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Author: Hare, Walter Ben, 1880-1950
Title: The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
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Title: The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays

Author: Walter Ben Hare

Illustrator: Buckton Nendick

Release Date: November 16, 2006 [EBook #19826]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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THE WHITE CHRISTMAS

AND OTHER

MERRY CHRISTMAS PLAYS

BY

WALTER BEN HARE

AUTHOR OF THE PLAYS

"_Aaron Boggs, Freshman_," "_Abbu San of Old Japan_," "_Civil
Service_," "_A College Town_," "_Kicked Out of College_," "_Macbeth a
la Mode_," "_Mrs. Tubbs of Shantytown_," "_Parlor Matches_," "_A Poor
Married Man_," "_My Irish Rose_," "_A Rustic Romeo_," "_Savageland_,"
"_A Southern Cinderella_," etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY

BUCKTON NENDICK

CHICAGO
T.S. DENISON & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1917
BY
EBEN H. NORRIS

MADE IN U.S.A.

[Illustration: From "ANITA'S SECRET OR CHRISTMAS IN THE STEERAGE"]




THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED

WITH THE BEST WISHES OF THE AUTHOR

TO

FRANCES MAAS ULLMANN

THE ORIGINAL

"ANITA"

AND

LUDWIG BLOCK ULLMANN

THE ORIGINAL

"JOLLY JACK FROST"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "I have always thought of Christmas time ... as a good time;
     a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time
     ... when men and women seem by one consent to open their
     shut-up hearts freely ...; and I say, God bless it!"

     CHARLES DICKENS.




FOREWORD


In these little plays I have tried to bring before the public the two
dominant characteristics of the ideal Christmas season, kindness,
expressed by "good will toward men," and the inward joy wrought by
kind acts, and suggested by "peace on earth." As Yuletide draws near
we like to think of the swell of Christmas feeling, kindness, peace
and good will, that rises like a mighty tide over the world, filling
it with the fresh, clean joys and generous impulses that produce the
peace that passeth understanding.

Some of the plays are filled with the spirit of fun and jollity that
is always associated with Christmas merrymaking; in others I have
tried to emphasize the spiritual blessings brought to the children of
men on that first white Christmas night when Christ, the Lord, was
born in Bethlehem, and all the angels sang, "Gloria in excelsis, peace
on earth, good will toward men."


CHILDREN IN PLAYS.

The love of mimetic representation, either as a participant or as a
spectator, is an ineradicable instinct of childhood and adolescence.
Most of these plays call for a somewhat large number of children. This
need not daunt the producer as the chief characters are few and many
of the parts have very few lines to speak. Many extra children may be
introduced in several of the plays, as a chorus. At Christmas time,
the children's season, it is best to allow all who so desire to take
part in the entertainment. Some of the parts are rather long, but all
have been played by children of the age indicated in the text. Very
little children have sometimes done remarkable work in the plays. I
remember one instance when a very tiny Tiny Tim, who was not four
years old, spoke his part correctly, was heard in every corner of the
church and acted with a naturalness that was indeed remarkable.


REHEARSALS.

First and foremost, do _not_ over-rehearse your play. The chief charm
in Christmas plays lies in their naturalness and simplicity, a part of
which is almost sure to be lost if they have rehearsed the play until
they have lost their wonder and excitement and enjoyment in the
make-believe game of amateur theatricals.

The director's aim should be to establish a happy co-operation with
the players that will make the whole production, rehearsals, dress
rehearsals and final performance, a series of good times crowned by a
happy, if not perfect, production. The director should always strive
to be cheerful and happy, ever ready to give advice and ever ready to
ask for advice, even from the youngest players. Take them into your
confidence. Discuss color schemes, costuming, property making,
lighting and scenic effects with your actors.

At the first rehearsal have the children listen to a reading of the
play. Then read a short scene in detail, allowing each actor to read
several parts. Try every child in every child's part before you make
your final selection of the cast of characters. If it is possible,
begin your second rehearsal on the stage where the play is to be
given. Arrange chairs to represent entrances, doors, windows, etc.,
and have all properties on hand, in order to impress on the children's
minds the necessity of learning the words and the action at the same
time. At the third rehearsal the play should be given in its entirety,
music, gestures, entrances, exits, groupings and crossing from one
side of the stage to another at a given cue, etc. In fact, everything
as in the completed production, except that the actors may use their
copies of the play for reading the lines.


DELAYS.

The director should make every effort to guard against stage waits and
delays of every sort. Have your stage hands, prompter, property
managers, scene painters and all your assistants on hand at every
rehearsal, if possible. Long waits between the acts, tardiness in
beginning the performance, and all delays do much to destroy an
otherwise happy impression. Every piece of scenery, every costume,
every bit of make-up and every property should be in its place--all
ready to make a smooth final performance. Dress rehearsals are
absolutely necessary. The last two rehearsals should be complete
performances of the play with lights, curtains, costumes, make-up,
scenery and all incidentals exactly as they are to be on the night of
the performance.

With such preparation, scarcely anything is impossible of attainment.
The pleasure of the work and the pride in a production well done will
amply repay an ungrudging lavishment of time and labor.

WALTER BEN HARE.

_Drury College_,
  _Springfield, Mo._

       *       *       *       *       *

STAGE DIRECTIONS.

Stage directions are purposely simplified and few abbreviations used.
_R._ means right of the stage: _C._, center; _L._, left, etc. The
actor is supposed to be facing the audience.


MUSIC.

Music is provided for a few of the songs in this book. The others are
to be sung to old airs that are presumably familiar to everyone. If
any of them should prove unfamiliar, the music of all except some of
the hymns will be found in Denison's "_Songs Worth While_," one of the
best arranged and most carefully edited collections of old favorites
ever published. This book is beautifully printed on non-glossy paper,
measuring 7 by 10-1/4 inches, and is well bound in a stout paper cover
done in colors. It may be obtained from the publishers for the price
of $1.00, postpaid.

For all the hymns not included in "_Songs Worth While_," see any
standard church hymnal.




CONTENTS


The White Christmas (8 Male, 7 Female Adults)             13

Anita's Secret or Christmas in the Steerage
(1 Male Adult, 9 Boys, 7 Girls)                           49

Christmas With the Mulligan's (2 Female Adults,
5 Boys, 5 Girls)                                          93

The Wishing Man (4 Male Adults, 13 Boys,
7 Girls)                                                 131

A Christmas Carol or the Miser's Yuletide
Dream (10 Male, 5 Female Adults, 4 Boys,
4 Girls)                                                 167

Her Christmas Hat (4 Male, 5 Female Adults)              203




THE WHITE CHRISTMAS

[Illustration:

JOSEPH     MARY     SIMEON

TIMOTHY    ISAAC    ANNA       THOMAS

RUTH       RACHEL   DEBORAH    PRISCILLA

MELCHOIR   GASPAR   BALTASAR   PROLOGUE]




THE WHITE CHRISTMAS

A CHRISTMAS MORALITY PLAY IN ONE ACT.

_Originally produced by the Quadrangle Club of the University of
Missouri, Christmas Eve, 1909._


CHARACTERS.

MARY                      _The Maiden Mother_
JOSEPH                    _Of the House of David_
SIMEON                    _An Old Shepherd_
TIMOTHY                   _A Shepherd, the Husband of Anna_
ISAAC                     _A Young Shepherd_
ANNA                      _The Wife of Timothy, the Shepherd_
THOMAS                    _Her Little Son_
RUTH                      _Her Little Daughter_
DEBORAH                   _Hostess of an Inn at Bethlehem_
RACHEL                    _A Maiden of Bethlehem_
PRISCILLA                 _Her Cousin_
MELCHOIR }
GASPAR   }                _The Wise Men from the East._
BALTASAR }

_A Concealed Choir. The Prologue._

_For description of costumes, arrangement of the scene, etc., see
"Remarks on the Production" at the end of the play._

TIME OF PLAYING--_About One Hour._

       *       *       *       *       *

SCENE I: _Before the play begins the_ PROLOGUE _steps in front of the
curtains and addresses the congregation._

PROLOGUE.

     The earth has grown old with its burden of care,
       But at Christmas it always is young,
     The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair,
     And its soul, full of music, bursts forth on the air,
       When the song of the angels is sung.

     It is coming, Old Earth, it is coming tonight!
       On the snowflakes which cover thy sod
     The feet of the Christ Child fall gentle and white,
     And the voice of the Christ Child tells out with delight,
       That mankind are the children of God.

     On the sad and the lonely, the wretched and poor,
       The voice of the Christ Child shall fall;
     And to every blind wanderer open the door
     Of hope that he dared not to dream of before,
       With a sunshine of welcome for all.

     --_Phillips Brooks._

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from
Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing
was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be
taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because
he was of the house and lineage of David. To be taxed with Mary his
espoused wife....

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished
that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born
son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn.

(_Exit_ PROLOGUE.)

(_Soft chimes. As these chimes die away in the distance a concealed
choir is heard singing._)

     O COME, COME, AWAY.

     O come, come away
     From labor now reposing,
     Let busy care a while forbear;
     O come, come away.

(_The front curtains are drawn, showing a winter street in Bethlehem.
No one appears on the stage, but the choir continues singing outside
at right front._)

     Come, come, our social joys renew,
     And thus where trust and friendship grew,
     Let true hearts welcome you,
     O come, come away.

RACHEL _and_ PRISCILLA _enter from the inn at right front, arm in arm.
They go to the center, then to the rear of the stage, turn and face
the inn, pause a moment or two, listening to the choir, and then go
out at rear left. The choir continues:_

     From toils and the cares
     On which the day is closing,
     The hour of eve brings sweet reprieve,
     O come, come away.
     O come where love will smile on thee,
     And round its hearth will gladness be,
     And time fly merrily,
     O come, come away.

_While the choir is singing the last three lines of the song_, SIMEON
_and_ ISAAC _enter from rear left, leaning on their shepherd's crooks.
They pause at rear center and listen to the singing. When the song is
finished the organ continues the same music softly._

SIMEON.
     Make haste, my son, the hour is waxing late,
     The night is cold, methinks our sheep await.

ISAAC.
     Nay gran'ther, I would liefer tarry here.
     The town is gay, the inns are full of cheer.

SIMEON (_points to rear right_).
     But there our duty lies, the wind grows cold!
     Come, let's away and put the sheep in fold.

(_Starts off right._)

ISAAC.
     Nay, Simeon, wait! What means this crowd of men
     And women here in peaceful Bethlehem?

SIMEON (_comes to him_).
     Herod the King hath issued a decree
     That each and all his subjects taxed be;
     And every one who in this town saw light
     Must here return and register tonight.
     From all Judea, aye, from th' distant land,
     Each Bethlehemite must come at his command.

ISAAC (_comes to the doorway of the inn and peers in_).
     The town is full of people, great and small,
     Each inn is crowded to its very wall.

SIMEON (_comes down center and takes his arm_).
     But come, we're wasting time, 'tis very late.
     Make haste, my son, I know the flocks await!

ISAAC.
     Thou speakest true, though I would rather stay,
     Our duty calls, so to the hills, away!

(_They go out at rear right._)

_The concealed choir repeats the first stanza of the song softly.
After a slight pause_ DEBORAH _enters from the inn._

DEBORAH (_coming down to right front_).
     My inn is crowded to the doors. The heat
     Is stifling, but out here the air is sweet.

(_Looks upward._)

     The bright stars twinkle with mysterious light,
     Methinks there's something strange about the night.

_She sits on the bench in front of the inn._ TIMOTHY _enters from rear
left._ DEBORAH _continues her soliloquy._

     The air is still, the night is very cold,
     The shepherds seek the hills to watch the fold.

(_Sees him._)

(TIMOTHY _goes out at rear R._)

DEBORAH.
     Some strange, unearthly voice seems calling me,
     Methinks this night portends great things to be.

_Enter_ RACHEL _and_ PRISCILLA _from rear right, then come down center
and address the hostess._

RACHEL.
     Hail, hostess of the inn, my cousin here
     Hath lodgings at your inn. We'd seek its cheer.

DEBORAH (_rises_).
     Enter within. My guests tonight are gay
     And fain would turn this winter's night to day.

RACHEL _and_ PRISCILLA _enter the inn, followed by_ DEBORAH. _The
organ music continues softly. After a slight pause enter_ ANNA _from
rear left. She leads_ RUTH _and_ THOMAS _by the hand._

THOMAS (_at rear center_).
     Oh, mother, hark! There's music in the inn!

ANNA.
     'Tis not for us--their noise and merry din.

RUTH.
     Our little town is crowded, joyous, gay.

THOMAS.
     So many travelers came this way today.

RUTH.
     The night is chill and cold, I much do fear
     The little sheep will shiver by the mere.

ANNA.
     Too cold it is for thee, I fear, in truth,
     Return and get thy cloak, my little Ruth.
     We'll wait for thee upon the little hill.

(_Points off R._)

     But speed thy steps, the cold will work thee ill.

RUTH.
     I'll fly, dear mother, like an arrow home.

(_Runs out at L._)

ANNA.
     We must not tarry. Come, my Thomas, come!

(_She leads him out at rear R. There is a pause. The music changes to
a mysterious plaintive air. The old German song, Holy Night, may be
effectively introduced as an organ solo._)

_Enter from rear right,_ JOSEPH, _walking with a staff and supporting_
MARY.

MARY.
     Here is a place, now I must rest awhile!
     For many a league, for many a weary mile,
     We've trudged along since break of day began.

JOSEPH.
     'Tis true, and I'm an old and ancient man,
     My joints are stiff, my bones are waxing old--
     And the long night is bitter, bitter cold.
     Here take my cloak and keep thee warm within,
     And wait thee here while I search out an inn.

(_He wraps his cloak around her and seats her on the bench or stool in
front of the manger. He goes out at rear left. The music changes to
the Magnificat, to be found in all Episcopal hymnals._)

MARY (_sings_).
     My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God
       my Saviour.
     For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden.
     For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
     For he that is mighty has magnified me: and holy is his Name.
     And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
     He hath showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud
       in the imagination of their hearts.
     He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the
       humble and meek.
     He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath
       sent empty away.
     He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel: as he
       promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, forever.

_Enter_ JOSEPH _from rear L._

JOSEPH.
     For hours I've trudged the street in fruitless quest,
     Here is an inn, mayhap at last we'll rest.

_Enter_ DEBORAH _from the inn._

MARY.
     Husband, I'm faint; I can no farther go.
     Methinks I'll rest me here upon this loe.

(_Sits in front of the manger._)

JOSEPH (_assisting her_).
     Have courage, Mary, here's the hostess here.

(_Comes to_ DEBORAH _at right._)

     We'd lodge with thee tonight.

DEBORAH.
     Alas, I fear
     My inn is crowded to the very wall,
     Soldiers and scribes, the rich, the great, the small!

JOSEPH.
     Is there room for us? My wife is ill.

DEBORAH.
     My heart is sad and it is not my will
     To send you hence, but naught is left to do.
     Perhaps some other inn will shelter you.

JOSEPH.
     Alas, the other inns are all the same!

DEBORAH.
     Never was seen the like in Bethlehem.

(_Laughter and noise at R._)

     My guests are merry, hear their jovial din!

(_Goes to R._)

     I pity you, there's no room at the inn.

(_Exits into the inn._)

MARY.
     Our last hope gone! Now, what shall we do?
     My strength is leaving!

(_Bows head._)

JOSEPH.
     Would I could succor you.
     I'll wrap thee warm. Now rest thee here a while.
     We've traveled far, full many a weary mile.

_Enter_ RUTH _from rear L., hurrying along._

JOSEPH.
     Maiden, I fain would stop thee in thy flight--
     Can'st tell where we could lodge this winter night?

RUTH.
     That inn is crowded. There's one upon the hill.

JOSEPH.
     I've tried them all, my wife is very ill.

RUTH.
     That little stable there upon the loe,

(_Points to L front._)

     'Tis snug and warm. 'Twill shield thee from the snow.

MARY (_rises_).
     God's blessing on thy little head, sweet child!
     Come, Joseph, for the wind now waxes wild.

(_Exits L. front._)

(JOSEPH _leads her to exit L., then turns and looks off R._)

JOSEPH.

     O little town of Bethlehem,
       How still we see thee lie!
     Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
       The silent stars go by.
     Yet in thy dark streets shineth

(_Turns toward manger._)

       The everlasting Light;
     The hopes and fears of all the years
       Are met in thee tonight.

(RUTH _stands at rear C., watching him._)

_The curtains slowly fall._


Scene II: _Hymn by the congregation._

     WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS.

     While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
       All seated on the ground.
     The angel of the Lord came down,
       And glory shone around,
       And glory shone around.

     "Fear not," said he,--for mighty dread
       Had seized their troubled mind,
     "Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
        To you and all mankind,
        To you and all mankind."

     "To you in David's town this day,
        Is born of David's line,
     The Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord,
       And this shall be the sign,
       And this shall be the sign."

     "The heav'nly babe you there shall find
       To human view displayed,
     All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
       And in a manger laid,
       And in a manger laid."

     Thus spake the seraph--and forthwith
       Appeared a shining throng
     Of angels, praising God, who thus
       Addressed their joyful song,
       Addressed their joyful song:--

     "All glory be to God on high,
       And to the earth be peace;
     Good will henceforth, from heav'n to men,
       Begin and never cease,
       Begin and never cease."

_The_ PROLOGUE _appears before the curtains and speaks._

PROLOGUE.

     There's scarlet holly on the streets, and silver mistletoe;
     The surging, jeweled, ragged crowds forever come and go.
     And here a silken woman laughs, and there a beggar asks--
     And, oh, the faces, tense of lip, like mad and mocking masks.
     Who thinks of Bethlehem today, and one lone winter night?
     Who knows that in a manger-bed there breathed a Child of Light?

     There's fragrant scent of evergreen upon the chilling air;
     There's tinsel tawdriness revealed beneath the sunlight's glare;
     There's Want and Plenty, Greed and Pride--a hundred thousand souls,
     And, oh, the weary eyes of them, like dull and sullen coals.
       Who knows the town of Bethlehem, once gleamed beneath the star,
       Whose wondrous light the shepherds saw watching their flocks afar?

     And yet above the city streets, above the noise and whir,
     There seems to come a fragrant breath of frankincense and myrrh.
     I saw a woman, bent and wan, and on her face a light
     The look that Mary might have worn that other Christmas night.
       And as the little children passed, and one lad turned and smiled,
       I saw within his wistful eyes the spirit of the Child.

     --_Caroline Reynolds._

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the
Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them;
and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is
born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the
Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into
heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto
Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord
hath made known to us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe
lying in a manger. (_Exit_ PROLOGUE _at L._)

(_Soft chimes are heard. The_ SHEPHERDS, _accompanied by the concealed
choir, are heard singing:_)

     LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT

     Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom,
         Lead Thou me on!
     The night is dark and I am far from home;
         Lead Thou me on!
     Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
     The distant scene; one step enough for me.

_As the_ SHEPHERDS _begin on the second stanza of the hymn, the
curtains rise disclosing the same scene as before._ SIMEON, TIMOTHY
_and_ ISAAC _discovered seated in a group at rear center, singing._
THOMAS _stands by his father._

     So long Thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still
         Will lead me on
     O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
         The night is gone,
     And with the morn those angel faces smile
     Which I have loved long since, and lost a-while.

SIMEON.
     Methought I heard a whir of wings on high.

TIMOTHY.
     I see naught save the snow and starry sky.

ISAAC.
     We've come a long and mighty step today,
     From o'er the frosty hills and far away.

THOMAS (_pointing over the manger_).
     Look, father, dost thou see that shining star
     That seems to stand above the town so far?
     'Tis like a wondrous blossom on a stem,
     And see, it ever shines o'er Bethlehem!

TIMOTHY.
     A brighter star, I'm sure I never saw--
     And perfect form, without a speck or flaw.

SIMEON.
     A stranger star! It never shone before,
     It standeth still above that stable door.

_Enter_ ANNA _and_ RUTH _from rear left._ ANNA _carries a little
lamb._

ANNA (_joining the group_).
     Look ye, I've found a little lamb new-born.

TIMOTHY.
     Poor little beastie! Wrap him well and warm.

SIMEON.
     An ill night to be born in, frost and snow,
     Naught but cold skies above, cold earth below.
     I marvel any little creature should be born
     On such a night.

ANNA.
     I found it all forlorn,
     Crying beside its mother in the storm.

SIMEON (_comes down a little to right front_).
     Hark, I thought I heard a sound of mighty wings!
     Listen! Is it the winter sky that sings?

ISAAC (_with the group at rear center_).
     Nay, gran'ther, I heard naught. You're old and gray
     And weary with the miles you've walked today.

SIMEON.
     At noon I met a man who tarried in the shade,
     He led a mule, and riding it a maid--
     A maiden with a face I'll ne'er forget,
     A wondrous face, I seem to see it yet
     Lit with an inward shining, as if God
     Had set a lighted lamp within her soul.
     Many have passed all day, but none like these,
     And no face have I ever seen like hers.

TIMOTHY.
     Belike the man and maid were strangers here,
     And come to Bethlehem at the king's command.

RUTH (_comes down to_ SIMEON _and takes his hand_).
     Methinks I met that very man and maid--
     A maiden with such wondrous dove-like eyes,
     I saw them near this place, all tired and worn,
     Trudging about the town, seeking an inn.

SIMEON.
     And did they find one?

RUTH.
     Nay, not so!
     For every inn was crowded to its doors.
     Hard by Deborah's inn there is a little barn,
     All full of cattle, oxen, cooing doves--
     I showed it to them, and they went therein.

THOMAS (_standing at rear L. with_ ANNA).
     Mother, that star! That wondrous, wondrous light,

(_Points up._)

     It turns the night to day, it shines so bright
     I am afraid! It cannot be that any star,
     Only a star, can give so great a light.
     It frightens me.

ANNA.
     All things are strange tonight.
     The very sheep are restless in their fold,
     They watch the star and do not mind the cold.

SIMEON (_puts hand to right ear, bends toward right and listens_).
     Again I heard a singing in the sky!

TIMOTHY.
     You heard the tinkling bell of some stray sheep,
     The night grows late, come let us all to sleep.

SIMEON.
     Yea, all ye lie down and take your rest,
     I'll keep the watch alone, this night is blest.

(_The others recline at the rear._)

ANNA (_comes to_ SIMEON).
     Here, take the little sheep and keep it warm.

(_Lies down._)

SIMEON.
     Poor little new-born beast, I'll guard from harm.
     Again I marvel that you should be born
     On such a night, poor little lamb forlorn.

(SIMEON _walks toward the manger with the sheep in his arms. The
others sleep._)

The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the
still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for
his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort
me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

(_Soft Music._)

     Hark! There's music in the wind! And that strange light
     There in the east, it brightens all the night!
     I seem to hear again the whir of wings,
     Awake, awake! It is an angel sings!

(_He arouses the others. They listen wonderingly, standing or
reclining._)

VOICE (_an unseen soprano chants softly_).

     Glory to God in the highest!
         Fear not!
     For behold I bring you glad tidings
         Of great joy.
     For unto you is born this day
     In the city of David, a Saviour
         Which is Christ, the Lord.
     And this shall be the sign unto you:
     Ye shall find the heavenly Babe
     Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
         Lying in a manger.
     Glory to God in the highest,
     And on earth peace,
         Good will toward men!

TIMOTHY.
     'Twas a fine voice, even as ever I heard.

ANNA.
     The hills, as with lightning, shone at his word.

SIMEON.
     He spoke of a Babe here in Bethlehem.
     That betokens yon star!
     Full glad would I be,
     Might I kneel on my knee,
     Some word to say to that Child.

TIMOTHY.
     See! In the east there breaks the day.

ANNA.
     Let us tarry no longer; away, then, away!

(ANNA _goes out at rear, behind the stable, with_ TIMOTHY, RUTH _and_
THOMAS.)

ISAAC.
     Come, gran'ther, let us go and see this thing!

SIMEON.
     But first get gifts to take the new-born King!
     Glory to God in the highest,
     And on earth peace,
     Good will toward men.

(_They follow the others out at rear._)

_The curtains fall._


SCENE III: _Hymn by the congregation:_

     HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING.

     Hark! The herald angels sing,
     "Glory to the new-born King!
     Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
     God and sinners reconciled."
     Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
     Join the triumph of the skies;
     With th' angelic host proclaim,
     "Christ is born in Bethlehem."

     Christ, by highest Heaven adored;
     Christ, the everlasting Lord;
     Late in time behold Him come,
     Offspring of the favored one.
     Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
     Hail th' incarnate Deity:
     Pleased, as man with men to dwell,
     Jesus, our Immanuel.

     Hail! The Heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
     Hail! The Son of Righteousness!
     Light and life to all He brings,
     Risen with healing in His wings.
     Mild He lays His glory by,
     Born that man no more may die:
     Born to raise the sons of earth,
     Born to give them second birth.

_Enter_ PROLOGUE _before the closed curtains._

PROLOGUE.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the
king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying,
Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star
in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all
Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and
scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ
should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written
by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the
least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a
Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them
diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for
the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that
I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which
they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over
where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with
Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had
opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and
frankincense, and myrrh.

_The White Christmas._

As the three wise men rode on that first Christmas night to find the
manger-cradled Babe of Bethlehem, they bore gifts on their
saddle-bows. Gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And so the spirit
of Christmas giving crept into the world's heart. We bring our gifts
to the children. Rich children, poor children! The children of the
high and the children of the humble! Poor little sick children--and
the ragged children of the slums of our cities. Let us remember them
all.

So go ye, all of ye, into the highways and byways, and seek out the
poor and the distressed, the humble and the afflicted, seek out the
ragged children and the outcasts and the aged ones, and in the name of
Him who was born on Christmas day, carry some sunshine into their
hearts! Give unto the poor and the afflicted, and your hearts shall
glow with that inward peace that passeth all understanding.

Then--and then only--will you be able to sing with all the company of
Heaven, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward
men! And this will be your pure white Christmas. (_Exit_ PROLOGUE _at
L._)

_Soft chimes are heard. The curtains are drawn, disclosing the same
scene as before._ DEBORAH _sits before her inn, deep in thought._

DEBORAH (_reading a scroll_).

This is the ancient prophecy. Therefore the Lord himself shall give
you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall
call his name Immanuel.

Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and
choose the good.

For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the
good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her
kings.

_Enter_ GASPAR _from behind the inn. He comes down center._

GASPAR.
     I pray thee, tell me, Lady Bethlehemite,
     If any wonders you have seen this night?

DEBORAH (_rises_).
     I've seen a wondrous silver shaft of light
     Come from a star, and blinded is my sight.

GASPAR.
     Tell me, for thou art native of this place,
     What dost thou know about the King of Grace--
     King of the Jews?

DEBORAH.
     Aye, in Jerusalem
     He dwells, and not in Bethlehem.
     He sits upon his mighty judgment throne,
     Cruel and stern, his heart a living stone.

GASPAR.
     I mean a new-born King, of love and peace;
     His is the star--His reign shall never cease.

DEBORAH.
     All things tonight seem passing strange to me,
     I have just read an ancient prophecy
     That this, our Bethlehem, King David's town,
     Shall be the birthplace, e'er of great renown,
     Of one called Councillor of King David's line
     Whose coming is foretold in words divine.
     And now you come with words of mystery!

(_Muses._)

     Why should thy questions, which are dark to me,
     Cause me to think of Him?

GASPAR.
     The star! The star!
     No more it moves about the heavens afar,
     It standeth still. O, hostess, kneel and pray,
     For Jesus Christ, the Lord, is born today!

(_Hurries out right._)

DEBORAH.
     His words are fraught with mystery; I'll within
     And seek protection in my humble inn.

(_Exits right front._)

_After a short pause_, MELCHOIR, GASPAR _and_ BALTASAR _enter from
rear right._

MELCHOIR.

     Three kings came riding from far away,
       Melchoir, Gaspar and Baltasar;
     Three wise men out of the east were they,
     And they traveled by night and they slept by day,
       For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

BALTASAR.

     The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
       That all other stars of the sky
     Became a white mist in the atmosphere;
     And by this they knew that the coming was near
       Of the Prince foretold in prophecy.

GASPAR.

     Of the child that is born, O Baltasar,
       I begged a woman to tell us the news;
     I said in the east we had seen His star,
     And had ridden fast and had ridden far
       To find and worship the King of the Jews.

     --_Adapted from Longfellow._

MELCHOIR.
     Brothers, our quest is ended; see the star
     Is standing still over this lowly hut.

BALTASAR.
     Methinks it is a stable. Knock and see!

GASPAR (_knocks on the door of the manger_).
     What ho, within!

JOSEPH _enters from the L. rear._

JOSEPH.
     Sirs, whom seek ye?

MELCHOIR.
     We have journeyed from afar
     Led by the shining of yon splendid star.
     We are Gaspar, Melchoir and Baltasar.

BALTASAR.
     We seek a new-born King,
     Gold, frankincense to him we bring.
     And many a kingly offering.

JOSEPH _draws back the curtain and reveals the interior of the
manger._ MARY _is seen bending over the crib. The_ SHEPHERDS _are
kneeling in the background. Very soft music heard in the distance,
with faintly chiming bells at intervals._

GASPAR.
     Behold, the child is clothed in light!

MELCHOIR.
     Our journey ends, passed is the night.

BALTASAR.
     Now let us make no more delay,
     But worship Him right worthily.

(_They enter the manger and kneel._)

SIMEON.
     Hail, hail, dear child
     Of a maiden meek and mild.
       See, he merries!
     See, he smiles, my sweeting,
     I give thee greeting!
         Have a bob of cherries.

(_Places a spray of cherries on the crib._)

TIMOTHY.
     Hail, little One we've sought,
     See, a bird I've brought,
         See its feathers gay.
     Hail, little One adored,
     Hail, blessed King and Lord,
         Star of the day!

(_Places a bird on the crib._)

ISAAC.
     Hail, little One, so dear,
     My heart is full of cheer,
         A little ball I bring,
     Reach forth thy fingers gay,
     And take the ball and play,
         My blessed King.

(_Places a ball on the crib._)

_Enter all others from the Inn. They kneel outside the manger._

ALL (_sing, with concealed choir_).

     CHRISTMAS CAROL.

     (_See page 169_)

     Christ was born on Christmas day,
     Wreathe the holly, twine the bay,
     Light and life and joy is He--
         The Babe, the Son,
         The Holy One
           Of Mary.

     He is born to set us free;
     He is born our Lord to be;
     Carol, Christians, joyfully;
         The God, the Lord,
         By all adored
           Forever.

     Let the bright red berries glow,
     Everywhere in goodly show,
     Life and light and joy is He,
         The Babe, the Son,
         The Holy One
           Of Mary.

     Christian men, rejoice and sing;
     'Tis the birthday of our King,
     Carol, Christians, joyfully;
         The God, the Lord,
         By all adored
           Forever.

THE THREE KINGS.
     Hail, King of Kings!

GASPAR.
     I bring Thee a crown, O King of Kings,
     And here a scepter full of gems,
     For Thou shalt rule the hearts of men.

(_Places crown and scepter on crib._)

MELCHOIR.
     For Thee I bring sweet frankincense!

(_He swings a smoking censor._)

BALTASAR.
     And I bring myrrh to offer Thee!

(_Places casket on the crib._)

GASPAR.
     The greatest gift is yet ungiven,
     The gift that cometh straight from Heaven.
         O, Heavenly King,
         Heart's love we bring.

MELCHOIR.
     Not gold nor gems from land or sea
     Is worth the love we offer Thee.

BALTASAR.
     And lowly folk who have no gold,
     Nor gift to offer that is meet,
     May bring the dearest thing of all--
     A loving heart and service sweet.

(_All join in singing "Joy to the World."_)

_Curtain falls._


THE WHITE CHRISTMAS.

WHAT IT MEANS.

How to make a pleasant, _helpful_ Christmas for the Sunday School is
an annual problem. A tree with gifts, Santa Claus coming down the
chimney, a treat of candy and nuts--these and many other schemes have
been tried with a greater or less degree of success. But the criticism
is often made that the true significance of the celebration of the
birth of Christ is lost in the mere idea of bartering Christmas
presents. "She didn't give me anything last year, so I'm not going to
give her anything this year."

One wise superintendent determined to teach his Sunday School pupils
the precious lesson of the beauty of giving. He called his teachers
together a few weeks before Christmas and proposed to eliminate
entirely the idea of "getting something," and in its stead to try to
teach something of the true spirit of Christmas, the blessedness of
giving.

The children were told that while at home they would receive all the
usual presents, of course they would not get anything whatever from
the Sunday School. The story of Jesus and how He gave His life, and
how He liked best the gifts that cost us something, love, thought,
foresight, charity, money--was told to the children and they were
asked to save their pennies, instead of spending them for candy and
nuts, to brighten the Christmas Day for God's poor and unfortunate.

It was put to a vote and every little hand was raised, although it may
be confessed that a few went up a little reluctantly.

Teachers and young ladies met a few evenings later and made little
stockings out of cheap cambric, with a cord put into the top of each
in such a manner that it could be drawn together so the pennies would
not be lost out. The stockings were about five inches long, and of
various bright colors, and there were enough for every child. These
were given out two weeks before Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, near the close of the regular program, a large tree
was disclosed, but without a single present on it. The Minister made a
short talk on the joys of giving to the poor and the children marched
up, singing a Christmas carol, and attached their little stocking-bags
to the tree.

Six little boys and girls passed among the congregation with larger
stockings, collecting donations for the tree. These stockings had
their tops neatly sewed around little circles of wire to keep them
open.

The program consisted of Christmas hymns and carols, interspersed with
recitations--all breathing the spirit of the White Christmas.


REMARKS ON THE PRODUCTION.

SCENERY.

Hang the rear and the sides of the stage with dark blue curtains,
spangled with small silver bits of tinfoil, to represent very tiny
stars. If the blue curtains are not available, use white sheets.

Cover the floor with white sheets. Have two or three small evergreen
trees at rear, covered with white calcimine and diamond powder. Soak
long rags, shaped like icicles, in a strong solution of alum, and then
let them crystallize, then attach them to the trees.

[Illustration]

Down right, near the audience, is a doorway, supposed to be the
entrance to the inn. This may be simply an opening between two wooden
columns, with a step or two leading in. A lantern hangs over the door.
A small bench stands by the inn.

Down left, near the audience, is the manger, a building extending out
from left about seven feet. It has a back and one side of scenery or
dark draperies and a thatched roof, covered with twigs or evergreen
branches. There may be a door leading into the manger from the stage,
but this is not necessary, as the characters can go out behind the
manger. A front curtain, of dark goods, conceals the interior of the
manger from the audience until it is withdrawn by Joseph.

The interior of the manger is covered with hay. Rude boxes and farm
implements all around. A large upturned chair with wooden legs may
simulate the crib, if it is concealed by enough straw. An electric
light bulb is concealed in this straw and shines on the face of Mary,
bending over the crib.

If desired, the manger scene may be presented in the choir loft, the
manger hidden by curtains until revealed by Joseph. In this case have
the evergreen trees at the left of the stage and arrange the manger
scene at the rear and elevated above the other scene. This will prove
most feasible in churches where the choir loft is immediately behind
and above the platform.


LIGHTS.

Dim all the lights in the audience. Have a powerful searchlight,
engine headlight or two powerful auto lights shining on the stage from
a concealed elevation at the left. Shade these lights with a blue
isinglass shield, thus casting a blue light over the entire stage. Use
a strong yellow light on the manger scene, the rest of the stage being
in darkness.


PROPERTIES.

If it is possible have bits of white confetti or finely cut paper fall
from above during the shepherds' scene in Act II.

The bases of the trees should be covered with cotton.

Three rough crooks for the shepherds.

Chimes to ring off the stage. A dinner gong or set of chimes will
answer.

For the lamb use a white muff, being careful to shield it from the
direct gaze of the audience.

A spray of cherries.

A small bird of blue feathers.

A ball.

A crown and scepter made of gilded wood.

A censor made of metallic butter dish suspended by chains.

A fancy jewel case, supposed to contain myrrh.

Bench in front of inn.

Rude box in front of manger.


COSTUMES.

MARY--A sweet-faced blonde. Long tunic of light blue, falling straight
from neck to the ankles. White stockings. Sandals. Hair in two long
braids either side of face. White veil draped around head and
shoulders, bound about the brow with circlet. Dark red mantle,
fastened to left shoulder and draped around body. This mantle may
trail on the ground. The tunic may be made of cotton crepon, the
mantle of dyed muslin.

JOSEPH--A virile, bearded man of about fifty. Sandals. Long black
cassock, easily obtained from an Episcopal choir. Striped couch cover
may serve as mantle. This should be draped about head and body. Long
staff.

SIMEON--An old man with white hair and beard. Tunic of potato sacking
falling in straight folds from neck to ankles. Large gray shawl serves
as mantle, draped on head and body. Long crook. Sandals.

TIMOTHY--Man of forty. Costume similar to Isaac's. Striped mantle.

ISAAC--Man of twenty. Shorter tunic similar to Simeon's. Fur rug
draped over left shoulder. Dark red drapery on head. Sandals. Brown
stripes criss-crossed on legs. Crook.

ANNA--Long tunic of brown. Take a square white sheet and stripe it
with bands of dark blue. This serves as a mantle, draped over head and
body. Hair hanging. A woman of thirty-five. Sandals. If desired, a
blue veil may be draped around the head and neck and the mantle draped
over the body.

THOMAS--A boy of seven. Sandals. Brown strips criss-crossed on legs
from sandals to hips. Short white tunic cut like a boy's nightgown,
but coming only to knees. Dark blue mantle. Small crook.

RUTH--A girl of eleven. Blue tunic hanging in straight folds from neck
to three or four inches above ankles. Border of figured goods, to
simulate oriental embroidery, around bottom of robe and down the
front. This should be about two inches wide. Sandals. White stockings.
Hair hanging. White veil draped around head and shoulders. Later she
enters with striped mantle.

DEBORAH--A dignified matron of about forty-five. Sandals. Long kimono
of solid color. Sash of yellow. Hair in two long braids on either side
of face. Yellow drapery over head and shoulders. Rich striped mantle
draped over the costume.

RACHEL--Sandals. White tunic trimmed with red figured cloth to
simulate oriental embroidery. Red sash. Wreath of red roses on head.
Mantle made of a square white sheet with stripes of red sewed on it.
Bracelets, armlets and anklets of silver paper.

PRISCILLA--Sandals. Light green tunic. Dark green mantle. Gold paper
armlets, etc.

MELCHOIR--Tall, dark man with dark mustache. Long black cassock may be
borrowed from an Episcopal Church. Over this is a red or yellow
kimono. Sandals. Turban on head. This turban may be made from a calico
covered crown of an old derby, with red and white striped rim. He
wears many rich ornaments. Curtain chains around neck and on arms.
This costume may sometimes be borrowed from a lodge of Shriners,
Knights Templar, Royal Arch Masons or Odd Fellows.

GASPAR--Similar to Melchoir. He is a young king aged about twenty-two.
Wear white drapery on head and over it a golden (paper) crown. May
wear sword. Sandals.

BALTASAR--Old king with white hair. Long rich robe or kimono over a
cassock. Red sash. Red head drapery. Golden crown. Sandals.

ANGELS--Invisible to the audience.

PROLOGUE--Stately lady in trailing Grecian robe of white. Hair
powdered. This character should be played by a lady with distinct
dramatic ability.

NOTE.--If it is desired to simplify these costumes, kimonos, cassocks
and cottas from Episcopal choirs, draperies of sheets and couch
covers, and sandals made of a sole bound to foot with brown cloth
cords, will answer admirably in the dim blue light.

Nightgowns, dressing gowns, fur rugs, fur muffs opened, fur stoles,
opera capes, spangled tunics, window cords and chains, etc., will make
valuable substitutes for the oriental garments.




ANITA'S SECRET OR CHRISTMAS IN THE STEERAGE

[Illustration:

SANTA CLAUS   JACK FROST    ANITA        HULDA

SERGIUS       MEENY         BIDDY MARY   PADDY MIKE

TOMASSO       DUTCH TWINS   NEELDA       AH GOO

YAKOB         HANS          MIEZE        SANO SAN]




ANITA'S SECRET OR CHRISTMAS IN THE STEERAGE

A CHRISTMAS PLAY IN ONE ACT FOR SANTA CLAUS AND SIXTEEN CHILDREN.


CHARACTERS.

SANTA CLAUS                              _Adult_
JOLLY JACK FROST                         _Little Boy_
ANITA, _a Little Italian Immigrant_      _Aged Eight or Nine_
HULDA, _from Holland_                    _Aged Ten_
SERGIUS, _from Russia_                   _Aged Nine_
MEENY, _from Germany_                    _Aged Seven_
BIDDY MARY, _from Ireland_               _Aged about Eight_
PADDY MIKE, _from Ireland_               _Aged about Seven_
KLINKER                }                 _Little Dutch Twins_
SCHWILLIE WILLIE WINKUM}                 _Aged Four or Five_
NEELDA, _from Spain_                     _Aged Five_
AH GOO, _from China_                     _Little Boy_
YAKOB, _from Denmark_                    _Aged Six_
HANS, _from Norway_                      _Aged Four_
MIEZE, _from Germany_                    _Aged Six_
SANO SAN, _from Japan_                   _Little Girl_

       *       *       *       *       *

TIME OF PLAYING--_About One Hour and Fifteen Minutes._


COSTUMES, ETC.

_For notes on costuming, scenery and properties, see "Remarks on the
Production of the Play" at the end of the play._


ARGUMENT.

It is the night before Christmas and the scene is on a big ocean-going
vessel many miles out at sea. Down in the lower part of the ship, in
the steerage, is a group of poor little immigrant children who are
leaving the trials and troubles of the old world behind them and are
looking forward to the golden promises held out by our own "land of
the free and the home of the brave." But the hearts of the little
immigrants are sad. It is the night before Christmas, and how could
Santa Claus ever hope to reach them away out in the middle of the
ocean? Even the sleigh and the magical reindeers could never be
expected to make such a trip.

Anita, a little Italian girl, alone has faith in the coming of the
good Saint. She is wandering around the ship when all of a sudden,
much to her surprise, she hears a mysterious noise in a great big
barrel, and who should jump out but little Jack Frost himself. Jack
assures her that Santa Claus really is coming to visit the ship, and
more than that, he is going to make an especial trip in an air ship!
And this is little Anita's secret. The children all fall asleep, but
Anita keeps watch for the mysterious aeroplane that will bring joy to
every little heart in the steerage, and, sure enough, just a little
before midnight Anita and Jack Frost look through a telescope and see
the lights of the approaching air ship.

Soon Santa Claus himself is on board, and such a time as he and Anita
and jolly Jack Frost have in arranging a wonderful Christmas surprise
for the children. As an especial favor the good Saint decides to
awaken the children himself very early on Christmas morning. The clock
strikes twelve and it is Christmas Day. The bells of merry Christmas
are heard chiming in the distance, and Santa Claus and jolly Jack
Frost hold a Christmas morning revel with the little immigrant
children away down in the steerage of the big vessel.

       *       *       *       *       *

SCENE: _The steerage of a large ocean-going vessel. Entrances R. and
L. Boxes and barrels down L. Box down R. Large barrel up L.C., with_
JOLLY JACK FROST _concealed therein._ HULDA _is seated on a small
stool down R., taking care of_ KLINKER _and_ SCHWILLIE WILLIE WINKUM,
_who are standing near her._ MEENY _is seated down L. on a box; she is
knitting a woolen stocking._ SERGIUS, PADDY MIKE, TOMASSO, YAKOB _and_
AH GOO _are playing leapfrog at C. of stage._ HANS, MIEZE, NEELDA
_and_ SANO SAN _stand at rear._ BIDDY MARY _is seated near_ HULDA;
_she is peeling potatoes. All sing._


     OPENING SONG.

[Music illustration:

     1. The ship is sail-ing ver-y fast,
     We can't go out to play;
     But Christmas Day is com-ing soon,
     It is-n't far a-way.

     2. We're sail-ing to A-mer-i-ca,
     So far a-cross the sea,
     We're hap-py lit-tle im-mi-grants,
     Our hearts are light and free.

     3. We're hap-py lit-tle for-eign-ers,
     From far a-cross the way,
     But soon we will be cit-i-zens
     Of dear old U.S.A.

     Then clap, clap, clap to-geth-er,
     Clap, clap, a-way;
     The steer-age is a hap-py place--
     Tomorrow's Christmas Day.]

(_On the words "clap, clap, clap together," the children hold left
hand horizontally in front of their chests, palm upward, raising the
right hand and bringing it down on the left with a sharp clap._

_Sing the first verse seated around stage. On the first four lines of
the second verse nod heads and smile at audience. On the line "We're
happy little immigrants," each one points to chest, nods head and
smiles broadly._

_For the third verse all rise and stand in couples in small groups all
around stage. On the first two lines of the third verse each one faces
his partner slightly, nods at him and shakes index finger of right
hand at partner. On "dear, old U.S.A." all make a deep bow to
audience. After third verse is completed, all form a circle and skip
around in time to the music, repeating the third verse. On "clap,
clap, clap together," they stand still and clap hands as before. When
the song is ended all resume former positions, as at the rise of the
curtain, but the boys do not play leapfrog._)

TOMASSO (_seated on floor at C._). Tomorrow comes the great, grand
festival of Christmas, is it not, Paddy Mike?

PADDY MIKE (_seated near him, nods his head_). Sure and it is. This is
the holy Christmas Eve.

MEENY (_seated down L., knitting stocking_). The night of the day
behind Christmas is always Christmas Eve, ain't it? (_Nods head._)
Sure it is.

SCHWILLIE. Und tomorrow we gets lots of Christmas presents always, me
und Klinker; don't we, Klinker?

KLINKER. Sure we do. Leedle horses and pictures und candy und other
things also; don't we, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

HULDA. That was when we were at home in Holland. It's different,
maybe, out here in this great big boat. Ven we get by the city of New
York next week then maybe we'll get some presents already.

KLINKER. But good Saint Nicholas always comes the night before
Christmas; don't he, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Sure. Won't he come tonight, Hulda?

HULDA. How could he get way out here on the ocean already? Do you
think he is a fish? We ain't living at home in Holland no more. We're
way out on the Atlantic Ocean in a great big ship.

MEENY. Ja, und I wish I was back at home already. So much have I been
seasick, mit der ship going oop und down, oop und down! Ach, it's
awful. (SERGIUS, TOMASSO, YAKOB, PADDY MIKE _and_ AH GOO _play
jack-stones._)

KLINKER. But Saint Nicholas ought to come tonight, Hulda. I been a
awfully good boy, isn't I, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Sure you is. Und I've been a awfully good boy, too. Isn't
I, Klinker?

KLINKER. Sure. We've been awfully good boys.

HULDA. Maybe even if Saint Nicholas don't come tonight, you can see
the great, big whale tomorrow. If he's a good whale he'll surely let
the leedle Dutch twins see him on Christmas Day.

MEENY. Oh, I vant to see der whale. I've looked und I've looked und
I've looked, but I ain't even so much as seen his leedle tail yet
already. Und it makes me seasick to look so much, too.

BIDDY MARY. Are ye sure it was a whale ye saw that day, Sergius boy?

SERGIUS. Of course I'm sure. It was awful big. The biggest fish I ever
saw. Even in Russia we do not have such big fish as whales. Paddy Mike
saw it, too.

PADDY MIKE. Sure and I did. And me two eyes nearly fell out of me head
with lookin' at it, it was that wonderful. He shot a big stream of
water right up out of his head, he did, and then he dived down in the
ocean again, and we didn't see him any more at all, at all. (MIEZE
_and_ SANO SAN _turn backs to audience and look over the railing into
the water._)

HULDA (_to the twins_). There! Now if you get to see the great big
whale, that's almost as good as having old Saint Nicholas come, ain't
it?

SCHWILLIE. Whales can't bring you no Christmas presents, can they,
Klinker?

KLINKER. Und whales you can see any time. I'd rather have Saint
Nicholas, wouldn't I, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

SERGIUS. Who is this Saint Nicholas they are looking for, Hulda?

HULDA (_astonished_). Why, don't you know who he is yet? He's the best
old man that ever was. Und he comes the night before Christmas und
visits all the little children in Holland.

MEENY (_proudly_). Und in Germany, too. (SERGIUS _goes to_ HULDA.)

KLINKER. Und if they're good they get candy und oranges und toys und
things, don't they, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Und if they're bad, they get a good big birch stick. But I
ain't been bad. I've been awfully good, isn't I, Klinker?

KLINKER. Sure. Und me also.

HULDA (_to_ SERGIUS). On Christmas Eve in Holland all the children
march around the streets, following one who carries a big silver star.
And the people who meet us give us money and gifts to help the poor.
Oh, Christmas time is just grand in Holland!

KLINKER. Und we set out our leedle wooden shoes und old Saint Nicholas
fills 'em with candy.

SCHWILLIE. Und we put a leedle bit of hay in our shoes for his good
old horsie, Sleipner. Dot makes him happy.

MEENY. In Germany we call him Santa Claus, und he comes riding in a
sleigh drawn through the sky mit reindeers. Und we have Christmas
trees all lighted mit candles und things, und full of toys und paper
stars und angels und apples. But Santa Claus could never get out here
in der middle of der ocean. If he did maybe he'd get seasick already,
und all der reindeers would get drownded in der water.

SERGIUS (_standing R.C._). In Russia there is an old woman named
Babouska who visits all the children on the night before Christmas.
She carries a big basket full of good things.

TOMASSO (_seated on floor at C._). In sunny Italy the children all go
to midnight church on Christmas Eve, and when we make ourselves awake
on Christmas morning, our shoes are all full of candy and chestnuts
and figs and oranges. But of course on a big ship like-a this we'll
not get-a nothing at all.

KLINKER (_crying_). But I want some presents already.

SCHWILLIE (_crying_). Und me also. I want some presents, too.

KLINKER. Und Saint Nicholas can't come. Oh, oh! He can't get out on
the big ocean.

SCHWILLIE. Maybe he could float out on a piece of ice yet. Could he,
Hulda?

HULDA. No. I don't think he's much of a floater.

MEENY. If he did it would make him awful seasick.

KLINKER. I wish we was landed in New York yet, so I do.

SCHWILLIE. Where is Anita? She'll know.

HULDA. Yes, Anita will know whether he is coming or not. She knows
almost everything.

PADDY MIKE (_standing at rear L._). Here comes Anita now, and sure
she's having a grand time, so she is.

ALL (_rising and going to rear, looking off L._). Here she comes.
Hurrah for Anita. (_Music: The same as for the Opening Song._)

TOMASSO (_calling_). Anita, Anita, come here quick. We want you.

ANITA (_outside L._). I'm coming. Wait a minute. I'm coming.

_Music swells louder._ ANITA _dances in from L., all sing as she
dances around, waving her tambourine._

ALL (_singing to tune of the "Opening Song"_).

     We're sailing to America,
       Away across the sea,
     We're happy little immigrants,
       Our hearts are light and free.
     Then clap, clap, clap together,

(_All skip around._)

       Clap, clap away;
     The steerage is a happy place--
       Tomorrow's Christmas Day.

ANITA (_comes forward to C. surrounded by the others_). Oh, I've just
had the grandest time. It was so superb, magnificent, sublime!
(_Extends arms in ecstasy._) I have-a been at the leetla window
watching the great, grand, magnificent ocean. It was all so blue and
so green and so purple--and the sinking sun is all shining on the
great-a, beeg waves, like-a sparkling diamonds. (_Use elaborate
gestures at all times._) And me, the poor, leetla Italian girl, gets
to see all this great-a, grand-a ocean. It is superb, magnificent,
sublime! Ah, I am so happy, I could sing and dance and kees everybody
on the great-a, grand-a earth!

MEENY (_at L._). Vot makes you so happy, Anita? Maybe I'd be happy yet
also, if I didn't get seasick once in a while.

ANITA. What makes me so happy, Meeny? It's the sun and the waves, and
the sunlight shining like diamonds on the great-a, grand-a ocean. Are
you not also happy, Biddy Mary?

BIDDY MARY (_standing by_ ANITA). I am not. Sure, I niver do be having
time to be seeing diamonds on the great big waves. I have to be hard
at work, so I do, peeling the praties for our Christmas breakfast.

ANITA. I watched the great-a red sun as he began to sink, sink, sink
way down in the ocean. And the beeg-a waves got more beeg and more
beeg and on top of them I saw long white lace fringe. The green silk
waves were all-a trimmed with white lace fringe. And sometimes I think
I see the leetla mermaid fairies dancing in the foam. Leetla green and
white mermaids with the long long-a hair.

TOMASSO (_at R._). You make-a me seek, Anita. There is-a no such
things as fairies.

ANITA. But I love to _think_ there is. It is a great, grand-a pleasure
just to think there is. Is it not, Meeny?

MEENY (_stolidly_). Oh, sure.

ANITA. And that is why we should all be so verra, verra happy. We can
think such-a lovely things. The poor leetla children at-a home, pouf!
They cannot think such things, because they have never seen such a
great, beeg-a ship, or such a great, beeg-a ocean--

SERGIUS. Or a whale.

PADDY MIKE. Or a sailor man.

HULDA. Or a nice little steerage bed built just like a shelf in the
wall.

TOMASSO. Or the great beeg-a engine that makes the ship go.

MEENY. Or the tons and tons of coal vay down deep by the cellar.

SERGIUS (_mocking her_). Way down deep by the cellar! Whoever heard of
a cellar on board of a ship? You mean--down in the hatch.

MEENY. Hatch? Vot is dot hatch? Dis ain't a chicken, it's a boat.
(_All laugh._)

KLINKER (_takes_ SCHWILLIE _by the hand and goes to_ ANITA). Anita, we
want to ask you a question.

ANITA. Well, and what is the question of the leetla Dutch twins?

SCHWILLIE. Tonight is the night before Christmas.

KLINKER. Und we want to know if the good Saint Nicholas is coming
tonight.

ANITA. I don't know. You see it would be a great beeg-a, long-a trip
way out here on the ocean.

KLINKER (_half crying_). But I want him to come. I've been a awful
good boy, isn't I, Schwillie Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Sure, you is. Und me also, ain't I, Klinker?

ANITA. If you have both been verra, verra good I think that maybe the
good Saint will come. (_Looks around._) Have you all been verra, verra
good?

OTHERS. Yes, all of us.

HANS. We're always very, very good at Christmas time.

AH GOO. Me velly, _velly_ good.

ANITA (_points off R._). See, way up there on the upper deck, are the
rich, grand-a ladies and gentlemen coming out from the great, beeg-a
dining-room. If you go and stand under the hole maybe they'll throw
you some oranges or candy. They're awful nice peoples on the upper
deck.

MEENY. Let's all go right away quick. Maybe we'll get some oranges und
candy.

KLINKER. Oh, how I do love oranges und candy, don't I, Schwillie
Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Sure, und me also, don't I, Klinker?

SERGIUS. Let us all go together. (_All come forward and sing to tune
of the Opening Song._)

     We're happy little immigrants,
       We'll sing our happy song,
     Our hearts are light, our faces bright--
       The good ship speeds along.
     Then clap, clap, clap together,
       Clap, clap away;
     The steerage is a happy place--
       Tomorrow's Christmas Day.

(_All the children except_ ANITA _go out at R., repeating the chorus
of their song._)

ANITA. Surely the good-a Saint Nicholas will come tonight, because
there are so many, many verra good children on board this-a ship.
(_Counting on fingers._) There's Hulda from Holland and her two leetla
brothers, the Dutch twins, Klinker and Schwillie Willie Winkum. They
must have a great-a beeg-a Christmas present. And there's Sergius from
Russia, and Meeny and Paddy Mike and Biddy Mary, and Neelda from
Spain, and Yakob and Hans and Ah Goo and Mieze and leetla Sano San
from afar away Japan. They must all have the great-a, grand-a
presents. Maybe I could write old Santa Claus a leetla letter and tell
how good the poor children way down in the steerage have been. And
there's my cousin Tomasso from Italy. Oh, Santa Claus must bring him a
new violin. Then he can make-a the beautiful music on the golden
streets of New York. If there is anybody at all in the whole beeg
world who should have a nice-a, beeg-a Christmas, it is the verra poor
leetla children whose mammas and papas haven't got very much money.
But sometimes the good Santa Claus forgets all about the verra poor
leetla children--and that's the mostest saddest thing of all, for they
are the verra ones he should remember. When I get to be a great-a,
beeg, grand-a, reech lady in the golden streets of New York, ah! then
I will buy presents and presents and presents, and I will-a give them
to all the verra poor leetla children in the world. I wonder why it is
that the verra good Santa Claus sometimes forgets the poor leetla
children on-a Christmas Day. He never forgets the reech leetla
children, only those who are verra, verra poor. And that is a sad
misfortune. If I had-a nice-a Christmas present, with many candies and
figs and oranges, I could never rest until I had given something nice
to all the poor leetla children in the city--for that is what makes
the mostest happy Christmas of all.

_Enter_ SERGIUS _from R. quietly. He comes down behind_ ANITA _and
places his hands over her eyes._

SERGIUS. Guess who it is.

ANITA. Sergius!

SERGIUS (_disappointed_). Why, I thought that you would think it was a
goblin.

ANITA. Goblin? What is a goblin, Sergius?

SERGIUS. It's a little, wee bit of a man with a long beard. And they
go around having a good time at night. They are always very active on
the night before Christmas. (_Looks cautiously around._) I shouldn't
be at all surprised if we should see some tonight.

ANITA (_frightened_). Oh, Sergius, will they harm us?

SERGIUS. Not very much. They just like to have a little fun, that's
all. We have lots of them in Russia. And I believe there are some down
here in the steerage.

ANITA (_grasps his arm_). Oh, Sergius! Where are they?

SERGIUS. Well, last night I could not sleep, so I got up and came in
here, and just as I was passing by that barrel (_points to barrel up
L.C. where_ JACK FROST _is concealed_), I thought I heard a noise. It
was like some one rapping on the barrel. Like this. (_Raps on another
barrel._) I thought it was a goblin and I never stopped running until
I was safe in my bunk with the bedclothes around my head.

ANITA. Pooh! I'm not afraid. No leetla goblin man can make-a me
afraid.

SERGIUS. They do wonderful things on Christmas Eve. But come; let us
go to the bottom of the stairs. The ladies and gentlemen are looking
down and Tomasso is playing his violin. Soon they will throw apples
and oranges down to us, and perhaps money. Come and see.

ANITA. No, I'd rather wait here.

SERGIUS (_crossing to door at R._). All right, but don't let the
goblin man catch you. (_Exits at R._)

ANITA. The goblin man! Poof! There is no such thing as a goblin man.
In-a Italy we do not have such goblin mans. He said he heard something
rap, rap on the inside of the barrel. Poof! Sergius must have been
having one beeg, grand-a dream. Never in all my life did I ever hear
anything go rap, rap on the inside of a barrel. (_Stands close to_
JACK FROST'S _barrel._) And if I did, I'd think it was a leetla,
weeny-teeny mouse. But a leetla, weeny-teeny mouse never could go rap,
rap on the inside of a barrel, try as hard as he could. It must have
been a dream.

JACK FROST (_raps sharply on the inside of the barrel_).

ANITA. Oh, what was that? I thought I heard something. (_Goes toward
barrel cautiously._) Maybe it is the leetla, teeny-weeny baby mouse.
(Rises on tiptoes to peer into the barrel.) I'll just peek in and see.
(_Just as she looks into the barrel_, JACK FROST _pops up his head
almost in her very face._)

JACK FROST. Hello!

ANITA (_starting back, very much frightened_). Oh!

JACK FROST. Did you say oh, or hello?

ANITA. I just said, oh.

JACK FROST. Well, then, hello. (_Climbs out of the barrel._)

ANITA. Hello.

JACK FROST (_goes to her_). You aren't frightened, are you?

ANITA (_at R._). Well, I'm a leetla frightened, but not verra much.

JACK FROST. Why? I won't hurt you.

ANITA. You came up so sudden. I never expected to find a boy in that
barrel. And you are such a queer looking boy.

JACK FROST. Boy? I'm not a boy.

ANITA. You're not? You look like a boy. You're not a girl, are you?

JACK FROST (_indignantly_). Well, I should say not! I'm just a kind of
a sort of a kind of an idea, that's all. I'm your imagination.

ANITA. I hope you're not a goblin.

JACK FROST. Oh, no. I'm not a goblin. They're old and have long
beards. I'm not old at all. (_Twirls around on toes._) See, I'm even
younger than you are. (_Makes low bow._) I'm a pixie.

ANITA. And what is a pixie?

JACK FROST. I told you before, it's just your imagination.

ANITA. You look like a boy. What is your name?

JACK FROST. My name is Claus.

ANITA. Claus! Why, what a funny leetla name. I never heard a name like
that in Italy. Claus what?

JACK FROST. Santa Claus. Haven't you ever heard of Santa Claus?

ANITA. Oh, yes; many, many times. But you _can't_ be Santa Claus.

JACK FROST (_indignantly_). I'd like to know why I can't! It's my
name, isn't it?

ANITA. But you are not the real, real truly Santa Claus. He is an old,
old man. A leetla fat old man with white-a hair just like-a the snow,
and a long, white-a beard.

JACK FROST. Ho, you must be thinking of my daddy.

ANITA. Your daddy? Is Santa Claus your daddy?

JACK FROST. Sure, he is. I'm Jack Frost Santa Claus, Jr. Most folks
call me Jolly Jack Frost. The little fat man with the white beard is
my father.

ANITA (_astonished_). Why, I didn't know Santa Claus had any leetla
boys.

JACK FROST. Sure, he has. Who do you think takes care of the reindeer,
and who waters the doll-tree and picks the dolls?

ANITA. Picks the dolls? Do the dolls grow on trees?

JACK FROST. Yes, indeed, right next door to the taffy cottage, down
Chocolate Lane. I take care of the marble bushes and the popgun trees.
You just ought to see our wonderful gardens.

ANITA. Oh, I'd love to see them.

JACK FROST. We've got a Teddy-bear garden, and a tool garden, and a
furniture garden, and a game garden, and a candy garden, though most
of the candy comes from mines.

ANITA. The mines?

JACK FROST. Sure. We dig out just the kind we want. We have caramel
mines, and vanilla mines and mines full of chocolate almonds, and
rivers of fig paste and strawberry ice cream soda. They flow right
through the picture-book garden.

ANITA. Oh, it must be the most wonderful place in the whole world.

JACK FROST. And I help take care of it. I have fourteen little
brothers, and we're all twins.

ANITA. And have you a mother, too? Has Santa Claus a nice-a, fine-a
wife?

JACK FROST (_laughs_). Of course he's got a wife. Haven't you ever
heard of my mother. Her name is Mary.

ANITA. Mary? Mary what?

JACK FROST. Why, Merry Mary Christmas, of course. I thought everyone
knew that.

ANITA. And does she go round the world with Santa Claus on the night
before Christmas?

JACK FROST. Oh, no, she's too busy for that. She stays at home and
takes care of the gardens.

ANITA. But what are you doing here on the ship? I should think you'd
be with your father.

JACK FROST. Ah, that is a secret. You mustn't tell anyone.

ANITA. How can I tell anyone when I don't know myself.

JACK FROST. Well, maybe I'll tell you.

ANITA. Oh, if you only would. I'd just love to have a great-a, beeg,
grand-a secret.

JACK FROST. You can keep a secret, can't you?

ANITA. Of course I can. Girls can always keep secrets.

JACK FROST. Some girls can't. But I believe you really can. Your
name's Anita, isn't it?

ANITA. Yes. But how did you know?

JACK FROST. Oh, we know everything. How old are you?

ANITA. If you tell me how you knew my name, I'll tell you how old I
am.

JACK FROST. Well, I just guessed it.

ANITA. Then why don't you guess how old I am?

JACK FROST. Cute, ain't you?

ANITA. Not so verra cute. I'm going on nine.

JACK FROST. Then you're old enough to keep the secret. Now, first you
must promise you won't tell until tomorrow morning.

ANITA. Cross my heart. (_She does so._)

JACK FROST (_crosses to her_). Listen, then; here's the secret. (_He
whispers in her ear._)

ANITA (_after a pause, while he is whispering_). He is? _He is?_ Oh!!

JACK FROST (_nods his head wisely_). Yes, he is.

ANITA. Honest?

JACK FROST. Honest injun!

ANITA. With his pack and presents and a Christmas tree and everything?

JACK FROST (_nods head emphatically_). Yes, ma'am, every single thing.

ANITA. Tonight?

JACK FROST. Just before the clock strikes twelve, when all the little
children in the steerage are asleep.

ANITA. But how will he get out here in the middle of the ocean?

JACK FROST. Fly.

ANITA. Fly? But he hasn't any wings. (JACK _nods._) He has? (JACK
_nods._) Really and truly wings?

JACK FROST (_nods_). Really and truly wings.

ANITA. I never knew Santa Claus had wings before.

