THE RAINBOW BOOK
quite content, and smiled as she waved good-bye with her pretty hand.
Then the master of the old moated house wiped his spectacles, which somehow had become quite misty. He lifted up his little daughter in his arms and kissed her, and, putting his hand into his pocket, drew from his purse a gold piece which she took with a laugh of surprise and delight, and threw her arms round his dear bronzed neck.
Minna saw nothing more. She must have fallen fast asleep.
It was very late when she awoke. The first thing she did was to smile as she trotted off to look at what Santa Claus had put in her stocking. She had seen him on his rounds. She had seen his parcels. Dear, kind old Santa Claus, who saves up all the year to be the loving, generous friend to little children at Christmas-time. Minna smiled again as the thought flashed through her mind. She approached her stocking. It looked rather thin—horridly thin. It was empty! She ran to her pillow. Nothing on it, nothing under it! She could not understand it. Oh, Santa Claus !
She gave a big gulp, and decided to wait and see what her father would say about it. She had to bustle too, for the bell would very soon ring for breakfast, at which it was her duty to preside.