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Chapter 9 "Santa Claus!"

  • 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.