JACK FROST. He only bought them this year.

ANITA. Bought them? (JACK _nods._) Then they didn't grow on him?

JACK FROST (_laughs_). Of course not. He's coming in an air ship.

ANITA. Why, I never knew Santa Claus had an air ship.

JACK FROST. He's got the very latest twentieth century model. He only
uses the reindeer once in a while now. He can go much faster on an air
ship. (_Sits down._) Oh, I'm tired.

ANITA. I didn't know pixies ever got tired.

JACK FROST. You ought to see the work I've done today.

ANITA. Here on the boat?

JACK FROST. Yes, ma'am, right here on the boat.

ANITA. Oh, show me.

JACK FROST. I will. But it's part of the secret. (_Goes to rear L._)
Come here and I'll show you what I've been doing.

ANITA (_goes to him_). It isn't anything scary, is it?

JACK FROST. Of course not. (_Lets her peep through the curtain that
conceals the Christmas tree from the audience._) There; what do you
think of that?

ANITA. Oh, oh! oh!! It's too great and grand and wonderful for words.
Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful secret! I'm so glad you've told me. It
is so much nicer to know all about it beforehand. I wish I could tell
Tomasso.

JACK FROST. Well, you can't. It's a secret and you mustn't tell
anybody.

ANITA. But are you really, truly sure he's coming?

JACK FROST. Of course he is. That is our secret.

ANITA. Oh, it's the grandest secret I ever had in all-a my life. I
will not tell a soul that he is-a coming. It will be a Christmas
surprise, and when I get to the beeg city of New York in America, I'll
always remember this great-a beeg, nice-a secret about old Santa Claus
and his nice leetla boy, Jack Frost.

JACK FROST. What are you going to do when you get to America?

ANITA. I am going to dance. My uncle, Pedro Spanilli, he haba de
grind-organ. Until last-a month he had-a de nice-a monkey, named Mr.
Jocko, but last-a month Mr. Jocko he die, and my uncle, Pedro
Spanilli, he send for me to take-a his place.

JACK FROST. Take the monkey's place?

ANITA. Yes, sir. I'm going to go round with my uncle and hold out my
tambourine, so! (_Poses and holds out tambourine._) And then I will-a
collect the pennies, just like-a Mr. Jocko used to do.

JACK FROST (_mocking her_). I suppose you are going to wear a leetla
red cap and jump up and down this way (_imitates a monkey_), and say,
"Give-a de monk de cent!"

ANITA (_laughing_). Oh, no. I'm going to sing the leetla song, and
dance the leetla dance, so! (_Hums and dances, or a song may be
introduced at this point by_ ANITA.) Then, when I'm finished, I go to
the kind leetla boy, Jack Frost, and hold out my tambourine, so!
(_Does so._) And maybe he drops a nickel in my tambourine. Eh? Does
he?

JACK FROST (_sighs, then drops a nickel in tambourine_). Yes, I guess
he does. And you just wait till tomorrow morning, Anita, and I'll give
you the finest Christmas present on the Atlantic Ocean.

ANITA. And you must not forget the leetla Dutch twins, and my cousin
Tomasso, and Hulda and Meeny and Sergius and Ah Goo and Sano San and
Needla and Biddy Mary and Paddy Mike and all the rest.

JACK FROST. Whew! That's a big order. But we won't forget a single
soul on Christmas Day. And now I've got to go and put the finishing
touches on--you know what! (_Goes behind curtains that conceal the
Christmas tree._)

ANITA (_looks around_). Why, he's gone.

JACK FROST (_sticking his head out of the curtains_). The sun has set,
it's out of sight, so little Jack Frost will say good-night!
(_Disappears back of curtains._)

ANITA. Good-night, Jolly Jack Frost, good-night. Oh, it's the most
wonderful secret in all the world. And won't the leetla children be
glad to know that old Santa Claus has not forgotten them. He said that
Santa Claus was coming tonight in the air ship, and it's got to be
true, it's just got to be true.

_Enter_ TOMASSO _from R., carrying violin._

TOMASSO. Anita, if you don't hurry you'll not get any supper at all.
It's most eight o'clock.

ANITA. Oh, I don't care for supper, Tomasso. I could-a not eat. I'm
too much excited to eat.

TOMASSO. What make-a you so excited, Anita?

ANITA. Why, tonight--(pauses as she remembers her promise) Oh, that I
cannot tell; it's a secret.

TOMASSO. What is the secret?

ANITA. If I told-a you, Tomasso, then it would no longer be a secret.

TOMASSO. You should-a not have the secrets from me, Anita. I am your
cousin, also--I am the head of the family.

ANITA. But I made the promise not to tell.

TOMASSO. Who you make-a the promise to?

ANITA. I promised Jack--(_hesitates_) I mean, I make-a de promise to
someone.

TOMASSO. To Jack! Who is this-a Jack, Anita?

ANITA. That is part of the secret. Listen, Tomasso, tomorrow morning
you shall know everything. Early in the morning shall I tell-a you my
secret. That will be my Christmas present to you.

TOMASSO. All right. I'll wait. Oh, see, Anita, the moon is coming up.
(_Points to L._) Just like-a big, round-a silver ball.

ANITA. Let us stay here and watch the moon, Tomasso.

TOMASSO. You'd better go and get your supper. Those leetla Dutch twins
are eating everything on the table. I think they'd eat the table
itself if it was-a not nailed to the deck. Hurry, Anita!

ANITA. I go. (_Crosses to door at R., then turns toward him_). It's a
awful good-a secret, Tomasso. (_Laughs and runs out at R._)

TOMASSO (_looks off L._). Ah, the great, grand-a lady moon. She looks
at me, I look at her. Maybe she'll like a leetla serenade.

(_Simple violin solo by_ TOMASSO, _accompanied by hidden organ or
piano. After he has been playing sometime, the other children come
softly in from the R. and group around the stage. Note: If possible,
get a boy for_ TOMASSO'S _part who can play the violin; if not,
introduce a song at this point. "Santa Lucia," found in most school
collections, would prove effective either as a vocal solo or as a
violin solo._)

BIDDY MARY. Sure, that's beautiful. It takes me back again to dear
ould Ireland where the River Shannon flows.

HULDA. What do you do in Ireland the night before Christmas, Biddy
Mary?

MEENY. Do you have a Christmas tree like we do in Germany?

BIDDY MARY. We do not. We don't have any tree at all, at all.

PADDY MIKE. And we don't get many presents. But it's a fine time we
have for all that. Instead of getting presents, we have the fun of
giving presents--and that's the finest thing in all the world, so it
is, to make the other fellow happy. Sure, I just love to give
presents.

KLINKER. You can give me some if you want to.

SCHWILLIE. Und me also some.

BIDDY MARY. But where would we be getting presents out here in the
middle of the ocean? In dear ould Ireland sure it's a fine time we're
after having on Christmas Day.

PADDY MIKE. It is that. With the fiddles playing and the dancers
dancing and the fine suppers upon the table.

SERGIUS. In Russia we always set a table in front of the window and
put a fine linen cloth on it. (_Produces white lace-edged cloth._)
Here is the cloth, but we have no window.

HULDA. Here, use this box as a table. (_Indicates a large box at rear
C._) Now, let us put the cloth on, so! (HULDA _and_ SERGIUS _put cloth
on the box._)

BIDDY MARY. The night before Christmas we always put a big candle, all
gay with ribbons, in the window to welcome the Christ child.

PADDY MIKE. Here is the candle. (_Places it on box at rear C._) Now
I'll light it. (_Lights candle._)

TOMASSO. We do that also in Italy. And we put a leetla picture of the
Christ child on the table. (_Puts colored picture of Madonna and Child
back of the candle._)

BIDDY MARY. On Christmas Day it's the fine old tales we're after
hearing in Ireland, all about the wonderful star that shone so bright
that it turned night into day, and led the Wise Men all the way to
where a little Babe in the manger lay.

PADDY MIKE. And all the angels sang above of peace on earth, good will
and love.

BIDDY MARY.

     The shepherds wandering on the hill,
     Beheld the star and followed till
     They saw the Child and heard the song,
     The angels sang the whole night long.

SERGIUS. May the spirit of Christmas enter every heart tonight, making
all the world one big, happy family, no rich, no poor, no high, no
low, all brothers and sisters, all children of the Lord on high!

MEENY. Maybe good old Santa Claus will come after all. Vell, if he
does I want to be ready for him. (_Produces two very large red
stockings, made for the occasion._) Come, Yakob and Hans and Mieze,
let us hang up our stockings here under the burning candle. (_They
hang up the four pair of stockings._)

NEELDA (_places a wreath of holly on the table_). Christ was born on
the Christmas Day, wreathe the holly, twine the bay! Light and Life
and Joy is He, the Babe, the Son, the Holy One of Mary!

TOMASSO. Meeny and Yakob and Hans and leetla Mieze have hung up their
stockings for the good-a Saint Nicholas, but in Italy we set out our
shoes, so! And we always get them full of presents. (_Places small
pair of wooden shoes on table._)

MEENY. I like stockings much better than shoes already, because the
stockings can stretch yet, und if they stretch real, real wide out
maybe we can get a baby piano or a automobile in our stockings. Jah,
stockings is mooch better als shoes.

HULDA. Here is my beautiful star. (_Produces tinsel star._) That will
remind us of the Star of Bethlehem that led the three Wise Men across
the hills and plains of Judea unto the little manger where,
surrounded by cattle and oxen, amid the straw, the Lord of Heaven was
born on Christmas Eve.

SCHWILLIE. Und all the angels sang, "Peace on earth, good will to
men," didn't they, Klinker?

KLINKER. Und all the shepherds heard them, and they followed the star
and came to the manger to see the little Baby.

MEENY. Let us all sit down here in front of the candle and the star,
and see if old Santa Claus has forgotten us already. It's almost time
for him to be coming. (_All sit down._)

ALL (_sing_).

     THE TIME IS NEAR.

[Music illustration:

     1. The time is near, the time is near,
     San-ta Claus will soon be here!
     All the world is sweet-ly sleep-ing,
     An-gels now their watch are keep-ing,
     And the moon shines clear,
     And the moon shines clear.

     2. Be-fore the dawn, be-fore the dawn,
     Saint Nick will have come and gone!
     Now with pa-tience we'll a-wait him,
     Hop-ing noth-ing may be-late him,
     On his jour-ney long,
     On his jour-ney long.]

HULDA. Oh, I do hope Santa Claus will come and visit us tonight. But
of course he cannot go every place. Some children have to be left out.

KLINKER. Yes, that's so; but I hope it ain't us. Don't you, Schwillie
Willie Winkum?

SCHWILLIE. Sure, I do. I wish old Santa would hurry up and come,
'cause the old Sandman is here already. I'm getting awful sleepy.

KLINKER. Me--I'm getting awful sleepy, too. (_Stretches and yawns._)

TOMASSO. I wonder what has become of Anita? She said she had a
wonderful secret that was-a verra, verra grand.

MEENY. A secret, Tomasso? (_Goes to him._)

TOMASSO (_standing at C._). Yes, a great, beeg, grand-a secret.

BIDDY MARY (_goes to him and takes his L. arm_). Oh, what is it,
Tomasso?

MEENY (_taking his R. arm_). Yes, Tomasso, tell us vot it is already.

BIDDY MARY (_turning_ TOMASSO _around to face her_). Sure, if there's
anything on earth I _do_ love, it's a secret.

HULDA (_and the other girls, surrounding_ TOMASSO). Yes, Tomasso, tell
us the secret; we'll never tell anyone.

MEENY (_pulling him around to face her_). Sure we won't. Nice Tomasso,
tell us vot it is yet.

TOMASSO (_hesitates_). Well, I----

BIDDY MARY (_pulling him around to face her_). Now, you tell _me_,
Tomasso. I never tell any secrets at all, at all.

TOMASSO. Well, I----

MEENY (_pulls him around again_). If you're going to tell it, I want
to hear every word. I never want to miss noddings no times.

BIDDY MARY (_pulls him back_). Neither do I.

HULDA. Neither do I.

MEENY. Neither do any of us.

KLINKER. I don't want to miss nothing neither.

SCHWILLIE. No, und I don't neither.

ALL. Now, what is the secret, Tomasso?

TOMASSO (_loudly_). It is not my secret. It is Anita's secret.

ALL. Well, what is Anita's secret.

TOMASSO. She wouldn't tell me.

ALL (_turn away very much disappointed_). Oh!

TOMASSO. She's promised to tell us all in the morning. She said that
would be her Christmas present to us--to tell us the secret. (_All sit
or recline around the stage. Lower the lights._)

SERGIUS. It seems so strange to spend Christmas Eve away out here in
the middle of the ocean.

KLINKER (_almost asleep_). Wake me up, Hulda, just as soon as Santa
Claus comes.

BIDDY MARY (_at R._). Sure I think the Sandman has been after spillin'
sand in all of our eyes. I'm that sleepy I can't say a word at all, at
all.

SANO SAN. They're putting out all the lights. Here, Sergius, hang my
little lantern in front of the candle.

AH GOO. Allee samee hang mine. (SANO SAN _and_ AH GOO _each give their
lanterns to_ SERGIUS, _who lights them and hangs them on the table.
Note: Nails must be put in the table at R. and L. corners facing front
for these lanterns._)

SERGIUS. I'm going to stretch out here and take a little nap.
(_Reclines on floor._) Be sure and wake me up, Hulda, just as soon as
you hear the bells on his reindeer.

TOMASSO (_yawns_). I wonder what has become of Anita?

HULDA (_stretches_). I believe I'm getting sleepy, too.

OTHERS. So are all of us.

BIDDY MARY. We're all noddin', nid, nid noddin', sure I think it's
time we were all of us fast asleep.

ALL (_sing sleepily_).

     "WE'RE ALL NODDIN'."

[Music illustration:

     1. We are all nod-din', nid, nid nod-din',
     We are all nod-din', and drop-ping off to sleep.
     So see San-ta Claus we've all done our best,
     [Transcriber's Note: probably should be "To see"]
     But we're aw-ful-ly sleep-y, so we'll take a rest.

     2. We are all nod-din', nid, nid nod-din',
     We are all nod-din', and drop-ping off to sleep.
     It's aw-ful-ly late, we'll no lon-ger de-lay,
     But ride with the Sand-man, a-way and a-way.]

(ALL _are sound asleep. Stage is dark._)

KLINKER (_talking in his sleep_). Noddin', nid, nid noddin'.

SCHWILLIE (talking in his sleep). Dropping off to sleep, ain't we,
Klinker?

_Soft, mysterious music._ ANITA _dances in from R. She dances around
the stage, keeping time to the music and bending over the little
sleepers._

ANITA. Asleep! Every last one of them is verra sound asleep. Meeny and
Biddy Mary, and Sergius and Tomasso and the leetla Dutch twins and
all! (_Goes to curtain at rear._) Jack Frost! Jolly Jack Frost! Come-a
quick, come-a quick! They're all asleep.

JACK FROST (_sticks his head out of the curtains_). Hello, what is it?

ANITA. It is Anita. The leetla children are all here and sound asleep.

JACK FROST (_coming down to her_). And so was I. They sang a song
about noddin', nid, nid noddin', and I just went to sleep myself. I
dreamed I was hunting a polar bear way up by the North Pole.
(_Yawns._) I'm still awfully sleepy.

ANITA. I didn't know that you ever went to sleep.

JACK FROST. You bet I do. That's the one thing I've got against my
daddy's Christmas trip every year. It wakes us all up right in the
middle of the night.

ANITA. The middle of the night? What _do_ you mean?

JACK FROST. Middle of the north pole night. If it wasn't for Christmas
we could go to bed about half past October and sleep until a quarter
of May, but ma thinks we ought to help pa and then wait up until he
comes home. My, I'm sleepy! Aren't you?

ANITA. Oh, no, no! I'm verra too much excited to sleep. It's all about
my secret. Are you really sure he is coming?

JACK FROST. Of course he is, and it's almost time he was here now.
It's nearly Christmas Day. Look way up there in the sky. You don't see
anything that looks like an air ship, do you?

ANITA (_looking up and off at R._). No, I cannot see a single thing.

JACK FROST (_sees table at rear_). Oh, look here! The children have
lighted a candle for him. That's just fine. It always pleases him. And
see; here's a picture and a wreath of holly and the star of Bethlehem.
And stockings and shoes all in a row.

ANITA (_looking up and off R._). I can't see a thing.

JACK FROST. Here's a telescope. Look through that. (_Takes home-made
telescope from his barrel._) Now do you see anything?

ANITA. Oh, no; now I cannot even see the stars or the moon.

JACK FROST. Of course you can't. You are looking through the wrong
end. Turn it around.

ANITA (_looks up and off R. through telescope_). Oh, now I can see the
stars. And, oh, look! I see a leetla, teeny-weeny thing way, way
off--far up in the sky. Look, Jack Frost, is that the air ship?

(_Fast music, played softly._)

JACK FROST (_looks through the telescope_). Yes, I believe it is.

ANITA (_dances wildly about the stage_). Oh, he's coming, he's
coming. I'm going to get to see Santa Claus! Is it not wonderful? I'm
going to see him. Let me look. (_Takes telescope._) Oh, it's getting
bigger and _bigger_ and BIGGER!

_Sleigh bells heard outside at R., far away in the distance._

JACK FROST (_capering around_). Hurray! daddy's coming! daddy's
coming!

ANITA. Now I can hear the bells. Oh, it's coming closer and _closer_
and CLOSER. Look out, it's going to hit the boat! (_Small toy air ship
flies across the stage at rear, with tiny lights twinkling in it.
Stretch a wire across rear of stage and high up, for the toy to run
on._)

JACK FROST. He flew right by us.

ANITA. Maybe he didn't see the boat. Oh, now he isn't coming at all.

JACK FROST (_looking out at L._). Yes, he is. He's landed right over
there. Here he comes; here he comes! (_Music and bells louder and
louder._)

ANITA (_runs to L._). Here we are, Santa Claus. This is the place.
Come in. Merry Christmas, Santa Claus, merry Christmas!

_Loud fast music. Enter_ SANTA CLAUS _from L._

SANTA CLAUS. Hello, there--where are you? It's so dark I can't see a
single thing.

JACK FROST. Hello, daddy; merry Christmas.

SANTA CLAUS (_shaking hands with him_). Hello yourself. Merry
Christmas to you, too. Are you all ready for me?

JACK FROST. Yes, it's all ready. The magical tree is just waiting for
your touch to turn into a real Christmas tree.

ANITA. Oh, we're going to have a real Christmas tree.

SANTA CLAUS. Hello, who's this young person?

JACK FROST. This is Anita.

SANTA CLAUS. And why isn't she sound asleep like the rest of the
children?

JACK FROST. She's such a good little girl that I told her she could
stay up with me and wait until you came.

SANTA CLAUS (_laughs_). Oh, ho; so you've made a hit with my boy, Jack
Frost, have you? Well, if that's the case, I guess you can stay.

ANITA. But all of the children would like to see you, Santa Claus.
See, they've prepared the candle and the wreath of holly and the star
of Bethlehem all for you. There's Sergius and Tomasso and Hulda and
Meeny and Hans and Yakob and Neelda and Ah Goo and Sano San and Mieze
and the leetla Dutch twins, Klinker and Schwillie Willie Winkum.
They've all been awfully good children. And Biddy Mary and Paddy Mike
they brought the candle. They're good, too.

SANTA CLAUS. Hurry, Jack, and fill up the shoes and stockings.

JACK FROST (_filling them from the sack_). Yes, daddy, I'm hurrying.

SANTA CLAUS. It's just two minutes till Christmas morning. I've had a
hard night's work and I think I'll just take a little vacation here in
the steerage.

ANITA. Oh, Santa Claus, may I wake up all the leetla children and let
them see you?

SANTA CLAUS. Yes, just as soon as you hear the chimes announcing the
birth of Christmas Day.

ANITA. And don't you have any other place to go this year?

SANTA CLAUS. I hope not. Here I am in the middle of the ocean and my
air ship is just about played out. Jack, dump everything out of the
sack and we'll give the little immigrants the jolliest kind of a
Christmas. I'm not going to lug all of those toys and candy and things
back to the North Pole again.

JACK FROST (_empties sack on floor_). Here they are, daddy.

SANTA CLAUS. Now, where's the tree?

JACK FROST (_goes to rear of the stage and removes the curtains that
have been concealing the dazzling Christmas tree._). There she is.
Isn't she a beauty?

ANITA. Oh, it's the greatest, most grand-a tree in all the world.

(_Faint chimes are heard in the distance._)

JACK FROST. There are the chimes. It is Christmas Day. Merry
Christmas, daddy; merry Christmas, Anita. Christmas Day is here.

ANITA (_dancing around_). Merry Christmas, Jack Frost! Merry
Christmas, Santa Claus! Merry Christmas, everybody! Merry Christmas to
all the world. Wake up, Hulda! Wake up! (_Shakes her._)

JACK FROST. Wake up, Paddy Mike and Sergius! Wake up! Merry Christmas!

SANTA CLAUS. Wake up, Meeny and Biddy. It's Christmas morning. And you
two little shavers, Klinker and Schwillie Willie Winkum, wake up and
give Santa Claus a good, old hug!

(_The children all awaken. Rub eyes, stretch, etc._)

HULDA. Oh, he's come, he's come, he's come! (_Runs and hugs_ SANTA
CLAUS.)

SCHWILLIE. Me, too. (_Hugs him._) I said he'd come, didn't I, Klinker?

(_Lights all on full._)

KLINKER (_hugging_ SANTA CLAUS). Sure you did. And me, too, didn't I,
Schwillie Willie Winkum?

MEENY. Oh, see the tree! The beautiful, beautiful Christmas tree.

TOMASSO. And my leetla shoes are full of candy and toys.

PADDY MIKE. Now, let's be all after giving three cheers for old Santa
Claus. (_The cheers are given._)

ANITA (_bringing_ JACK FROST _forward_). And this is the leetla Jolly
Jack Frost.

PADDY MIKE. Then three cheers for the leetla Jolly Jack Frost. (_The
cheers are given._)

ANITA (_at C. with_ JACK FROST). This was my Christmas secret. Santa
Claus and the air ship and the Christmas tree and jolly Jack Frost and
everything. This was the secret.

PADDY MIKE. Now all of yeez give three cheers for Anita's secret.
(_The cheers are given. Folk dance may be introduced. All sing
Christmas carol as the curtain falls._)

CURTAIN.


REMARKS ON THE PRODUCTION OF THE PLAY.

THE SCENERY.

The stage should be set to represent the steerage of a large
ocean-going vessel. A good elaborate set may be arranged with very
little expense by following the diagram. The back drop should be of
light blue with a few cumulus clouds in white. The water line should
be about one-fourth from the bottom, and from this line downward the
scene should be darker blue, with white waves.

The background may be made from canvas or paper, as desired. A good
effect has been produced by covering frames with tissue paper of the
desired shades, the clouds and the water lines being cut from white
paper and pasted on.

A railing runs across rear of stage. This railing is made of wood,
with a tennis net serving for the wiring. Round life-savers are cut
from paper, painted and attached to the railing. The ventilator and
hatchways may be made from brown bristol board.

A large Christmas tree, lighted and decorated, stands at rear L. This
is concealed by curtains.

A square box or table stands at rear C. Several barrels and boxes are
at left front, and a box is at right front. A large barrel stands at
left of center near the rear.

[Illustration]


PROPERTIES.

Woolen stocking and knitting needles for Meeny.
Potatoes, knife, bowl for Biddy Mary.
Jack-stones for Sergius.
Tambourine for Anita.
Nickel (coin) for Jack Frost.
Violin for Tomasso.
White, lace-edged table cloth for Sergius.
Large candle decorated with red ribbons for Paddy Mike.
Bright picture of Virgin and Child for Tomasso.
Two large red stockings for Meeny.
Extra stockings for Yakob, Hans and Mieze.
Wreath of holly for Neelda.
Small wooden shoes for Tomasso.
Tinsel star for Hulda.
Telescope for Jack Frost. Made from a pasteboard roll covered with
  black cloth.
Toy air ship on a wire, to sail across stage at rear.
Pack of toys for Santa Claus.
Sleigh bells for Santa.
Chimes heard outside.


COSTUMES AND SUGGESTIONS.

SANTA CLAUS--High boots. Red or brown coat or mackinaw, trimmed with
fur (or cotton, dotted to imitate ermine fur). Cap to match coat.
String of bells around neck. Pack of toys. White hair, mustache and
long, white beard. Rosy cheeks. Do not wear a false-face, as this
often frightens little children and makes the character seem unreal.
When there are little children in the cast, their belief in Santa
Claus must not be disturbed and the adult portraying the character
need not attend the general rehearsals. The high boots may be shaped
from black oil-cloth and drawn on over black shoes. Use a pillow or
two to give an ample girth.

JOLLY JACK FROST (aged 8 or 9)--A jolly, little chubby-faced boy who
can memorize and deliver a long part. White stockings and shoes.
Canton flannel suit of white, trimmed with long points cut from cloth,
to represent icicles. Long-pointed cap of white, coming down around
back of head and forming a long-pointed collar in front. The top point
should be wired into position. Face and hands are powdered very white.
Put small dabs of mucilage on the costume and sprinkle here and there
with diamond dust powder. Trim the costume with bits of cotton to
represent snow.

ANITA (aged 8 or 9)--Dark hair and complexion. Black slippers with red
rosettes or bows on them. White stockings. Green skirt. Small dark red
apron, edged with white, black and green. Black spencer waist laced in
front showing the white underwaist. Puffed sleeves falling to elbows.
Green and red bows on elbows. Red silk handkerchief laid loosely over
the shoulders. Gold beads around neck. Large earrings may be attached
with court plaster. The headdress is a white oblong cloth, about six
inches wide and about eighteen inches long. This cloth is gayly
decorated with bands of red, green and black ribbons and the part on
the head is padded with a small square of pasteboard. Tambourine
decorated with red, black and green ribbons. A yellow silk
handkerchief may replace the Sicilian headdress above described.

HULDA (aged 10)--A blonde girl with hair in two long braids. Wooden
shoes, white stockings. Several very full underskirts. Long skirt of
dark blue, made very full around the bottom. This skirt is patched
with squares of dark red and striped goods. Large blue gingham apron
edged with stripes of dark red. White waist. Blue bodice of same
material as skirt. Small white cap fitting close to head in back, but
turned back in front with points over each ear. Face round and rosy.
If the wooden shoes are not easily obtained, fair substitutes may be
made by covering an old pair of shoes with cream colored oil-cloth.

SERGIUS (aged 9)--Black oil-cloth leggings to knees. Dark trousers.
Long Russian blouse of dark green coming nearly to knees and belted in
at waist with black oil-cloth belt. Blouse edged with dark fur. Dark
green cap trimmed with dark fur.

MEENY (aged 7)--Full white waist. Black bodice laced with red. Rather
short red skirt, with black stripes sewed around bottom. White lace
apron edged with red and black. White mob cap, puffed high in front.
Red and black strings on cap which are tied under her chin. She
carries a gray woolen sock, half finished, and knitting needles.
Wooden shoes if possible.

BIDDY MARY--Old shoes and ragged stockings. Old-fashioned dress,
rather short, of plaid gingham. Worn gingham apron. Little square
shawl of red and black checked goods, crossed on breast.
Old-fashioned, little black bonnet tied under her chin. She carries a
pan of potatoes and a knife. Her age is about 8.

PADDY MIKE--Small boy of 7, dressed in a man's suit, cut down in a
clumsy manner. Green vest. Black swallow-tail coat. Little plug hat,
made by covering a pasteboard form with black cloth. Shoes, old and
worn, and many, many sizes too large for him.

TOMASSO--Black slippers, white stockings. Red and yellow ribbons wound
around legs. Black knee breeches and zouave jacket. Striped sport
shirt. Red and yellow bows at knees and on shoulders. Red handkerchief
knotted loosely at throat. Black felt hat, turned up side, gayly
decorated with red and yellow ribbons. On his second entrance he
carries a violin. A dark complexioned boy aged about 9.

THE DUTCH TWINS (aged 4 or 5)--Hair in Buster Brown style. Very full
blue trousers extending from under the arms to ankles. These are made
of blue denim and patched with large vari-colored patches. Wooden
shoes. Striped shirts. Dutch caps made of dark cloth, with a peak in
front and a crown about six inches high. The twins should be dressed
exactly alike and look as much alike as possible. Get chubby little
fellows and thoroughly rehearse them in their part; in fact they must
go over it so much that it must come as second nature to them on the
night of the performance. Much of the humor in the play depends on the
little Dutch twins. When they walk let them take long striding steps.
Use frequent gestures, nods, etc., in their dialogue, but be sure and
have every movement exactly the same at each rehearsal. These parts
are not difficult if the little actors are well trained, and their
success on the night of the performance will amply repay the trouble
spent in their proper coaching.

NEELDA--A little brunette girl, aged 4 or 5. Yellow sateen skirt and
zouave jacket, trimmed with coarse black lace. Broad red sash tied on
the side. White baby waist. Black lace mantilla over head, and hair
dressed high with a high comb. Red rose over left ear.

AH GOO--A chubby little Chinese boy of 5. White stockings, black
slippers, white pajamas, slanting eyebrows, small round white cap and
long pig-tail made of black yarn. Carries Chinese kite.

YAKOB--Chubby boy of 6, dressed similar to twins, but in contrasting
colors. Wears yarn stocking cap. Wooden shoes.

HANS--Tall, thin boy of 9. Dressed similar to the twins, but in brown.
Tall black cap similar to those worn by the twins.

MIEZE--Little girl of 3 or 4, dressed similar to Hulda, but in dark
red and red and white checked gingham.

SANO SAN--Little Japanese girl in kimono and sash. Eyebrows slanting.
Hair dressed high. Chrysanthemums over ears. Carries a paper parasol
or fan.

The Christmas tree is for the whole school and is concealed during the
first part of the play by curtains. If there is to be no tree, all
reference to it may be omitted without injury to the continuity of the
play.

Other songs may be substituted for the songs here given, but these
have proved very successful in several performances of Anita's
Secret.




CHRISTMAS WITH THE MULLIGAN'S

[Illustration:

PATSY          MATSY            PETER PAN               MRS O'TOOLE

MRS MULLIGAN   TEDDY MAGEE      PATSY & MATSY (3rd Act)

MICKY MACHREE  BRIDGET HONORA   MARY ANN

MELISSA        CLARISSA         NORA EUDORA]




CHRISTMAS WITH THE MULLIGAN'S

A FUNNY CHRISTMAS PLAY IN THREE SHORT ACTS.


CHARACTERS.

THE WIDOW MULLIGAN             _With a Heart Overflowing with Sunshine_
PATSY                          _Aged Twelve_
MATSY                          _Aged Eleven_
TEDDY MAGEE                    _Aged Seven_
NORA EUDORA                    _Aged Fourteen_
MICKY MACHREE                  _Aged Five_
BRIDGET HONORA                 _Aged Ten_
SWEET MARY ANN                 _Aged Eight_
MELISSA                        _Aged Six_
CLARISSA                       _Aged Six_
WEE PETER PAN                  _Aged Four_
MRS. O'TOOLE, _A Neighbor_     _With a Heart Overflowing with Kindness_

       *       *       *       *       *

TIME OF PLAYING--_About One Hour._

       *       *       *       *       *

_How they lived and what they wore will be told under the "Notes to
the Manager" at the end of the play._


ARGUMENT.

Sure, there isn't much argument at all, at all. It's all happiness and
merriment and love, and where there is happiness and merriment and
love there isn't any time for argument. The Widow Mulligan is a
cheerful washerwoman who lives in Mulligan Alley in Shantytown,
surrounded by her ten little Mulligans, to say nothing of the goat,
Shamus O'Brien. A good-hearted neighbor, Mrs. O'Toole, has a lively
time with the goat, but she forgives all his misdeeds as it is
Christmas Eve and the little Mulligans are starting out for a grand
Christmas entertainment. When they return they entertain their mother
and Mrs. O'Toole, and, incidentally, the audience.

But let's have done with the argument and let the fun begin.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACT I.

SCENE: _The Mulligan's front room. Entrances at right and left. Window
at rear. At rise of curtain_ MRS. MULLIGAN _is discovered at C.,
washing clothes in a tub._ BRIDGET HONORA _and_ MATSY _are hanging wet
clothes on a line, which runs across the rear of the stage._

MRS. MULLIGAN (_singing to a made-up tune as she washes_).

     Oh, give me a nice little home,
     And plenty of suds in me tub,
     And I will be happy all day,
     With me rubby-dub, rubby-dub, dub.

