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MARLEY'S GHOST. Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don't... more...

I   Kindlings Polly, the Doctor's old white mare, plodded slowly along the snowy country road by the picket fence, and turned in at the snow-capped posts. Ahead, roofed with the ragged ermine of a newly-fallen snow, the Doctor's old-fashioned house loomed gray-white through the snow-fringed branches of the trees, a quaint iron lantern, which was picturesque by day and luminous and cheerful by night, hanging within the square,... more...

Uncle Noah's Christmas Inspiration I The twilight of a Christmas Eve, gray with the portent of coming snow, crept slowly over the old plantation of Brierwood, softening the outlines of a decrepit house still rearing its roof in massive dignity and a tumbledown barn flanked by barren fields. A quiet melancholy hovered about the old house as if it brooded over a host of bygone Yuletides alive with the shouts of merry negroes and the jingle of... more...

TOMMY TROT’S VISIT TO SANTA CLAUS I The little boy whose story is told here lived in the beautiful country of “Once upon a Time.” His name, as I heard it, was Tommy Trot; but I think that, maybe, this was only a nick-name. When he was about your age, he had, on Christmas Eve, the wonderful adventure of seeing Santa Claus in his own country, where he lives and makes all the beautiful things that boys and girls get at... more...

CHAPTER I WHICH SHALL SPEAK FIRST? Ronald West stood at the window of his wife's sitting-room, looking across the bright garden-borders to the wide park beyond, and wondering how on earth he should open the subject of which his mind had been full during their morning ride. He had swung off his own horse a few moments before; thrown the bridle to a waiting groom, and made his way round to her stirrup. Then he had laid his hand upon Silverheels'... more...


I Now the day of the birth of our Lord dawned that year grey and dreary, and a Saturday. But, despite the weather, in the town at the foot of the hill there was rejoicing, as befitted so great a festival. The day before a fat steer had been driven to the public square and there dressed and trussed for the roasting. The light of morning falling on his carcass revealed around it great heaps of fruits and vegetables. For the year had been... more...

THE THIN SANTA CLAUS Mrs. Gratz opened her eyes and looked out at the drizzle that made the Christmas morning gray. Her bed stood against the window, and it was easy for her to look out; all she had to do was to roll over and pull the shade aside. Having looked at the weather she rolled again on to the broad flat of her back and made herself comfortable for awhile, for there was no reason why she should get up until she felt like it. "Such a... more...

THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester. He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged on a table, from morning till dark. All day long while the light lasted he sewed and snippeted, piecing out his satin and pompadour, and... more...

The Sign in the Sky      IN the days when Augustus Caesar was master of many kings and Herod reigned in Jerusalem, there lived in the city of Ecbatana, among the mountains of Persia, a certain man named Artaban, the Median. His house stood close to the outermost of the seven walls which encircled the royal treasury. From his roof he could look over the rising battlements of black and white and crimson and blue and red and silver... more...

THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL It was the hour of rest in the Country Beyond the Stars. All the silver bells that swing with the turning of the great ring of light which lies around that land were softly chiming; and the sound of their commotion went down like dew upon the golden ways of the city, and the long alleys of blossoming trees, and the meadows of asphodel, and the curving shores of the River of Life. At the hearing of that chime, all the angels... more...