Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/285

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ting in it though; he has gone to the church to put the fire in order for the night, lock up the doors, and make all safe.

Grandmother, in her clean stuff gown and apron, is mounted upon a chair to stick a twig of holly on the tall clock in the corner. And now, as she turns round, what a pleasant face she shows us, does she not? Old and wrinkled, to be sure, but so good-natured and gentle that she is prettier than many a young girl even now. Is it any wonder that little Roger there is so fond of her?

Now another bit of holly is wanted on the chimney-piece; and it is while putting this up that the dear old dame gives sign that something has gone wrong. "Ts, ts, ts,—deary me!"

"What's the matter, Granny?" said Roger.

"Why, Roger," replied Granny, carefully dismounting from her chair, "look here. Grandfather has gone off and forgot his keys. He took 'em from the door this morning, because last year some of the young folks let 'em drop in the snow, and had a sad time hunting for them. He knew they would be in and out all day, so he just opened the door and brought the keys home. Deary me! it's a cold night for old bones to be out of doors. Would'st be afeard, little 'un, to run up with them?"

"Not a bit," said Roger, stoutly, as he crammed the last spoonful of porridge in his