Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/311

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283
AT SIMPSON'S BAR

"Sometimes over yar and sometimes under yer; but it’s most powerful from yer to yer. Rub yer, dad."

A silence seemed to indicate a brisk rubbing. Then Johnny:—

"Havin’ a good time out yar, dad?"

"Yes, sonny."

"Tomorrer’s Chrismiss,—ain't it?’"

"Yes, sonny. How does she feel now?"

"Better. Rub a little furder down. Wot’s Chrismiss, anyway? Wot’s it all about?"

"Oh, it's a day."

This exhaustive definition was apparently satisfactory, for there was a silent interval of rubbing. Presently Johnny again:—

"Mar sez that everywhere else but yer everybody gives things to everybody Chrismiss, and then she jist waded inter you. She sez thar’s a man they call Sandy Claws, not a white man, you know but a kind o’ Chinemin, comes down the chimbley night afore Chrismiss and gives things to chillern,—boys like me. Puts ’em in their butes! Thet’s what she tried to play upon me. Easy, now, pop, whar are you rubbin’ to,—thet’s a mile from the place. She jest made that up, didn’t she, jest to aggrewate me and you? Don’t rub thar—Why, dad!"

In the great quiet that seemed to have fallen upon the house the sigh of the near pines and the drip of leaves without was very distinct. Johnny’s voice, too, was lowered as he went on: