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The Christmas Angel

The Christmas Angel image
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"Oh, what a blast! Don't yon think tho roof will como off, Peter?" "Nonsense, Kate; roofs don't como offlikethat." "But, Peter, it'a so cold and I'in liungry, antl I did so want to go to the Christmas tree;" and pour little Katy gavo wav to the tear3 Bhe luid so long been suppresaing, indulgÍDg, if the M - ii - ■ ■ ' - ■ ■ i ia i i could have nothing else, in a good ciy this Christmas eve. At any other time, perhaps, Peter would have atterupted to quell the storm vvith not very polite allusions to girlish customs; but to-night the influences of the season or somelhing else had sof tened his feelings and he did feel sorry for his poor little sister. He knewhow shc had irudged to Sunday school week af ter week in storm and shine; how caréfuily she had hoarded the tickets on the presentatioa of whicb 8ho had received her new shoes, given on the expresa undcrslaudins: that she was to wear them to the Christrnas tree. That his father should have chosen those shoes, out of all their possessioas, to pawn - though it would be difficult to say wiiac else ot marketable value he could find in the bare tencment, and this day of all othors to do it in - excited the boy's indignation and brought upon that wanderer's head the nialedictions he did not feel inclined to bes co w upon his sister. "It is a shame, Katy, so it is; maybe father will come home and bring tlïem back in time, af ter all." But Peter knew better. Fathcr never came back from a spreo with anything pawnable in his possession, and his busy little braio begau to plan s'imc way for Katy io have a Christmas. Ho might go to the Christmas tree at the tnission school, for his shoes were safe - a thought came then that ho shrank from and put aside - and ho might bring home an orange or a cake for Katy, but then she wouid have to stay at home in the cold and dark, and she was so afraid of the wind he could not ber to leave her there. !I--.v different things were w'usn his mother was alive. That brouglit back the other thought. Mother had sold and pawned her pretty and useful things many :i time for the family ncds, or to give her ehiJdren ploasure; why mightn't he pawi: his shoes and get Katy some Christmas? That would be better than enjoying the Christmas all alono aud leaving her to be unhappy. The flre ho eould manage by going tothe doek-yard, as ie had so often done before. "Katy, let's us haveaChristmtis tree and goodies here." "What," said Katy, pausing in her cry," to open her eyes and mouth in astonishment, "Not a big oue, yon know, but a little one just for 3 ou and me, and a fire and lights. You go to bed and cover lip warm, and l'll go out and seo if Santa Clau:e won't send us a tree, and we'll have a real good time, af ter al!, better'n t.hey have at the missioo school," said the boy," warming witli his own generosity and seif-denial. Katy lookad dubious, but sho had listeued very atteutively to what her mission school teacher said, and she was too unsopüisticp-ted to understand how it is that people eau pray for things and not expect to get them, so she said: "Yes, I know! You go out, and l'll " kneel down and and ask Jesus to send an angel to bring us a good Chri'stmas, andl guess ho will." Off sped Peter; the way _lü the pawn broker's was only too familiar ancí the exchange of his shoe? for a í;mall handful cf change easily effected ïhe boy feit more than repaid, for shoes were an eneumbrance; his feet wörfl well usedto being without, whiïc ti-': n seen?ed untold riehes. ile i dispose of tliat a!so very ad . y. for both childreh wero welJ i a"t tl e little store to whicli J10 ■ went te ruake his Chiisl good measurc, i together, and run on top of the c'aip contained Katy'a C "He'll send her ' I said Katy. w.ikinjj'-irom Ii "" ■-■"■■" it fier broUier's entrance. id what? ' Oh, the angel Dorftyouk) were angela singiug the first Clirislinas night, and ?i esua to sénd u oneaugeJ, aíl ! -jurselvc . .