Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 22, 1923     Arkansas Catholic
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December 22, 1923
 

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Spirit 0f Christmas By Robert Stead [tE Widow S tately&apos;s honle lay in a nook In the f o othills whore the sun In mornings e a m e up from tile ettst. At noon lie poured down gently anions the evergreens that clothed the hill- r little ttrm, and In the ova- tim@ fo sunset on the he faded out in yellow1 OVer ataxk white lpettks that the Widow's wtlley fronl tile Vldw SRately had been when she came Into that In the foothills with he Winsome lad of fourteen l:l, ere they had "dug little hard of heifers. I)lowed the valley field Fotatoea, and, with thai they had built the log's where a nmuntalt lullabies In the- stlii of the six years thtW feet. The flehls had ex- herd had groxvn ; tile cream down to town three ttlneS Was uew furniture 111, 8e and a lilt of son agulR 0Ws heart, "But one now tnotller love could not Dtlll.g W|len lmr 111ill(I- rode out with the yellow- girl from S(ml:h of the Jd of that sanlc six years And now tim Widow a whh)w, and the Is Old Ilefore liar time. Valley u mlh, or nlore live ass. Anti Freddie Freed- Imhnplfily runs to SParks Ily upward, i die who left Ills Slately lqalloween? Wns It not Ihe I'ea<!Jt Ill tile Who but Fredgle to front and rear wheels Whr) but Freddie ducks which site was Irank cream In liar dairy gone to town ? as a I)lanlet of C, Iirlst. the foothills and the returns fronl town ely pnreel for Clrlst- the fire will bul'n visions will o embeys.; attd the S,. of ti'0rr rlstmas Snow Carpet and the Valley; The fire will die out, Cl'p In, Wall up by the log young figure and--can she spruce logs at the have been cut and burning. )nd llgure comes out and by the head. YOUr team away while Wartn yourself, Mrs. a Voice. "See. I have for YtUI." It seemed that she the Spell. Without In the rocker by the long In coming that to tim door. The Was Just dlsappearln ad lla the gray cloud ol] hhLYu? Wb.o are you?" she 8blrlt of C, hrlstmas," he knw his voice. l,,lal:ghod. "You're had had a busy and Friend Wife had haul0. Wife that her ,flies duties alto- acently. For a time znarr%d he always six; mJw he was fre- qlpently htte. Anti lu, didn't soe.m properly (llstl'esed over It. T|tltt ,;'S what vorl'it,d h('F nit>s|.. SO l,'rh,lld \\;Vlfo leatrllt,d Io llll 11( I little, lind I,o eOl|lld;tln n IIIth,. iI,;ll to wonder H gated tit!hi ,\\;lid lilt! llll)l'( abe lll()l)q(l l]ld ('HllldllilIOd Ill(' loSS dd lerlc, ll(l llllsl)ltnd hl:yry Ii'Ill th( office. The olllco lind Im(.onle IlLs re- treat. Moreovnr, there was lho l'nrty of the Tllh'd Part l,'rh,nd Wif(, had i never seen the Party of l]le '['hlrtl a Part, but slle couhl not dmlbt her existence. For a year b:t(:k her hlls- band had forgotten to kiss her wheD he wont to the office and when he came home. And on those rnl,e nights twhen he stayed at honle lu, read the twsaper, and yawned, .'tnd fmmd the J19 heavy on his hands. S,) 5Oll see er ? must be a Party of the Third ']Yhis fear gripped the little woman so deeply that one night she deter- mined she would know tile worst. Her husband had not come home to dinner; b had teltphoned that he was very "btIv in the office. He would Just slip ant and have a bite. And lie would illkeiT be late--don't sit up . . . ilae would know the truth! , o sle put on a long cloak, and a troll affair that she could draw over There at the End Sat an Oldish Man, H Was Her Huab&ndl her face, d she went straight to hll office In-time to lntei-cept him before he left for hie appointment. A shon through the frosted doors, b 1 ImPale was silent as the tomb. "Ha has gone alradyl" she claimed to herself. Then she gently tried the dor. It opened to her hand. Her eyes swept a vista of deserted F How forl0 an Irksome y ked