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A notice to this effect is signed by near
ly every one Mary Chavah receives a
letter from her sister Lily's boy.
This bov asks her to take his six-year
old brother, son of Adam Blood, a lover
Who jilted Mary for her sistei Lily.
Mary prepares to welcome him Despite
their resolutions main people find it dim
cult to cut out Christmas altogether.
Ebenezer Rule, grieving for his dead,
son. Malcolm and his dead wife, fnds the
boy's hobbyhorse in an unused attic.
Bo\s and girls are unhappv because
there will be no Christmas Women re
gret that Mary's boy will find none await
Children of the town are rehearsing for
a funeral on Christmas They are plan
ning to buiy Santa Claus.
Burying Santa Claus.
•m JT IS' WINSLOW looked up. Her
l^y I eyes were shining as they had
^J shone sometimes when one
of her seven under fifteen
had given its first sign of conscious
ness of more than self.
"I believe we'll do it some day." she
said. "I believe there's more to us
than we've got any idea of. I believe
there's so much to us that one of us
that found out about it and told the
rest would get hounded out of town
But even noNv, I bet there's enough to
us to do something every time—some
thing every time, no matter what
And I believe there'1* something we can
do about this little orphaned boy's
Christmas, if we nip our brains on to
it in the right place."
"Oh. dear." said Mis' Moran. "some
times when I think about Christmas I
almost wish we almost hadn't done
the way we're going to do."
Mis' Bates stiffened.
"Jane Moran," she said, "do you
think it's right to go head over heels
in debt to celebrate the biith of our
"No," said Mis' Mou««i, "I don't
"And you know nobody in Old Trail
Town could afford any extravagance
"Yes," said Mis* Moran, "I do: still"—
"And if part could and part couldn't.
that makes it all the worse, don't it?'
"I know," said Mis' Moran—"I
"Well, then," said Mis' Bates tri
umphantly, "we've done the only waj
there is to do. Laud knows, I wish
there was another way. But there
Mis' Winslow looked up from her
"I don't believe there's never 'no
other way,'" she said. "There's al
ways another way."
"Not without money," said Mis'
"Money," Mis' Winslow said—"mon
ey. That's like setting up one day of
peace on earth, good will to men, and
asking admission to it."
"Mis' Winslow," said Mis' Moran
sadly, "what's the use of saying any
thing? You know as well as I do that
Christmas is abused all up and down
the land and made a day of expense
and extravagance and folks overspend*
ing themselves. And we've Stopped all
that in Old Trail Town. And now
you're trying to make us feel bad
"I ain't." said Mis' Winslow "We
felt bad about it already, and you
know it I'm glad we've stopped all
that. But I wish't we had something
to put in its place. I wish't we had."
"What time are them children do
ing?" said Mis* Moran abruptly.
The thiee women looked. On the side
lawn, where a spreading balsam had
been left untrimmed to the ground,
stood little Emily Moran and Gussie
and Beimel and Tab and Pep. And the
four boys had their caps in their hands
and Gussie. having untied her own
hood, turned to take off little Emily's.
The wind, sweeping sharply round the
corner of the house, blew their hair
wildly and caught at muffler ends
Mis' Bates and Mis' Moran, with one
impulse, ran to the side door, and Mis'
"Emily," said Mis' Moran, "put on
your hood this minute."
"Gussie," said Mis' Bates, "put on
your cap this instant second. What
you got it off for? And Httle Emily
doing as you do—I'm su'prised at you."
"Please," said Pep. "it's a funeral.
An' we thought we'd ought to take our
caps off till it gets under."
"A funeral," Said Mis' Bates. "Who
"It's just a rehearsal funeral," Pep
^explained, "the real one's going to be
rs v~ w, w«f»r» i.
By now the' two women were re
storing hood and stocking cap to tbe
little girls, and It was Mis* Winslow.
who had followed* who spoke to Pep,
"Who's dead. Pep?" she asked.
"Sandy Claus." he answered readily.
"We're doing it for little Emily." he
said confidentially. "She couldn't get
it straight about where Sandy Claus
would be this Christmas. The rest of
us knew. But Emily's little—so we
thought we'd play bury him on her
Mis' Bates, who had not heard, turn
ed from Gussie.