     The queen on her golden throne,
     Will envy me here at me tub,
     For no one's as jolly as I,
     With me rubby-dub, rubby-dub, dub.

     Sure, what would I do at a dance?
     Or what would I do at a club?
     But here in me kitchen I'm queen
     With me rubby-dub, rubby-dub, dub.

     Oh, give me a nice little home,
     And plenty of suds in me tub,
     And I will be happy all day,
     With me rubby-dub, rubby-dub, dub!

MATSY. Maw, don't you think it's most time fer us to be going?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Time to be going, is it? Well, I should hope not. Sure,
half of the children are not dry yet, and the other half are not
dressed. Bridget Honora, darlin', look in the other room and see how
they're coming on. (_Exit_ BRIDGET _at R._)

MATSY. I think we ought to be there early, so as we can get a good
seat on the front row. I don't want to miss nothing. (_Hangs up a
boy's union suit._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. True for you, Matsy, and I don't want yeez to be
missing anything either. It ain't like as if yeez go to a fine
Christmas entertainment ivery night of yer lives. (_Washes._)

MATSY. It's the first one any of us ever went to at all, at all. Do
yeez think they be after having moving pictures?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Of course not. Not in a Sunday School, Matsy. But
belike they'll have a fine, grand Christmas tree with singin' and
spaches and fine costumes and prisints for every one. (_Calls off
R._) Bridget Honora!

BRIDGET (_off R._). Yes, maw?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Come here.

_Enter_ BRIDGET _from R._

BRIDGET. Melissa and Micky Machree have been scrubbed until they
shine. They're sitting in the window drying in the sun. Mary Ann is
cleaning Peter Pan in the lard bucket, and Patsy is washing Teddy
Magee in the rain-barrel. Nora is curling Clarissa's hair with the
poker, and somebody's untied the goat.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Untied the goat, is it? Matsy Mulligan, put on yer hat
at once and see what's become of Shamus O'Brien. He's a good goat, is
Shamus, but he's like the late Mr. Mulligan, he has a rovin'
disposition and a tremenjous appetite. Hurry now, Matsy.

MATSY (_whining_). Aw, now, maw, I can't go and hunt the goat. I'm all
dressed up for the entertainment. If I go after the goat, sure it's
all mussed up I'll be.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Yis, if I swat you one wid this wet cloth, it's worse
than mussed up you'll be. Hurry after the goat. Niver a step does any
Mulligan take from this house tonight until Shamus O'Brien is safe in
the kitchen, wid his horns tied to the wash boiler.

MATSY. Sure, I dunno where to look fer him.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Go over to Mrs. O'Toole's cabbage garden; like as not
ye'll find him there. Sure, Shamus has a fine appetite for cabbages.

MATSY. Don't let 'em start afore I get back. I don't want to miss
nothin'. (_Takes cap and exits L._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. Now, Bridget Honora, lave off hanging up the clothes
and go in and see if Melissa and Micky Machree are dry yet. And if
they are call me in and I'll attend to their costumes.

BRIDGET. Maw, Mary Ann's having an awful time. She's growed so that
her skirt and her waist has parted company, and what she'll be after
doing I don't know at all, at all.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Is there anything she can use as a sash?

BRIDGET. No'm. Nora and Clarissa have used up all the sashes.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_takes fringed bureau cover from wash-basket_). Look
here, now, Bridget Honora, see what I've found in the wash. It's a
tidy to go on top of a dresser, but I'm thinking it's just the thing
to fill the gap between the skirt and the waist of Mary Ann.

BRIDGET. Yes, maw. (_Exit R._)

_Enter_ PATSY _from R. He runs in and is very much excited._

PATSY. Oh, maw, maw, come quick! Hurry, or he'll be drowned.

MRS. MULLIGAN. What is it, Patsy? Spake quick.

PATSY. It's Teddy Magee. I was givin' him a wash in the rain-barrel,
when all of a sudden, bad luck to him, he slipped through me fingers
and fell head-first down in the barrel. (_Cries._) Oh, it's drownded
dead he'll be. Oh, oh! (_Cries._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. Oh, me baby, me baby! (_Rushes out at R._)

_Enter_ NORA _and_ CLARISSA _from L._

NORA. Now sit right down there, Clarissa, and don't be moving a hair,
because you're all fixed and ready for the entertainment.

CLARISSA. And how do I look, Nora?

NORA. Ye look like a Christmas angel, so you do. Your hair curled just
lovely and your striped stockings will be the admiration and envy of
the entire Sunday School.

PATSY. Oh, Nora Eudora, come on quick. Teddy Magee fell in the
rain-barrel and it's drownded dead he is intirely. (_Cries._)

NORA. In the rain-barrel? How did he get in the rain-barrel?

PATSY. Sure, I was washing him, I was. And he was that slippery with
the soap that he slid through me fingers and down to the bottom of the
barrel.

NORA. Oh, the poor little Teddy Magee. (_Runs out R., followed by_
PATSY _and_ CLARISSA.)

_Enter_ MARY ANN _and_ PETER PAN _from L._

MARY ANN. And how de yeez like me new sash, Peter Pan?

PETER PAN. Scwumptious.

MARY ANN. It's a tidy cover off'n a bureau, and I don't want to wear
it at all, at all. Folks'll be after thinking I'm a bureau. Don't it
look funny, Peter Pan?

PETER PAN. Scwumptious.

MARY ANN. I'm not going to wear it, so I'm not.

_Enter_ BRIDGET _from L._

BRIDGET. Mary Ann Mulligan, and what are yeez trying to do with your
nice new sash?

MARY ANN. I ain't going to wear no tidy cover. Folks'll be after
thinking I'm a bureau.

BRIDGET. Sure they'll think worse than that if yeez take it off.
That's what comes of yer growing so fast. Yer skirt is fer six years
old, and yer waist is fer six years old, and so you have to wear the
sash to help out the other two years. Sashes are awful stylish,
anyhow. It's pretty, too, ain't it, Peter Pan?

PETER PAN. Scwumptious.

_Enter_ MRS. MULLIGAN _from R., followed by_ PASTY _and_ NORA.

MRS. MULLIGAN. It's lucky for him that there wasn't any more water in
the rain-barrel, or he would have been drownded dead sure. Patsy, yeez
had no business to let him drop. Nora, you go out and finish him.
Where's Clarissa?

_Enter_ CLARISSA _from R._

CLARISSA. Here I am, maw.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_looks her over carefully_). Well, you're all ready.
That's one. Nora and Patsy and Matsy are all ready. That makes four.
Mary Ann, are you all fixed?

MARY ANN. Yes, mum, but I don't like me sash at all, at all. Folks
will all know it's a bureau tidy, it's got fringe and everything.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Oh, ho, me fine young lady. I suppose yeez want a
peek-a-boo dress all trimmed with mayonnaise ruffles down the bias, do
you? It's lucky for you I found that tidy in the wash, so it is. And
don't yeez eat too much or breathe hard or ye'll bust it, and then
where'll you be at?

BRIDGET. Maw, Mary Ann's chewing her apron.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_at the wash-tub_). Mary Ann Mulligan, take that apron
out'n your mouth. I niver saw such a girl to be always chewing
something. It's first yer dress and then yer apron or your petticoat,
whatever happens to be your topmost garment. Clothes were not made to
chew.

_Enter_ NORA _with_ TEDDY, MELISSA _and_ MICKY, _from L._

NORA. Here they are, maw, all ready for the party.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Are ye sure they're all clean?

NORA. I am that. They've been scrubbed until me two arms ache. And
Micky's had a bath in the rain-barrel.

MICKY. I have that, and I don't want another one, either.

MRS. MULLIGAN. All yeez sit down and let me look ye over.

NORA. Have ye finished the washing, maw?

MRS. MULLIGAN. For the prisint, yes. I have more important duties to
perform. Now, first and foremost, don't walk pigeon-toed. Bridget,
have ye got a clane handkerchief?

BRIDGET. Yis, mum.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Well, don't forget to use it if the necessity arises,
and you'd better set next to Peter Pan so's he can use it, too. He's
been kinder nosey all day, and I shouldn't wonder if he wasn't coming
down with a cold in his head. How do you feel, Peter Pan?

PETER PAN. Scwumptious.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Micky Machree Mulligan, and what are yeez looking
cross-eyed for? Do ye think it improves yer beauty?

MICKY. I thought there was a speck of dirt on me nose.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Well, there's not, and hold yer head up straight.

PATSY. Maw, ain't it most time to go?

MRS. MULLIGAN. It lacks two hours yet of the time, and Matsy ain't
come back with the goat. Whatever's become of Shamus O'Brien I'd like
to know. Which of yeez seen him last?

NORA. I saw him this mornin'. He was eatin' a tin tomato can down in
the alley.

MRS. MULLIGAN. The poor thing! Now I suppose I'll have a sick goat on
me hands on top of all me other troubles--and tomorrow's Christmas
Day.

BRIDGET. Maw, suppose they won't let us in the Sunday School at all,
at all. We don't belong to that Sunday School. What'll we do then?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Indade they'll not turn yeez away on Christmas Eve. I
chose that Sunday School for yeez to attend because it's the largest
and the most fashionable in town. Mrs. Beverly Brewster goes there,
and wherever Mrs. Beverly Brewster goes, sure yeez can count on it,
it's bound to be most fashionable and select.

MARY ANN. But we never went there before. They'll think it's awfully
nervy fer us to come buttin' in at their Christmas entertainment.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Niver once will they. They'll welcome yeez with open
arms and many Christmas prisints. And whatever yeez get be sure and
say, "Thank yeez kindly and much obliged." Can ye do that?

ALL. Oh, yes, mum.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Clarissa, look out'n the door and see if ye see
anything of Matsy and the goat.

CLARISSA. Yes, mum. (_Goes to door at L._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. Mary Ann Mulligan, quit fooling with yer sash. If I've
told yer once I've told yer a hundred times it's liable to bust and
yer skirt and yer waist ain't on speakin' terms.

CLARISSA (_at door_). Maw, here comes Mrs. O'Toole.

MRS. MULLIGAN. It's the goat. He's been filling himself up on the
O'Toole cabbages. My, my, that goat'll be the death of me yet.

_Enter_ MRS. O'TOOLE, _limping in from L._

MRS. O'TOOLE. Good evening, Mrs. Mulligan.

MRS. MULLIGAN. The same to ye, Mrs. O'Toole. Come in and set down.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I have no time to set down, and I have no inclination to
set down. And it's all on account of yer goat, Shamus O'Brien.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Me goat, is it?

MRS. O'TOOLE. It is the same, and it's an injured woman I am this
night.

MRS. MULLIGAN. My, my! I'll have to kill that old goat. He's entirely
too obstreperous. And did he chase you, Mrs. O'Toole?

MRS. O'TOOLE. Chase me? He did worse than chase me. He caught up with
me.

MRS. MULLIGAN. And where is he now?

MRS. O'TOOLE. Niver a know do I know where he is. I left your boy
Matsy chasing him down the alley with a rope.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Bridget, go in the far room and get a wee drop of tay
for Mrs. O'Toole.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I can't drink any tay. I'm that injured I can't drink at
all, at all.

MRS. MULLIGAN. A drop of tay will warm ye up. Hurry, Bridget.

BRIDGET. Yis, mum. (_Exits R._)

MRS. O'TOOLE. I was out in me cabbage garden picking a bit of cabbage
for me owld man's Christmas dinner. I was bending over looking at the
cabbage whin all of a sudden I felt meself flying through the air and
I landed in the watering trough, so I did. And it was full of water.
And I'm almost killed entirely--and it's all the fault of your goat,
Mrs. Mulligan.

MRS. MULLIGAN. There, now, Kathleen, darlin', sit down and take things
easy.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I'll not sit down, Mollie Mulligan. Sure I'm thinking
I'll be after spindin' the rist of me life standing up on me two fate.

MRS. MULLIGAN. So the goat struck ye, did he?

MRS. O'TOOLE. He did.

MRS. MULLIGAN. My, my, the trouble I've had all along of that Shamus
O'Brien. He's an awful goat, is Shamus O'Brien.

_Enter_ BRIDGET _with two cups of tea._

BRIDGET. Here's the tea, mum.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Thank ye kindly, Bridget. Here, Kathleen, take a cup of
tay and let it soothe your wounded feelings.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Sure, it's more than me feelings that is wounded, Mrs.
Mulligan. (_Drinks tea._)

CLARISSA. Maw, ain't it time we were starting for the entertainment?

MRS. MULLIGAN. My, my, I've been that excited about the misdeeds of
that rascal Shamus O'Brien that I had forgotten the Christmas
entertainment entirely.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Sure, your family looks as though they were going out in
society, Mollie Mulligan.

MRS. MULLIGAN. They are that. They're on their way to the fine church
entertainment at the Sunday School down the strate.

NORA (_at door L._). Maw, here comes Matsy with the goat. (_Looks out
of door._)

MRS. MULLIGAN (_goes to door and speaks off L._). Matsy Mulligan, tie
that goat in the back yard and tie all his four fate together. I'll
tach him a lesson, if it's the last thing I ever do. Patsy, go out and
help your brother tie up Shamus O'Brien. (_Exit_ PATSY _at L._)

MRS. O'TOOLE. Nora Eudora, darlin', have ye got a sofy pillow handy. I
think if I had a couple of sofy pillows I could set down and enjoy me
tay.

NORA. Yis, mum. Here's two of 'em. (_Arranges them in the chair._)

_Enter_ PATSY _and_ MATSY _from L._

MATSY. Come on, all of yeez, or we'll be late for the show. And I
don't want to miss nothin'.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_standing at R._). I think yeez are all ready now. Let
me see if there's anyone missing. (_Counting and pointing to each in
turn._)

     There's Patsy and Matsy and Teddy Magee,
     Nora Eudora and Micky Machree,
     Bridget Honora and sweet Mary Ann,
     Melissa, Clarissa and wee Peter Pan.

PATSY. We are all here, maw.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Now, yer all ready. Throw out yer heads. Forward,
march!

CHILDREN. Good-bye, maw.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Good-bye, and the Lord love yeez all. Have a good time.
Good-bye. (_The children march out at L._)

MRS. O'TOOLE. Ten of 'em. I don't see how ye ever manage to make both
ends meet, Mollie Mulligan, with ten big, healthy children--to say
nothing of the goat, Shamus O'Brien.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_in door waving hand to children_). Good-bye. Have a
good time. (_Yells._) Mary Ann, don't let yer sash bust in two!
(_Crosses to R. and sinks in chair._)

MRS. O'TOOLE. Ye have a fine family, Mrs. Mulligan. Ye have a fine
bunch of boys, and ye have a bunch of girls, and ye have a fine bunch
of babies; but ye have an awful goat.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Shamus O'Brien is the pest of me heart, Kathleen
O'Toole; so he is; but he's all that's left of me late husband's
property. Michael Mulligan thought the world of that goat, he did.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I'm a peaceful woman, Mollie Mulligan, and a calm,
neighborly woman; but I don't like goats.

MRS. MULLIGAN. I don't blame ye at all, at all, Kathleen. But poor
Shamus O'Brien was probably only nosing around fer a bit of Christmas
Eve dinner. I'll kape him tied in the future.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Sure and it is Christmas Eve, isn't it?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Indade it is, and for the sake of the holy eve, I think
ye'd best be after forgiving the poor goat and not harbor any ill
feeling agin him on Christmas Day.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Harbor ill feeling, is it? Faith, then I'll not, Mollie
Mulligan, and it's meself that'll be bringing over a big cabbage head
on the morning for Shamus O'Brien's Christmas dinner.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_rises_). I'll be after tidying up the house a bit.
It's little enough I've got for the children's Christmas tomorrow
morning; but at least I can have me house in order and a burning
candle shining in the windy. (_Lights candle and sets it on table in
front of the window._)

     This light shall burn on Christmas Day,
     For Him who in the manger lay,
     And all are welcome at my door,
     The high, the low, the rich, the poor,
     And every heart shall sing again
     Of peace on earth, good will to men.

MRS. O'TOOLE (_rises_). Your burning candle takes me back again to the
days of me childhood in County Clare. Well do I mind me last Christmas
Eve in ould Ireland, the little thatched cabin with its one window,
the stinging smoke of the peat fire, the lads and the colleens and the
ould piper--and the merry dances and songs, do ye remember, Mollie,
darling? (_Puts arms on hips, wags head from side to side and sings
briskly_:)

[Music illustration:

     1. Did you ev-er go in-to an I-rish-man's shanty,
     Where mon-ey was scarce but where wel-come was plen-ty?
     A three-leg-ged stool and a ta-ble to match it,
     But the door of the shan-ty is al-ways un-latched.

     2. Our nate lit-tle house, it looks out on the street,
     There's two beau-ti-ful rooms and a pig-sty com-plete.
     Each girl has a dress and each boy has a coat,
     There's tin hap-py chil-dren, six pigs and a goat.

     3. Sure the Mul-li-gans al-ways are hap-py and bright,
     They sing in the morn-ing, they sing in the night,
     Now Pat-sy and Mat-sy are strong as can be,
     But the bil-ly-goat's strong-er than ath-er, you see!

     Tee-oo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum day!
     Tee-oo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum day!
     Tee-oo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum day!
     Tee-oo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum-doo-dle, dum day!]

MRS. O'TOOLE (_sings briskly_):

     Did you ever go into an Irishman's shanty,
     Where money was scarce but where welcome was plenty?
     A three-legged stool and a table to match it,
     But the door of the shanty is always unlatched.
       Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

MRS. MULLIGAN (_faces her, assumes same position, sings briskly_):

     Our nate little house, it looks out on the street,
     There's two beautiful rooms and a pig-sty complete.
     Each girl has a dress and each boy has a coat,
     There's tin happy children, six pigs and a goat.
       Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

MRS. O'TOOLE (_sings_):

     Sure the Mulligans always are happy and bright,
     They sing in the morning, they sing in the night,
     Now Patsy and Matsy are strong as can be,
     But the billy-goat's stronger than ather, you see!
       Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

MRS. O'TOOLE _hums the song faster and begins to jig, by kicking out
R. and L. foot alternately, on first three lines and twirling on
fourth line._

_At the beginning of the "Tee-oodle,"_ MRS. MULLIGAN _starts in and
does exactly as_ MRS. O'TOOLE _did on the first four lines, while_
MRS. O'TOOLE _skips around stage in a circle._

_On the second verse they march forward and back, arms on hips.
Forward again. Do-si-do (backs to back). March forward and back and
then each twirls alone._ MRS. O'TOOLE _knocks over the table._ MRS.
MULLIGAN, _not to be outdone, knocks over the tub. The music becomes
faster and faster._

_On third verse they jig alone, then forward and back, forward again
and swing each other madly. While they are dancing they shout out
occasionally, "Huroo for ould Ireland!" "That's me fine lady!" "Look
at me now!" etc._

CURTAIN.


ACT II.

_Same as scene before. The wash-tub has been removed, also the washing
from the line. The table has been straightened and_ MRS. O'TOOLE _is
seated there making a toy elephant._ MRS. MULLIGAN _is seated at L.
dressing a doll body in a baby's dress. The candle burns before the
window._

MRS. O'TOOLE. It's lucky for us, darlin', that me husband is out at
his lodge tonight. I can stay with you until the children return from
the entertainment, and maybe it's a bit of a Christmas Eve high-jinks
we can be having afterwards.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Indade, I'm glad to have ye, Kathleen. Will your
husband be long at lodge?

MRS. O'TOOLE (_cutting the elephant's ears from brown paper_). He will
that. Pat is the Grand Exalted Chafe Ruler of the Benevolent and
Obstreperous Order of United Wooden-men, and he won't be home till
marnin'.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Is he now? The late Mr. Mulligan was niver much of a
lodge joiner but that made no difference to him; he niver came home
till marnin', lodge or no lodge.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Remember, Mollie, you're coming over to dinner with us
tomorrow. It's at one o'clock.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Oh, Kathleen, I can't be laving the children at all, at
all. On Christmas Day, too.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Of course you can't. Ye're going to bring the children
over with ye.

MRS. MULLIGAN. The whole tin of them?

MRS. O'TOOLE (_counting on fingers_).

     Patsy and Matsy,
     And Teddy Magee,
     Nora Eudora,
     And Micky Machree,
     Bridget Honora,
     And sweet Mary Ann,
     Melissa, Clarissa,
     And wee Peter Pan.

MRS. MULLIGAN. And ye're willing for the whole bunch of us to come?

MRS. O'TOOLE. All but the goat. I draw the line at Shamus O'Brien. Ye
see it's this way. Me man, Pat, won a turkey in a raffle, and it's as
big as a billy-goat. Then on top of that me daughter Toozy, that's
married and lives in the country, sent us two chickens and a goose.
And there's only me and Pat to ate all that.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Kathleen O'Toole, it's a saint ye are.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I says to Pat, says I, "Christmas ain't Christmas at
all, at all, unless there's some children at the dinner." "What'll we
do?" says Pat. "Invite the Mulligans," says I. And Pat was tickled to
death. We've potatoes and squash and cabbage from me own garden, and
we've oyster dressing and cramberries and stewed corn and apple
fritters, and it's meself that has made eight mince pies, and four
punkin ones--and I think we'll be after having a dinner on Christmas
Day that would do credit to ould Saint Patrick himself.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Sure, ye almost make me cry for joy, Kathleen O'Toole,
and after the goat trated ye the way he did, too.

MRS. O'TOOLE. If a woman can't be neighborly and loving on Christmas
Day, Mollie Mulligan, sure I'm thinking she niver can be neighborly
and loving at all, at all.

MRS. MULLIGAN. And ye're aven makin' a bit of an iliphant for wee
Peter Pan.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I am that. Here's the little, fat body. (_Shows
cylindrical piece of dark green squash._) And here's the four legs.
(_Shows two bananas cut in half._) I'll just stick the legs on with
nails--and there he stands. Now, here's a little potato for a head,
and an ould skinny carrot for a trunk. I'll stick them on with a hair
pin. (_Does so._) Now, I'll stick on the ears and put in the
shoe-button eyes, and with this wee bit of black paper for a
tailpiece, and there ye are. Mr. Mumbo Jumbo Mulligan as natural as
life and twice as handsome. (_Shows elephant to audience._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. Here's a doll baby I've dressed, but it's no head she
has at all, at all.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Use a big yellow apple or a wee yellow punkin, and put
on a baby cap--and there ye are. Stick in some buttons for eyes, and a
wee nose and mouth of red paper--and stick the head on the body with
some hair pins, and the quane herself niver had a better doll baby.

MRS. MULLIGAN. I'll put her right here on the table alongside of the
iliphant.

MRS. O'TOOLE. It's nine o'clock, it is. Isn't it time for the children
to be home?

MRS. MULLIGAN (_goes to door at R._). It is that. (_Looks out._) And
here they come now.

(_The children are heard outside at R., singing to the tune of
"Marching Through Georgia."_)

     The Mulligans are coming now, as happy as can be,
     We've been to the Sunday School and saw the Christmas tree,
     Had a lark with Santa Claus and take a tip from me,
       We'll all be marching on Christmas!

(_They march in from R., come down to front and line up._)

       Hurrah, hurrah, the Mulligans are here,
       Hurrah, hurrah, for Santa Claus so dear,
           Sure, it was a happy night,
           The best one in the year,
       And we'll be marching on Christmas!

     Patsy got a trumpet, little Micky got a drum,
     Matsy got a spinning top, you ought to hear it hum,
     Clarissa got a candy cane, oh, won't we have the fun,
       When we are marching on Christmas!

       Hurrah, hurrah, the Mulligans are here,
       Hurrah, hurrah, for Santa Claus so dear,
           Sure, it was a happy night,
           The best one in the year.
       And we'll be marching on Christmas.

     Nora got a picture-book, Melissa got a rake,
     Every Mulligan on deck got oranges and cake,
     Got a bag of candy, too--and got the stomachache,
       But we'll be marching on Christmas.

       Hurrah, hurrah, the Mulligans are here,
       Hurrah, hurrah, for Santa Claus so dear,
           Sure, it was a happy night,
           The best one in the year.
       And we'll be marching on Christmas.

(_They march around stage while singing the chorus, but line up in
front while singing the verses. Use gestures to indicate the different
persons and their toys._)

MRS. MULLIGAN. And did ye have a good time at the entertainment?

BRIDGET. Indade and we did that. It was as good as a circus parade and
a picture show together. They treated us just lovely.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Did they now? And you wasn't invited at all, at all.

MATSY. They gave us a seat way up in front, and Micky Machree acted
like a pig, he did. Sure, he grabbed two oranges.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Why, Micky, it's ashamed of ye I am.

MICKY. I grabbed one to bring home to you, maw. I wanted you to have
some of the Christmas present, too.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_hugs him_). That's just like your father, Micky.

MRS. O'TOOLE (_helping children off with hats, wraps, etc._). And did
ye have a good time, wee Peter Pan?

PETER PAN. Scwumptious, just scwumptious.

MARY ANN. And me sash niver busted in two at all. And I was one of the
most stylish young ladies present, so I was.

MELISSA. And they had a great, big Christmas tree. Clean up to the
ceiling. With lights and toys and candy and little stars and bright
fairies and angels and everything.

PATSY. And ould Santy Claus was there with a long white beard and a
big pack of presents to everyone.

CLARISSA. And I pulled Santa Claus' whiskers and they nearly fell off.
He must be getting pretty old, 'cause his whiskers is coming loose.

BRIDGET. And Santy Claus called out all the names and everybody got up
when their names was called and he gave 'em a present.

MICKY. And they never called our names at all, at all.

MRS. MULLIGAN. That's because they didn't know them. They didn't
expect you at the party.

MARY ANN. It was a surprise party, maw.

MRS. MULLIGAN. How was it a surprise party, Mary Ann?

MARY ANN. They all looked surprised when we came in.

NORA. When I saw they weren't going to call out our names, I just rose
up in me seat and took the whole nine of 'em by the hand and marched
right up to Santa Claus. He looked real surprised at the bunch of us.

MRS. MULLIGAN. I should think he would.

NORA. "And who are you?" says he. "We're the ten little Mulligans from
Mulligan Alley in Shantytown," says I, as cool as an icicle. "And
we're ready for our presents, if it's all the same to you," says I. I
thought they was going to fire us out, but what did he do but dive way
down in the bottom of the sack and give every last one of us a
present?

TEDDY. And then he gave us bags of candy and oranges and apples and
peanuts and popcorn and a candy cane, and then they had a show and
Bridget Honora spoke a piece, she did.

MRS. O'TOOLE. How did ye happen to spake a piece, Bridget Honora?

BRIDGET. I just stood up and told 'em I knowed one. There ain't
nuthin' bashful about me. And I kind o' thought we ought to do
something to help pay fer the good things they gave us.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_petting her_). That's me good little Bridget Honora.

MELISSA (_sees doll on table_). Oh, wee! Lookee there! Where'd she
come from?

MRS. O'TOOLE. Santa Claus was after being here while you were away and
he left it for you.

MELISSA. Is it all for me?

MRS. MULLIGAN. It's the Mulligan dolly. It's fer all ten of yeez.

PATSY. She can have my share. I don't want no dolls.

MICKY. Oh, look at the efulunt. Look at the efulunt.

MRS. O'TOOLE. That is Mumbo Jumbo Mulligan from the sunny shores of
Africa, way down in Louisiana.

CHILDREN. Who's he fur? Who's he fur?

PETER PAN (_takes elephant_). He's fur me. Scwumptious!

TEDDY. Maw, they had a show there at the Sunday School. There was a
wee little man, about so long (_measures about two feet_), and he
stood up on a table and sang a song, so he did.

PATSY. Humph! I know how they did that. Matsy and me can show it to
you.

MELISSA. And they had the Turnover Topsy Turvies, too.

CLARISSA. They stood upside down on their heads.

MRS. MULLIGAN. My, my--but it must have been a wonderful show.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Just think what we missed, Mollie Mulligan.

MATSY. I didn't miss nothin'. I never miss nothin' no time.

NORA. We could give just as good a show our own selves.

OTHERS. Let's do it; let's do it. Let's give a show for maw and Mis'
O'Toole.

TEDDY. Would you like to see it, maw?

MRS. MULLIGAN. If it ain't too late.

MRS. O'TOOLE. What matters it how late it is? Christmas comes but once
a year----

ALL. And when it comes it brings good cheer.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Then sure we'll have the show. Poor folks can be just
as happy on Christmas Day as rich folks. It's all in the way you feel
about it.

PATSY. Now, maw, you and Mrs. O'Toole take your seats out there in
front. (_Points to front row of the audience._)

MATSY. I'll help you carry them out. (_They carry down two chairs from
the stage and seat_ MRS. MULLIGAN _and_ MRS. O'TOOLE _in the
audience._)

PATSY. Now, we'll have to draw the curtain to get the stage ready.

NORA. And while we're getting ready Mary Ann can say her piece.

CURTAIN FALLS.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_in audience_). My, my, Kathleen, what a large crowd of
people are here tonight. I'm afraid I'm not dressed up for the
occasion.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Dressed up, is it? Indade you are. Ye have on short
sleeves and a low-neck dress. What more would ye want? There's the
minister and his wife setting right back there. (_Speaks to them._)
Good avening, Brother ----; sure, it's a fine avening we're having, is
it not?

MRS. MULLIGAN (_speaks to a lady in audience_). My, my, is it
yourself, Mrs. ----? Sure, I'm glad to see ye out. It's a long time
since I've had the pleasure of seeing you. (_Speaks to several
children._) And there's ---- and ---- and ----. I'm glad to see all of
yeez. Sure, some day yeez must come over to me house in Mulligan Alley
and I'll let you play with the goat, Shamus O'Brien.

MRS. O'TOOLE. I see the young ladies over there, and each one of them
has a young man. My, my, it does me ould heart good to see the young
folks enjoying themselves. It ain't so many years since me and Pat was
courting each other just like the rest of yeez.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Mrs. O'Toole, do you see that young man sitting there
all by his lonesome? Ain't it a shame? And him such a good looking
young feller, too. I've a good notion to go over there and cheer him
up a bit. Maybe his girl is here with another fellow.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Sure, there's plenty of girls here without any fellows
at all, at all. Why should a young man sit all alone like a bump on a
log, whin there's so many handsome colleens waiting for the chance at
him?

MRS. MULLIGAN. Whist, Mrs. O'Toole, it's making him embarrassed yeez
are. Will you look at the red color in his face?

MRS. O'TOOLE. If ye ask me my opinion, Mollie Mulligan, sure and I
think he's after waiting fer one of yer own lovely daughters.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Well, he might go further and fare worse. Nora Eudora's
a fine girl, if I do say it myself.

MRS. O'TOOLE. Whist, here comes Mary Ann out in front of the curtain
to spake her piece.

(MARY ANN _comes in front of the curtain, makes a bow and recites:_)

     LETTER TO SANTA CLAUS.

     Blessed old Santa Claus, king of delights,
     What are you doing these long winter nights?
     Filling your budgets with trinkets and toys,
     Wonderful gifts for the girls and the boys.
     While you are planning for everything nice,
     Pray let me give you a bit of advice.

     Don't take it hard if I say in your ear,
     Santa, I thought you were partial last year;
     Loading the rich folks with everything gay,
     Snubbing the poor ones who came in your way.
     Now of all times of the year I am sure
     This is the time to remember the poor.

     Plenty of children there are in our city,
     Who have no fathers or mothers to pity;
     Plenty of people whose working and heeding
     Scarcely can keep all their dear ones from needing.
     Now, if I came every year in December,
     These are the ones I would surely remember.

     Once on a beautiful Christmas you know
     Jesus our Saviour was born here below,
     Patiently stooping to hunger and pain,
     So He might save us, His lost ones, from shame;
     Now if we love Him, He bids us to feed
     All His poor brothers and sisters who need.

     Blessed old Nick! I was sure if you knew it,
     You would remember and certainly do it;
     This year, at least, when you empty your pack,
     Pray give a portion to all who may lack.
     Then, if there's anything left and you can
     Bring a small gift to wee Peter Pan.

     _--Emily H. Miller.--Adapted._

MRS. O'TOOLE (_applauding vigorously_). Wasn't that dandy? Sure,
little Mary Ann has a wonderful education, so she has!

MRS. MULLIGAN. She takes after her own mother. I was just like her
when I was that age.

MRS. O'TOOLE. And you're just like her still, Mollie Mulligan. Sure
you're the sunshine of Mulligan Alley and the belle of Shantytown.

MRS. MULLIGAN. Whist now! It's covered I am wid blushes. But, hush! I
think the show is about to begin.


