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 "His-st! Missis Joseph!"  
It was Bridget, the Hallorans' old family servant, calling softly from the hall.
"I'll be after takin' the prisints ye've stored away for us. I'll lave 'em on the back porch 'n' carry 'em over when the childer are all asleep. Nellie's in bed like a little angel, bless 'er heart, but them divilish b'ys do be a-snoopin' into ivery crack 'n' corner!"
Mrs. Joseph unlocked a closet under the stairs, and loaded Bridget's arm's with heavy and bulky parcels.
"Shure, an' 'tis a sad Chris'mus we'll be havin', savin' the childer. Mr. Timmy, him that's old Missis Halloran's youngest, but old enough to know better, he ups an' runs away to-day an' marries a Protestant gir-rl. An' if ye'll open y'r windy the bit av a crack, ye'll hear the poor old lady this minit, wailin' like a banshee."
"But Mr. Timothy is such a nice young man, he must have married a lovely girl, Bridget," said Rose.
"Shure, an' that may be, but she is a Protestant, Missis Joseph. She runs away fr'm her folks, an' he runs away fr'm his, an' they get married by a justice o' peace. An' no peace will come o' such doin', Lord 've mercy on their souls!"
"Oh, poor Grandma Halloran!"
"Poor lovers," said Eli, when Bridget had gone. "I'll wager they had the very deuce of a time with both sides."
No sooner had they settled themselves again than the door knocker sounded. Eli admitted Mr. Jackson, the Christian Science practitioner.
"I have only a minute," he said. "I just dropped by to leave a doll my wife dressed for your little girl. We chose one that we thought looked like Hannah."
"Oh, but that is kind of you!" Rose looked her gratitude. "Mrs. Lawrence has told me how busy both you and your wife always are—and to take time to think of our little girl——!"
"I had intended to give it to her myself," Mr. Jackson continued, "but after her talk with me to-day I decided she would enjoy it more if I asked Santa Claus to bring it." His eyes twinkled reminiscently. "She called me up by telephone and asked me to give Santa Claus a treatment—she seemed to think that he would pass her by. I could assure her that he wouldn't, as I had already seen the doll. Hannah is a wonderful child."
"We think so," smiled Eli. "I am sure we thank you, and wish you the very merriest Christmas."
"It will be a happy Christmas for me," he answered. "I am going to the station to meet my father and mother. Some years ago they felt estranged from me—they are both staunch Presbyterians of the old school and it nearly broke their hearts when I went into Christian Science work. But they are beginning to look more tolerantly upon my calling, and they are on their way now to spend Christmas with us. You can guess how happy that makes me. 'Peace on earth, good will to men'—it is a ............
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