THE RAINBOW BOOK
In the large house across the way were sounds of bright music—a party was going on.
" I'm afraid it's too early to go there yet," said Santa Claus, consulting his great watch. " However, we'll go and see; it's really high time for all youngsters to be in bed." In the night-nursery were two cots. Both were empty. " I must call on my way back," he said.
Just then the door opened, and childish voices were heard shouting : " Santa Claus ! We'll catch him if we're quick ! "
And there was only just time for the two travellers to disappear before the lights were turned up and the owners of the cots rushed in.
" Nearly caught that time!" exclaimed Santa Claus, as they proceeded on their way (it was extraordinary how alert and agile he was for such an old and portly gentleman), and he burst out into a loud laugh, and only recovered from it as they entered a long room full of small beds. It was decorated with holly and mistletoe. A light burned at one end, where sat a pleasant-looking nurse half-screened in the corner by the fire.
Nancy followed Santa Claus's movements with breathless interest as he flitted to each little sleeping occupant of the hospital ward—for such it was— placing here a toy horse of skin and harness with a long wavy tail; there a lovely picture-book with a