"Going to do what pn Christmas?"
she exclaimed. "You ain't to do a
thing on Christmas. Or ain't you
grown up. after all?'*
"Well, we thought a Christmas fu
neral wouldn't hurt." interposed Ben
net defensively. "Can't we even have
a funeral for fun on Christmas?" he
"It's Sandy Claus' funeral." observed
little Emily, putting a curl from her
"We're goin' dress up a Sandy Claus.
you know," Pep added sotto voce. "It's
goin' to be light after breakfast Christ
"Come on. come ahead, fellows," said
Bennet "I'll be corpse. Keep your
lids on. I don't mind. Go ahead,
Already Mis' Winslow was 'walking
back to the house the other two wom
en overtook her. and from the porch
they heard the children begin to sing:
"Go bury St Nicklis." The rest was
lost in the closing of the door.
Back in the sitting room the women
stood looking at one another. Mis'
Bates was frowning and all Mis' Mor
ran's expressions were on the verge
of dissolving: but in Mis' Winslow's
face it was as though she had found
some new way of consciousness.
"Ladies." Mis' Winslow said, "them
children are out there pretending to
bury Santa Claus—and so are we. And
I bet we can't any of us do it.
"Ladies." she said, "1 don't want we
"It's Sandy Claus' funeral."
should go back on our paper, either.
But mebbe there's more to Christmas
than it knows about—or than we
know about. Mebbe we can do some
thing that won't interfere with the pa
per we've all signed, and yet that'll
be something that is something. Meb
be they's things to use that ain't nev
er been used yet. Oh, I dunno. Nor
I guess you dunno. Let us find out!"
Christmas week came.
Cities by thousands made prepara
tion. Great shops took on vast cargoes
of silk and precious things and seemed
ready to sail about, distributing gifts
to the town, and thought better of it
and let folk come in numbers to them
to pay toll for what they took. Banks
opened their doors and poured out now
a little trickling stream of pay envel
opes, now a torrent of green and gold.
Flower stalls drew tribute from a miN
lion pots of earth where miracles had
been done. Pastry counters, those mock
commissariats, delicately masking as
servants to necessity, made ready their
pretty pretences to nutrition. The
woods came moving in—acres of living
green, taken in their sleep, their roots
left faithful to a tryst with the sap,
their tops summoned to bear a hybrid
fruitage. From cathedrals rose the
voices of children, now singing little
carols and hymns in praise of the
Christ Child, now speaking little verses
in praise of the saint, Nicholas now
Hither and yonder in every city the
grown townsfolk ran. The most had
lists of names—Grace, Margaret, Laura,
Alice, Miriam. John. Philip, father,
mother—beautiful names and of .rich
portent, so that, remembering the
time, one would have said that these
were entered* there with some import
of special comradeship, of being face
to face, of having realized in little
what will some day be true in large.
But on looking closer the lists were
found to have quite other connota
tions, as Grace, bracelet: Margaret,
spangled scarf Laura, chafing dish:
Philip, smoking set father (Memo:
Ask mother what she thinks he'd like).
And every name, it seemed, stood for
some bestowal of new property, most
ly of luxuries, and chiefly of luxuries
of decoration. And the minds of the
buying adults were like lakes played
uDon bv clouds and storm birds and
iightmng. and to be sure. u»ny gfcr*
bat all III unutte^tye confusion,
Also from the'cargo laden sbop]
there came other voices in thousands.!
but these Were mostly answers. And.
when one. understanmng 'CbJ$tmaB.'
listened to hear what part in it these*
behind the counter played, he heard
from them no voice of sharing in the
theory of peace, or even of trace, but
"Two a yard and double width. Jew
elry is in the annex. Did you want
three pairs of each? Veils and neck
wear three aisles over. Leather, glass
ware, baskets, ribbons, down tbe store
beyond the notions. Toys and dolls
are in the basement—toys and dolls
are In the basement. Jewelry is in
So that a great part of the town
seemed some strong chorus of invoca
tion to new possessions.
But there were other voices. Whole
areas of every town lay perforce with
in the days of Christmas week—it must
have been so, for there is only one cal
endar to embrace humanity, as there
is only one way of birth and'breath
and death, one source of tears, one
functioning for laughter. But to these
reaches of the town the calendar was
like another thing, for. though it was
upon them in name, its very presence
was withdrawn. In those ill smelling
stairways and lofts there was little to
divulge the imminence of anything oth
er than themselves. And wherever
some echo of Christmas week hadciept
the wistfulness or the lust was for pos
session also. But here one could un
derstand its insistence. So here the
voices said only, "I wish—I wish." and
"I choose this—and this," at windovs s.
