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Grind2Win Training Group

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A Holly Dolly Christmas Zip [UPD]

As I was saying, I went through the door intoa beautiful white hall with lofty pillars, betweenwhich there were regular banks of holly with thered berries shining through, just as if it were outin the woods! And from behind one of them therecame the merriest laugh you could ever think of.Do you think, now, it was that letter in my pocketthat gave that guilty little throb against my heartwhen I heard it, or what could it have been? Ihadn't even time to ask myself the question, forthere stood my host all framed in holly, and withthe heartiest handclasp.

A Holly Dolly Christmas zip

But they saw no luxurious private car with frock-coatedofficials and liveried servants. An every-dayengine with three express cars in tow stood upon thetrack, and baggagemen in blue overalls yelled forhand-trucks, and hustled out boxes and crates consignedto "The agent at Shawnee." Yet it was notan every-day train nor an ordinary crew; for allof them, conductor, brakemen, engineer and fireman,[26]wore holly in their caps and broad grins ontheir faces. The locomotive flew two white flagswith the words "Merry Christmas" in red letters,and across the cars a strip of canvas was strung theirwhole length, with the legend "The ChristmasTrain" in capitals a foot long. Even in the gloomof the snowshed it shone out, plain to read.

A young balsam from the mountainside made itsappearance, no one knew exactly how, and in a triceit shone with a wealth of candles and toys at whichthe baby, struggling up to a sitting posture in hiscradle, looked with wide-eyed wonder. The Crogans'modest living-room was made festive with[30]holly and evergreen and transformed into a joyousdining-room before Mrs. Tom could edge in a wordof protest. All the memories of her cherished Yulesurged in upon her as the room filled with the smellof roast turkey and mince pie and what not of goodcheer, borne in by a procession of white-clad waiterswho formed a living chain between the dining-carand the station. When in the wake of them theveritable rocking-horse, hastily unpacked, was ledin by a hysterical darky, and pranced and pawedits way across the floor, its reins jingling with silverbells, Thomas Crogan, Junior, considered it, sittingbolt upright, one long minute, sighed and, overwhelmedby such magnificence, went calmly tosleep. It was too much for one Christmas Eve, andhe not a year old.

It was just a sprig of holly, with scarlet berriesshowing against the green, stuck in, by one of theoffice boys probably, behind the sign that pointedthe way up to the editorial rooms. There was noreason why it should have made me start when Icame suddenly upon it at the turn of the stairs; butit did. Perhaps it was because that dingy hall,given over to dust and draughts all the days of theyear, was the last place in which I expected to meetwith any sign of Christmas; perhaps it was becauseI myself had nearly forgotten the holiday. Whateverthe cause, it gave me quite a turn.

Her tears fell faster. One drop trembled uponthe wan cheek of the doll. The last sunbeam shotathwart it and made it glisten like a priceless jewel.Its glory grew and filled the room. Gone were theblack walls, the darkness, and the cold. There waswarmth and light and joy. Merry voices and gladfaces were all about. A flock of children dancedwith gleeful shouts about a great Christmas tree inthe middle of the floor. Upon its branches hungdrums and trumpets and toys, and countless candlesgleamed like beautiful stars. Farthest up, at the[134]very top, her doll, her very own, with arms outstretched,as if appealing to be taken down andhugged. She knew it, knew the mission-school thathad seen her first and only real Christmas, knew thegentle face of her teacher, and the writing on thewall she had taught her to spell out: "In His name."His name, who, she had said, was all little children'sfriend. Was He also her dolly's friend, and wouldHe know it among the strange people? 041b061a72


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