FATHER CHRISTMAS AT HOME
" I can't keep my father waiting," he answered gently. She followed him to the front door. There in the frosty night a beautiful sledge was in waiting, hung with baskets and sacks overflowing with toys and sweets. Father Christmas took his seat and beckoned to Eva. To her joy he lifted her on to his lap and wrapped his great coat about her. Father Time, who was on the box, shook the reins, and the two reindeer, impatient to be off, sped rapidly away amid the jangling of bells, carrying the travellers over the bridge, through the park, past holly and fir trees all powdered with glistening frost, out over the country into the bright, crisp night.
There was Eva with Father Christmas, all snug amongst his soft furs, on his rounds. " Why do you take some toys yourself," she asked, " and send others away in the great carts ?"
" Those in the carts are for my export and wholesale trade—shops, and so on; these / take are for my special favourites. You're on my list, my dear, you know." Eva's heart was full of tenderness and pride, but tears were in her eyes as she said, peering appealingly into his kind face—
" May I whisper something ? "