ACT III.

_Curtain rises disclosing the same scene. Three long sheets hang on
the line, reaching down to the floor and extending clear across the
stage. The children are behind the sheets. The line is about three and
one-half feet high. The table sets obliquely in front of the door at
R. It is covered with a sheet or long cloth reaching to the ground._
PATSY _and_ TEDDY _form the dwarf._ PATSY, _coatless, has a long pair
of striped stockings on over his arms, and a pair of shoes on his
hands, ornamented on insteps with large rosettes._ TEDDY _stands
behind him and thrusts his arms as far as they will go under_ PATSY'S
_armpits. A kind of a tunic covers both. Wear a large crimped frill or
an enormous turned-down collar._

PATSY _stands behind table and places his shoe-clad hands upon it,
which represent the feet of the dwarf. The door curtains are fastened
together a few inches above his head, concealing_ TEDDY.

PATSY _must lean slightly over the table or the legs will not appear
to support the body._

_When the curtain is up, enter_ MATSY _from L. dressed as a Showman._

MATSY (_bows to audience, speaks in a loud voice, using megaphone_).

     Come and see Jumbo, Samson symbolical!
     Come and see Slivers, Clown really comical!
     Come and see Zip, the foremost of freaks!
     Come and see Palestine's Sinister Sheiks!
     Eager Equestriennes, each unexcelled,
     Most mammoth menagerie ever beheld,
     The Giant, the Fat Girl, the Lion-faced Man,
     Aerial Artists from far-off Japan,
     Audacious Acrobats shot from a gun,
     Don't miss the greatest show under the sun!

Now, if you will kindly lend me your ears for a moment, I will fill
them free of charge with a few words concerning the world's greatest
assortment of marvelous monstrosities. In the first cell we have Senor
Macaroni Spaghetti from the land of the banana. The senor is
thirty-nine inches high, and, strangely enough, thirty-nine years old,
to say nothing of the fact that he weighs thirty-nine pounds. (PATSY
_scratches his nose with his foot._) He arrived last week by parcel
post to join our circus. The senor is looking for a wife. Oh, you
needn't laugh! It's true. Some of you near-sighted ladies should have
brought magnifying glasses, for Senor Macaroni Spaghetti is the
smallest speck of humanity that ever lived in captivity. He stands on
a silver dollar and puts his hand in a thimble. (TEDDY _makes funny
gestures during this entire speech._) The senor will now entertain you
in his entertaining way.

PATSY (_sings_).

     SPAGHETTI FROM OLD ITALY.

     (Music on page 107)

     Me name is Spaghetti, I came o'er the sea,
     To visit this land from old Italy,
     I have a small monkey, he jumps with a string,
     And if he was here to you he would sing:
     (_Dances._)
     Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

     I once fell in love with the sweet Antoinette,
     She say she will marry the little Spaghett,
     But she said she no like-a a hand-organ man,
     So I stand on the corner and sell-a banan.
     (_Dances._)
     Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

     I wed Antoinetta and live in a flat,
     I buy-a fine clothes and a big silk-a hat,
     I make-a much money and this little gent,
     He maybe some day will be big President.
     (_Dances._)
     Tee-oodle, dum-doodle, dum-doodle, dum day!

(_Repeat until end._)

MATSY. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I'll call your attention to the
seven little Sunbonnet babies. Behold them, them famous Mulligan
twins. (_Exits L._)

_The heads of_ NORA, MICKY, BRIDGET, MARY ANN, MELISSA, CLARISSA _and_
PETER _appear above the sheets at rear. Each wears a large sunbonnet.
They sing to the tune "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp!"_

     Little Mulligans are we, and our hearts are light and free,
       For it's Christmas Eve and soon we'll be in bed,
     We're peculiar little folks, full of jollity and jokes,
     And you ought to see us stand upon our head!

         Tramp, tramp, tramp, we'll soon be marching,
         We are going off to bed,
         But before we leave you now,
         Each of us will show you how
         Little Mulligan can stand upon her head.

(_All disappear under sheet. They repeat chorus and hold up their arms
above the sheet. The arms are covered with stockings and shoes are on
their hands. They slap hands together, making feet dance, etc._)

     Tramp, tramp, tramp, we'll soon be marching,
     We are going off to bed,
     But before we leave you now,
     Each of us will show you how
     Little Mulligan can stand upon her head.

(_Repeat._)

MRS. MULLIGAN (_from audience_). Nora! Bridget! Mary Ann! What do ye
mane! You'll kill yourselves entirely. (_Rushes to the stage, followed
by_ MRS. O'TOOLE.) If you stand on your head like that, all your
brains will rush down into your fate.

NORA (_head above curtain_). That's the way they did in the show.
(_All come out on stage._)

MRS. O'TOOLE. Well, well, well, wonders will never cease. Sure, I
niver spint such a fine Christmas Eve in all me life before.

MRS. MULLIGAN (_stands C. facing audience, surrounded by the ten
children._) Sure, I think we've had a fine Christmas celebration,
don't you? And before ye go let this sink down deep in your hearts and
minds--it doesn't take money and fine clothes and costly gifts to make
a fine Christmas at all, at all. All it takes is loving hearts and
loving hands, and merry faces of happy boys and girls. We didn't have
any money--but you see what a lovely time we've had--and it's all
because the spirit of Christmas was in our hearts--and the spirit of
Christmas means love, and love is the greatest thing in all the world.
Merry Christmas to all of yeez, and may ye never regret the time you
spent Christmas Eve with the ten little Mulligans.

CURTAIN.


NOTES TO THE MANAGER.

WHERE THE MULLIGANS LIVED.

The scenery is very simple or may be dispensed with entirely.
Entrances R. and L. and a window at the rear are necessary. An old
table stands in front of the window, and a larger table, also old,
stands down R. Several soap boxes are down L. and these with an
upturned bucket serve as seats for the Mulligans.

An old rag carpet covers the floor. A wash-tub, with wash-board,
clothes, etc., stand at C. Two rickety chairs are on the stage, one
R.C. and one L.C., the latter a rocking-chair. The larger table is
covered with a well worn red cloth and supports an old-fashioned
lighted lamp.

Several tin cans, filled with bright flowers, stand on the table in
front of the window. Curtains or bed comforts are draped over the door
at R. An old sofa stands up L. Colored prints adorn the walls.

A clothes line runs across the stage at rear. On this line several
garments are drying, bright stockings, a union suit, red flannels,
etc. Remember the scene is laid in Mulligan Alley and the stage must
be arranged according to Mulligan taste.


WHAT THE MULLIGANS WORE.

MRS. MULLIGAN--Powdered hair, parted in middle and combed over ears,
somewhat unkempt. Well worn, old-fashioned cloth waist, with sleeves
rolled up and open in the neck. Skirt of contrasting color. The skirt
is turned up, showing flannel petticoat. Unstarched and rather soiled
dark gingham apron, of ample proportions, but without bib. Hair
twisted in knob at the back of head. Large, old shoes.

MATSY and PATSY--Long, tattered trousers, old suspenders, large, well
worn shoes, calico shirts, torn and patched. Bright calico neckties.
Caps. In Act III Matsy wears a large black mustache, a long black
coat, much too large, and a stiff hat three sizes too big, while Patsy
wears the dwarf's tunic and has his face made up yellow, with rouge on
cheeks.

TEDDY and MICKY--Short trousers, well worn and patched. Striped
stockings. Old shirts.

NORA and BRIDGET--Ankle skirts, waists of a different color. Bright
calico bows. Large hair ribbons.

MARY ANN, MELISSA and CLARISSA--Short skirts. Striped stockings. Old
shoes. Funny hats and waists.

PETER PAN--Calico slip. Baby's hat.

MRS. O'TOOLE--Old-fashioned walking dress of bright colors. Shawl and
little bonnet. Red wig, if desired.




THE WISHING MAN

[Illustration:

              Type of        Type of
WISHING MAN   FRENCH DOLLS   TIN SOLDIERS   KA-ZIN-SKI

GRANDPA       GRANDMA        FATHER         MOTHER       NURSEMAID

DUMPLING      TOOTSY         SNOOKUMS       ATTENUATED   ROLY POLY
                                            TOOTSY       DUMPLING

ENLARGED      Type of
SNOOKUMS      BEARS          JIM DANDY      BABY JUMBO]




THE WISHING MAN

A CHRISTMAS WHIMSY FOR SWEETE CHARITIE.

IN THREE SHORT ACTS.

_As presented by Class No. 10, Wesley Chapel, Columbus, Ohio.
Re-written from memory._


CHARACTERS.

THE WISHING MAN                           _Young Man_
THE ROLY-POLY DUMPLING                    _Stout Young Man_
THE ATTENUATED TOOTSY                     _Tall, Thin Young Man_
THE ENLARGED SNOOKUMS                     _Young Man_
GRANDPA GREEN                             _Boy of Fourteen or Fifteen_
GRANDMA GREEN                             _Plump Girl of same age_
FATHER FRITZ                              _Boy of about Fourteen_
MOTHER FRITZ                              _Girl of about Fifteen_
NURSE MAID                                _Girl of about Thirteen_
DUMPLING                                  _Boy of Eight_
TOOTSY                                    _Girl of Seven or Eight_
SNOOKUMS                                  _Boy of Six or under_
KA-ZIN-SKI                                _Tall Boy_
TEDDY BEAR                                _Small Boy_
JIMMIE BEAR                               _Small Boy_
BABY JUMBO                                _Made of Two Larger Boys_
ANNETTE                                   _Little Girl_
BABETTE                                   _Little Girl_
OLIVETTE                                  _Little Girl_
PRIVATE BLACK                             _Little Boy_
PRIVATE JACK                              _Little Boy_
PRIVATE MACK                              _Little Boy_
JIM DANDY, _a Stick of Candy_             _Little Boy_

       *       *       *       *       *

TIME OF PLAYING--_About Forty-five Minutes._

       *       *       *       *       *

_For description of costumes, scenery, etc., see "Remarks on
Production" at the end of the play._


ACT I.

SCENE: _A room in_ FATHER FRITZ'S _house. Doors at R. and L. Small
table down L. with three chairs around it. Sofa down R. Easy chair
down C. Lighted lamp on table. Window at rear._ DUMPLING _is seated on
a rocking-horse at rear C._ GRANDPA _stands by him helping him rock
it._ TOOTSY _is on a rocking-horse at L. front, with_ FATHER _and_
MOTHER _helping her rock it._ SNOOKUMS _is on a baby rocking-horse at
R. front, with_ GRANDMA _and_ NURSE MAID _in attendance. Very little
furniture on stage. If the rocking-horses are not easy to get,_
DUMPLING _and_ TOOTSY _may be astride of sticks with horses' heads._

_Curtain rises to bright music._

ALL (_sing_).

     HOP, HOP, HOP!

[Music illustration:

     1. Hop, hop, hop! Nim-ble as a top,
     Where 'tis smooth and where 'tis sto-ny,
     Trudge a-long, my lit-tle po-ny,
     Hop, hop, hop, hop, hop! Nim-ble as a top.

     2. Whoa, whoa, whoa! How like fun you go!
     Ver-y well, my lit-tle po-ny,
     Safe's our jaunt tho' rough and sto-ny,
     Spare, spare, spare, spare, spare! Sure e-nough we're there.

     3. Here, here, here! Yes, my po-ny dear;
     Now with oats and hay I'll treat you,
     And with smiles will ev-er greet you,
     Po-ny, po-ny dear! Yes, my po-ny dear.]

DUMPLING (_dismounting_). Whoa, there, Jimmie! Oh, Grandpa, I do love
my pony. It's the best of all my presents.

GRANDPA. Well, it's time you put him in his stall.

TOOTSY (_dismounting_). I'm going to call my pony after Mr. ----.
(_Insert the name of some well known man._) 'Cause he looks just like
him.

GRANDMA (_helping_ SNOOKUMS _from pony_). And what are you going to
call your pony, Snookums?

SNOOKUMS. Going to call him Elizabeth, after you, Grandma.

GRANDMA (_kisses her_). That's my baby!

MOTHER. Grandma, we'd better get our hats and coats. It's nearly time
for the car to be after us.

FATHER. Come, Grandpa. It's nearly eight o'clock.

GRANDPA. But I don't like to leave the children.

DUMPLING. And we don't like to have you leave us, either. My, this has
been the grandest Christmas day I've ever seen.

MOTHER. Come, Grandma. (_Exits L. with_ GRANDMA.)

GRANDPA. Come, children. (_They gather around him._) I'm glad you've
had such a happy Christmas. You got everything you wanted, didn't you?

TOOTSY. Yes, everything. My, I wish Christmas would come every day.

DUMPLING. Tell us the story about old Saint Nick, Grandpa.

GRANDPA. Do you want to hear that old chestnut again?

CHILDREN. Oh, yes, yes!

GRANDPA (_takes_ SNOOKUMS _on his lap, the other children stand by his
knee._)

     'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
     Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
     The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
     In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
     The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
     While visions of sugar-plums danced through their heads;
     Grandma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
     Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,--
     When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
     I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
     Away to the window I flew like a flash,
     Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

     When what to my wondering eyes would appear
     But a wee little sleigh and eight little reindeer,
     With a wee little driver, so lively and quick,
     I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.
     More rapid than eagles his reindeers they came,
     And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
     "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
     On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!
     To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
     Now, dash away, dash away, dash away, all."

     So up to the housetop the reindeer they flew,
     With a sleigh full of toys, and Saint Nicholas, too.
     As I drew in my head and was turning around,
     Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.
     He was dressed all in red from his head to his foot,
     And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
     His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
     His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
     He had a broad face and a little round belly
     That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

     A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
     Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
     He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
     And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
     And laying his finger aside of his nose,
     And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
     He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
     And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;
     But I heard him exclaim e'er he drove out of sight:
     "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

     --_Clement C. Moore._

CHILDREN. Oh, that was just lovely.

TOOTSY. I just wish I could see him. Just once!

DUMPLING. And so do I. I'm going to catch him some Christmas Eve.

SNOOKUMS. Me, too!

_Enter from L._, MOTHER _and_ GRANDMA, _wearing winter coats and hats.
They carry coats and hats for_ FATHER _and_ GRANDPA.

MOTHER. Here, Grandpa, put on your coat and hat, or we'll be late for
the dinner. (_Helps him._)

GRANDPA. I'd rather stay here and talk to the children.

FATHER (_putting on his coat_). But Aunt Clara is expecting us.

GRANDMA. And the auto is at the door.

GRANDPA. Dumpling, are you sure you got everything you wanted for
Christmas?

DUMPLING. I can't think of anything else.

GRANDPA. If you didn't, and if all three of you children can agree on
anything else, it shall be yours if money can buy it.

TOOTSY. Money can buy everything, can't it, Grandpa?

GRANDPA. No, my dear, not quite everything.

DUMPLING. But suppose we wish for something that money can't buy?

GRANDPA. I'd try to get it for you some other way.

TOOTSY. How, Grandpa; how?

GRANDPA. Why, I'd tell the Wishing Man. He'd get it for you.

GRANDMA. Come along, John; don't put such nonsense in the children's
heads.

FATHER. We must hurry along to Aunt Clara's, children. But this is
Christmas night. You may all stay up tonight just as long as you wish.

DUMPLING. Oh, can we? Can we?

MOTHER. Yes. Cecelia will look after you. Cecelia?

NURSE MAID. Of course I will, mum.

MOTHER. Come along, now. We must hurry. (_Kisses the children and goes
out R. with_ GRANDMA, GRANDPA _and_ FATHER.)

TOOTSY (_dancing around_). Oh, we can stay up just as long as we wish!
Goody, goody! Why that is the very best gift of all.

NURSE MAID. Now you children be good, and if you want me, call out.
I'll be down in the kitchen with the cook. (_Goes out at L._)

DUMPLING. Now we're left all alone.

TOOTSY. I don't see why Aunt Clara couldn't have invited us to her
dinner party, too.

SNOOKUMS (_playing with doll_). Snookums likes dinner party.

DUMPLING. It's 'cause we ain't big enough.

TOOTSY. My, I wisht I was a great, great, great big girl.

DUMPLING. There, that's a wish that money can't buy.

TOOTSY. Grandpa said he'd get us anything we wished for.

DUMPLING. What do you wish, Snookums?

SNOOKUMS. Wish Grandpaw would come home.

TOOTSY. I know a real good wish. I wish it were Christmas every day.
Don't you, Dumpling?

DUMPLING. No, I don't. We'd have to have a present and a tree and a
turkey and plum pudding every day of our lives. We'd get awfully tired
of it after a while. Just think, we'd have to give away about a
million presents every year.

TOOTSY. I'll tell you what I really do wish.

DUMPLING. What?

TOOTSY. I wish we could do just like grown up folks do. I wish I was
the biggest little girl in all the world.

DUMPLING. And I wish so, too. I wish we were just awfully, awfully,
awfully big--and then we could go to Aunt Clara's dinner party, and
everywhere.

SNOOKUMS. Me wish me was great big Snookums.

TOOTSY. But money couldn't buy that wish, Dumpling.

DUMPLING. No, that's right. But Grandpa said if he couldn't buy our
wish he'd get it some other way.

TOOTSY. How could he get it?

DUMPLING. He said he'd tell the Wishing Man.

TOOTSY. My, I wonder if there really is such a person!

DUMPLING. I don't know. But I'd like to see him if there is.

TOOTSY. I'll make a rhyme.

     Good Mr. Wishing Man, how do you do?
     If there is such a person, we'd like to see you!

DUMPLING.

     If you come from afar, if you come from near,
     Good Mr. Wishing Man, appear, appear!

_The_ WISHING MAN _rolls out from under the table, rises, faces the
three children, arms akimbo._

WISHING MAN (_after a pause, drawls_). Well?

DUMPLING _and_ TOOTSY (_frightened, down R._). Well? (_They look at
each other, pause, then repeat._) Well!

SNOOKUMS (_comes in front of them, stands facing the_ WISHING MAN,
_arms akimbo_). Well?

WISHING MAN. Well, I'm here.

DUMPLING. Who's here?

WISHING MAN. Why, _I_ am here. You said you would like to see me and
so I have come. _I'm_ here.

TOOTSY. Are you the Wishing Man?

WISHING MAN. That's my name. (_Sings to the tune of "Wearing of the
Green." He sings briskly, shaking head in time and dancing a step or
two._)

     I'm the friend of all the children,
       And I'll help you if I can,
     Just tell me what your wishes are,
       For I'm the Wishing Man.
     I have wishbones on my fingers,
       I have myst'ry in my eyes,
     My clothes are trimmed with horseshoes,
       And they're stained with magic dyes.
     My pocket's full of rabbits' feet,
       And clover leaves and charms,
     For luck I've got a big black cat
       All tattooed on my arms,
     I'm a friend of all the children,
       And I'll help you if I can,
     So tell me what your wishes are--
       For I'm the Wishing Man.

     I come from a distant country
       Away up near the pole,
     But the things that I am telling you,
       You mustn't tell a soul.
     I know every witch and goblin,
       And if you would believe!
     I have fortunes in my pocket-book,
       And wonders up my sleeve.
     When any little boy or girl
       Says, "Wishing Man, appear!"
     I jump right up from underneath,
       And here I am, my dear!
     I'm a friend of all the children,
       And I'll help you if I can,
     So tell me what your wishes are--
        For I'm the Wishing Man.

DUMPLING. And can you really grant us anything we wish for?

WISHING MAN. I can, if it's a good wish--and if you all agree on the
same thing.

TOOTSY. Anything in the wide, wide world?

WISHING MAN. Well, pretty nearly anything. Would you like some new
toys?

TOOTSY. Oh, no, thank you. This is Christmas, you know, and we got
ever so many toys.

SNOOKUMS. Ever so many toys.

WISHING MAN. I don't see what you called me for. You seem to have
everything you want.

DUMPLING. Oh, no, we haven't. We've made a wish, and we're all agreed
on it.

WISHING MAN. Are you sure it's a good wish?

DUMPLING. Oh, yes, it's an awful good wish. You see, we want to be
great big children so we can stay up late at night and go to Aunt
Clara's dinner parties. That's our wish. We want to be the biggest
children there are anywhere.

WISHING MAN (_laughs heartily_). Oh, ho, ho, ho! That's the funniest
wish I ever heard since I've been in the wishing business. So you want
to be the very biggest children there are anywhere, do you?

TOOTSY. Yes, sir; that's just what we want. I want to be a great, big,
tall little girl.

WISHING MAN (_laughing_). A great, big tall little girl, hey?

DUMPLING. And I want to be a great, big, big, _big_ little boy.

WISHING MAN. Oh, a big, _big_, BIG little boy, hey?

SNOOKUMS. And so do I.

WISHING MAN. And so do you, hey?

CHILDREN. Yes, sir; that is our wish.

WISHING MAN. Well, I'll have to see if I can accommodate you. It's a
pretty big job, you know.

TOOTSY. You said you could give us anything we wished for.

WISHING MAN. But I didn't think you'd wish for anything like that.

DUMPLING. That's the only thing we want, Mr Wishing Man.

WISHING MAN (_rubbing his chin and speaking thoughtfully_). Well,
now--let me see. I'm afraid it's too big a job for me. In the first
place I haven't any marble.

CHILDREN. Marble?

WISHING MAN. Yes. In order to make you grow and grow and grow, you'll
have to stand on marble.

TOOTSY. We have a marble-top table in the front hall.

DUMPLING. Oh, yes. And we can all stand on top of the table.

WISHING MAN. But I have to stand here by the open window.

TOOTSY. Well, we can go in there and leave the door open. You can stay
here and make our wish come true. Come on, Dumpling.

WISHING MAN. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Are you all of you sure you
want to be made into great big, big little children?

CHILDREN. Yes, all of us.

WISHING MAN. All right. If that's your wish, it's no business of mine.
Go out in the front hall and climb on the marble-top table and I'll
see what I can do for you.

TOOTSY. Oh, come on, quick, Dumpling, before he changes his mind.
(_Runs out R. with_ DUMPLING _and_ SNOOKUMS, _the latter taking very
long strides._)

WISHING MAN. It's a very foolish wish, but maybe they'll be satisfied
if I make them the biggest children on earth. (_Throws back curtains
at the window._) I'll see what I can do.

DUMPLING (_outside_). I'm standing up on the table now.

WISHING MAN.

     Hickety, kickety, setting sun,
         (_Making mysterious passes._)
     Thunder, lightning, flash of a gun!
     Let him grow bigger, it won't be much fun;
     Hickety, kickety, number one!

(_Lights flash out, then on again, then out. Low rumbles of thunder
heard. Lights on again, then off. Loud crash outside._)

TOOTSY. Now it's my turn. I'm on the table.

WISHING MAN.

     Witchery, twitchery, kangaroo,
     Thunder and lightning, Kalamazoo!
     Lengthen her, strengthen her, rip, bazoo,
     Make her a giantess, number two!

(_Lightning and thunder as before._)

SNOOKUMS (_outside_). Now, Mr. Wishing Man, I'm on the table.

WISHING MAN. That's the Baby Snookums. Very well, little Snookie
Ookums! I'll change you into the biggest baby on earth.

     Rumpety, thumpety, Kankakee,
     Lengthen him out to six foot three!
     The biggest baby we ever did see,
     Rumpety, thumpety, number three!

(_Same noises as before, only louder._)

_Enter_ NURSE MAID _from L._

NURSE MAID. Goodness, gracious! Is it a tornado or an earthquake?
(_Sees_ WISHING MAN.) Oh! (_Screams loudly._) And who are you? Murder!
Thieves! Robbers! Where's me children? Where's little Dumpling and
Tootsy and Baby Snookums? (_Fast, loud music._)

WISHING MAN (_yells_). Where are your children?

_Enter_ BIG DUMPLING, BIG TOOTSY _and_ BIG SNOOKUMS. _They join hands
and dance around at R._

WISHING MAN. There they are. There are little Dumpling and Tootsy and
Baby Snookums.

(NURSE MAID _looks at children, screams loudly, throws up her arms and
faints in a chair at L. of stage._ WISHING MAN _stands at C. with arms
akimbo, laughing at her. The three big children dance in a circle at
R._)

CURTAIN.


ACT II.

SCENE: _No scene at all. The action takes place in front of the closed
curtains. Note: During this act the managers should be arranging the
stage for the next act._

_The children who are present in the audience should be given seats
down in front. At this point they rise and go upon the stage in front
of the curtain and sing, accompanied by a chorus of older children
behind the scenes. An adult leader may appear with the children. All
sing, marching around platform and acting out the song:_

     FOLLOW ME, FULL OF GLEE.

     Movement Song.

[Music illustration:

     1. Chil-dren go, to and fro,
     In a mer-ry, pret-ty row:
     Foot-steps light, fa-ces bright,
     'Tis a hap-py, hap-py sight;
     Swift-ly turn-ing round and round.[A]
     Do not look up-on the ground,

     2. Birds are free, so are we,
     And we live as hap-pi-ly;
     Work we do, stud-y, too,
     Learn-ing dai-ly some-thing new;
     Then we laugh, and dance, and sing,
     Gay as birds or an-y-thing:

     3. Work is done, play's be-gun,
     Now we have our laugh and fun:
     Hap-py days, pret-ty plays,
     And no naught-y, naught-y ways.
     Hold-ing fast each oth-er's hand,
     We're a hap-py, cheer-ful band;

     CHORUS.

     Fol-low me, full of glee,
     Sing-ing mer-ri-ly.
     Sing-ing mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly,
     Sing-ing mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly, mer-ri-ly,
     Fol-low me, full of glee,
     Sing-ing mer-ri-ly.]

[Footnote A: They all twirl around.]

(_The music continues softly as they resume their seats in the
audience. After a pause the_ WISHING MAN _sticks his head out from the
curtains. He takes one step in front, bows, then skips down to front
and bows again._)

WISHING MAN. Hello, little boys and girls, how do you do this fine
winter night? I know what each of you has been thinking. You've been
wishing that _you_ could meet the Wishing Man and that he would make
_your_ wishes come true. Now, haven't you? Well, I've made that wish
come true. You wished to meet me, and here I am. I've been watching
you all the year in Sunday School. I know how you have worked over
your lessons, how you have helped your teachers and how punctual you
have been. To be sure, I know some of you haven't helped your teachers
as much as you could have done, but I'll forget all that at Christmas
time. Now tell me what you wish for most.

CHILDREN (_in audience who have previously rehearsed this scene_). A
Christmas tree. A look at old Santa Claus. Some nice Christmas
presents, etc.

WISHING MAN. Stop, stop. I can't attend to so many wishes at once.

LITTLE GIRL (_rising_). Please, Mr. Wishing Man, couldn't you tell us
what we'd better wish for?

WISHING MAN. Have you ever had a great, big Christmas tree?

CHILDREN. Oh, yes, lots of times.

WISHING MAN. Have you ever seen my old friend, Mr. Santa Claus?

CHILDREN. Oh, yes.

LITTLE BOY. We see him every year at Christmas.

WISHING MAN. How would like to go with me to Wishing Land.

CHILDREN. Oh, goody! (_Clapping hands._) That would be fine. Can you
take us there?

WISHING MAN. Of course I can. And that's just what we'll do. We'll all
of us go to the Wishing Land. First, I'll call little Dumpling.
Dumpling, little Dumpling, where are you?

BIG DUMPLING _comes in from behind the curtains._

BIG D. Here I am, Mr. Wishing Man. I was playing with my little horse
and wagon. (_He plays with tiny horse and wagon._)

WISHING MAN. And how do you like being a great, big Dumpling?

BIG D. Well, not very well. I'm always bumping my head on the doors
and things. And all my toys are so very little I'm always breaking
them.

WISHING MAN. Where is your sister? Where is little Tootsy?

BIG TOOTSY _enters._

BIG T. Here, Mr. Wishing Man. I'm here. Me and my little dolly.

WISHING MAN. Well, little Tootsy, how do you like being a great, big
Tootsy?

BIG T. I don't like it very well. My clothes don't seem to fit, and I
know I look awfully funny. (_To audience._) Don't I? Everybody laughs
at me and it always makes me cry. (_Cries._)

WISHING MAN. And where is little Snookie Ookums?

BIG SNOOKUMS _enters._

BIG S. Here I am, Mr. Wishing Man. Here's 'ittie Snookie Ookums.

WISHING MAN. You look like a 'ittie baby elephant, Snookie Ookums.
Well, are you children satisfied with your wish?

THE THREE. Not very much. We wish we were little again.

BIG S. (_crying_). I tried to ride my little horsie and I bweaked him
all to pieces.

BIG D. And I can't get enough to eat. My little knife and fork and
spoon are too little, and when I eat I swallow dishes and all.
(_Cries._)

BIG T. And all my clothes are too little for me, and I look so funny
that everybody laughs at me. And I don't like it at all. (_Cries._)

WISHING MAN. I'm just going to start on a journey to the Wishing Land.
The toys there are awfully big. They'd be just the right size for
you. Would you like to go with me?

BIG S. Is it very far?

BIG D. Could we get back by bedtime?

BIG T. Wouldn't it be awfully cold flying through the air?

WISHING MAN. Oh, no. We'd fly so fast you'd only have time to shiver
once and then we'd be right there.

THE THREE. Oh, yes; let's go.

WISHING MAN. All right. Now all of you part your hair right in the
middle, so you won't be heavier on one side than on the other. (_They
do so._) That's good. Now give me your hands and hold on tight and
we're off to the Wishing Land. Follow me, full of glee.

(_All sing the first verse and chorus of "Follow Me, Full of Glee,"
accompanied by the children in the audience. At the end all dance off
the stage at R._)


ACT III.

SCENE: _The Wishing Land. Green or dark colored curtains at rear and
at sides. Use all the large palms and potted trees available. A
trumpet vine is attached to curtains at the rear. This is made of
branches pinned on curtain to simulate a vine. Several tin trumpets
are tied to the branches and many trumpets of various sizes made of
paper. These stick out of the vines like blossoms._

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

_At rear right is a large tree with buds made of tissue paper and toy
drums showing in the buds. See diagram. The leaves forming these buds
should be pointed oval in shape and vary in size as they represent
buds or open flowers. The drums hang down from the branches and the
petals, when open, hang open and partly cover them. Another tree
stands at rear L. This is hung with candy or bits of colored paper
simulating candy. Candy canes are on this tree and_ JIM DANDY _is
sleeping at bottom of tree._

_At R. about half-way back are branches arranged to look as if
growing, and about three feet high, hung with balls of various sizes
and colors._

_At L. about half-way back are three little girls dressed as French
dolls. They stand in a row facing the audience. At either end of the
row is a frame to support the cheesecloth curtain that hides them from
the audience. They must stand stiffly with arms held out straight in
front of them._

_At L. front are several rows of flower pots or boxes containing
growing plants with dolls fastened among the leaves. These are
branches about eighteen inches high, with green paper buds partly
enveloping the dolls._

_At R. front is a large square box (a pasteboard cracker box or
breakfast food box covered with red tissue paper will answer) in which
is_ KA-ZIN-SKI _concealed by the lid._

_At R. half-way back just in front of the ball-trees stand three
little boys dressed as toy soldiers. They stand erect and do not
move._

_Curtain rises to mysterious music played by piano. This continues
some little time until the audience "takes in" the scene._

_After a pause, enter the_ WISHING MAN, _followed by the three_ BIG
CHILDREN.

WISHING MAN. Well, here we are in the Wishing Land. My kingdom and not
a soul to welcome me!

BIG D. Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful place.

BIG S. See 'ittie bitsy teeny weeny trumpets gwowing in twees.

BIG T. And the dolls. The lovely, lovely dolls.

WISHING MAN (_clapping his hands_). What, ho! Is there none to welcome
me?

_Enter_ TEDDY BEAR _from L._

TEDDY BEAR (_comes to_ WISHING MAN _and bows low_).

BIG D. Oh, see the Teddy Bear.

BIG T. And he's the biggest one I ever saw.

BIG S. Nice pussy, nice, nice pussy! (_Strokes_ TEDDY BEAR.)

TEDDY BEAR (_growls_).

BIG S. (_much frightened_). Oh, naughty, naughty, naughty!

WISHING MAN. Hello, Teddy Bear. Where's your brother?

TEDDY BEAR (_shakes head as if he does not know_).

WISHING MAN. Go out and find him for me. Have you been a very, very
good Teddy Bear while I was away?

TEDDY BEAR (_nods his head_).

WISHING MAN. That's good. Now go out and find Jimmy Bear.

TEDDY BEAR (_nods head and ambles out at R._).

WISHING MAN (_looking around_). Everything is growing fine. I think
the bicycle trees need a little more water. Well, children, what do
you think of the Wishing Land?

