Work: A Story of Experience
XII. Christie's Gala
ON the fourth of September, Christie woke up, saying to herself: "It is my birthday, but
no one knows it, so I shall get no presents. Ah, well, I'm too old for that now, I suppose;"
but she sighed as she said it, for well she knew one never is too old to be remembered and
Just then the door opened, and Mrs. Sterling entered, carrying what looked very like a
pile of snow-flakes in her arms. Laying this upon the bed, she kissed Christie, saying with
a tone and gesture that made the words a benediction:
"A happy birthday, and God bless thee, my daughter!"
Before Christie could do more than hug both gift and giver, a great bouquet came flying
in at the open window, aimed with such skill that it fell upon the bed, while David's voice
called out from below: "A happy birthday, Christie, and many of them!"
"How sweet, how kind of you, this is! I didn't dream you knew about to-day, and never
thought of such a beautiful surprise," cried Christie, touched and charmed by this
"Thee mentioned it once long ago, and we remembered. They are very humble gifts, my
dear; but we could not let the day pass without some token of the thanks we owe thee for
these months of faithful service and affectionate companionship."
Christie had no answer to this little address, and was about to cry as the only adequate
expression of her feelings, when a hearty "Hear! Hear!" from below made her laugh, and
"You conspirators! how dare you lay plots, and then exult over me when I can't find
words to thank you? I always did think you were a set of angels, and now I'm quite sure
"Thee may be right about Davy, but I am only a prudent old woman, and have taken
much pleasure in privately knitting this light wrap to wear when thee sits in the porch, for
the evenings will soon grow chilly. My son did not know what to get, and finally decided
that flowers would suit thee best; so he made a bunch of those thee loves, and would toss
it in as if he was a boy."
"I like that way, and both my presents suit me exactly," said Christie, wrapping the fleecy
shawl about her, and admiring the nosegay in which her quick eye saw all her favorites,
even to a plumy spray of the little wild asters which she loved so much.
"Now, child, I will step down, and see about breakfast. Take thy time; for this is to be a
holiday, and we mean to make it a happy one if we can."