I But everyone was' gone. No I ere at the end sat an oldish man, was her husband l It had never dtruck her before that her husband was beginning to be an oldlsh man. He 'had not heard bar. He was Intent over a statement with long colmuns of fig- ures. and he was tnaklng calculations on a pad of paper before him. From where she stood she could see the gray tinge about his temples, and the thinning hair on the top of his head. His brow Was set in deep fur- rows. And sueMenly Friend Withe found herself swallowing desperately at solnethlng in her throat. Suddenly shb knew that there was no Party of the Third Part, and never had been a I Party of the Third Part, and that she , was a foolish, wicked woman. She drew the door gently shut. In the Imsement of the bulidlng was a restuurant, where also was a walter who. for a consideration, woulcl carry a meal to her husband's office. Quickly she gave the order, for two: it wag to be a modest meal, not too expensive, but healthful, and garnished wlth love. The walter carried It in and set it doWn on the little cm'respondence table heslde Friend Husband's desk. And a beautiful woman sat down beside It, sad held out her hands to the troubled man with the long column of figures, md smiled. "Who are you'/ Who are you?" ha amanded. "I am the Spirit of Christmas," she said, "You are morethan tllat I" he cried. "You are mY Wife . my . . . my love I" ((. 19!e$. Weatern Newspaper Union,) THE HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS To an oven house in the evenin$ Iomo sha.ll man come, To an oldest Placn than Eden And a taller town/than Rome. 2'o the end of the way of the waderln star, To the things that canhot be and that are, o the pla,e where God was homaleas And' all men are at home. --. K, Chesterton. ..- -.%Z'-.. = Z.- : A TRUE PROVERB It was narly twelve o'clock on Ohrlstmas Eve and the magic h0ur that would usher In the Chrlstma@ genius was about to strlke, but wlth :Mrs. Fogarty it was never too late o mend, and a long atocklng, with It needle sticking in the last stitch of the last bole, lay In her lap a she slept in her chair. No sound of bells awakened her, mad when she opened her eyes upon the gifts that had re- placed the emptiness of the stocking and the darning ball at its heel she could only account for the kindness of her unknown friend by ejaculating, "Well, well, Santa Claus himself must have been here, but who does he thlDk I rn, I wonder?"-vC. ,O, Hazard. (.'ISIS, We|tra Newspaler Union,) THE GUARDIAN Why 5ob00 i' [an [)id 00lle B9 MARTHA B. THOMAS l%arding House .... T \\;\'AS ('.hrlst- mas l,?,ve /it Christm,.s TN __ IJarty 2:= Mr.-.. ctlm- l%d a Very  mlngs' l,otird- Happy F.ndina Ln house, in [cr "l'WO t h e hlterval I)e- l Wiq,n ' ',v o :trlng Wimt HeAsked ,,,:us, Miss utt- I1nffs ,.,l,st,rved tO tnd HerAnswer the n,st of the din- Should Be an +,rs that it ,,':,. nice E35 Guess ao have l'ri(,llds at l ldsi'ason. No one ,h.nied it. I)l the t-;even pht('es at tlle l:ll,l,' oar WllS va('llnt, that behmglng it) Vesta lllalne. ".Miss lglltlno. ' pont intwd Miss (lln- mlnus a little wlslfully, "always has such n delightful lllltP at h(dhhlys. She ]Ills S() llltlny llh'llSallt lll'qllllilltan('es And of course." slle hesitated to giver ellldmSiS to wltill W;lS eoliflng. "she is go(ling a good deal of nllen0.on from lllIll yOllllg lllfln. Nil (llle h|ld any COllllllOnls ill Ill|lke. IlllI ; SOl'lOus-fH('iql liDan ill" lhc. ()tiler OlHl of tile table SOellll(I to I)e very I'IIVO II](lol(l; he t(,nt n collOelll:l'ated I Io,.qlt(I illmll his l)htlo, ns tlloulzh the (.olllonls tnlrht ylehl some secret, which I tit, hlllll od. "A real 13hrtstnnlS Eve!" cllnnted Vesta lhdne. Her eyes were like stars ; hm' .heeks I)ttght with color; she L()oke(I like a llowtq" s,q down In a veg- ot.li)lp IDir(l(ql The. ol}lor boRr(ler8 wore a bit ohhq . a bit not'o lh'ed, a blt disillusioned ; they (Ir/tnl theh" sun- shinp front 111(, xxul)erllllt glrl. and won- dol''d how she t,ollhl (,:elite honle at niffhl still bnbl)ling with high spirits ;I ll(] fHn. "lt's sn,)wlng!" conlinu(,d Veqta d;ll'litig a sin,lie at the sober Iltlln, who :tlq)lrently was not aware of Ills good for|ulle, for he never braked no. "r[Vhat soft sifl (if feathers that CoIHeS dow like l|l::e"--she ]nlnled for an mh.