THE GAMEKEEPERS DAUGHTER
" Dear, kind, darling Santa Claus!" exclaimed Nancy. Then she saw that beside them there was also a plum pudding with a Christmas card attached, from the new mistress of the Grange. What was puzzling was that on a chair close by hung three pairs of her father's new socks with a paper asking her to mark them ; but they were marked already, and were full of good things to eat.
Never in all her nine years had Nancy had such a Christmas. After saying her morning prayers, she sat down at the table, where, with elbows outspread and her little tongue peeping out as she moved her pen, she wrote the following letter:—
" Dear Mr. Claus,—Thank you very much for those lovely presents : I like them very much. And thank you for the lovely time I had going about with you last night. I shall never forget it. Please forgive me for thinking you were the wicked poacher, Tom Grollins. I must now say good-bye. " I send you 200 kisses (x x x etsetra).
" Your grateful little friend,
And then she addressed it to him at the Grange.
When Nancy had stamped and posted it, her grandmother and her father came in to breakfast, and received Nancy's grateful thanks, for she wore a pretty new frock. Then she told them that as