■ 'ur Christmas tree," Vcry go d, anti the cheery bláze ■ thatofhe fwo Whito candios :laiost superfiuöus'; ivhile lied to an cvei'grcea stick, ut by the sexton at the ■ of soir.o chnroh dressing and :?till ! cxliibiling a little grecuness, were the apples, Oftkes, colorud suar-plums, and otherknicknacksinto wbicli Peter s sliocs had been trarfsmuteil. The kind shopwoman bad adáed a loaf of bread and a larga sl-.cet of soft, dark gingerbread; and the two were just preparing to eat their unwontedlj' loxuriona supper when they were gtartled by i Idud cry, foliowed bv a heavy f all. "There's fftther come home drank," said Katy, withftlook of congternation, as she thoujrht of the probable f.ite of her treasures. "No, that wasn'i father's voice,"said Peter; "what can it be? Let's go and see." The open door threw a broad beam of lip;ht down the tairs, at vhose foot lay a curious looking boodle moving convuisively and sobbing piteously. In anothcr niimite Peter had run down stairs and brought the thing, whatever ! it was, to the ügbt and tlio iire There, i rolled vip in aatins,furs and soit merino, was a littlo girl, about Katy's ago anti size, but so different. Tho children gazed at the flufty golden hair whieh Üoated around hertear-stained face, the deep blue eyes blinking in tho unex pected light, the thick soft ruiltens, heavy cloth boots, leggings, cmbroidery, and all other articles of street dress of a little lady in modern times; and then, a8 the child feit tho genial ; warmth and saw the queer little Christl mas tree, and her pearly teeth showed j themselves in a smile that chased away I the tears, Katy clapped her hands anil said: "Why, Peter, it'a our angel." 'Let me stay and play with you," , said the little one, "tiií my mamma comes. I can't find her anywhere; I'vo walked about 500 miles, and l'm so j cold," - Katy didn't see how that couid be with so many clothes on, - -'and so huugry, I wantsome of that cake." And so thrce hungry chiklrcn instead of two, enjoyed tho Christmas festival; and I am afraid the "little angel" never knew how nuich lesa there was for Peter, whilo she satisñed her starving little self with food that any other day iu tac SG5 shc would not have touched, But Peter did not care, so muoh had his capacity for sclf-sacviliee iucreascd that lie would Iiave been glad to have another little girl there to eat up another pair of shoes, :f he had had thein to put in pawn Long before the gapper was ended and the lire burned out, the little angel was perfectly at home and had told tho chiklrcn that her name ivas Alice Vail, and told aU about her getliuir lost while she and her motiier wéro out shopping, getting the pretty thlnga to put oa the Christmas tree for to-morrow, "when all my cousins are coming, and all the other children, you know." But the fire began to burn lovv and the candles to go out and the "500 miles" to teil upon the weary walker; her liead nodiled, and she said: "Don't you ever go to bod?" '.'Oh yes," said Katy, -'and you'll sleep with as. VVon't that be ïunP" And she jumpod into the farther side of Ü.o only bed, inviting Aüee to follow hor. The dainty littlo maiden looked swhat disgusted at it.s appearance. but she was very sleepy, so sho laid down beside her now rriend, and with Pulcr on tiie outside covored with the old bounlerpanes and all her own warm wraps, was soon sleeping as swcetly as ever she lad slept in her own comfortable nursery bed at home. '■Jlamma'll wake me in the morning," slie murmured as her eyes eloscd, and Katy whispered to Peter: "I?n't slie adarling little angel?" The cold, gray oawn was just breaking into the cheerless room as fei cended the stairs, and iu a moment sereral persons slood Jooking at the tiree sleepers. "We have iollowed tho iiaii to I vejy door," said a poHcemau in ad van se of til a littlo procession.. "There she is, my angel," criod anotiier voioo.; and a delioately-dressed fadj rush edörward, and then started back, oxclaiming, "And between i.vo dirty chjldren; Iful!" Ii tt h:id i:ot been for those dirty children-, would in all prob! do cliild: to 1 pt in air last nighi wonld havi eertain death. Why. Lhey'ro John Koaman's children. Vh of tho poor things? Their fat!, er (.,. „.,. ...... J ■■" clean, bul all Ucused to such scones lost -in adniiration of the wonderfu Christinas tree and ; "f its tréasures, and i..i more of their last nieht' i. who, n her gauzy white dress and silver streaïnérs, looked more like nn angel tiiat uvTer. She bad insisted upon their presence, and ikknh!, aftcr tfieir first shock, her parents hai feit tliat they coiild not do too mucb for Mie forsakeu littlo ones who, ouL of uuiiv own decp poverty, had ao generously _succored the rich man's chik!. And iu aftor years, when Peter, r.n industrious, intelligent young mechanic, came to visit his úiodcst, well-instructed sister ia her luxurious home, she would say, .vhile reeounting the many benolits bestowed upon her by her yon Dg mistress, and still holding fast to the faith early implanted ia lier mission school: "How thaukful wooiiglit to be, Peter, 10 the Lord Jesus, who, in aDSwer to my prayer tliat dreadful Christmas eve, sent us ouc Christmas angel." Perhaps neither of theru fully rceognized tliat even the aaswered prayer would have been of no avail without Peter's iovinsr self-sacrifice.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News