BIG D. It's awfully pretty.

BIG T. It's perfectly gorgeous.

BIG S. Wunnerful, simply wunnerful.

WISHING MAN. Here's where I grow my toys. See, there is the trumpet
vine, and the candy tree and the dolly flowers. Whenever a little
child makes a wish for anything like that, all I have to do is to come
in here and pick a toy. See?

BIG D. Oh, lookee at the tin soldiers. They're awful big. Can I have
one, Mr. Wishing Man?

WISHING MAN. I don't think they're quite ripe yet.

BIG S. Me want a twumpet. Want a nice, big twumpet to blow.

WISHING MAN (_picks a trumpet_). There you are, my little man.

BIG T. I want one, too. A nice loud one.

WISHING MAN (_picks one_). And there's one for you, Tootsy.

BIG D. Believe I'll take a drum.

WISHING MAN (_picks a drum_). There you are. Right off the tree.

BIG D. Now we'll have a parade. (_They march around stage playing
trumpets and drums._)

WISHING MAN. Here, here, wait a minute. You're making enough noise to
wake the dead. Hold on, there. Quiet, quiet!

BIG T. Oh, dear! Just as we were having such a lovely time.

BIG S. Oh, whee! See the funny box. (_Goes to_ KA-ZIN-SKI'S _box._)
What is in it, Mr. Wishing Man?

WISHING MAN. You'd better let it alone. That's Ka-zin-ski, and
Ka-zin-ski doesn't like babies.

BIG S. But I wish to see him.

WISHING MAN. Is it a wish?

BIG S. Yes, sir; it's a wish.

WISHING MAN. Then pull the string.

(BIG S. _leans over the box, pulls a spring, the lid flies up and_
KA-ZIN-SKI _pops out almost in the baby's face._ BIG S. _screams and
falls flat down on the stage._)

BIG S. Oh, whee! Take him away! I'm fwightened, I am. Vill he come
after me?

WISHING MAN. No, no. Get up, 'ittie Snookie Ookums, he won't hurt you.

BIG D. Say, Mr. Wishing Man?

WISHING MAN. What is it, my little boy?

BIG D. Can we have anything we wish for here in the Wishing Land?

WISHING MAN. Of course you can. That's what the Wishing Land is for.

BIG D. Then I wish I was a little boy again. I'm too big to enjoy
myself.

BIG T. And I wish I was a little girl again. Everybody laughs at me,
'cause I'm so big.

BIG S. And I wish I was a 'ittie, teeny, weeny baby again. Being so
big fwightens me so.

WISHING MAN. Oh, ho! So you all want to be little again?

THE THREE. Yes, sir, if you please.

BIG T. Why, I'm so big that I can't get all of me into bed. I'll have
to let my feet hang outside.

BIG S. And if I get in my baby buggy, I'll bweak it all down.

BIG D. And my mamma won't recognize me at all, 'cause I'm grown so
big.

WISHING MAN. That's all very well, but it will be quite a job to make
you all little again. It will take three magic fern seeds, and I
don't think I have any ripe yet.

(_Music, a march._ TEDDY BEAR _dances in in time to the music. He goes
up to the_ WISHING MAN, _pulls his head down and whispers something in
his ear. Then hands him a little box._)

BIG D. Oh, what is it, Mr. Wishing Man? Is it the fern seed?

WISHING MAN (_looks in the little pill box_). Yes, but it's only one
fern seed. Only one of you can be made little again.

BIG D. Give it to my sister, Tootsy. She's a girl.

BIG T. No, give it to Dumpling. He's the oldest.

WISHING MAN. I think I'll give it to 'ittie Snookie Ookums. Here,
Snookums, take that little seed and go down by the pump and get a
drink of water. Put the seed in the water and swallow it and you'll be
the original 'ittie Snookums again.

BIG S. Oh, goody, goody, goody! (_Takes box and skips out at R._)

(_Music again, a march._ JIMMY BEAR _dances in, whispers to the_
WISHING MAN _and gives him a pill box._)

WISHING MAN. Here's another fern seed. Ladies first, Dumpling. I'll
give it to Tootsy.

BIG T. Oh, you dear, good Wishing Man. I'll give you a nice hug and
kiss for that. (_Does so, takes box, skips out at R._)

(_Music again. Enter_ BABY JUMBO, _dancing in time to the music._
WISHING MAN _bends down and whispers to the elephant._ JUMBO _raises
one foot, a front one, and gives him a pill box._)

WISHING MAN. And here's the third magical fern seed. Here you are,
Master Dumpling. Hurry along and grow little again.

BIG D. Oh, thank you, sir. (_Takes box and skips out at R._)

JUMBO _and the_ TWO BEARS _dance out at L. in time to the music._

WISHING MAN (_goes to the doll bushes_). The dolly plants don't seem
to be doing very well. (_Picks a doll._) Here's a ripe one. I'm going
to give that to (_insert some little girl's name_) for a Christmas
present. And here's another for ----. I wonder how my big French dolls
are doing. They're dreadfully hard to raise. They require so much
attention. I have to keep them under cover to protect them from the
sun. The wax melts so easily and the pretty red cheeks are apt to run
down over their pretty French dresses. (_Removes cover._) How nice
they look. There's Annette, Olivette and Babette. Three as pretty
little French ladies as ever came out of Paris. I think they're just
about ready to pick. They're such pretty dollies that I think I'll
give them to little boys instead of little girls. I'll give Annette to
(_insert little boy's name_) and I'll give Olivette to ----, and
little Babette I'll give to ----. My, my, I was forgetting all about
the children and the mysterious fern seed. I wonder if it has changed
them back into real little children again. (_Looks out at R._) Yes,
here they come.

_Enter from R._ DUMPLING, TOOTSY _and_ SNOOKUMS.

DUMPLING. Oh, thank you, Mr. Wishing Man. I feel ever so much better
now.

TOOTSY. Yes, indeed. My clothes are a perfect fit and nobody will
laugh at me now.

SNOOKUMS. I feel perfectly fan-tas-a-ma-gor-ious.

TOOTSY. Oh, see the pretty French dollies. I wish they would talk to
me.

WISHING MAN. If that's your wish, they can.

TOOTSY (_presses_ ANNETTE). Can you talk?

ANNETTE (_imitates talking doll_). Pa-pa, pa-pa, pa-pa!

TOOTSY (_presses_ OLIVETTE). And what can you say?

OLIVETTE. Ma-ma, ma-ma, ma-ma!

SNOOKUMS (_presses_ BABETTE). Go on and talk to me.

BABETTE. Mer-ry Christ-mas! Mer-ry Christ-mas!

TOOTSY. I wish you could wind them up so they could walk around and
play with us.

WISHING MAN. Is that your wish?

TOOTSY. Oh, yes. Do you think you can do it?

WISHING MAN. I can try. (_Takes large clock key and winds each doll.
The sound of winding should be imitated by a rattle behind the
scenes._)

ANNETTE. Pa-pa, pa-pa, pa-pa! (_Walks forward without bending knees._)

DUMPLING. Here, stop her. She'll fall down. (_Grabs her._) Here, turn
around. Walk this way. (_Walks with her._)

OLIVETTE. Ma-ma, ma-ma, ma-ma; (_Starts to walk._)

TOOTSY (_catches her_). Oh, I think you are a darling. (_Walks with
her._)

BABETTE. Mer-ry Christ-mas! Mer-ry Christmas. (_Starts to walk._)

WISHING MAN. Here, wait for me. (_Takes her arm and they walk
together._)

DUMPLING. Wind up the soldiers. Then each dolly can have a partner.

WISHING MAN. Just a minute. (_Winds up the soldiers._)

(_The dolls continue walking around with jerky steps._)

PRIVATE BLACK (_as_ BABETTE _passes him_). Allow me. (_Offers her his
arm._)

PRIVATE JACK (_as_ ANNETTE _passes him_). Allow me. (_They
promenade._)

PRIVATE MACK (_as_ OLIVETTE _passes him_). Allow me. (_They
promenade._)

TOOTSY (_very much excited, runs to_ WISHING MAN.) Oh, I wish they
were all alive.

WISHING MAN. You do? Is that your wish? (_She nods._) Then I'll make
them all alive.

     Hickety, kickety, bees in a hive,
     Witchery, twichery, you're alive.

(_The dolls and soldiers twirl around and chatter merrily in
pantomime. Their actions from now on are as natural as possible._)

SNOOKUMS (_suddenly sees the candy tree_). Oh, lookee! Candy!

WISHING MAN. That's alive, too. (JIM DANDY _marches down._) Mr.
Snookie Ookums, let me introduce you to Mr. Jim Dandy, a stick of
candy.

SNOOKUMS. Would he mind if I'd take a bite out of his leg?

JIM DANDY. You bet he would. I'm alive now.

WISHING MAN (_looks off at L._). And here comes Teddy Bear and Jimmy
Bear. They're alive, too. And look at the Baby Elephant.

_Enter_ TEDDY BEAR, JIMMY BEAR and BABY JUMBO. _The piano plays a
march. All march around the stage, first the_ WISHING MAN, _then_
BLACK _and_ BABETTE, JACK _and_ ANNETTE, MACK _and_ OLIVETTE, JIM
DANDY _and_ TOOTSIE, TEDDY BEAR _and_ DUMPLING, _then_ BABY JUMBO
_with_ SNOOKUMS _riding on his back, then_ JIMMY BEAR _capering in the
rear. March around several times. A simple folk dance may be
introduced at this point. All sing two verses of "Follow Me, Full of
Glee."_

CURTAIN.


REMARKS ON THE PRODUCTION.

The room was all in shimmering white with a background of small pine
trees in large wooden pots. The floor was covered with white muslin
and scattered with leaves, pine needles and cones.

In one corner was a giant snow pile, made of a frame covered with
cotton. This was presided over by the Snow Queen and her Maids and
white-wrapped bundles were on sale for five cents.

Jack Frost and his boys presided over a large tree in another corner.
Small toys wrapped in white tissue paper were attached to this tree
and sold for five cents. Or Santa Claus may preside at the sale.

Snowballs of white popcorn and snowballs filled with candy were on
sale at another booth, presided over by red and white Striped Candy
Girls. Candy canes were also sold here.

In the fourth corner a snow scene in the woods was depicted. A local
acrobat, dressed as a Snow-man, did stunts, assisted by several boys
dressed as clowns. They pelted the Snow-man with snowballs and then
sold bags of white confetti. The Snow-man also ran a game where
snowballs were thrown at a target. The target was a circle of black
cambric, the snowballs were rubber balls covered with raw cotton and
rolled in flour. Balls sold three for five cents.

A postoffice in charge of Mrs. Santa Claus is recommended, where each
pays five cents postage due for packages and postcards.

If snowballing the target is too "mussy," a large holly wreath with a
cluster of sleighbells in the center may be suspended from the ceiling
with red and green streamers. Three balls of soft rubber are provided
and the contestants try to throw the balls through the wreath and ring
the bells.

Stuffed stockings on a clothesline may be offered for sale. This
should be presided over by Moll Pitcher and her colonial wash-maids.

A rummage sale of toys added quite a large sum to the general fund.
There was a 5-cent table, a 10-cent table and a 25-cent table.


THE SCENERY FOR THE PLAY.

The rear of the stage should be hung with dark curtains. Arrange the
trumpet vine and the trees in place before the play begins. Then hide
them with screens, these screens serving as the "scenery" for Act I.

During the progress of Act II, in front of the front curtain, remove
the screens and furniture of Act I and arrange the stage for Act III
as described in the text.

For the thunder effect in Act I rattle a large sheet of sheet-iron and
explode several large fire-crackers.

The arrangement of the stage in Acts I and III is fully described in
the text.


PROPERTIES.

Table with long cover completely hiding the Wishing Man.

Lighted lamp on table. Chairs and sofa.

Window at rear. Two curtains can simulate a window.

Trumpet vine with tin and paper trumpets.

Drum tree with tissue paper buds and toy drums.

Candy tree.

Ball plants.

Frame to hide the French dolls.

Doll plants.

Pasteboard box with cover for Ka-zin-ski.

Three small pill boxes.


COSTUMES.

THE WISHING MAN--Dressed as a clown, white suit with red horseshoes on
it. Red ruffles around arms, ankles and neck. Long, pointed, white
clown cap. Face and neck should be covered with white grease paint and
when it is dry apply white powder. Then blacken the nose and lips with
hot black grease paint. Make tiny high eyebrows of this black paint
and paint round black circles on cheek bones.

GRANDPA, GRANDMA, FATHER and MOTHER should be dressed in modern
costume, but they must be made up and costumed to look the part.

NURSE MAID--Black dress, long. White apron, collar, cap and cuffs.

DUMPLING, TOOTSY and SNOOKUMS--Pretty dresses suitable for Christmas.

THE BIG DUMPLING, TOOTSY and SNOOKUMS--Dressed exactly like their
little counterparts. Wigs, etc.

KA-ZIN-SKI--Tall boy dressed as a clown. False face. Bushy whiskers
and wig. A regular jack-in-the-box make-up.

THE TIN SOLDIERS--Long trousers of shiny blue cambric with red stripes
at the sides. Shiny red jackets with yellow bands and buttons across
front and on sleeves. Toy guns. The cheeks and lips should be very red
to imitate toy soldiers.

THE FRENCH DOLLS--Fancy dresses and bonnets. Hair in curls. Faces
painted to represent wax dollies, red cheeks, eyebrows black,
eyelashes beaded with black hot grease paint.

JIM DANDY--Red and white striped stockings. From the knee to under the
arms the suit is a cylindrical roll of white pasteboard striped with
red. Sleeves and collar white striped with red. Pointed white cap
striped with red.

THE BEARS--Costumes of brown canton flannel, fuzzy side out. Get a
pattern for a child's nightdress with feet. Allow it rather loose in
front, so that a folded knit shawl can be securely fastened (with
safety pins) to the shoulders in front, beneath it, thus making the
round body of the bear. For the back of the suit do not cut the waist
part separate from the legs, as is usual in the pattern, but allow the
waist to be as wide as the seat of the drawers.

Then lay a pleat from A to B on either side, tapering to form a loose
fit below the waist. Sew thumbless mittens to the ends of the sleeves,
padding them a little on the back and sewing on palms of a light tan,
to represent paws.

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

Fit the seat of the drawers at the back loose enough to give freedom
of motion, but no more.

For the heads, cut hoods like Fig. 3, taking a straight piece of cloth
and fitting it with pleats around the face, etc. Make ears of two
thicknesses of the cloth, stitched and turned like Fig. 4. Lay a
box-pleat at A-B and sew them to the hood at C-D, so that they will
stand out and forward. See Fig. 5. Sew this hood to the neck of the
suit, so that all goes on together. Bear false faces.

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

[Illustration: Fig. 4]

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

BABY JUMBO--Two medium sized boys form the elephant. Two four-foot
sticks are fastened together with twenty-inch crosspieces, thus:
[Illustration] Forming a rack which two boys carry on their
shoulders. Cut two pieces from gray cambric like Fig. 6 to form the
head, having the trunk about a yard long; sew them together and stuff
with rags; sew on white pasteboard tusks, large buttons for eyes and
big ears cut out of cambric and lined with one thickness of paper.
Attach strings at A and tie to the first crosspiece of the rack. Pad
the rack with an old comfort sewed fast with cord to hold it in place.

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

Set the rack on the boy's shoulders, then standing with heads bent
forward, the foremost boy supporting the elephant's head with his head
and slipping his right hand into the upper part of the trunk so as to
swing it. Throw over them a large, dark-colored shawl, reaching to
their knees, fasten it together in the back and pin on a tail made of
cambric and stuffed. Legs covered with brown burlap.




A CHRISTMAS CAROL OR THE MISER'S YULETIDE DREAM

[Illustration:

SCROOGE        BOB CRATCHIT  MARLEY'S GHOST  SECOND SPIRIT

THIRD SPIRIT   WAIT          MISSION LASS    FRED             FIRST SPIRIT

                                             COSTUME OF
MRS. FEZZIWIG  FEZZIWIG      BELLA           EBENEZER & DICK  FIDDLER

PETER, BETTY,
BELINDA and MRS. CRATCHIT    MARTHA          BOB              TINY TIM

THE CRATCHIT FAMILY]




A CHRISTMAS CAROL OR THE MISER'S YULETIDE DREAM

ADAPTED FROM CHARLES DICKENS' IMMORTAL STORY.


CHARACTERS.

EBENEZER SCROOGE                  _A Middle-aged Merchant_
"Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck
out generous fire."

BOB CRATCHIT                      _Scrooge's Clerk_
"With the Christmas spirit in his heart."

FRED                              _Scrooge's Nephew_
"A whole-souled, merry-hearted young married man."

TWO MISSION LASSIES

THE GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY         _Scrooge's Partner_
"Dead these seven years."

FIRST SPIRIT (Little Girl)        _The Ghost of Christmas Past_

SECOND SPIRIT                     _The Ghost of Christmas Present_

THIRD SPIRIT                      _The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be_

A CHORUS OF YOUNG BOYS            _Carol Singers_

FIRST WAIT                        _The Leader of the Singers_

MR. FEZZIWIG                      _A Jolly Old Merchant_

MRS. FEZZIWIG                     _One Vast Substantial Smile_

EBENEZER                          _Scrooge as a Young Man_

DICK                              _His Fellow Clerk_

THE OLD FIDDLER

BELLA                             _Scrooge's First and Only Love_

MRS. CRATCHIT                     _Bob's Wife_

BELINDA, _Aged Eighteen_  }
MARTHA, _Aged Seventeen_  }
PETER, _Aged Fourteen_    }
BOB, _Aged Eleven_        }       _Bob Cratchit's Family_
BETTY, _Aged Nine_        }
TINY TIM, _Aged Four_     }

_Five Ladies, Five Gentlemen and a Little Boy for the Fezziwig Tableau_


STAVE I.

SCENE: _The counting house of_ SCROOGE _and_ MARLEY. _A dark, dreary
office, indicated by brown curtains at sides, with entrances R. and L.
and brown curtains at rear. Note: These rear curtains must be arranged
to be parted, showing the tableau stage back of the real stage. The
tableau stage is elevated a few feet above the real stage (this makes
a better picture but is not absolutely necessary). High desk at R.
facing the R. wall. Tall stool at this desk; ledger, quill pen, ink,
candle on this desk. Small, old desk down L., facing audience. Desk
chair back of this desk. Two common wooden chairs at R.C. and L.C.
Ledger, quill pen, books, candle stuck in an old dark bottle, on desk
down L._

_Full description of costumes, a detailed illustration of the stage
setting, etc., will be found at the end of the play._

_Before the curtain rises_ WAITS _are heard singing off L. Curtain
rises disclosing_ BOB CRATCHIT _seated on stool, bent over ledger at
desk R., working by the light of the candle._

WAITS (_outside, sing "Christmas Carol"_).

(CRATCHIT _turns and listens._)

_Enter_ SCROOGE _from R. in a towering passion. Slams door R._
CRATCHIT _hurriedly returns to his work._ SCROOGE _crosses to door L.
and flings it open angrily._

     CHRISTMAS CAROL.

     J.M. NEALE.
     THOMAS HELMORE.

[Music illustration:

     1. Christ was born on Christ-mas day,
     Wreathe the hol-ly, twine the bay,
     Light and life and joy is He,
     The Babe, the Son, the Ho-ly One of Ma-ry.

     2. He is born to set us free;
     He is born our Lord to be;
     Car-ol, Chris-tians, joy-ful-ly;
     The God, the Lord, by all a-dored for-ev-er.

     3. Let the bright red ber-ries glow
     Ev-'ry-where in good-ly show,
     Light and life and joy is He,
     The Babe, the Son, the Ho-ly One of Ma-ry.

     Christian men, re-joice and sing;
     'Tis the birth-day of our King.

     Car-ol, Christians, joy-ful-ly;
     The God, the Lord,
     By all a-dored
     For-ev-er.
     Night of sadness,
     Morn of glad-ness
     Ev-er-more:
     Ev-er, Ev-er,
     Aft-er man-y troub-les sore,
     Morn of glad-ness ev-er-more, and ev-er-more.

     Mid-night scarce-ly passed and o-ver,
     Draw-ing to the ho-ly morn;
     Ver-y ear-ly, Ver-y ear-ly, Christ was born.
     Sing out with bliss,
     His name is this:
     Em-man-u-el!
     As 'twas fore-told,
     In days of old,
     By Ga-bri-el.]

SCROOGE (_flinging open door L. at this point_). Get away from my
door. Begone, ye beggars! I've nothing for you.

FIRST WAIT (_sticking his head in door at L._). Only a shillin', sir,
for a merry Christmas, yer honor.

SCROOGE. Get away from there or I'll call the police.

FIRST WAIT. Only a shillin', sir.

SCROOGE. Not a penny. I have other places to put my money. Go on, now.
You don't get a cent. Not a penny!

FIRST WAIT. All right, sir. Merry Christmas, just the same, sir.
(_Exits L._)

SCROOGE (_comes down to his desk at L., muttering_). Howling idiots!
Give 'em a shilling, hey? I'd like to give 'em six months in the
work'us, that I would. Paupers! I'd show 'em what a merry Christmas
is. (CRATCHIT _gets down from stool and starts to slink out L._) Hey!

CRATCHIT (_pauses, turns to_ SCROOGE). Yes, sir.

SCROOGE. Where you goin'?

CRATCHIT. I was just goin' to get a few coals, sir. Just to warm us up
a bit, sir.

SCROOGE. You let my coals alone. Get back to work. I'm not complaining
about the cold, am I? And I'm an older man than you are. Back to work!

CRATCHIT (_sighs, pauses, then says meekly_). Yes, sir. (_Resumes
work._)

SCROOGE. You want to let my coals alone if you expect to keep your
job. I'm not a millionaire. Understand? (_Loudly._) Understand?

CRATCHIT. Yes, sir, I understand. (_Shivers, wraps long white woolen
muffler closer about throat and warms hands at candle._)

SCROOGE. Here it is three o'clock, the middle of the afternoon, and
two candles burning. What more do you want? Want me to end up in the
poorhouse?

FRED (_heard outside at L._). Uncle! Uncle! Where are you? Merry
Christmas, uncle.

FRED _enters from L. He is happy and bright and has a cheerful, loud
laugh. He enters laughing and comes down C._

SCROOGE (_looking up from his work_). Oh, it's you, is it?

FRED. Of course it is, uncle. Merry Christmas! God save you!

SCROOGE (_with disgust_). Merry Christmas! Bah! Humbug!

FRED. Christmas a humbug, uncle? You don't mean that, I'm sure.

SCROOGE. I don't, hey? Merry Christmas! What cause have you got to be
merry? You're poor enough.

FRED (_laughing good-naturedly_). Come, then, what right have you got
to be dismal? You're rich enough. So, merry Christmas, uncle.

SCROOGE. Out upon your merry Christmas! What's Christmas time to you
but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself
a year older, but not an hour richer? You keep Christmas in your own
way and let me keep it in mine.

FRED. Keep it? But you don't keep it!

SCROOGE. Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much
good has it ever done you!

FRED. Christmas is a good time, uncle; a kind, forgiving, charitable,
pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the
year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up
hearts freely, and to think of people below them in the social scale.
And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or
silver in my pocket, I believe that it _has_ done me good, and _will_
do me good; and I say, God bless it, God bless Christmas!

CRATCHIT (_who had been listening eagerly, claps his hands_). Good!

SCROOGE. Let me hear another sound from _you_ and you'll keep your
Christmas by losing your job. Get to work!

CRATCHIT. Yes, sir. (_Resumes his work on the ledger._)

SCROOGE (_to_ FRED). You're quite a powerful speaker, sir. I wonder
you don't go into Parliament.

FRED. Don't be angry, uncle. Come, dine with us tomorrow.

SCROOGE. Dine with you? Me? I'll see you hanged first. Dine with you?
I'll see you in--

CRATCHIT (_sneezes violently_).

SCROOGE. What's the matter with _you_? (_Turns to_ FRED.) I'm a busy
man. Good afternoon.

FRED. Come, uncle; say "Yes."

SCROOGE. No.

FRED. But why? Why?

SCROOGE (_savagely_). Why did you get married?

FRED. Because I fell in love.

SCROOGE. Bah! (_Resumes his work._) Good afternoon.

FRED. I want nothing from you. I ask nothing from you. But why can't
we be friends?

SCROOGE. Good afternoon.

FRED. Uncle I won't part in anger. My dear mother was your only
sister--your only relation. For her sake let us be friends.

SCROOGE (_savagely_). Good afternoon.

FRED. I'll still keep the Christmas spirit, uncle. A merry Christmas
to you.

SCROOGE (_busy at ledger_). Bah!

FRED. And a happy New Year.

SCROOGE. Good afternoon!

FRED (_goes to_ CRATCHIT). And a merry Christmas to you, Bob Cratchit.

CRATCHIT (_getting down from stool, shaking hands with_ FRED
_warmly_). Merry Christmas, sir. God bless it!

FRED. Ay, God bless it! And a happy New Year.

CRATCHIT. And a happy New Year, too! God bless that, too!

FRED. Ay, Bob, God bless that, too. (_Exit L._)

SCROOGE. Cratchit, get to work!

CRATCHIT. Yes, sir. (_Resumes work._)

SCROOGE (_looks at him_). Humph! Fifteen shillings a week and a wife
and six children, and he talks about a merry Christmas. Humph! (_Works
on ledger._)

_Enter from L._ TWO MISSION LASSIES. _They come down C._

FIRST LASS. Scrooge and Marley's, I believe? Have I the pleasure of
addressing Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Marley?

SCROOGE. Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years. He died seven
years ago this very night.

FIRST LASS. We have no doubt his liberality is represented by his
surviving partner. (_Shows subscription paper._)

SCROOGE. Liberality? Humph! (_Returns paper to her._)

SECOND LASS. At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, we are
trying to make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who
are suffering greatly. Hundreds of thousands are in want of common
comforts, sir.

SCROOGE. Are there no prisons?

SECOND LASS (_sighs_). Plenty of prisons, sir.

SCROOGE. And the workhouses--are they still in operation?

FIRST LASS. They are, sir; but they scarcely furnish Christmas cheer
for mind and body. We are trying to raise a fund to buy the poor some
meat and drink and means of warmth.

SECOND LASS. We chose this time because it is a time when want is
keenly felt and abundance rejoices. What shall we put you down for?

SCROOGE. Nothing.

FIRST LASS. You wish to be anonymous?

SCROOGE. I wish to be left alone. I don't make merry myself at
Christmas, I don't believe in it. And I can't afford to make idle
people merry. They should go to the poorhouse.

SECOND LASS. Many of them would rather die, sir, than do that.

SCROOGE (_savagely_). If they would rather die, they'd better do it
and decrease the population. And besides, I am a very busy man.

FIRST LASS. But, sir--

SCROOGE. Good afternoon.

FIRST LASS. I'm sorry, sir. Sorry--

SCROOGE. Sorry for them?

FIRST LASS. No, sir, I'm sorry for you, sir. Good afternoon. (_Exits
L. followed by_ SECOND LASS.)

SCROOGE. Sorry for me, hey? (_Pause. He works. The clock strikes
five._) Sorry for me!

CRATCHIT (_closes his book, blows out candle_). Is there anything
more, sir? (_Comes to C._)

SCROOGE. You'll want all day off tomorrow, I suppose?

CRATCHIT. If it's quite convenient, sir.

SCROOGE. Well, it isn't--and it's not fair. If I'd dock you a half a
crown for it you'd think I was ill using you, wouldn't you?

CRATCHIT (_nervously_). I don't know, sir.

SCROOGE. And yet you expect me to pay a full day's wages for no work.

CRATCHIT. It only comes once a year, sir. Only once a year.

SCROOGE. A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth
of December! But I suppose you've got to have the whole day. But you
be here all the earlier next morning.

CRATCHIT. Oh, yes, indeed, sir. (_Goes out R._)

SCROOGE. I'll stay here a bit and finish up the work.

_Enter_ CRATCHIT _from R. with hat. He turns up his coat collar, wraps
the long white woolen muffler around chin and pulls hat down over his
face._

CRATCHIT (_crosses to door L._). I'm going, sir.

SCROOGE. All right.

CRATCHIT (_shields face with arm as though he were afraid Scrooge
might throw something at him_). Merry Christmas, sir! (_Runs out L._)

SCROOGE. Bah! Humbug! (_He works at ledger. Finally drops his head on
his arms and sleeps. The light of his candle goes out. Note: Scrooge
might blow it out unseen by audience._)

_The stage is now in darkness. A musical bell tolls off L. After a
pause another bell tolls off R. The clinking of chains is heard. When
the stage is completely darkened the_ GHOST OF MARLEY _slips in and
sits at R. He is entirely covered with black, face and all, as he
slips in, so as to be quite invisible._

_Mysterious music. Sudden clap of thunder heard. An auto light from
the wings at R. is thrown on the_ GHOST'S _face. This light should be
green. The thunder dies away. Clanking of chains heard._

GHOST (_groans_).

SCROOGE (_starts up, looks at Ghost, pauses_). How now! What do you
want with me?

GHOST. Much.

SCROOGE. Who are you?

GHOST. Ask me who I was.

SCROOGE. Well, who were you, then?

GHOST. In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley. It is required of
every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his
fellow-men, and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned
to do so after death.

SCROOGE. You are fettered. Tell me why.

GHOST. I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, yard
by yard, the heavy chain of avarice. Now I must make amends for the
opportunities I neglected in life.

SCROOGE. But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.

GHOST. Business? Mankind should have been my business. Kind actions,
charity, mercy, benevolence, love--all should have been my business. I
am here tonight to warn you, to warn you, Ebenezer Scrooge, that you
have yet a chance of escaping my fate.

SCROOGE. You were always a good friend to me.

GHOST. You will be haunted by Three Spirits.

SCROOGE. If it's all the same to you, I think I'd rather not.

GHOST. Without their visits, you cannot hope to escape my fate. Expect
the first when the bell tolls one.

SCROOGE. Couldn't I take it all at once and have it over, Jacob?

GHOST. Remember my warning, heed the message and you may yet be saved.
My time is over. (_Chains rattle._) Farewell, farewell, farewell!
(_Loud crash of thunder. Light is quenched and_ GHOST _exits unseen by
audience._)

_Pause. The bell tolls one. Enter_ SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS PAST _from R.
She comes down R. Strong white light on her from R._

SCROOGE (_trembling_). Are you the Spirit whose coming was foretold to
me?

FIRST SPIRIT. I am.

SCROOGE. Who and what are you?

FIRST SPIRIT. I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.

SCROOGE. Long past?

FIRST SPIRIT. No, your past.

SCROOGE. Why have you come here to me?

FIRST SPIRIT. For your own welfare. I must teach you the first lesson
of consideration.

SCROOGE. But I _am_ considerate.

FIRST SPIRIT. Are you a kind master to your clerk?

SCROOGE. Well, I'm not unkind.

FIRST SPIRIT. Do you remember your own first master? One Fezziwig by
name?

SCROOGE. Indeed, I do. Bless his dear, old heart. He was the kindest
master that ever lived.

FIRST SPIRIT. Then why haven't you followed his good example? Would
any of your clerks say that you were the kindest master that ever
lived?

SCROOGE. Well, times have changed, that's it--it's all the fault of
the times.

FIRST SPIRIT. It's all the fault of a squeezing, wrenching, grasping,
scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint,
from which no steel has ever struck out a generous fire. No wind that
blows is more bitter than he, no falling snow is more intent upon its
purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. And his name is
Ebenezer Scrooge.

SCROOGE. All I ask is to edge my way along the crowded path of life. I
want to be left alone. That's all--left alone.

FIRST SPIRIT. I have come to save you, Ebenezer Scrooge. I have come
to kindle into life the stone that once was your heart. First I will
show you the kind heart and generosity of your old time master. Behold
the warehouse of Fezziwig and Company.

(_Rear curtains are drawn apart, revealing a workshop, with desk down
R. facing front. Barrel up L. Sign on rear wall reads, "Fezziwig and
Company." Two young men_, EBENEZER _and_ DICK, _discovered happily
working at desk. Fezziwig stands up L. looking off L._ WAITS _are
heard singing off L. at rear._)

WAITS (_sing, music page 169_).

     Christ was born on Christmas Day,
     Wreathe the holly, twine the bay,
     Light and Life and Joy is He,
         The Babe, the Son,
         The Holy One
             Of Mary.

FEZZIWIG (_flinging them a handful of coins_). That's right, my lads.
Sing away. Merry Christmas to you.

