THE RAINBOW BOOK
was surprised to see so much jollity in so poor a place; but Santa Claus didn't seem to be so—he merely muttered, " It's all right this year!" and withdrew with her the same way they had come.
" And now," remarked Santa Claus cheerily, " before I go back to the party children or do anything else I must visit all the other hospitals. I've brought you home because you must be very tired, little woman. I'm terribly busy to-night— half afraid I shan't get it over in time: just think of the disappointment if I don't! So good-night, Nancy! Pleasant dreams ! A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !"
And his kind face bent over her in bed, as it had over so many others that Christmas Eve; and as he pressed her hand he added, with a smile, " I've a terrible lot to do, and I mustn't forget anybody!"
The dawn heralded once again a Christmas Day, and when the sun peeped forth he awoke Nancy. She looked round, and uttered a cry of surprise and delight. For before her astonished eyes she seemed to see a little fairy-land all to herself. Grouped about her bed were a skipping-rope, a workbox— both handsomer than Janey's—and a little box besides. She couldn't believe they were real, so she felt them all over, and not only found they were quite real, but the little box when it was touched sent forth the most lovely, mysterious music.