Дары волхвов

HadKingSolomonbeenthejanitor, withallhistreasurespiledupinthebasement, Jimwouldhavepulledouthiswatcheverytimehepassed, justtoseehimpluckathisbeardfromenvy.  

SonowDella’sbeautifulhairfellabouther, ripplingandshininglikeacascadeofbrownwaters. Itreachedbelowherknee andmadeitselfalmostagarmentforher. Andthenshediditupagainnervouslyandquickly. Onceshefalteredforaminuteandstoodstillwhile atearortwosplashedonthewornredcarpet.  

Onwentheroldbrownjacket; onwentheroldbrownhat. Withawhirlofskirtsandwiththebrilliantsparklestillinhereyes, sheflutteredoutthedooranddownthestairstothestreet.  

Whereshestoppedthesignread: “Mme.Sofronie.HairGoodsofAllKinds.” OneflightupDellaran,andcollectedherself,panting. Madame,large,toowhite,chilly,hardlylookedthe“Sofronie.”  

“Willyoubuymyhair?” askedDella.  

“Ibuyhair,” saidMadame. “Takeyourhatoff andlet’shaveasightatthelooksofit.”  

Downrippledthebrowncascade.  

“Twentydollars,” saidMadame, liftingthemasswithapractisedhand.  

“Giveittomequick,” saidDella.  

Oh,andthenexttwohourstrippedbyonrosywings. Forgetthehashedmetaphor. ShewasransackingthestoresforJim’spresent. 

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