WAITS (_outside_). Thank ye, sir. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank ye, sir. (_They sing and the song dies away in the distance._)

SCROOGE (_down R. with_ FIRST SPIRIT). Why, it's old Fezziwig. Bless
his dear, old heart. It's Fezziwig alive again.

FEZZIWIG (_comes merrily down C._). Yo ho, my boys! No more work for
tonight. Christmas Eve, Dick! (_Throws his arms over the shoulders of
the two boys._) Christmas Eve, Ebenezer! God bless Christmas.

DICK. Ay, ay, sir.

EBENEZER. Ay, ay; God bless Christmas.

FIRST SPIRIT. Did you hear that, Scrooge? That is yourself--and you
said God bless Christmas.

SCROOGE. That's true. That was thirty years ago.

FEZZIWIG (_bustling about_). The missis and the girls are down stairs,
so let's clear away before you can say Jack Robinson. (_They push desk
back, and decorate rear stage with strings of Christmas greens_,
FEZZIWIG _talking all the time._) Yo ho! That's right, Dick. String
the Christmas greens. Here you are, Ebenezer. We're going to have the
merriest time in all the kingdom. (_Dancing a step or two._) I'll
show ye how to enjoy life. That's it. Now we're all ready. (_Sings._)
"Wreathe the holly, twine the bay!" Let's have lots of room. Clear
away, Dick. Here comes the fiddler now.

_Enter_ OLD FIDDLER. _He sits on barrel at rear and starts to "tune
up."_

OLD FIDDLER. Merry Christmas, sir.

FEZZIWIG. The same to you, granfer, and many of 'em.

_Enter_ MRS. FEZZIWIG _from L._

MRS. FEZZIWIG. Lawsy, lawsy, I thought we'd be late. (_Goes to the two
boys and puts her arms over their shoulders._) And how's my merry boys
tonight?

DICK. Finer'n a fiddle.

EBENEZER. Merry Christmas, Mrs. Fezziwig.

MRS. FEZZIWIG. The same to you, dear lads.

FEZZIWIG. Where's the girls, mother?

MRS. FEZZIWIG. Here they come, Flora, Felicity and little Fanny May.

_Enter the_ THREE FEZZIWIG _girls with their escorts. Everybody
bustles around shaking hands, wishing each other "Merry Christmas."_

FEZZIWIG. And here's the housemaid and her cousin the baker. (_They
enter and are greeted by all._) The cook and the milkman, and the
lonesome little boy from over the way! And Ebenezer's young lady, Miss
Bella. (_They enter and are merrily greeted._) And now, mother, what
do you say to a rollicking game of Puss in the Corner.

(_They play Puss in the Corner with much loud laughter, clapping
hands, running about, etc. The_ FIDDLER _plays._)

MRS. FEZZIWIG. Oh, I never was so happy in all my life. This is the
real spirit of Christmas.

FEZZIWIG (_hangs up a bit of mistletoe_). And here's the mistletoe.

(_They form a ring and play a ring game with much noise and
confusion._)

EBENEZER (_catching_ MRS. FEZZIWIG _under the mistletoe_). I've got
ye! (_Kisses her._)

MRS. FEZZIWIG. God bless the boy!

EBENEZER. And God bless the merry Christmas!

FEZZIWIG. And now a dance, my hearties. Yo ho! For the old time
Christmas dance.

(_They dance a few figures of Sir Roger de Coverly or the Virginia
Reel. All are dancing wildly, swinging, etc., with plenty of loud
laughter, clapping of hands, etc., as the rear curtains are drawn.
Note: Use brilliant lights from R. and L. upon the rear stage._)

FIRST SPIRIT. What a small matter to make these silly folks so full of
gratitude and happiness.

SCROOGE (_astonished_). Small? It was the happiest time in my life.

FIRST SPIRIT. And yet your master only spent a few pounds of your
mortal money. Three or four, perhaps. And yet he kindled the true
spirit of Christmas in all your hearts.

SCROOGE. He could have made us miserable, but he made every day we
worked for him seem like Christmas.

FIRST SPIRIT (_gazes steadily at Scrooge, who becomes uneasy under the
look_). What's the matter now?

SCROOGE (_trying to appear unconcerned, but failing_). Oh, nothing!

FIRST SPIRIT (_gazing at him_). Something, I think.

SCROOGE. No, nothing; only this, I wish I could say a word or two to
my clerk just now. That's all. Poor fellow. I'm afraid I've been a
little hard on him. Poor Bob Cratchit!

FIRST SPIRIT. My work is thriving, but my time grows short. Quick, I
have another picture for you.

_Soft music. The curtains part, showing the scene as before, but only_
EBENEZER _and_ BELLA _are discovered. Soft music plays all through
this scene._

BELLA. It matters little to you, very little. Another idol has
displaced me, that's all. If it can comfort you and cheer you in time
to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve.

EBENEZER (_irritated_). What idol has displaced you in my heart?

BELLA. An idol of gold.

EBENEZER. Well, I must make money. You know that. Poverty is the
hardest thing in the world.

BELLA. I have seen your nobler instincts fall off one by one. Now
nothing remains in your heart but the love of gold. Therefore, I am
releasing you from your engagement. (_Offers ring._)

EBENEZER. Have I ever sought release?

BELLA. In words, no; but in everything else, yes. I am penniless. If
you married me, you would probably regret it. So I release you with a
heart full of love for the noble man you once were.

EBENEZER. But, Bella--

BELLA. You will soon forget me. Your time and your mind will be full
of business, seeking after gold. The idol of gold has driven love
from your heart, but may you be happy and contented in the life you
have chosen. (_Rear curtains are drawn._)

FIRST SPIRIT. And are you happy and content in the life you have
chosen, Ebenezer Scrooge?

SCROOGE. No, a thousand times--no. I threw away her love, the one pure
thing in my life, for gold. And now I'm alone, alone. (_Sinks at desk
and sobs._)

FIRST SPIRIT. I have shown shadows of times that are passed. Have you
learned a lesson from the Spirit of Christmas Past?

SCROOGE. I have, I have; a bitter, bitter lesson.

FIRST SPIRIT. And will you see more?

SCROOGE. No, no. Show me no more. Torture me no longer.

FIRST SPIRIT. Remember the lesson you have learned. Remember the
kindness of your old master. Remember the love of your old sweetheart.
Your life is barren and bitter, but there is yet time for repentance.
(_Bell tolls twice._) The signal! My hour is past. On the stroke of
six my brother, the Spirit of the Christmas Present, will visit you.
Remember! Repent! Believe! Farewell, farewell, farewell!

FRONT CURTAIN SLOWLY FALLS.


STAVE II.

_Same scene as Stave I. Lights half up, but candles are not burning.
Rear curtains closed._ SCROOGE _is discovered asleep at his desk. The_
SPIRIT _of_ CHRISTMAS PRESENT _sits at R., a red light shining on him.
He carries a torch in which a red light burns. The bells toll six
times._ SCROOGE _suddenly awakens and gazes at_ SECOND SPIRIT.

SECOND SPIRIT. Arise, arise, Ebenezer Scrooge, and learn to know me
better.

SCROOGE (_frightened_). I don't believe I ever met you before.

SECOND SPIRIT. Probably not. I am the Spirit of Christmas. The Ghost
of Christmas Present.

SCROOGE. The Ghost of Christmas Present?

SECOND SPIRIT. I am a brother of the little Spirit of Christmas Past
who visited you before.

SCROOGE. And are you going to show me all my past misdeeds?

SECOND SPIRIT. Not me. I am going to show you your present misdeeds.
It is my mission to show you the love and comradeship of Christmas of
today. I travel among the common people. My torch is their
benediction. If there is a slight quarrel or any misunderstandings on
Christmas Day, I simply throw on them the light of my torch. And then
they say it is a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day--the Day of Peace
and Love. And so it is! God bless it! God bless Christmas Day!

SCROOGE. And what do you intend to show me?

SECOND SPIRIT. I intend to show you the House of Happiness.

SCROOGE. Is it a wonderful palace of gold?

SECOND SPIRIT. It is a humble little kitchen. In fact, the kitchen of
your poor clerk, Bob Cratchit. Bob, with his fifteen shillings a
week--with his wife and six children--with his shabby clothes and his
humble, shabby manners--Bob, with his little four-roomed house, and
his struggle to keep the wolf from the door. The Ghost of the
Christmas Present blesses his abode. Behold!

_Bright, cheerful music._ SCROOGE _and_ SECOND SPIRIT _cross to R. The
rear curtains open, showing the interior of the Cratchit kitchen.
Everything neat, but showing extreme poverty. Fireplace C. rear.
Kettle boiling on crane. Table down L.C. with red cloth and lighted
lamp. Cupboard up R. Old chairs around stage. Several pots of bright
flowers in evidence. A bird in a cage is singing over the mantel._
PETER _discovered watching the potatoes boiling in the kettle at the
fireplace. Enter_ MRS. CRATCHIT _and_ BELINDA _from L._

MRS. CRATCHIT. Hurry, Belinda; we must set the table right away. How's
the taters, Peter?

PETER (_peeks in the kettle_). Boiling, mammy, boiling.

MRS. CRATCHIT. Here, carry the lamp over there.

BELINDA. Yes, ma'am. (_Puts lamp on cupboard._)

MRS. CRATCHIT. And now where's the white table cloth?

BELINDA (_getting it from cupboard_). Here it is, mammy. (_They place
castor, plates, knives, etc., on table during the following scene._)

MRS. CRATCHIT. Whatever has got your precious father, I wonder? He and
Tiny Tim's been at the church these three hours.

_Enter_ BOB _and_ BETTY _from R. They run down and kiss_ MRS.
CRATCHIT.

BOB. Oh, mumsy, we saw the goose, we did. We peeked in through the
bakery window and we saw the goose, we did.

BETTY. And we smelled him, too. And we went inside, we did. And the
baker asked us what was wantin'. And Bob said he wanted to know which
goose was the Cratchit goose.

BOB. And he pointed to the very biggest one, mumsy. Didn't he, Betty?

BETTY. And it was all nice and browny on top. And he said it 'ud be
ready in 'bout twenty minutes. Didn't he, Bob?

BOB. And it was the best looking goose I ever saw, it was. It just
made me hungry to see him and to smell him baking.

BETTY. And it had sage and onion stuffing, mumsy, didn't it, Bob?

MRS. CRATCHIT. I'm sure there never was such a goose before, and I'm
sure there never will be such a goose again. How's the 'taters, Peter?

PETER (_looks in kettle_). Boilin', mammy, boilin'.

BOB. Oh, Peter's got on pa's shirt collar, he has. Peter's got on pa's
shirt collar.

PETER. If I didn't have to mind these 'taters, I'd show you!

MRS. CRATCHIT. I can't think what's keeping your father, and your
brother Tiny Tim. And Martha wasn't as late last Christmas Day by half
an hour.

_Enter_ MARTHA _from R._

MARTHA. Here's Martha, mumsy.

BOB (_dragging her down to Mrs. Cratchit_). Here's Martha, mumsy.

BETTY. Oh, Martha, there's such a goose! Isn't there, Bob?

MRS. CRATCHIT (_hugging and kissing_ MARTHA). Why, bless your heart
alive, my dear, how late you are! (_Takes off her bonnet and shawl._)

MARTHA. We'd a deal of work to finish up last night. I was on my feet
all day. Oh, why won't people learn to do their Christmas shopping
early. If they'd only stop to give a moment's thought to the poor
clerks.

MRS. CRATCHIT. There, there, my dear, sit ye down. Here's the big
chair, Martha. (BOB _has been sitting in the big chair at R., but_
MRS. CRATCHIT _simply turns it forward, letting_ BOB _slip to the
floor, and seats_ MARTHA _therein._) Well, never mind, as long as
you're home at last, Martha. Draw your chair up to the fire and have a
warm. God bless you. How's the 'taters, Pete?

PETER (_looking in kettle_). Boilin', mammy, boilin'.

MARTHA (_sitting in front of the fire_). Oh, mumsy, ain't this
Heavenly? Be it ever so humble there's no place like home.

BETTY (_at door R._). Father's coming, father's coming.

BOB. Hide yourself, Martha. Here, here. (_Pulls her to L._)

BETTY (_helping her_). Hurry up. Hide, hide! (_Exit_ MARTHA _at L._)

_Bright music. Enter_ CRATCHIT _carrying_ TINY TIM _on his shoulder._
TINY TIM _carries a little crutch._

CRATCHIT (_down C._). Why, where's our Martha?

MRS. CRATCHIT (_down L._). Not coming.

CRATCHIT. Not coming? Not coming--on Christmas Day?

MARTHA (_rushing in from L._). No, father, it's only a joke. Here I
am, father, here I am. (_Rushes into his arms._)

BETTY (_taking Tiny Tim_). Come on, Tiny Tim, out to the wash-house.
We've got something to show you, we have. Ain't we, Bob?

BOB. You bet we have, Tiny Tim. Come and hear the Christmas pudding
singing in the wash boiler. Come on! (_Exit_ BOB, _followed by_ BETTY
_and_ TINY TIM, _at L._)

MRS. CRATCHIT (_taking Cratchit's hat and muffler and hanging them
up_). And how did Tiny Tim behave in the church, father?

CRATCHIT. As good as gold and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful,
sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever
heard. (_Sits at L. surrounded by all._) He told me, coming home, that
he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple,
and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who
it was who made lame beggars walk and blind men see. (_Trembling
voice._) Little Tim is growing stronger and more hearty every day.

_Enter_ TINY TIM _from L._

TIM. I heard the pudding singing a song in the wash boiler, I did.

MRS. CRATCHIT. Everything is ready. Bob, you and Betty run across the
street to the baker's and fetch the goose.

BOB. Come on, Betty. (_Runs out R. with_ BETTY.)

MRS. CRATCHIT. I've got the gravy to heat, right away. Peter, mash the
potatoes. Belinda, sweeten up the apple sauce! Martha, the hot plates!
(_All bustle around, setting table._ CRATCHIT _with_ TIM, _on his
knee, sit before the fire._)

BELINDA. We haven't got enough chairs, mumsy.

CRATCHIT. This young shaver can sit on my knee.

MRS. CRATCHIT. Peter, set up the chairs.

_Enter_ BOB _and_ BETTY _from R. bearing a roast goose in a baking
pan._

BOB. Here it is, mumsy.

BETTY. Here's the goose. (MRS. CRATCHIT _puts it on plate on table._)

BELINDA. What a wonderful goose.

MARTHA. And how big it is! (_All take seats._)

BOB. And don't it smell good!

BETTY. Hurray for the Christmas goose.

TIM. Hurray! (CRATCHIT _makes signal, all bend heads for a silent
grace._)

CRATCHIT (_after pronounced pause_). And God bless Christmas Day.

TIM. God bless us all, every one. (CRATCHIT _and_ MRS. CRATCHIT _serve
the meal. All eat._)

CRATCHIT. I've got a situation in my eye for Master Peter.

PETER. A situation for me?

CRATCHIT. Yes, sir, for you. Full five-and-sixpence weekly.

ALL. Oh, Peter!

BOB. Peter will be a man of business, won't you, Peter?

PETER. What'll I do with all that money?

CRATCHIT. Invest it, invest it, my lad. It's a bewildering income.

MARTHA. Who do you think was in the shop yesterday? You'll never
guess. A countess and a real lord.

ALL. Martha!

MARTHA. A real, live lord, as fine as silk and just about as tall as
Peter here.

PETER (_pulls his collar up high and tosses his head_). As big as me?
(WAITS _outside sing two verses of Christmas Carol, as before._)

CRATCHIT (_goes to door_). Here's a sixpence for you, and God bless
you all.

WAITS (_outside_). Thankee, sir. Merry Christmas, sir.

BELINDA. And now the pudding.

BETTY. Oh, suppose it should break in turning it out.

MARTHA. Or suppose it isn't done enough.

BOB. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the backyard
and stolen it while we were in here eating the goose.

MRS. CRATCHIT. Nonsense. I'll get the Christmas pudding. (_Exits._)

BOB (_very much excited_). Oh, I can smell it, I can. I smell the
pudding.

_Enter_ MRS. CRATCHIT _bearing dish of pudding, decked with holly, and
blazing._

CRATCHIT. Oh, it's a wonder, mother, it's a wonder.

BETTY. It looks like a little speckled cannon-ball.

BOB. But just wait till you taste it; that's all. (_It is served._)

CRATCHIT (_rises_). I have a toast. Mr. Scrooge! I'll give you Mr.
Scrooge, the founder of the feast.

MRS. CRATCHIT (_indignantly_). The founder of the feast indeed! I
wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon,
and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it.

CRATCHIT (_remonstrating gently_). My dear, the children! Christmas
Day.

MRS. CRATCHIT. He's an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man. You know
he is, Robert. Nobody knows it better than you do.

CRATCHIT (_mildly_). My dear, Christmas Day!

MRS. CRATCHIT. Then I'll drink his health, for your sake and the
Day's, not for his. Long life to him! A Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year! He'll be very merry and happy, I've no doubt.

CRATCHIT. And now a Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.

ALL (_rising_). A very Merry Christmas.

TIM. And God bless us every one!

(_The tableau curtains are slowly drawn._)

SCROOGE. Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live.

SECOND SPIRIT. I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-corner, and a
little crutch without an owner. If these shadows remained unaltered by
the future, the child will die.

SCROOGE. No, no, kind Spirit! Say he will be spared.

SECOND SPIRIT. If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease
the surplus population. Your very words, Scrooge. Decrease the surplus
population. (SCROOGE _hangs his head in shame._) Man, if man you be in
heart, forbear that wicked cant. Will you decide what men shall live,
and what men shall die? It may be that in the sight of Heaven you are
more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's
child.

SCROOGE. Forgive me, forgive me.

SECOND SPIRIT. You have seen the spirit of Christmas bless this poor
dwelling. They were not a handsome family, they were not well dressed;
their clothes were scanty and their shoes far from being
water-proof--but they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another,
and contented with the Christmas time. They are my children. Have you
learned your lesson? (_Chimes ring._) My hour is spent.

SCROOGE. I have learned the lesson, Spirit of Christmas. I have seen
happiness, in spite of poverty. A happiness that all my gold cannot
buy. I have seen the Christmas spirit. Forgive me that I ever dared to
utter a word against Christmas. Forgive me! Forgive me! (_The chimes
continue ringing, the_ SPIRIT _glides out._ SCROOGE _kneels in prayer,
muttering, "Forgive me! Forgive me!"_)

CURTAIN.


STAVE III.

_Same scene as before, the rear curtains drawn together._ SCROOGE _is
discovered seated at his desk, his head buried in his hands. The_
THIRD SPIRIT _stands at C. with green, ghastly light on him from R.
This is the only light on the stage. The bells toll six._

SCROOGE (_awakens_). I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas
Yet to Come.

THIRD SPIRIT (_inclines head_).

SCROOGE. You are going to show me the shadows of things that are to
happen in the future?

THIRD SPIRIT (_inclines head_).

SCROOGE. I fear you more than any I have yet seen. But I know you are
working for my welfare, so I will see your visions with a thankful
heart. Will you not speak to me?

THIRD SPIRIT (_points downward with R. hand_).

SCROOGE. No word for me. Well, have you anything to show me?

THIRD SPIRIT (_points to rear stage. The curtains part. Rear stage is
draped in white sheets, with bare trees at R. and L. A grave with
carved headstone is at C. Blue lights on this scene. Snow falls. Bells
heard tolling in the distance._)

SCROOGE. A churchyard!

THIRD SPIRIT (_goes to rear stage, points to tombstone._)

SCROOGE. Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point, answer
me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or
are they the shadows of things that May be, only?

THIRD SPIRIT (_points to stone_).

SCROOGE (_creeps tremblingly toward it, moving very slowly, bends
over, reads the name, screams_). Ebenezer Scrooge! My tombstone, my
grave! No, Spirit, no, no! (_Rushes to desk, sinks in chair._) I am
not the man I was. I am not past all hope. I will honor Christmas in
my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Save me, save me!

(_The rear curtains are slowly closed_)

SCROOGE (_rising_). I will keep Christmas in the past, the present and
the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. Heaven be
praised for this Christmas warning. (_Laughing._) I don't know what to
do. I'm as light as a feather, I'm as happy as an angel, I'm as merry
as a schoolboy. A Merry Christmas to everybody. A happy New Year to
all the world. Hip, hurrah!

(_Christmas chimes heard outside. Waits singing in the distance._)

WAITS (_singing louder, music, page 169_):

     Christ was born on Christmas Day,
     Wreathe the holly, twine the bay,
     Light and Life and Joy is He,
         The Babe, the Son,
         The Holy One
         Of Mary.

SCROOGE (_rushes to the door_). Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. God
bless ye! (_Flings them a handful of coins._)

FIRST WAIT. Thankee, sir.

SCROOGE (_grabs him and brings him down C._). What day is this, my
merry lad?

WAIT. Hey?

SCROOGE. What day is this my lad?

WAIT (_loudly_). Today! Why, Christmas Day!

SCROOGE. Do you know the grocer's in the next street?

WAIT. I should hope I did.

SCROOGE. Do you know whether they've sold the prize turkey that was
hanging up there? Not the little prize turkey, the big prize turkey?

WAIT. What, the one as big as me?

SCROOGE. Yes, my buck.

WAIT. It's hanging there now.

SCROOGE. Is it? Go and buy it.

WAIT. Aw, go on!

SCROOGE. No, no; I'm in earnest. Go and buy it and tell 'em to bring
it here, that I may tell 'em where to take it. Come back with the man,
and I'll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five
minutes, and I'll give you half-a-crown.

WAIT. Watch me. (_Rushes out._)

SCROOGE. What a fine little fellow. See him run. I'll send the turkey
to Bob Cratchit's. He shan't know who sends it. It's twice the size of
Tiny Tim. He should be here by now.

_Enter_ CRATCHIT _from R._

CRATCHIT. Morning, sir. (_Takes off cap and muffler, goes to desk,
starts to work._)

SCROOGE (_at desk_). What do you mean by coming here at this time of
day?

CRATCHIT. I'm very sorry, sir. Very, very sorry.

SCROOGE. Sorry? (_Sarcastically._) Yes, you are! Come here! Come here
at once! Understand!

CRATCHIT (_comes to Scrooge's desk_). If you please, sir--

SCROOGE. I'm not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And
therefore (_rises, dances toward_ CRATCHIT, _digs him in ribs_), and
therefore I am about to raise your salary.

CRATCHIT. Heavens! The master has gone plumb crazy.

SCROOGE. I'm going to help you and your family. I'm going to be a
Godfather to all of 'em. The two girls and Master Peter, Bob, Betty
and to dear Tiny Tim. Home to your family, now. Home to them, Bob
Cratchit--and merry Christmas to you and yours. God bless you.

_Enter_ FRED _from R._

FRED. Here I am again, uncle. Merry Christmas.

SCROOGE (_rushes to him and shakes his hands heartily_). And the same
to you, my lad, and many of 'em. I'm going to eat Christmas dinner
with you this day. I'm going to honor Christmas in my heart, and keep
it every day in the year. I will live in the past, the present and the
future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. (_Stands C._,
FRED _on his R._, CRATCHIT _on his L. He takes their hands._) Merry
Christmas, boys, and God bless us!

FRED _and_ CRATCHIT. The same to you, sir. God bless us.

(_Rear curtains are drawn back, showing the Cratchit family at the
table._ TINY TIM _stands on table._)

TIM. God bless us everyone!

(_All unite in singing Christmas Carol to--_)

SLOW CURTAIN.


THE SCENERY.

[Illustration]

TABLEAUX ON REAR STAGE.

No. 1. A room. Barrel up L. for fiddler. Desk at R. Sign on wall
"Fezziwig and Company." Garlands of green.

No. 2. Ebenezer and Bella. Same scene as No. 1.

No. 3. Cratchit's kitchen. Table at C. and home-made fireplace at rear
C. are the only essentials, with a few stools or chairs. Fireplace
made of a few boards covered with red paper marked like bricks with
white chalk or paint.

No. 4. White sheets hang at back and sides. Two small evergreen trees
nailed in position, white cotton hanging from them. Grave at C.
covered with snow. Wooden headstone painted white and small footstone.
The headstone may be in the form of a cross or a slab.


COSTUMES.

SCROOGE--Should be played by a thin man of middle age, if possible.
Gray hair. Shabby dark suit. Face lined. No jewelry or colors. If
desired to costume the play in the middle Victorian period, Scrooge
should wear very tight dark trousers, brown low cut vest, shabby black
full-dress coat, soft white shirt, black stock tie, high collar made
by taking an ordinary turn-over collar and turning it up.

BOB CRATCHIT--Very shabby dark suit. Long white woolen muffler. Old
cap. Suit should be the same style as that worn by Scrooge, but much
shabbier. Clothing neatly patched. He wears a sprig of mistletoe or
holly in Staves 1 and 2.

FRED--Bright, cheerful young man of 22. Overcoat and top hat. Ruffled
shirt, stock tie and collar as for Scrooge.

MISSION LASSIES--Dark skirts, capes, blue poke bonnets with red ribbon
across front.

THE GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY--Long black robe. Black hood. Chains around
waist, with toy money banks on chains. Take a skeleton false face and
with gray and black and white grease paint make up your own face like
a false face. Or if desired, wear the false face. Speak in low
monotone.

FIRST SPIRIT--A little girl of 10. Long light hair. White Grecian
draperies trimmed with tinsel. Crown of tinsel.

SECOND SPIRIT--Man dressed in a red robe, trimmed with sprigs of green
pine. White cotton border to represent snow. Cap of white cotton.

THIRD SPIRIT--Use same costume and make-up as Marley's Ghost.

WAITS--White smocks, ragged trousers. Felt hats twined with red and
green ribbon. Carry branches of holly.

MR. FEZZIWIG--Low shoes with pasteboard buckles covered with tinfoil.
Short black trousers. White stockings. Fancy colonial coat and hat.
White colonial wig. A short, stout man of middle age. Always laughing,
moving around, etc.

MRS. FEZZIWIG--Middle-aged lady in gay colonial tuck-up dress. White
colonial wig.

EBENEZER and DICK--Two young men in colonial costume. No wigs.

THE FIDDLER--White wig and whiskers. Long white smock. Hat trimmed
with ribbons.

BELLA--Neat colonial costume of pink and white. Hair in curls.

THE CRATCHIT FAMILY--Old-fashioned costumes, faded and worn, but
bright with cheap lace and gay ribbons. Peter wears a large white
collar.




HER CHRISTMAS HAT

[Illustration:

WARREN WILLIAMS   KITTY, HIS WIFE   MISS MINERVA MOCKRIDGE

MAGINNIS GOOGIN   EDDIE             MRS HONORIA GOOGIN

MRS LAURA LACEY   HOGAN             HARD TIMES ANNIE]




HER CHRISTMAS HAT

A FARCE IN ONE ACT.


CHARACTERS.

WARREN WILLIAMS             _A Young Architect_
KITTY                       _His Wife_
MISS MINERVA MOCKRIDGE      _From Kankakee_
MAGINNIS GOOGIN             _The Janitor of the Apartment_
MRS. HONORIA GOOGIN         _His Wife_
EDDIE                       _The Elevator Boy_
MRS. LAURA LACEY            _Kitty's Chum_
HOGAN                       _A Policeman_
HARD TIMES ANNIE            _A Beggar_

       *       *       *       *       *

TIME OF PLAYING--_About Forty-five Minutes._

       *       *       *       *       *

SCENE: _Living room in an apartment house. Furnishings as desired.
Several Christmas wreaths adorn the room._ KITTY _is discovered
comfortably seated down L. reading a fashion magazine. The door bell
at R. rings._

KITTY. Come in.

_Enter_ EDDIE, _the colored elevator boy. He carries several Christmas
packages._

EDDIE. Yas'm, I'm in.

KITTY. Eddie!

EDDIE. Yas'm, it's me. I 'clare I's loaded up like a reg'lar old Santa
Claus. (_Laughs loudly._) Yas'm, I sure am.

KITTY. Anything for us, Eddie?

EDDIE. Two packages for you and one for Mr. Williams. Santa Claus is
sure liberal to you-all.

KITTY (_taking the three packages_). Thank you, Eddie.

EDDIE (_briskly_). I don't usually bring up de mail, Mis' Williams,
but this is Christmas Day and mos' everybody is anxious to git all
dat's comin' to 'em. I knows I is.

KITTY. Have you had a merry Christmas, Eddie?

EDDIE. No'm, not yet. All I got is a yaller and green striped necktie
from (_insert local name_). He's been wearin' it for more'n a year.

KITTY (_has opened smaller package_). Oh, it's from Rannie Stewart.
(_Takes off tissue paper, disclosing a small bit of white embroidery
tied with a huge pink bow._) Mercy! Another pin-cushion cover. That
makes six I have already. Cost about twenty cents, and I sent her a
perfectly lovely doily embroidered with scarlet forget-me-nots. I'll
never send Rannie Stewart another present as long as I live. (_Throws
box and wrappings into waste basket._) Pink! And she knows my rooms
are in blue and yellow. Eddie!

EDDIE. Yas'm.

KITTY. Here's a little Christmas present for you. (_Hands it to him._)

EDDIE (_reads card on it_). "Merry Christmas to my Darling Kittens."
Is dat for me?

KITTY. Oh, no; not the card, just the embroidery.

EDDIE (_holding it up_). Lawdy, Mis' Williams, what is dis yere? A
dust cap?

KITTY. It's a cover for a pin-cushion. Isn't it a dear?

EDDIE. I hopes you'll excuse me, but honest I hain't got no more use
for dat thing dan a pussy cat has for a hot water bottle.

KITTY (_opening larger package_). Throw it in the waste basket, Eddie.
This is from Warren. I know the handwriting. It looks like a hat.
(_Opens box and removes wrappings, disclosing a hideous red and orange
hat._) Heavens, what a nightmare! Red and orange and a style four
years old. It must have come from the five and ten cent store. Look at
the plume! Oh!

EDDIE (_admiring it_). Um-um, dat shore am a fine present. Your
husband certainly am a man ob taste, he shore am.

KITTY (_sarcastically_). Yes, he has wonderful taste, hasn't he? A
little bizarre. No, it's more than bizarre; it's baroque.

EDDIE. It looks like a hat to me.

KITTY. I know what I'll do. (_Wraps it up and puts it back in box._)

EDDIE. Dat certainly was a nice present, Mis' Williams. Must have cost
a heap of money.

KITTY. It probably did. But it isn't my style. And Madame Brunot never
exchanges hats. What a shame! I suppose he paid an enormous price for
it and I could have satisfied myself with one for half the money. If
only men would allow their wives to select their own Christmas
presents.

_Enter_ LAURA LACEY _from R._

LAURA. Hello, Kittens. I saw your door open and came right in.

KITTY (_kisses her_). That's right, Lolly. I was just going over to
your apartment. I have a little present for you.

LAURA. A present? You dear! (_Kisses her again._)

KITTY. Yes. Here! (_Gives her the box containing the hat._) I hope
you'll like it.

LAURA. A hat? Oh, you darling! (_Kisses her again._)

WARREN (_outside L._). Kitty!

KITTY (_goes to door at L._). Yes, Warren?

WARREN. I can't find my collar button.

KITTY. Did you look on the dresser?

WARREN. Of course I did. I've looked every place except in the
refrigerator.

KITTY. I'll be back in a minute, Laura. Excuse me. (_Hurries out L._)

LAURA (_opens the box hastily and takes out the hat_). Red and orange!
Horrors! And I gave her a cut glass cold-cream jar that I got at the
auction. I wouldn't wear this to a dog fight. Eddie!

EDDIE. Yas'm.

LAURA. You've been a good boy to us all year. I'm going to give you a
lovely Christmas present.

EDDIE. Is you?

LAURA. I'm going to give you this duck of a hat. (_Holds it up._)

EDDIE (_delighted_). Dat red and yaller hat?

LAURA. Yes. Hurry and put it in the box. I don't want Kitty Williams
to know I gave her Christmas present away. (_They put it in box._)

EDDIE. Um-um! Dat shore am some Christmas present. Won't ma lady-love
be delighted with all dat gorgeousness? I certainly am much obliged to
you, Mis' Lacey; I shore am.

LAURA. When Kitty comes back tell her I was called to the 'phone.
(_Goes to door R._) I'll never give Kitty Williams another present as
long as I live. (_Exits R._)

_Enter_ WARREN WILLIAMS _from L._

WARREN. Hello, Eddie. Are you acting as Santa Claus?

