Christmas Tree Land Part 24

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[Illustration: 'See, Rollo,' cried Maia; 'see, there is _our_ Christmas tree.']

And there it was--the most beautiful they had yet seen--all radiant with light and glistening with every pretty present child-heart could desire.

'We are only to _look_ at it, you know,' said Maia; 'it has to be packed up and sent us, of course, like the others. But,' she stopped short, 'who is that, Rollo,' she went on, 'standing just by the tree? Can it be Santa Claus himself come to see if it is all right?'

'Santa Claus,' exclaimed a well-known voice, 'Santa Claus, indeed! Is that your new name for me, my Maia?'

Then came a cry of joy--a cry from two little loving hearts--a cry which rang merry echoes through the forest, and at which, though it woke up lots of little birds snugly hidden away in the warmest corners they could find, no one thought of grumbling, except, I think, an old owl, who greatly objected to any disturbance of his nightly promenades and meditations.



'Papa, papa, dear papa!' was the cry. 'Papa, you have come back to us.

_That_ was what godmother meant,' they said together. And their father, well pleased, held them in his arms as if he would never again let them go.

'So you have learnt to know what godmother means--that is well,' he said. 'But kiss me once more only, just now, my darlings, and then you must go home and sleep till the morning. And keep it a secret that you have seen me to-night.'

He kissed them again, and before their soft childish lips had left his face, a strange dreamy feeling overpowered them. Neither Rollo nor Maia knew or thought anything more of where they were or how they had come there for many hours.

And then they were awakened--Rollo first, then Maia--by the sound of Nanni's delighted voice at their bedside.

'Wake up, wake up,' she said, 'for the most beautiful surprise has come to you for this happy Christmas Eve.'

And even without her telling them, they knew what it was--they knew who was waiting for them downstairs, nor could all their awe of Lady Venelda prevent them rushing at their father and hugging him till he was nearly choked. But Lady Venelda, I must confess, was too happy herself to see her kinsman again to be at all vexed with them. And her pleasure, as well as that of the kind old doctor, was increased by the thanks they received for all their care of the children, whom their father declared he had never seen so bright or blooming.

And, a few days afterwards, they went back with him to their own happy home; and what then?--did they ever see godmother and Waldo and Silva again? I can only answer, like godmother herself, 'I hope so; yes, I hope so, and think so.' But as to how or where--ah, that I cannot say!

THE END.

Christmas Tree Land Part 24

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Christmas Tree Land Part 24 summary

You're reading Christmas Tree Land Part 24. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Mrs. Molesworth already has 53 views.

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