or. "If I had back my nickel." "Don't
you go expecting nothink!" And over
these went the whir of machinery,
beat of treadles, throb of engines or
the silence of forced idleness or of
the disease of dereliction. It was a
time of many pagan observances, as
when some were decked in precious
stuffs and some were thrown to lions
To all these in the towns Christmas
week came, and of them all not many
stood silent and looked Christmas Week
in the face. Yet it is a human expe
rience that none is meant to die with
out sharing, for the season is the sym
bol of what happens to folk if they
Christmas is the time of withdrawal
of most material life. Tt is tbe time
when nature subtracts the externals,
hides from man the phenomena of
?ven her evident processes. Left alone,
his thought turns inward and outward,
which is to say it lays hold" upon the
flowing force so slightly externalized
in himself. If he finds in his own be
ing a thousand obstructions, a thou
sand persons—dogs, sorcerers, scandal
mongers—he will try
clamoring for little new possessions, fPnng-the time when bursting, press
And afar from the fields that lay
empty about the clustered roofs of
towns came a chorus of voices of the
live things, beast and fowl, being offer
ed up in the gorgeous pagan rites of
them all back to the externals. But if
he finds there a channel which the
substance of being is using he wil) be
no stranger, but a familiar. With^&im
self. Only when thf» channel has4 be|n
long cleared, when there has left It 111
consciousness of striving, of self In
any form, only when he finds himself
empty, ready, immaculate, will^ he
have the divine adventure. For it is
then that in him the spirit of God will
have its birth, then that he will first
understand his own nature, the nature
HEN the turn of the year comes
in the year begins to mount.
Birth is in it growth is in it
spring is in it. Sometimes,
away back in beginnings, they knew
this. They knew that the time of
the winter solstice is in some strange
fashion the high moment of the year,
as the beginning of new activity in
nature and in the gods. They sol
emnized the return of the fiery sun
wheel they traced in those solstice
days the operations on earth of Odin
and Berchta they knew in themselves
a thing they could not name, and
when the supreme experience took
place in Christ they made the one ex
perience typify the other and became
conscious of the divine nature of this
nativity. So, by the illuminati, the
prophets, the adepts, the time that fol
lowed was yearly set aside—forty days
of dwelling within the temple of self,
forty days of reverence for being, of
consciousness of new birth. Then the
emergence, then the apotheosis of ex
pression typifying and typified by
ing life almost breaks bounds, when
birth and the impulse to birth are in
every form of life, without and within.
These festivals are not arbitrary in
date. They grow out of the universal
Is it not then cause for stupefaction
that this time of "divine bestowal"
should have become so physical a
thing? From the ancient perception,
to have slipped into a sense of annual
social comradeship and good will and
peace was natural and fine—to live in
the little what will some day be true
in the large. But from this to have
plunged down into a time of frantic
physical bestowals, of "present trad
ing," of lists of Grace and Margaret
and Philip, of teeming shops with/
hunting and hunted creatures within,
of sacrificial trees and beasts, of a
sovereign sense of good for me and
mine and a shameless show of Lord
and Lady Bountiful—how can -tlftfct
have come about? How can thegtaft^
festival have been so dishonored? -C*
Not all dishonored, for within It Is
its own vitality which nothing can dis-
Honor. the curidus tM§
ttons which It receives at our hands,
something shines and sings self giv
ing* joy giving, a vast dim upfllcker
lng on humanity of what this thing
really is that it seeks to observe, this
thing that grips men so that no mat
ter what they are about, they will drop
it at the touch of the gong and turn
to some expression, however crooked
and thwarted, of the real spirit of
the time. If in war. then bayonets
are stacked and holly wreathed, and
candles stuck on each point! If at sea
some sailor climbs out on the bow
sprit with a wreath of green. If on
tbe western plains a turkey wishbone
for target will make the sport, at fifty
paces If at home, some great extrav
agance or some humble gift or some
poignant wish will point the day. If
at church, then mass and carol In cer
tain hearts reverence. Everywhere
the time takes hold of folk and re
ceives whatever of greatness or gro
tesqueness they choose to give it So,
too, the actual and vital experience
which it brings to humanity is univer
sal, Is offered with cosmic regularity,
cannot be escaped. Through all the
tumult of the time Christmas week
and the time that lies near to it Is al
ways waiting to claim its own, to take
to itself those who will not be deceiv
ed, who see in the stupendous yearly
pageant only the usual spectacle of hu
manity trying to say divine things in
terms of things physical, because the
time for the universal expression is
not yet come.
