Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/293

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with a holly-leaf. Small as it was, it curled over his head like a huge umbrella. With the spiky point he slyly pricked the elf above; and he, taken by surprise, lost his hold, and came tumbling down, while the other danced for glee and clapped his hands mockingly. Pretty soon, however, all was made up again,—they kissed and were friends,—and Roger saw them perched opposite each other, and moving to and fro like children in a swing.

How long the pretty sight lasted he could not tell. So fearful was he of marring the sport that he never stirred a finger; but all at once there came a strain of music in the air, solemn, and sweeter than ever mortal heard before. In a moment the elves left their sports; they clustered like bees together in the window, and then flew from the tower in one sparkling drift, and were gone, leaving Roger alone, and the owls hooting below in the ivy.

And then he felt afraid,—which he had not been as long as the fays were there,—and down he ran in a fright over the stone steps of the stairs, and entered the church again. The red glow of the fire was grateful to him, for he was shivering with cold and excitement; but hardly had he regained his old seat, when, lo! a great marvel came to pass.

The wide window over the altar swung open, and a train of angels slowly floated through. How he knew them to be angels, Roger could