The Night Before Christmas - William Dean Howells - ebook

The Night Before Christmas ebook

William Dean Howells

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A charming tale that tells about The Night Before Christmas in the home of the Fountain family.

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Liczba stron: 36

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The Night Before Christmas

William Dean Howells

Contents:

The Night Before Christmas

I Mr. And Mrs. Clarence Fountain

II Mr. Frank Watkins, Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

III Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

IV The Fountains, Fountain's Sisters

V Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

VI Wilbur Hazard, The Fountains

VII Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

VIII Maggie, The Fountains

IX Jim, Susy, The Fountains

X Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

XI Maggie, Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

XII Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

XIII Jim And Susy, Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

XIV Mrs. Fountain, Fountain

Cover Design: @mei - Fotolia.com

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9

Deutschland

ISBN: 9783849647094

www.jazzybee-verlag.de

www.facebook.com/jazzybeeverlag

[email protected]

The Night Before Christmas

I Mr. And Mrs. Clarence Fountain

Mrs. Clarence Fountain, backing into the room, and closing the door noiselessly before looking round: "Oh, you poor thing! I can see that you are dead, at the first glance. I'm dead myself, for that matter." She is speaking to her husband, who clings with one hand to the chimney-piece, and supports his back with the other; from this hand a little girl's long stocking lumpily dangles; Mrs. Fountain, turning round, observes it. "Not finished yet? But I don't wonder! I wonder you've even begun. Well, now, I will take hold with you." In token of the aid she is going to give, Mrs. Fountain sinks into a chair and rolls a distracted eye over the littered and tumbled room. "It's worse than I thought it  would be. You ought to have smoothed the papers out and laid them in a pile as fast as you unwrapped the things; that is the way I always do; and wound the strings up and put them one side. Then you wouldn't have had to wade round in them. I suppose I oughtn't to have left it to you, but if I had let you put the children to bed you know you'd have told them stories and kept them all night over their prayers. And as it was each of them wanted to put in a special Christmas clause; I know what kind of Christmas clause I should have put in if I'd been frank! I'm not sure it's right to keep up the deception. One comfort, the oldest ones don't believe in it any more than we do. Dear! I did think at one time this afternoon I should have to be brought home in an ambulance; it would have been a convenience, with all the packages. I simply marvel at their delivery wagons getting them here."

Fountain, coming to the table, where she sits, and taking up one of the toys with which it is strewn: "They haven't all of them."

Mrs. Fountain: "What do you mean by all of them?"

Fountain: "I mean half." He takes up a mechanical locomotive and stuffs it into the stocking he holds.

Mrs. Fountain, staying his hand: "What are you doing? Putting Jimmy's engine into Susy's stocking! She'll be perfectly insulted when she finds it, for she'll know you weren't paying the least attention, and you can't blame Santa Claus for it with her. If that's what you've been doing with the other stockings— But there aren't any others. Don't tell me you've just begun! Well, I could simply cry."

Fountain, dropping into the chair on the other side of the table, under the shelter of a tall Christmas tree standing on it: "Do you call unwrapping a whole car-load of truck and getting it sorted, just beginning? I've been slaving here from the dawn of time, and I had to have some leisure for the ghosts of my own Christmases when I was little. I didn't have to wade round in the wrappings of my presents in those days. But it isn't the sad memories that take it out of you; it's the happy ones. I've never had a ghastlier half-hour than I've just spent in the humiliating multiplicity of these gifts. All the old birthdays and wedding-days and Fourth of Julys and home-comings and children's christenings I've ever had came trooping back. There oughtn't to be any gay anniversaries; they should be forbidden by law. If I could only have recalled a few dangerous fevers and funerals!"

Mrs. Fountain