When that time comes, when the
time of the worship of things shall be
past, when the tribal sense of holiday
shall have given place to the family
sense, and that family shall be man
kind when shall never be seen the
anomaly of celebrating in a glorifica
tion of little family tables, whose
crumbs fall to those without, the birth
of him who preached brotherhood, and
the mockery of observing with wanton
spending the birth of him who had not
where to lay his head when the rudi
ments of divine perception, of self per
ception, of social perception, shall have
grown to their next estate when the
area of consciousness shall be extend
ed yet farther toward the outermost
when that new knowledge with which
the air is charged shall let man begin
to know what he is when that time
comes they will look back with utmost
wonder at our uncouth gropings to note
and honor something whose import we
so obscurely discern, but perhaps, too,
with wonder that so much of human
love and divining should shine for us
through the mists we make.
Two days before Christmas Ellen
Bourne went through the new fallen
snow of their wood lot. Her feet left
scuffled tracks clouded about by the
brushing of her gown's wet hem and
by a dragging corner of shawl. She
came to a little evergreen tree, not four
feet tall, with low growing boughs,
and she stood looking at it until her
husband, who Was also following the^
snow filled path, overtook her..
"Matthew." she said then, "will you
cut me that?"
Matthew Bourne stood with his ax
on his shoulder and looked a question
in slsw preparation +o ask one.
"I just want it," she said. "I've—
took a notion."
He said that she had a good many
notions, it seemed to him. But he cut
the little tree with casual ease and no
compunctions, and they dragged it to
their home, the soft branches pattern
ing the snow and obscuring their foot
"It's like real Christmas weather,"
Ellen said. "They can't stop that com
In the kitchen Ellen's father sat be
fore the open oven door of the cooking
stove, letting the snow melt from his
"Hey," he said, "I was beginning to
think you'd forgot about supper. What
was in the trap?"
At once Ellen began talking rapidly.
"Oh," she said, "we'll have some muf
fins tonight, father the kind you like,
"Well, what was in the trap?" the
old man demanded peevishly. "Why
"Matthew," she said then, "will you out
don't you answer back? What was,
Matthew, drying his ax blade, looked
at it with one eye closed.
."Babbit," he said.
"Where is it?" her father demanded.
"It was a young one, not as big as
your fist," Ellen said. "I let it out be
fore he got there. Where's mother?"
.. "Just because a thing's young it ain't
holy water," the old man complained.
"Last time it was a squirrel yon let go
because it was young. It's like being
spendthrift with manna," be wen¥on?
Ellen's mother appeared, gave over to,
Ellen the supper preparations, content'
ed herself with auxiliary offices of chi
na and butter getting and talked the
while, pleased that she had something
"Ben Helders stopped In." she told.
"He's going to tbe city tomorrow.
What do you s'pose after? A boy,
He's going to take him to bring up and
work on the farm."
"Where's he going to get the boy?"
While the two worked, Ellen went to
the cupboard drawer, and from behind
her pile of kitchen towels she drew
out certain things—walnuts, wrapped
in shining yeast tinsel and dangling
from red yarn wishbones tied with
strips of bright cloth a tiny box, made
like a house, with rudely cut doors
and windows eggshells penciled as
faces, a handful of peanut owls, a
glass stoppered bottle, a long neck
lace of buttonhole twist spools. A cer
tain blue paper soldier doll that she
had made was upstairs,''but the other
things she brought and fastened to the
Her husband smoked and uneasily
watched her. He saw something with
in her plan, but he was not at home
there. "If the boy had lived and had
been upchamber asleep now," he
thought once, "ifd be something like
to go trimming up a tree. But thl«*
"What you leaving the whole front of
the tree bare for?" her mother asked.'
"The blue paper soldier goes there.
I want it should see the blue paper
soldier first thing." Ellen said and stop-
MRS. ROOS LEAVING HOSPITAL.
Her mother did not know, lint Mrs.
Helders was going to have a new di
agonal, and she wanted tbe number,
of Ellen's pattern. Ben would stop for
It that night. I
Evenings their kitchen was a sitting
room, and when the supper had been
cleared away and the red cotton spread
covered the table, Ellen asked her hus
band to bring in the little tree. She
found a cracker box. handily cut a
hole wtih a cooking knife and set up
the little tree by the window in the
"What under the canopy"—said her
mother, her voice cracking.
"Oh, something to do in the even
ing," Ellen answered. "Father's going
to pop me some corn to trim it with,
aren't you, father? Mother, why don't
you get you a good big darning needle
and string what he pops?"