EDDIE (_who has put the hat on floor at rear_). Yas, sah; yas, sah.
I's old Santa Claus to most everybody 'cept maself. Looks like old
Christmas done passed me by.

WARREN (_sees package on table_). Hello, here's a present for me.

EDDIE. Yas, sah. I brung it up.

WARREN (_opens it_). Cigars! From my wife. (_Looks at box dubiously._)
She must have got them at a bargain sale. (_Reads cover._) Santas
Odoriferous. (_Passes box to Eddie._) Have a cigar, Eddie.

EDDIE. Yas, sah. Thank you, boss.

WARREN (_lighting one_). Now, that certainly is a sensible present. So
many women don't know how to select a cigar, but Kitty--

EDDIE (_smoking_). Yas, sah. Your wife certainly am a lady ob
discernibility. She shore am.

WARREN. So many women give their husbands such foolish presents.

EDDIE. De lady in Apartment B done give her husband a pearl La
Valliere for Christmas.

WARREN (_takes cigar from mouth, looks at it a moment, replaces it and
smokes furiously_). You like a good cigar, don't you, Eddie?

EDDIE (_removes his cigar, looks at it, replaces it_). Yas, sah. I
likes a _good_ cigar.

WARREN. I tell you these are something like cigars, aren't they?

EDDIE. Yas, sah. Dey's sumpin like 'em, boss, but not quite.

WARREN (_chokes and then throws cigar in cuspidor_). I don't believe I
care to smoke just now.

EDDIE (_does the same_). Neither does I, boss; neither does I.

WARREN. You wouldn't like a nice box of cigars for a Christmas
present, would you, Eddie?

EDDIE (_slowly_). No, sah, I don' 'spects I would. Ma lady-love don't
like to hab me smoke no cigars, kase she says it contaminates ma
presence. Well, I's got to go and deliber de res' ob my Christmas
packages. Merry Christmas, boss. (_Exit R., carrying the hat in the
box._)

_Enter_ KITTY _from L._

KITTY. Warren, I've laid out the costumes in your room. They're too
lovely for anything.

WARREN. Well, did you get it?

KITTY. Get it?

WARREN. Your Christmas present.

KITTY. Oh, yes, I got it. (_Looks around._) Why, where is Lolly?

WARREN. She probably got tired of waiting and went back to her
apartment. How did you like the hat?

KITTY. It was a dream. You're such a good boy and you have the most
wonderful taste in the world.

WARREN. Your cigars were just what I wanted.

KITTY. Why aren't you smoking one?

WARREN. I did. Just one.

KITTY. Just one?

WARREN (_hastily_). I mean--I only smoke one cigar in the afternoon,
you know. But where is your hat?

KITTY. I'm going to have it fixed over a little, Warren. Just enough
to suit my own individuality, you know.

WARREN. Jack Dawson gave his wife a cook stove.

KITTY. Speaking of impossible presents, I just got the most horrible
pin-cushion cover from Rannie Stewart. I threw it in the waste basket.

WARREN. That's what comes of promiscuous giving. I told you how it
would be. First I decided not to buy anything at all, but I couldn't
resist that hat. Your tickets to the masquerade dinner and ball are
the rest of the present.

KITTY. But I told Lolly we'd take tickets from her.

WARREN. I know. I haven't bought the tickets yet. I meant the money
for them was the rest of your present. That and the hat. All my
presents are beautiful practical things that every one wants.

KITTY. Yes, that's so. You have wonderful taste.

WARREN. I didn't even give Eddie anything.

KITTY. It doesn't matter. Oh, Warren. (_Sits on arm of his chair._)
I'm so glad we're going to have tonight all to ourselves. Aunt Minerva
would have spoiled everything.

WARREN. Is she so very awful?

KITTY. Not awful; just good. Real downright good. And so intellectual.
I'm sure she'd never approve of a Christmas masquerade.

(_Ring at the bell at R._)

KITTY. See who it is.

WARREN _admits_ MAGINNIS GOOGIN _from R._

GOOGIN. Merry Christmas, sor.

WARREN. The same to you, Googin.

GOOGIN. I jest drapped in to see if you naded any more heat or
anything like that. My, my, but I've been working hard the day. Sure,
to be the janitor of an apartment house is no cinch at all, at all.
And paple are not as liberal as they used to be, aven at Christmas
time.

WARREN. Have a cigar.

GOOGIN. Thank ye, sor. (_Smokes one._)

KITTY. Warren, you'd better try on your costume. I might have to
change something, you know.

WARREN. But I--

KITTY. Please. We haven't got much time. It's after four.

WARREN (_crosses to left_). All right. (_Exits L._)

KITTY. Now, Mr. Googin, I want you to go down stairs and tell your
wife to come up. I have a nice little present for her.

GOOGIN (_brightening_). Have ye, now? A prisint for Honoria? Sure,
it's a kind and thoughtful lady ye are.

KITTY. She's at home, isn't she?

GOOGIN. She is that.

KITTY. Ask her to come up here and wish us a merry Christmas.

WARREN _appears at L._

WARREN. Kitty, how does that ruffle thing work? I can't get it around
my head at all. I don't know the combination.

KITTY. Oh, I must have sewed it together. Can't you get it over your
head?

WARREN. Not without choking myself.

KITTY. Wait a minute. I'll rip it for you. (_Exits L._)

WARREN (_gets box of cigars and hands it to Googin_). Here's a little
Christmas present, Googin. They're awfully good. I smoked two of them.

GOOGIN (_lights one_). Thank ye, sor.

WARREN. Don't let my wife see you smoking in here. She doesn't like
it.

GOOGIN (_chokes, takes cigar from mouth, looks at it_). What kind of a
stogie is it, Mr. Williams?

WARREN. It's pure Havana. Santas Odoriferous.

GOOGIN (_smells it_). It's odoriferous all right, all right. Begorry,
it smells like someone had been burnin' the beans.

WARREN. That's the way all pure Havanas smell.

GOOGIN. I think I'll chop 'em up and smoke 'em in me pipe. Much
obliged, sor, and merry Christmas to the both of yeez. Tell yer wife
that me and Honoria will be right up. (_Exits R._)

_Enter_ KITTY _from L._

KITTY. It's all right now. I left an opening. And I sewed on the last
pompon. Warren, don't you think we ought to remember the Googins?

WARREN. I do remember them. When people have faces like the Googins
one never forgets them.

KITTY. He's such a good janitor. Really, I think we ought to make them
a little present.

WARREN. But I'm busted, Kitty. Those masquerade tickets will take our
last cent.

KITTY. We might give the Googins some little thing here. (_Looks
around._) I have it!

WARREN. Yes?

KITTY. We'll give them Aunt Minerva's picture.

WARREN. Thank goodness. At last we've found a use for Aunt Minerva's
picture. Ever since you hung it up there it's haunted me. But the
Googins don't want it.

KITTY. I'm sure they will. They're frightfully poor and it would just
match their furniture, I'm sure. Henceforth Aunt Minerva shall shed
her light in the basement.

_Enter_ MRS. GOOGIN _from R., followed by_ GOOGIN, _smoking a cigar._

MRS. GOOGIN. A merry Christmas to the both of yeez. (_To_ KITTY.) Me
man Maginnis tould me ye wanted to see me.

KITTY (_at R._). Yes, indeed; come right in.

MRS. GOOGIN. I know what it is, darlin'. Sure it's a bit of a prisint
fer me and the childer, now ain't it, Mrs. Williams? (_Smiles._)

KITTY (_at R._). What a good guesser you are.

MRS. GOOGIN. The Widow O'Toole, her in Apartment C, was after givin'
me one of her ould worn-out waists. But I took her down a peg as quick
as a wink. I'm a lady, I am, and me mother was a lady before me, and I
don't accept cast-off clothes fer Christmas prisints.

KITTY. You don't. (_At R.C. near front with_ MRS. GOOGIN.)

GOOGIN (_at rear L. with_ WARREN). And nather do I.

MRS. GOOGIN. The ould bachelor in Apartment F gave me a fine prisint.
I brung it up to show yeez. (_Shows fancy waste basket, tied with
ribbon bows._) It's a new bunnet. (_Puts it on her head._) Sure,
that's a Christmas prisint that touches me heart.

KITTY. I'm going to give you that picture. (_Points to crayon
portrait._)

MRS. GOOGIN. The picture of the ould lady, is it?

KITTY. Yes. It's a lovely frame.

MRS. GOOGIN. And it's a nice lookin' ould lady, too. She looks a
little like me own mother, who before she was married to a Mulvaney
was a McShane.

KITTY. Warren, take it down.

WARREN. With pleasure. (_Takes picture down._)

MRS. GOOGIN (_taking the picture_). Sure, I have no picture of me own
mother at all, at all. More's the pity. I'll jist take this picture
and then I'll be after tellin' all me frinds that it is a likeness of
me mother who was a McShane from County Kilkenny. (_Sits R._)

GOOGIN. Would ye decave yer frinds, Honoria?

MRS. GOOGIN. A little deception is the spice of life. And besides it
looks enough like herself to be her own photygraft. Don't it,
Maginnis?

GOOGIN. Sure it looks like a chromo to me.

MRS. GOOGIN (_angrily_). A chromo, is it?

GOOGIN. Yis, or wan of them comic valentines.

MRS. GOOGIN. Listen to that now. He says me own mother looks like a
chromo and a comic valentine. I'm a lady, I am, and me mother was a
lady before me, and if I wasn't a lady, sure I'd break the picture
over yer head, Maginnis Googin. Insulted am I and right before me
face! (_Weeps._) Oh, wurra, wurra, that me own ould mother, who was a
McShane, should live to see that day whin her daughter's own husband
would call her a comic valentine. (_Weeps and rocks back and forth._)

GOOGIN (_close to her_). I said nawthin' about yer mother, Honoria
Googin. I only remarked that the picture resimbled a comic valentine.
And it do. And I'll lave it to Mr. Williams whither I'm right or no.

MRS. GOOGIN (_rises with dignity, goes to_ KITTY). I thank ye kindly
fer yer prisint, Mrs. Williams, and I wish yeez all the compliments of
the season. (_Turns to_ GOOGIN _savagely._) As fer you, Maginnis
Googin, ather ye beg me mother's pardon fer yer insults, or it's
nather bite ner sup ye'll git in my house this night. (_Sails out at
R. carrying picture and waste basket._)

GOOGIN. Wait a minute. Listen to me, Nora, darlin'. Let me explain.
(_Follows her out at R._)

WARREN. Well, there goes Aunt Minerva.

KITTY. And she sent it to us last Christmas.

WARREN. I'm glad she decided not to visit us this year. Money is
scarce at the end of the month and she's better off in Kankakee. New
York isn't any place for Aunt Minerva on Christmas Day.

KITTY. I'm afraid auntie's gait is not quite up to New York in the
holiday season.

WARREN. I think I'll try on my costume. Are you sure I can get into
the ruff now?

KITTY. Oh, yes. Wasn't that stupid of me? Just like making a skirt and
then sewing up the top of it. (_Exit_ WARREN _at L._)

_Enter_ GOOGIN _from R._

GOOGIN. Sure, it's a sad time we're havin' down in the basement.

KITTY. What has happened?

GOOGIN. Herself has locked the door of the apartment and divil a bit
will she open it at all.

KITTY. Why, Mr. Googin!

GOOGIN. I'm in a pretty pickle now. All me money is locked up in me
house with Honoria. You could be doin' me a great favor, if ye would,
Mrs. Williams, mum.

KITTY. What is it, Mr. Googin?

GOOGIN. Go down to the basement and tell me wife to open the door to
her lawful wedded husband.

KITTY. Why, of course I will. (_Exits R._)

GOOGIN (_sits down comfortably and lights a cigar from his box_).
Sure, it's a sad Christmas for me, so it is, whin Honoria lets an ould
picture come bechune a man and his wife. (_Smokes._) Begorry, I smell
something. (_Sniffs._) It's awful. (_Rises._) Some wan is burning some
rubber. Maybe I've got too much hate on in the radiators. (_Sniffs._)
My, my, what an awful smell. (_Removes cigar and looks at it, smells
it, makes horrible grimace._) Oh, ho, so it's you, is it? (_Throws it
in cuspidor._) No wonder they call it Santas Odoriferous. If that
cigar came from Havana they'd ought to take it back there again and
give it a dacent burial.

_Enter_ EDDIE _from R. with the hat in box._

EDDIE. Say, Mr. Googin!

GOOGIN. What is it, Eddie?

EDDIE. Does you want to buy a nice Christmas present for a lady?

GOOGIN. Maybe I do. What is it?

EDDIE. A nice hat. Right in de latest style. Jes' come home from de
millinery store. Mis' Lacey gib it to me for a Christmas present, and
I ain't got no use for it.

GOOGIN. Begorry, that's a good idea. I'll make peace with me wife.
Eddie, I'll trade ye a nice box of cigars for the hat.

EDDIE. Is 'em some ob Mistah Williamses cigars?

GOOGIN. They are. Santas Odoriferous.

EDDIE. Man, man, I wouldn't deprive you ob dem cigars for de world.

GOOGIN. Sure it's no depravity at all, at all.

EDDIE. I'll sell you de hat for two dollars cash money.

GOOGIN. Two dollars, is it?

EDDIE. Yas, sah, and it's worth 'bout ten dollars. De lady done say
it's worth _more'n_ ten dollars.

GOOGIN. I'll take it. (_Takes out old wallet, counts out two dollars
in small change and gives it to_ EDDIE.)

EDDIE. Yas, sah. Dat's right.

GOOGIN. There's yer two dollars.

EDDIE. And dere's yer hat. (_Gives him box._) Excuse me, boss. I hears
de elevator bell. (_Exits R._)

GOOGIN (_opens box and looks at the hat_). Begorry, I've been robbed.
Eddie! Ye thavin' nagur, come here. Niver in all the world would me
wife wear an orange hat. She hates orange worse ner pizen.

_Enter_ KITTY _from R._ GOOGIN _has hat in the box._

KITTY. It's all right, Mr. Googin. I had a long talk with your wife
and she's all ready for you.

GOOGIN. Ready for me? With a flatiron belike.

KITTY. No, no. Her face is wreathed in smiles. She's waiting for you
with a real Kilkenny welcome.

GOOGIN (_smiles_). Is she now? Sure, Mrs. Williams, mum, it's a grand
lady ye are. Excuse me, mum, but this bein' Christmas day, I was
wonderin' whether you'd be after accepting a wee bit of a Christmas
present from the likes of me?

KITTY. Why, Mr. Googin, how very kind and thoughtful.

GOOGIN (_hands her the box_). It's here, mum. A fine hat it is. Right
out of the millinery store.

KITTY. Oh, thank you so much. I'm just crazy to see it. (_Takes it
out._) What! (_Stares at it._)

GOOGIN. Ain't it a beauty, mum?

KITTY (_recovering_). Oh, yes, indeed, Mr. Googin. But it is a far too
expensive present for you to give me. You'd better give it to your
wife. Here, I'll wrap it all up again.

GOOGIN. But me wife won't wear orange.

KITTY. Tell her to take off the orange and replace it with a green
bow. I'll give her a nice green gauze bow.

GOOGIN (_smiling_). Will ye now?

KITTY. Yes. Take it down to her now. It will please her so much.
She'll welcome you with open arms.

GOOGIN. I'll do it. (_Takes box._) And I'm much obliged for your
trouble, mum. (_Exits R._)

KITTY. Warren!

WARREN (_outside L._). Yes?

KITTY. Are you dressed yet? It's nearly five o'clock.

WARREN. Sure.

_Enter_ WARREN _from L., wearing white Pierrot costume._

KITTY. Oh, it's a dream.

WARREN. I feel like a fool. Say, Kittens, you'd better get into yours.

_Enter_ MRS. GOOGIN _from R. with picture._

MRS. GOOGIN (_not seeing Warren_). Sure I had to run up to tell yeez
that iverything was all right, Mrs. Williams. And it's a darlin' y'
are.

KITTY. Oh, I'm so glad.

MRS. GOOGIN (_seeing Warren_). Howly snakes of Ireland, what's that?

KITTY. That's Warren.

MRS. GOOGIN. He gave me such a start. I thought it was wan of them
circus clowns got loose, mum.

WARREN (_gayly_). Wait till you see me with my paint on. (_Runs out
L._)

MRS. GOOGIN. Me husband has given me his consint and I can hang up the
picture in me drawing-room, and he furthermore says that me mother is
a quane and the picture is her perfect likeness.

KITTY. Then I'm sure you'll have a very merry Christmas, Mrs. Googin.

MRS. GOOGIN. I brought you up a little Christmas gift, mum.

KITTY. You did?

MRS. GOOGIN (_takes out the hat_). Ain't it a beauty?

KITTY. Indeed it is. But really you should keep that for yourself.

MRS. GOOGIN. Indade I'll not. I says to Maginnis, says I, "She's
trated me like a lady, and I'll trate her like a lady also." So,
here's yer Christmas prisint and many happy returns of the day.

KITTY. But this is such an expensive present, Mrs. Googin. Really, I--

MRS. GOOGIN (_loftily_). What's ixpense bechune frinds?

KITTY. I don't think I ought to accept such a lovely gift.

MRS. GOOGIN. Ye'll be hurtin' me feelings if ye don't. I'm a lady,
Mrs. Williams, and me mother was a lady before me, and I have very,
very sensitive feelings.

KITTY (_sighs, then takes hat and box_). Very well, Mrs. Googin. Thank
you so much.

MRS. GOOGIN. And now I'll be goin' back to the basement. I hope ye
have a pleasant time at yer party, mum.

KITTY. Thank you, Mrs. Googin.

MRS. GOOGIN. Are you goin' to fix yerself up like a circus clown, too?

KITTY. Oh, no. I'm to be Pierrette.

MRS. GOOGIN. Pierrette, is it? Well, look out ye don't git pinched.
Merry Christmas. (_Exit R._)

_Enter_ WARREN _from L._

WARREN. Kittens, there's a poor beggar woman out on the back steps.
Can't you find something for her?

KITTY. No, I haven't a thing. (_Sees hat box._) Oh, yes, I have! Tell
her to come in. (_Exit_ WARREN _at L._) Now, I'll be rid of my
Christmas hoodoo. (_Puts hat in box._)

_Enter_ HARD TIMES ANNIE _from L., weeping loudly._

ANNIE. Oh, oh! On Christmas day! Just to think of it. Oh! (_Wails._)

KITTY. What is it, my good woman? What's the matter?

ANNIE. Oh, mum, it's starving I am. A poor lone widow with sivin
little children huddled up in the straw in a stable. No fire have we,
no coal have we, no food have we. And on Christmas day, too.
(_Cries._) Could ye let me have a little money, mum?

KITTY (_looks in her purse and shows audience that it is empty._) No,
I haven't any money.

ANNIE. And it's such hard times we're having. With the cost of living
so high and me with sivin children. No fire have we, no coal have we,
no food have we.

KITTY. I'm so sorry for you.

ANNIE. Thank ye kindly, mum. And can you help me a little?

KITTY. How would you like a nice winter hat? It's perfectly new and
has never been worn. It's red and orange.

ANNIE. Oh, lady, yer a fallen angel, so yer are, fallen right down
from the skies. I'd rather have a nice winter hat than have a bushel
of coal.

KITTY. There it is. And merry Christmas.

ANNIE. Thank you, mum. Has it got flowers on it or feathers?

KITTY. Feathers.

ANNIE. Oh, thank ye. Yer a fallen angel; indade ye are, mum.

KITTY. You'd better go out this way. (_Points to R._) I don't want my
husband to see what I've given you.

ANNIE. I know how it is, mum. I've had two of 'em meself. But nather
one was a circus clown, mum. I suppose that makes 'em bad-tempered.

KITTY. Yes, I suppose so. Good-bye.

ANNIE (_crosses to door R._). Merry Christmas, mum. And bless ye for
what ye have done for me this day. Yer a fallen angel, mum; indeed yer
are. (_Exits R._)

_Enter_ WARREN _from L._

WARREN. Get rid of her?

KITTY. Yes. Gave her some little things. Now I must hurry and dress.
How nice you look. I'll be ready in ten minutes. (_Exit L._)

(_Ring at bell R._)

WARREN (_opens the door, admitting_ LAURA). Hello, Lolly.

LAURA. Are you all ready?

WARREN. Kittens has just started to dress. Did you get the tickets?

LAURA. Yes. Here they are. Jim's waiting for me.

WARREN (_takes the two tickets_). Thank you.

LAURA. I had an awful time getting the places reserved.

WARREN. Ten dollars, aren't they?

LAURA. Yes.

WARREN. Just a minute, till I get the money. Sit down. Kittens has the
money. (_Exit L._)

LAURA (_calls after him_). Hurry, please, Warren.

WARREN (_outside_). All right.

LAURA _crosses to R. and sits. She takes up the fashion magazine and
reads a moment. Rises impatiently and walks around the room, showing
marked impatience. After a pause_ KITTY _enters from L. wearing a
kimono._

KITTY. Laura!

LAURA. Yes, dear.

KITTY. That hat I gave you!

LAURA. The hat?

KITTY. Yes, the one I gave you for Christmas. Warren had just given it
to me as a present, and as it wasn't becoming to me so I gave it to
you. Where is it?

LAURA. Why?

KITTY. He put ten dollars in it at the millinery shop. It was hidden
in the lining. The ten dollars for the tickets.

LAURA. Good heavens!

KITTY. So that pays you for the tickets, doesn't it?

LAURA. But I gave it away.

KITTY. Why, Laura!

LAURA. It wasn't becoming to me, either. I gave it to Eddie.

KITTY (_weakly_). To Eddie?

LAURA. Of course I didn't know it had ten dollars hidden in the
lining.

KITTY. I didn't think you'd treat my present that way.

LAURA. Now, Kittens--

KITTY (_angrily_). Gave it to the negro elevator boy. Well, I like
that! That hat cost ten dollars.

LAURA. I never could have worn it.

KITTY. But you shouldn't have given it away.

LAURA. Warren gave it to you and you gave it away.

KITTY. That's different.

LAURA. Shall I explain to Warren?

KITTY. No; for goodness sakes, don't do that! I haven't a cent to my
name and I can't explain to Warren. How can I tell him I gave his
Christmas present away?

LAURA. Send for Eddie and make him give you the ten dollars.

KITTY. Eddie hasn't got it.

LAURA. What did he do with it?

KITTY. I don't know. A beggar woman has the hat now. I saw her with
it.

LAURA. Then she has the ten dollars.

KITTY. Laura, you'll have to trust me until the first of the month.

LAURA (_coldly_). Oh, very well. It's of no importance.

KITTY. Now, Laura--

LAURA (_crosses to door R._). In the future I'd advise you to keep
your Christmas presents. I must go now. Jim is waiting for me.

KITTY. Lolly--

LAURA. We'll probably see you at the dinner. (_Exit R._)

KITTY (_crying_). I'll never give another present away as long as I
live.

WARREN (_outside L._). Hurry, Kittens; it's almost time to go.

KITTY. In a minute. (_Exits L._)

_Enter_ EDDIE _from R., followed by_ MISS MINERVA. _She carries the
hat in her hand._

MISS M. That will do, boy. Mr. Williams is my nephew. I'll find him.

EDDIE. Lawdy, now she's got de hat. (_Exits R._)

_Enter_ WARREN _from L._

WARREN (_to_ MISS M.). I beg pardon?

MISS M. Heavens!

WARREN. What's the matter?

MISS M. I thought you were a ghost.

WARREN. I am Mr. Williams.

MISS M. You are? (Drops everything, runs to him and shakes both his
hands heartily.) Don't you know me?

WARREN. No; never saw you before in my life.

MISS M. I'm your Aunt Minerva.

WARREN. Not Aunt Minerva Mockridge from Kankakee?

MISS M. (_positively_). Aunt Minerva Mockridge from Kankakee.

WARREN. But I thought you said you weren't coming.

MISS M. I changed my mind. And I wanted to surprise you and Kitty.

WARREN. Well, you did. You've surprised us all right.

MISS M. Let me sit down. I've had such an adventure. (Holds up hat.)
See what I brought you?

WARREN. A hat?

MISS M. Yes, what's left of it.

WARREN. It looks just like the one I gave Kittens for a Christmas
present.

MISS M. I got out of the taxi at the corner and was walking along
trying to find the house when all of a sudden I heard a great
commotion down the street behind me. I turned around and just then a
man darted right at me, slapped the hat in my hand and was off like
the wind. A crowd of policemen were chasing him. I slipped into the
vestibule of a building and luckily it was this house.

_Enter_ EDDIE _and_ HOGAN _from R._

EDDIE. You can't come in yere. Not unless you got a search warrant.

HOGAN. I saw her run into the vestibule, boy--and I'll find her if I
have to search every apartment from piano to ice-box. (_Sees_ MISS M.)
There she is now. That woman just came up in the elevator, didn't she?

EDDIE. Yassir, boss; dat's de one.

HOGAN (_goes to_ MISS M.). Come on with me. I guess I've got you at
last.

MISS M. What do you mean?

WARREN. Officer, this lady is my aunt. I am Mr. Williams, the owner of
this apartment.

HOGAN (_to_ EDDIE). Is that man the owner of this apartment?

EDDIE. Yessir, boss; dat's Mr. Williams.

HOGAN. And you say this lady is your aunt?

MISS M. Of course I'm his aunt.

HOGAN. That'll do you! Keep still or I'll put the bracelets on ye.

WARREN. Well, she _said_ she was my aunt.

HOGAN. Have ye ever seen her before?

WARREN. No, sir.

HOGAN (_turns to_ EDDIE _at R._). Ye hear? He thinks she's his aunt
and yet he niver seen her before. This woman is a crook. One of the
worst in the country. She's old Boston Bell and is wanted in Omaha for
highway robbery, in Salt Lake for arson, in Chicago for shoplifting,
in Columbus for assault and battery, and in New York for receiving
stolen goods.

WARREN. And I thought she was my Aunt Minerva.

MISS M. (_at L.C._). Warren Williams, are you going to let that man
stand there and insult me? Throw him out of your house.

HOGAN (_C._). I was standing on me beat when I saw Dopey Daniel snatch
a swell hat from a poor old woman. She screams and he hot-foots it
down the street with me after him. This dame was standing at the
corner. She was working with him. He saw we had him all right, so he
slipped the hat to her and she made a getaway up the elevator. Come
on, Boston Bell. I've got you with the goods on you. I want that hat
for evidence. Now will you come easy or must I use the cuffs? (_Pulls
her to door R._)

MISS M. (_screams_). Kitty, Kitty! Help, help!

_Enter_ KITTY _from R._

KITTY. Aunt Minerva! (_Rushes to her and embraces her._) What is the
meaning of all this?

AUNT M. (_at R., weeping_). Oh, Kitty, Kitty, I'm arrested. On my
first visit to New York. Oh, why did I ever leave Kankakee?

KITTY. Warren, make him release her.

HOGAN. Are you sure she's your aunt?

KITTY. Of course I am. Why, we have her picture. There it is. Oh,
no--I'd forgotten.

HOGAN. I believe the whole gang of yeez is a bunch of crooks. Yeez
look like crooks, all drissed up like clowns and things.

KITTY. Eddie, call the janitor.

EDDIE. Here he comes now.

_Enter_ GOOGIN _from R. with_ MRS. GOOGIN.

HOGAN. Maginnis Googin, is it yerself?

GOOGIN. What's goin' on here, Hogan. Who's been pinched?

HOGAN. This dame is Boston Bell. We got her with the goods. She stole
a hat.

KITTY. Why, that's my hat. Isn't it, Warren?

WARREN. I thought it looked familiar. (_Takes hat._) Yes, that's your
hat. (_Takes two five-dollar bills from the lining._) Now, I know it's
your hat.

KITTY. But where did you get it, Aunt Minerva?

MISS M. Some man ran into me in the street and left it in my hand.

GOOGIN. Hogan, sure I think you've made a mistake.

HOGAN. Do you know these folks, Googin?

MRS. GOOGIN. I know them, Officer Hogan. It's the Williamses, and
they're both perfect ladies. And I'm a lady, and so was me mother
before me.

GOOGIN. Hush, Honoria. Ye've been drinkin' too much frozen egg nog.

MRS. GOOGIN (_crying_). And the ould lady that ye've pinched, sure I
blave it's me ould mother from Kilkenny, Ireland. Oh, Maginnis,
they've pinched me ould mother.

GOOGIN. It's all a mistake, Hogan.

HOGAN (_to_ MISS M.). Ye say a man ran into you in the street and left
this hat in your hand?

MISS M. Yes, sir.

HOGAN (_to_ KITTY). And you say it's your hat?

KITTY. Of course it is.

WARREN (_goes to_ HOGAN, _gives him a five-dollar bill_). I think that
will be all, officer. Merry Christmas.

HOGAN. Merry Christmas to all of yeez. (_Exits L., followed by_
EDDIE.)

KITTY. Mrs. Googin, this is my aunt, Miss Mockridge from Kankakee.

MRS. GOOGIN. Sure, I thought it was me ould mother from Kilkenny. Ye
look enough like her to be her own twin sister, ye do.

GOOGIN. I came up to inform yeez that the taxi do be waiting.

MISS M. Taxi? Are you going out?

KITTY (_looks at_ WARREN). Well--er--that is--er we--

WARREN. Yes, er--we thought you weren't coming.

MISS M. Where are you going?

KITTY. We were going to a masquerade dinner dance, but now that you've
come we'll stay at home.

GOOGIN (_to_ MISS M.). Ye'd better go to the dance, mum. Ye'll have
the time of yer life. Faith, they've nothin' like it in Kankakee.
Come on, Honoria.

MRS. GOOGIN. All of yeez come down and take tea wid me in the marnin'
fer breakfast. Merry New Year and happy Christmas to all. I'm a lady
and me mother was a lady before me, and I knows a lady whin I sees
her. So I wish yeez all a happy Christmas and many of them. (_Exits R.
with_ GOOGIN.)

WARREN. Shall I send the taxi away, Kittens?

MISS M. I should say not. I'm going to that masquerade ball, if it's
the last thing I ever do. That's why I came to New York. (_Takes out
purse._) Here's a hundred and twenty dollars. That's enough to see us
through until breakfast, isn't it?

KITTY. We mustn't keep the taxi waiting. Come on, auntie. We're going
to show you the time of your life.

MISS M. But I haven't any costume.

KITTY (_puts the hat on her head_). There you are. Now you're all
fixed. I knew I could make some use of my Christmas hat. Hurry,
Warren. (They hurry out R. as curtain falls.)

CURTAIN.


NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION.

This little satire on Christmas giving has been written to provide
forty-five minutes of amusement for a holiday audience. The stage
settings are very simple, a room with two doors being all that is
required.


COSTUMES.

WARREN--A brisk young business man of about twenty-five. Ordinary
winter suit for first entrance. Change to white Pierrot costume with
white pumps, white socks, white pajama suit with large black pompons,
or discs of black satin, on it. Large stiff ruff of white tulle. Face
whitened with grease paint. Black patches. Black satin half-mask in
hand. Head covered with close fitting white covering in Pierrot style.

KITTY--A bright, vivacious young wife of twenty-two. Afternoon dress
at first, but choose one that may be quickly changed. Changed to
kimono as indicated in text. On last entrance she wears a Pierrette
costume, white pumps, hose, white tulle dress with very full skirts,
ankle length. White clown cap. The dress may be trimmed with black
satin discs, or pompons, or toy balloons in festoons, as desired.

MISS MINERVA--Aged forty-five. Gray hair. Spectacles. Dark traveling
cloak and hat. Grip. She discards cloak and hat when Hogan releases
her, showing a very gay dress beneath. Faint gray wrinkles of grease
paint on face.

GOOGIN--Irish janitor. Red wig and whiskers all around face. Face
reddened. White grease paint on upper lip. Red eyebrows. Old suit and
cardigan jacket.

MRS. GOOGIN--Portly lady in gaudy dress of calico. Gray hair, parted.
Green bows on costume. Face red and lined with gray grease paint. Use
a decided Irish brogue.

EDDIE--Negro elevator boy. Face blackened with burnt cork. Uniform
much too small for him. Negro wig.

LAURA--Afternoon dress for first entrance. No hat, as she lives in
the same apartment house. Masquerade costume and opera cloak for last
entrance.

HOGAN--Irish policeman. Uniform, helmet, billie, etc.

ANNIE--Old shoes, very ragged dress, old gray shawl on head.
Straggling locks of white hair show beneath shawl. Red patches. Face
heavily lined with gray grease paint. Very old and dirty apron.




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By NINA B. LAMKIN

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[Illustration]

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[Illustration]

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