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MR. WHITE HELPS SANTA CLAUS
PERHAPS you've never seen a little
red envelope, an envelope no
larger than your thumb, sticking in
the crack of the floor some morning.
It's all right if you've never happened
to see a little red envelope like that,
but in case you have seen one, you
might like to know that it was a
letter from Santa Claus.
Santa Claus always writes his letters
on bright red paper and he uses tiny
square envelopes, but children do not
see his letters often, because he doesn't
write to them. No'm, the children
write to Santa Claus, but you can
easily see he wouldn't have much
time to spend getting ready for Christ-
mas if he ever tried to answer all the
letters he receives.
The moment Mr. White saw one of
those little red envelopes we've just
told you about, he knew it was from
Santa. It was the week before Christ-
mas and a very busy time for everyone.
All the children were busy being good,
Santa Claus was busy choosing pres-
ents for them, and as for Mr. White,
he was busy explaining to the three
White boys what Santa Claus wished
them to do that Christmas Eve.
Mr. White knew exactly what they
were to do, because it was only the
Christmas before that Santa Claus
had brought him in his sleigh from
North Pole Land.
"You are to go in the top of the
children's stockings," said Mr. White
patiently for the third time-those
White boys would try to play the new
mouth organ instead of listening to
"All of us in one stocking?" asked
Willie White, who wore a checked
"Certainly not," Mr. White an-
swered. "One of you in the top of
each stocking. You mustn't handle
the toys, or play with any of the
things or eat any of the sweets,
"Not even gum-drops?" asked Wil-
fred White, whose jacket was red.
"Certainly not," Mr. White
"Nor the oranges?" asked Wilbur
White-his jacket was bright red.
"Don't eat anything," said Mr.
White and just then he spied the red
letter and knew Santa Claus had
written to him.
' ' Excuse me, ' ' he murmured politely
to the three White boys and then he
opened the envelope and read the
"Dear Mr. White," wrote Santa
Claus, "I have always been able to
depend on you and I am sure you -will
not fail me now. The grandpa of the
children in your house has some extra
special gifts for them and he doesn't
want them to be on the Christmas
tree because they will see that Christ-
mas Eve. This grandpa can not be
at the house till Christmas Day. In
fact he doesn't expect to get there
much before dinner time. He has
given me his presents and I will see
you Christmas Eve. I'd like to leave
these gifts in your care, if you are
willing. Affectionately your old
friend, Santa Claus. P. S. Mrs. Santa
sends you her kindest regards.
Now there, as Mr. White remarked
excitedly, was something to think
about. The three White boys were
terribly curious and they teased Mr.
White with questions right up to
Christmas Eve; but not a word could
they get from him.
And when Santa Claus tumbled
down the chimney Christmas Eve,
the three White boys hovered as near
as they dared, hoping to at least see
what these gifts were that were not
to go on the Christmas tree. That
tree, blazing with lights and with a
beautiful white and gold fairy on one
of the branches, delighted the chil-
dren. Santa Claus turned on the lights
for them and then, while they were
looking at their gifts, he and Mr.
White got behind the sofa and had a
confab all by themselves.
"That's all right then," Willie
White heard Santa Claus say. "We'll
keep it as our secret. I'll be back at
midnight to fill the stockings"
And he went away after that.
It was Wilbur White who noticed
that Mr. White looked different, but
before he could say anything, he was
popped into a stocking. You know
how fast time flies on Christmas Eve.
It was midnight, the children were
asleep, and Santa Claus had come
back to fill their stockings.
"I think Mr. White looks differ-
ent--" Wilbur White began and it
was then Santa Claus put him in a
stocking and told him to keep still.
As soon as breakfast was over the
next morning (Christmas morning),
Hannah began to set the table for
Christmas dinner. Right in the center
of her table, after she had put on a
beautiful linen tablecloth, she put
Dear me, he did look handsome!
His tall hat was very shiny, his jacket
was very blue, and he seemed to have
a lot of little red ribbons coming out
of his neck. A lovely wreath of holly
was placed around him and the tall
red candles that he had always ad-
mired. Then Hannah went back and
forth, from the pantry to the table,
putting on the best plates and the tall
glasses that sparkled because she had
polished them so nicely, and the
very necessary knives and forks.