"It'll make a lot of litter," said her
mother, but she brought the needle for
something to do.
"Hey, king and country!" said her
father: "I'd ought to have somebody
here to shell it for me!"
"Who you trimming up a tree for?"
her mother demanded. "I thought they
wasn't to be any in town this year."
"It ain't Christmas yet," Ellen said
only. "I guess it won't do any hurt
two days before."
The Dixie NoTUFT Compartment Mattress
has ten compartments or sections. Each compartment
is practically a mattress by itself. Amount offilling-in
each compartment varies according to the individual require
ments. Where wear is heaviest most filling is placed. No other
mattress can be built this way, owing to strong, protective pat
ents covering this method of construction.
"Ton talk like you was trimming tbe
tree for somebody,** her mother observ
ed, aggrieved, 1
"Maybe something might look In the
window—going by," Ellen said.
"Get In there! Get your beads InJ^,
there, ye beggars!" said the old man to
the popcorn. *T4 ought to} have sonte
©ody here to pick up them .shooting S
kernels," he complained.
In a little while, with flat footed:,
stamping, Ben Helders came in. When
he bad tbe pattern number, by labor
,ions copying against the wall under the
bracket lamp, Matthew said to him:
"Going to get a boy to work out, are I
Helders laughed and shifted. 'J-'''*~"!
"He's going to work by and by," he
said. "We allow to have him to our
selves a spell first."
"Keep him around the bouse till
spring?"., ,-*,, ',
"More," said Helders. "You see/' he
added, "it's like this with us—family I
all gone, all married and got their own.
We figured to get hold of a little shaver
and have some comfort with him be
fore he goes to work for life." 1
"Adopt him?" said Matthew cu
"That's pretty near it," Helders ad
mitted. "We've got one spoke for at
the City Orphan asylum."
Ellen Bourne turned. "How old?"
"Around five—six. we figure." Hel
ders said it almost sheepishly. A
Ellen stood facing the men, with the
white festoons of popcorn in her
"Matthew," she said, "let him bring:
Matthew stared. "You mean bring:
us a boy?" lie asked.
"I don't care which—girl or boy.
Anything young," Ellen said.
"Good Lord, Ellen," Matthew said*
with high eyebrows, "ain't you got
your hands full enough now?"
Ellen Bourne lifted her hands slight
ly and let them fall. "No," she an
The older woman looked at her
daughter, and now first she was solic
itous as a mother.
"Ellen," she said, "you have, too, got 1
your hands full. You're wore out all
"That's it," Ellen said, "and I'm not
wore out with the things I want to
"Hey, king and country!" the old!
man cried, upsetting the popper.
"Don't get a child around here under-.,^
foot. I'm too old. I deserve grown
folks. My head hurts me"—
"Matthew." said Ellen to her hus
band, "let Helders bring us one. To
morrow—for Christmas, Mat!"
Matthew looked slowly from side to
side. It seemed incredible that so*
large a decision should lie with a man
"Seems like we'd ought to think
about it awhile first," he said weakly.
"Think about it." said Ellen. "When
A positive guarantee against "spreading" goes
with every Dixie NoTUFT Compartment Mattress. Con
sequently you may rest assuredof straight, clean edges, and well
draped bedding when you use it. It has no tufts—no dirt pockets, and
is easy to keep clean. It is most comfortable because most resilient. It
is durable because it has no tufts to give way, and can be made mostas
good as new any tune oy a slight beating and a sun bath.
Hugo Roos of Kansas City, Mo.
arrived here Monday evening and left
last night with his mother who will spend
the winter with her son Charles at
Wellington, Kansas. Miss Edith Som
mer of St. Paul accompanied Mrs. Roos
also. Mrs. Roos has spent practically [the sleeper, but the Pullmann cond
the entire last year at the Loretto
Hospital. She underwent an operation thru ticket on that particular sleeper
for gall-stones and had recovered suffi
ciently from the operation to be able to
move about when she had the misfortune
to fall at the home of Mrs. Anna Wi-
cherski where she was staying and
broke her hip and had to return to the
hospital. Her advanced age has made
her recovery very slow and tedious.
All the way from Sioux City to
Mankato Mr. Roos had the Pullmann.
sleeper all to himself. The regular
conductor suggested transferring Mr.
Roos to the parlor car and cutting out
claimed that because Mr. Roos had a
car had to ge thru and that is how Mr.
Roos had a chance to spread himself
about as much as the President of the