(Imte shnllc--"llke prayers of the nngels! ()nly prayers are sU])llnSed to m) Ul), lu'en't they!" she htughed a t her own (,oncelt. "The trees are like dreams behlnrl white veils, and the slre(,t [tllllp,q Ill'e ortlnge HIOOnS! 1 love It lh ilass me the butter, somebody. 1'lit hungry enough to eat sln'edded Imlrplns !" Fveryl)ody dhl their 1)oat: 1o make Vestlt comfortnble, even the scrap of a nmhl who waited on the table. MJss P, hllne offered her pepper and salt twit,e, nnd the landlady, asked If she lreferred her roast lleef well or me- (lhnn done ) " " t" "I'm going to a I)art' t(nlgnt, an- noun('ed Vesta after a few luouthfttls to fortify ller wants, "the very best i)ttrty ever perpetrated." Miss Billings smiled her latin-eat and Ii ,flt(1 wltere. "Oh. not very far from here; and"-- she paused, looklng sround the table Vesta Blaine Went to the Front Door, Opened It. with a crlods glance----"you're all In- vlted ! That's why it's the best party-- because it's got the nleest folks com- Ing to it !" Wlmt a Ilubbub there was then! Everybody asked five queslhms at once and none found out the answer. Miss Billings quivered with excitement. Mrs. Clln!lulng8 waved tim carving knife and nearly took off a slh'e from the sober man's nose. Finally, Vesta stood up, commanded silence, lapped itnportantly on {he table with a silver spoon, and began: "Ladles and gentlemen, you are ear- nestly requested, cordlally Invlted and definitely ordered to clothe yourself tn radiant raiment after dinner, and then walt for me In the.hall. No one slmli be allowed to say 'no.' Penalty fr dlobedlevce I so horrible i can't .ven tentloa It 1" An3 rea0.t they were as soon ns they eould,Jum Into their best aud as- semble in the hall. The sober nmn was ,le last to appear. He looked as tboug'h he did not dae stay away. .Jlats he best that could lie said about him. But the rest were laugldng nnd tdlklng In happy expeetathm. Vesta Blaine went to tile front door, opened It, made strange signs with her hands, and In there tranlped a big, blustering giant of a fellow, dressed like Santa Claus. He had a nobhy pack on hls back, aud appeared tel have every Intention of unloading It] at Mrs. Cummings' boarding Imuse. "1 "This way." said Vesta and led him I Into the parlor, The rest followed. I "For marcy's sakU l't elalmed Mlml Bllllngll, Page Sixty-three Jtlllfllilillllllll@ilttl#tlOIlt{!llllllllllIl@ 11  ,,:,vr,; Tl@i!!ili]iiii].,l ,i!@lHim,iill@l}]j]l]ll: Jlllllllllllllflllil]llllllllM [ll$tll]llfill ""IUlIlII]MLIIIIIImllilIIII!,: "Graeh)us mew 1)re:;thed Mrs. (ram.   mlngs. She (lid not lln,)w her own }4 parlol---llnd 11o wendell T]ltq'o ",'lis 11 [. blg ('hristm,ls ,,',,,, middle. It reaehe(l o the c(,ilin ;1111 f -1 blaze ,,lUl S,ltaU ,qe,,t,'> t,,,U,s..l,,e (,ompliments of i + than that, there Wel't s..VOll sLnffh . . . stoeklngs susl)Oll(h,d ]11 Ii l'OW Vl'olll I FARMERS STATE BANK the nlantle. Everybody sq/lov_h,d when i they discovered theh" o,,'n. OF CONWAY a Santa heaved down Ills lm('k nnd -4 out tumbled a bushel of gifts, en,'h i Resources Over One Million Dollars wral)ped up In paper slid lllll|'lit,l wilh ?  T - r a nam,,.  (,ONA, ARKANSAS - "]'a(Th pcrson i11('1,-. Ilp st,van l);rcels -_7--  lint! put ttlenl In the st(,(.kint.s. Y,,u'll ! j fl.ll(l lhe nllllteS tO (.mTeSlOnd :" cdh,d  out Vosh/ Blaine. "No hlgghm A i]llllil]lt]tl@lllllllllllll4111Mllti lllllM$1@lll IIIIlIIIl@lllilll IlIIlII]tllil tllllllllll]l]lllltlitlllllllllllMIIIl$11tllll IIIllllfll$lllllllll$1$111111111111$1111MIIIlllll$1111111 fine for l)eing the last (111o !" That lmrhrr flfll of I)t)nrders r - semi)led at snla]l ;{l'ltl) of .:llllh'rels serltlnl)]hlg el)out Ill ;i tl,Itl of [llllS. l,erybody gel In everybody's way: everybody hlughed.