Claus thought that none of the children would ever know where the toys cam_rom which they found by their bedsides when they wakened the followin_orning. But kindly deeds are sure to bring fame, and fame has many wings t_arry its tidings into far lands; so for miles and miles in every directio_eople were talking of Claus and his wonderful gifts to children. The swee_enerousness of his work caused a few selfish folk to sneer, but even thes_ere forced to admit their respect for a man so gentle-natured that he love_o devote his life to pleasing the helpless little ones of his race.
Therefore the inhabitants of every city and village had been eagerly watchin_he coming of Claus, and remarkable stories of his beautiful playthings wer_old the children to keep them patient and contented.
When, on the morning following the first trip of Claus with his deer, th_ittle ones came running to their parents with the pretty toys they had found,
and asked from whence they came, they was but one reply to the question.
"The good Claus must have been here, my darlings; for his are the only toys i_ll the world!"
"But how did he get in?" asked the children.
At this the fathers shook their heads, being themselves unable to understan_ow Claus had gained admittance to their homes; but the mothers, watching th_lad faces of their dear ones, whispered that the good Claus was no mortal ma_ut assuredly a Saint, and they piously blessed his name for the happiness h_ad bestowed upon their children.
"A Saint," said one, with bowed head, "has no need to unlock doors if i_leases him to enter our homes."
And, afterward, when a child was naughty or disobedient, its mother would say:
"You must pray to the good Santa Claus for forgiveness. He does not lik_aughty children, and, unless you repent, he will bring you no more prett_oys."
But Santa Claus himself would not have approved this speech. He brought toy_o the children because they were little and helpless, and because he love_hem. He knew that the best of children were sometimes naughty, and that th_aughty ones were often good. It is the way with children, the world over, an_e would not have changed their natures had he possessed the power to do so.
And that is how our Claus became Santa Claus. It is possible for any man, b_ood deeds, to enshrine himself as a Saint in the hearts of the people.