FATHER CHRISTMAS AT HOME
me. He always comes down the chimney—that's the way I must go up ! "
Eva didn't hesitate a moment. The opportunity had come for which she longed. She ran downstairs into the large, old-fashioned hall, which was overheated as usual, by the hot-air pipes, for the huge chimney-place was too much of a curiosity ever to be used. Here, she felt sure, was the starting-point of her adventure.
Luckily no one was about. It was windy when she looked up the great chimney, so she took her long, fair hair, and made it into a loose plait in order to keep it from blowing about her face. Then she prepared to start and secure the first footing.
Eva had never been up a chimney before, and when she began climbing she was quite surprised to find how nice and clean it was, with steps, and all white tiles. She toiled up, and up, and could see blue sky and fleeting white clouds above. After a time she stopped to rest in a little recess in the chimney side. When she started climbing again, the blue sky faded away, twilight came on, and in this very, very long chimney the light became quite dim.
Very soon, however, she felt with a little thrill of pleasure the keen air all around her head and shoulders, and she knew she had come to the top.