The Christmas tree was in the
dining room and Mr. White thought
that a fine arrangement. He said it
gave him something to look at. He
didn't have much time to look at it
at first, because Hannah kept going
and coming and every time she came
to the table she changed a plate, or
moved a glass, or patted the holly
wreath. Lastly, though, she put
down great white napkins, neatly
folded, and then she went off to her
kitchen to see if the turkey was
It was then that Mr. White had a
chance to admire the Christmas tree
The packages were gone, and some of
the candy canes were missing, but
there were plenty of lovely things still
in place. The children were trying
to keep the tree "all trimmed" as
they said, to show their grandpa.
"How do you do?" said a very
sweet little voice suddenly.
Mr. White would have jumped, if
he could. But he had no legs and
legs are absolutely necessary to anyone
who jumps. Then he noticed that
something bright and shiny was being
swung before his face and a moment
later he saw that it was one of the
"Who's swinging that star?" asked
Mr. White, trying to make his voice
sound very deep and stern.
"I am," giggled the little voice.
"Who are you?" Mr. White asked,
remembering that he had a secret with
Santa Claus and that someone might
be trying to get it away from him.
"Merry Christmas!" laughed the
pretty voice. "I'm Princess Star-
Mr. White blinked his eyes and
wished he could take off his hat.
He had never met a princess. But
his hat was glued on and he hoped
the princess would understand and
Then, for Princess Starshine con-
tinued to swing the star, a bit of
tinsel flew off and struck Mr. White
in his eye!
"Ouch!" he said, and felt around
for his silk pocket handkerchief.
"Oh-oh-oh!" the little voice said
sadly. "Have I hurt you? Wait a
minute and let me get that speck out
of your eye."
And to Mr. White's great astonish-
ment, the beautiful fairy from the
Christmas tree flew down to the
He could see then that she wore
tiny red shoes and a tall read hat and
carried a slender wand. She had long
golden hair and her dress was white
gauze and altogether he had never
seen anyone so pretty.
"Let me touch your eye with my
wand, said Princess Starshine, "and
it will not hurt you at all."
Mr. White took his handkerchief
away from his sore eye and the
princess touched it ever so gently
with her wand.
"My goodness, it doesn't hurt a
bit!" said Mr. White. "Thank you
"Don't mention it," the fairy prin-
cess answered. "My wand is tipped
with magic and I like to use it. Sh-
here comes Hannah with more holly.
I'd better fly back to the Christmas
Before Mr. White could count two,
the fairy was back in her place and
there was Hannah, walking around
and around the table, laying a little
bunch of holly on each clean napkin.
"It's a fine-looking dinner table, if
I do say it myself," said Hannah
aloud. "You do yourself proud, Mr.
Hannah made him a bow and Mr.
White smiled his best smile. That
was the second time he wished his
hat wasn't glued on, so he might tip
' ' Seems to me I never saw you with
so many ribbons on before," said
Hannah, staring at Mr. White. "But
there, I suppose it is some of the
She went back to her kitchen and
the fairy princess flew down to the
"How many people are coming to
dinner?" asked the fairy, curiously.
"Oh, dozens," Mr. White answered
wisely. ' ' All the people in this house,
and all the people next door, and
Grandpa Perry from-far-away, and
Uncle Oscar and Aunt Mary."
"And will they all look at the
tree?" asked the fairy princess.
"Of course they will," Mr. White
Princess Starshine looked about the
table and her eyes began to shine
"Want to see some of my magic?"
Mr. White couldn't stop thinking
about the secret he had with Santa
Claus, and he wished he could. He
was afraid he might mention it if he
thought too much about it. So he
was very willing to see some magic-
he thought, and rightfully, too, that
magic would give him something else
to think about.
"Then just you watch," said Prin-
We've told you that she carried a
wand and now, as Mr. White watched
her, she tripped about the table,
touching the candles, one after the
other. The instant her wand touched
the tip of a candle, it burst into flame.
"Oh-h, you're lighting them!" Mr.
White cried. ' ' They'll burn out before
the folks come to dinner."
