Дары волхвов

Onedollarandeighty-sevencents. Thatwasall. Andsixtycentsofitwasinpennies. Penniessavedoneandtwoatatimebybulldozingthegrocer andthevegetablemanandthebutcher untilone’scheeksburnedwiththesilentimputationofparsimony thatsuchclosedealingimplied. ThreetimesDellacountedit. Onedollarandeighty-sevencents. AndthenextdaywouldbeChristmas.  

Therewasclearlynothingtodo butflopdownontheshabbylittlecouchandhowl. SoDelladidit. Whichinstigatesthemoralreflection thatlifeismadeupofsobs,sniffles,andsmiles, withsnifflespredominating.  

Whilethemistressofthehome isgraduallysubsidingfromthefirststagetothesecond, takealookatthehome. Afurnishedflatat$8perweek. Itdidnotexactlybeggardescription, butitcertainlyhad thatwordonthelookoutforthemendicancysquad.  

Inthevestibulebelowwasaletter-box intowhichnoletterwouldgo, andanelectricbutton fromwhichnomortalfingercouldcoaxaring. Alsoappertainingthereuntowasacard bearingthename“Mr.JamesDillinghamYoung.” The“Dillingham”hadbeenflungtothebreeze duringaformerperiodofprosperity whenitspossessorwasbeingpaid$30perweek. Now,whentheincomewasshrunkto$20, thelettersof“Dillingham”lookedblurred, asthoughtheywerethinkingseriously ofcontractingtoamodestandunassumingD. ButwheneverMr.JamesDillinghamYoungcamehome andreachedhisflatabovehewascalled“Jim” andgreatlyhuggedbyMrs.JamesDillinghamYoung, alreadyintroducedtoyouasDella. Whichisallverygood. 

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