---ov(m th,, sober Inllll was g'tl|lty of a haPl)y look ;tl'Oltud his eyvs, At last the seven stovkin.. were bulging with glfts; they swn.wul gently beer and forlh hi 'ill lhe energy of their re(.c filling. "Select your OWll sto(']ilIlgS ]" shout- ed Vesttt Bhllne ILkc ;i gonor;|l (H'del'ing his trool)S Into I)al|le. "lllld [qlt, n yOlli l)resen fs ]" St Just hal)l)encd by the merest ('hllnoe that Vesta "rod the s(dler Illlln "How Did Anyone Know I Wanted That Book?" were seated on the sofa together. They sh.ol out their stockings Into a mu- tlinl heap and benton to untie the slrlngs and rip off the seals. "Look liars," sahl the sober man sterlfly, "how did anyone know I 'anred that book?" and he held "out a thin, leather-bolmd vohnne toward Vesl a. "Ym said you dhl, once last sum- Compliments of GEe. SIMON & SON Staple and Fancy Groceries Flour and Feed 301 East Oak Street CONWAY, ARKANSAS Jonesboro, Lake City & Eastern Railroad CHRISTMAS GREETING ! JONESBORO, ARK. nmr," nnswcred Vesta a little shyly. "(':u,s:tr's sliest I" he whistled, "and V(H| relllt,llll)ere(l ?" "Yos." nodded VeSlll. This allirnmthm seettted to concern lh( soln'l' Ullln veI'.V I11U('h "Why'!" I1(, asked aft<u" a nmment's i.on sit[t,l'+'t t ion. 'q)ll." replied the gh'l, "I Just wanted yOll I0 hlivo what }'(Ill wanted to have!" This afforded the sober man more food for lhought. "I didn't eves know you were aware of my existence. I used to bet with myself that If It came to a pinch and you hud to Introduce me, you could not Phone 571 llllllll. I$ lllllllll111151111tUIIIUIIIIIII IIIIIHIIIlIIIIII$11UlUIIIII UI  ltll[ ItllI  IIMIII R LI IltUIMIIlllltUltllllllll[ll SUIIII U lUlI$1U Mtlllllllll[ltfllllt Illl IIIIttllllUlllllllll III ll!lll Iil111t11111111H II111 G. W. Culberhouse, Pres. L.C. Glarer, Secy-Treas. E. F. King, Vice President tell lay name. You're so polmhlr, and that sort of tlltng, that I tllought--" he was unable to llnlsh. Westa made a gestnre as if she threw cant;on to the winds. "Llsten to me," she said. "You're the most hlterestlng person here; I bated not over Ilavlng a word with you about hooks. That's one reasou I had this party. I hoped you'd talk to me a little. You nlways looked so bored when I came in. and I was sorry. I'in not so frlvolous as I seem, My father--the 1nan playing Santa Claus--Is owner of the London Book ShOp here; I'nl working there Just to learn sometlltng of tile lmsl- nasa. It's Dud who's really 'back of the party. I Just dhl the suggesting. I:Ie's a perfect old dear, I wanted to try being a regular shop gh'l, so I came here to board, and It's been the great- eat fun. I did not mean to decelvo people too much, but really"--here she permitted herself a tiny gurgle of mlrtlt--"Mlss Billings got so fright- fully Interested In a man who was paying me such attention, nnd of eourse It was no one but Dad. who crone now and then to give me some pleasure at the theater or a 'con- cert ." She stopped fr6m lack of breath. Tle soher man beamed. You would never believe" tllat an expTesslon could change the way his did. It was Ilk a dawnlng, a new light slwead ripen hl face. What Ilappened after this is ahnot 1,,o confusing for descrlptlon. Santa unnlasked and was Introduced t,, evpa'yllody. Such a thanking r.nd PXldltlnlugt SIWll a ltllppy, ]augi,qng roltD! Miss llllllngs discovered she cotlhl play the plane and Mr. Blaine swims out first with Mrs. Cumlnlngs, wh. Ituttered  like a girl at her first party. The rest whirled In with great tervor. If anyone had been looldng sharply r.r the Ilapplest couple, I tlllnk Vesta and the sober man wouhl have been sele<.le\