door. "Open the door, sir," said grandfa ther. "Turn on, muvver," he said, reach ing hand into my hand. So we stepped over the threshold together. The room was darkened. The fire light dulled behind a screen. In the center of the room a low, fair-branched young cedar tree gleamed like a great jewel. My hand forgotten, he circled the tree. 'Round and 'round. And we after. "Das a mo' bu-tl-ful drum," we caught the murmur as he inventoried. "Das a yittle 'tend horse." He paused to jog it and in ecstasy watch its tail go up and down. "Das a yittle toad frod in dat bid marble. How yoa s'pose it dot in?" He tarried to in vestigate, and set it rolling for the kitten to chase. Nicodemus thought it was meant for him, and when he collided with the' kitten, cowed and scared and muttering, he fled to a dis tance and yapped at ball and kitten. And the inventory went on "Das a dold waths, yike mys Dreat-dran is dot." He tarried to hunt a pocket, and deposit his watch therein. But first he held it to ear. And the murmur resumed: "Dat waths is def an' dum, too. Das a piture-but an" das a piture but an' das a piture-but. Dra cious!" And Christmas was on for Bob-for* Short.—New York Independent One thing is impossible to love the intensest and most fervont love i« powerless to evoke lov*.