BLTC Press Titles

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Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens


"Bah! " said Scrooge. "Humbug!"

"Christmas a humbug, Uncle?" cried his nephew. "You do not mean that, I am sure."

"I do," said Scrooge, "What right have you to be merry? You are poor!"

"Well, then," returned his nephew, "what right have you to be so dismal? You are rich."

"Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge returned.

"Do not be so cross," said his nephew.

"What else can I be," said Scrooge,

"when I live in such a world of fools?"

"Well, Uncle, Christmas has never ■ done much for me, but it makes me happy to keep it, and I say again, a merry Christmas to you, Uncle."

The clerk in the office said: "Same here!"

"Let me hear another sound from you," said Scrooge, "and you will keep your Christmas by losing your job."

"Well, good-bye and merry Christmas, Uncle, and a happy New Year," said his nephew, and left the room.

"My clerk makes fifteen dollars a week, and has a wife and children, and he is thinking about merry Christmas. Well, I will give nothing to anyone. I wish to be left alone," muttered Scrooge.

Scrooge called his clerk and told him it was time to shut up the office, and with a growl he walked out.

It was dark and cold when Scrooge got to his home, but he did not care; darkness is cheap. He closed his door, locked himself in, and sat down before the fire to eat his mush. It was a very low fire for such a cold

night, so he sat very close to it. Scrooge spent little money on coal and light; in fact, he was a miser.

"Humbug! " said Scrooge. He took several turns around the room and then sat down again, leaning his head back in his chair. His glance rested upon the bell that hung in the room. By and by this bell began to ring, at first softly, and then very loudly, and so did all the bells in the house. Sounds like the rattling of many chains reached his ears from the cellar door, which just then flew open. Scrooge fell upon his knees in fear and trembling and clasped his hands before his face.

"Mercy!" he cried, fearing some terrible thing was about to happen.

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present," said a voice, and Scrooge looked and saw a figure all clothed in a simple white, fur-trimmed robe.

"Touch my robe," said the ghost, and Scrooge did as he was told. His room, the fire, everything vanished instantly, and he found himself in the city streets on Christmas morning. .The people were scraping snow from the pavements, but on the two went until they came to the fourroomed house of Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchet. The Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge were invisible, but they could see everything. There was Mrs. Cratchet, all dressed up in her best, setting the table, helped by Belinda, her daughter, while Peter plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. Two smaller Cratchets, boy and girl, came running in, calling out that they smelt roast goose; and all the small Cratchets danced about the table.

"Where is your father and Tiny

Tim, and where is Martha?" said Mrs. Oratchet.

"Here is Martha, mother," said one of the girls.

"Hurrah! There's such a goose, Martha," they all called.

"Here comes father."

In came Bob Cratchet with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. Poor Tiny Tim! He was lame and could not walk, And now such a bustle began you might have thought that a roast goose was the rarest bird in the world. Mrs. Cratchet * made the gravy, Peter mashed the potatoes, Belinda sweetened the apple sauce, and Martha wiped the hot plates.

Tiny Tim sat beside Bob at one corner of the stable, and the younger Cratchets put chairs up for everybody. Tiny Tim beat the table with the handle of his knife and cried "Hurrah!" And Bob said he did not believe there ever was another such a goose cooked.

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