MONTHLY MAGAZINE JULY, 1914
NORTHBOROUGH CROSS BY
L. COPE CORNFORD Author of “Sons of Adversity,” etc.
HE hand-bell ringers were ringing a tune with peal so sounding and melodious that no one heard the street door open. The ringers, some standing and some kneeling in a circle in the stone flagged hall, were deftly setting down and picking up their bells; the servants were gathered together in the kitchen doorway; and on the further side of the hall the drawing-room door stood open. Lancelot, reclining his little body on the broad balustrading of the staircase, gazing down upon the lighted hall, was suddenly aware of a white stranger. He stood against the front door, behind the circle of ringers, dressed in a long white mackintosh; his broad hat and the muffling which hid his face were crusted with snow, and twinkling flakes of melting snow powdered his shoulders. So he stood while the jolly
bells chimed and rang the next verse; and to Lance's excited little
imagination this mysterious visitor had stepped from out the Christmas Carol book and had stolen through the snowy night into his father's house. The stranger looked up at the little boy and nodded at him in a
friendly way, and his strong voice struck recklessly into the tune as he came forward, passing below Lance, and reaching out a hand to him. “Where’s your father, Tyke? Take me to him, there’s a good nephew.” Copyright, 1914, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT CoMPANY. All rights reserved. Vol. XC1V-1