[nfbmi-talk] merry christmas

gkitchen ghkitchen at comcast.net
Fri Dec 24 22:49:37 CST 2010


Hi Joe,


Thanks for sending this. I will save it as I love reading  about their 
overflowing love for one another   which Jesus has for all of us.

Merry Christmas,
Georgia
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "joe harcz Comcast" <joeharcz at comcast.net>
To: <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, December 24, 2010 11:03 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] merry christmas


> THE GIFT OF THE
>
> MAGI
>
>
>
> by O. Henry
>
> One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was 
> in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer 
> and
>
> the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the 
> silent
>
> imputation
>
> of
>
> parsimony
>
> that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar 
> and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.
>
>
>
> There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch 
> and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life 
> is made
>
> up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
>
>
>
> While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage 
> to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. 
> It did
>
> not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the 
> lookout for the
>
> mendicancy
>
> squad.
>
>
>
> In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and 
> an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also 
> appertaining
>
> thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."
>
>
>
> The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of 
> prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the 
> income
>
> was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to 
> a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came 
> home
>
> and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. 
> James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all 
> very
>
> good.
>
>
>
> Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She 
> stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray 
> fence in
>
> a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 
> with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could 
> for
>
> months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses 
> had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to 
> buy a
>
> present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for 
> something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something 
> just a little
>
> bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.
>
>
>
> There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have 
> seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by 
> observing
>
> his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly 
> accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the 
> art.
>
>
>
> Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes 
> were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty 
> seconds.
>
> Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.
>
>
>
> Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which 
> they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his 
> father's
>
> and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba 
> lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang 
> out
>
> the window some day to dry just to
>
> depreciate
>
> Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with 
> all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his 
> watch
>
> every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.
>
>
>
> So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a 
> cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost 
> a garment
>
> for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she 
> faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the 
> worn red
>
> carpet.
>
>
>
> On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of 
> skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out 
> the
>
> door and down the stairs to the street.
>
>
>
> Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." 
> One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, 
> too white,
>
> chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."
>
>
>
> "Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.
>
>
>
> "I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the 
> looks of it."
>
>
>
> Down rippled the brown cascade.
>
>
>
> "Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.
>
>
>
> "Give it to me quick," said Della.
>
>
>
> Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed 
> metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.
>
>
>
> She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. 
> There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of 
> them inside
>
> out. It was a platinum
>
> fob
>
> chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by 
> substance alone and not by
>
> meretricious
>
> ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The 
> Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like 
> him. Quietness
>
> and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took 
> from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain 
> on his
>
> watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand 
> as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the 
> old leather
>
> strap that he used in place of a chain.
>
>
>
> When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and 
> reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work 
> repairing
>
> the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous 
> task, dear friends--a mammoth task.
>
>
>
> Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls 
> that made her look wonderfully like a
>
> truant
>
> schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and 
> critically.
>
>
>
> "If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second 
> look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what 
> could I
>
> do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"
>
>
>
> At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the 
> stove hot and ready to cook the chops.
>
>
>
> Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the 
> corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard 
> his
>
> step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for 
> just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the 
> simplest
>
> everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am 
> still pretty."
>
>
>
> The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very 
> serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a 
> family!
>
> He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.
>
>
>
> Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of 
> quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them 
> that she
>
> could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor 
> disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been 
> prepared
>
> for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his 
> face.
>
>
>
> Della wriggled off the table and went for him.
>
>
>
> "Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut 
> off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without 
> giving you
>
> a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to 
> do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's 
> be happy.
>
> You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for 
> you."
>
>
>
> "You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not 
> arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.
>
>
>
> "Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, 
> anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"
>
>
>
> Jim looked about the room curiously.
>
>
>
> "You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.
>
>
>
> "You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and 
> gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. 
> Maybe the
>
> hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious 
> sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the 
> chops on, Jim?"
>
>
>
> Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For 
> ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential 
> object in
>
> the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the 
> difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The 
> magi
>
> brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion 
> will be illuminated later on.
>
>
>
> Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.
>
>
>
> "Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's 
> anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make 
> me like
>
> my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you 
> had me going a while at first."
>
>
>
> White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an 
> ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to 
> hysterical tears and
>
> wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers 
> of the lord of the flat.
>
>
>
> For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had 
> worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise 
> shell, with
>
> jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They 
> were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and 
> yearned
>
> over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, 
> but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.
>
>
>
> But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up 
> with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"
>
>
>
> And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"
>
>
>
> Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly 
> upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a 
> reflection
>
> of her bright and ardent spirit.
>
>
>
> "Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to 
> look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to 
> see
>
> how it looks on it."
>
>
>
> Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under 
> the back of his head and smiled.
>
>
>
> "Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a 
> while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get 
> the money
>
> to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."
>
>
>
> The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought 
> gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas 
> presents.
>
> Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the 
> privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely 
> related to you
>
> the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most 
> unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. 
> But in a
>
> last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give 
> gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as 
> they
>
> are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
> _______________________________________________
> nfbmi-talk mailing list
> nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 
> nfbmi-talk:
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbmi-talk_nfbnet.org/ghkitchen%40comcast.net 





More information about the nfbmi-talk mailing list