"I'll put them out-" began the
fairy princess with her soft laugh.
She meant to say she would put
them out right away, but before she
could do that, there was a noise in
the next room and quick as a flash
Princess Starshine flew back to the
branch on the Christmas tree, where
In the doorway stood Mother Evans
and Daddy Evans, and Bobby and
Betty and Baby Evans. They lived
in Mr White's house, or he lived in
their house, whichever way you wish
to have it.
"Why I didn't know Hannah meant
to light the candles!" cried Mother
Evans "Grandpa hasn't come."
Just then Hannah came into the
dining room with the bread plate and
as soon as she saw the lighted candles,
she looked surprised.
"Did the company come, ma 'am?"
she asked. "I see you've lighted the
"I didn't light them," replied
Mother Evans. "You must have
lighted them, Hannah."
But Hannah declared she had not
and none of the others had touched a
match to them, and who lighted those
candles always remained a mystery
in that household. Mr. White could
have told but, aside from politeness
which made it impossible for him to
tell tales, he had a rule he never
broke-he did not speak aloud.
However, the candles were allowed
to burn, for the door-bell rang a
moment later, and there was Grandpa
from-far-away, and Aunt Mary and
Uncle Oscar and the people from the
house next door.
You know all about how Christmas
dinner tastes, so we won't tell you
about this dinner, except to mention
that the turkey was a little more of a
golden brown than any other turkey
you've seen. And the potatoes were
so fluffy they looked like snow, and
everyone's name was spelled out in
red pimentos on the salad and the
nuts and raisins were simply delicious.
Oh, yes, and the plum pudding wasn't
too rich for the children either.
And, when dinner was over. Grandpa
from-far-away said he had given his
presents to Santa Claus to deliver,
but that Santa had not been able to
tell him where they would be hidden.
Had anybody- seen a letter from Santa
Claus that morning?
Nobody had, but obligingly every-
one began to look.
"I've got it!" shouted Bobby Evans,
whose sharp eyes were the first to spy
a little square red envelope sticking
out from under the dining-room rug.
"That's it," said Grandpa, taking
He opened it and read it quickly.
"Why Santa says that Mr. White
is taking care of the presents," said
Grandpa. "Listen and I'll read you
what Santa has written: 'Pull the
ribbons fair and square, you'll find
presents hidden there.' "
It was a wonder Mr. White didn't
blush, so many pairs of eyes stared
hard at his dangling red ribbons.
"Let's each take one and when I
count three, pull!" Grandpa suggested.
So each one at the table took a
ribbon and Grandpa held up his hand.
'One!" he counted slowly.
"Two!" he said next.
"Three!"-and everyone jerked a
Snip! Up went Mr. White's head,
and out came little flat packages,
wrapped in red tissue paper.
They looked exactly like Christmas
presents and they were-beautiful
shiny gold pieces which were meant
to be spent during holiday week,
Grandpa said. Everyone was de-
lighted and away they all rushed into
the next room to begin to plan what
they would buy when they went
No one stayed to thank Mr. White
for keeping the precious gold pieces
so carefully, and when Hannah came
in to clear off the table, she burst
"Ha! Ha!" laughed Hannah, pick-
ing up Mr. White's head and trying
to put it on straight for him. "I
wish you could see yourself. You're
too funny for words. Your hat is
over one ear. You look positively
All the time Hannah was talking,
she was carrying Mr. White out to
the kitchen and when she put him
down on the kitchen table, to put
his head on for him, she went right
on telling him how foolish he looked.
But she needed the room on the
kitchen table for her dishes, so back
to the dining room she carried Mr.
White again, and plumped him down
between two piles of clean plates.
His hat fell over one eye and he
slid down till he leaned against a
goblet. Hannah laughed at him once
more and then she went back to the
kitchen to eat her nice hot dinner.
"I don't care," said Mr. White
drowsily, for the excitement had made
him sleepy, "I don't care if I do
look silly; I told Santa Claus I would
help him and I have. I may have a
head that wobbles, but I know how
to keep a secret."
And the Princess Starshine called
to him from the Christmas tree. that
that was true.
Later that evening Mr. White
showed that he knew more than how
to keep a secret. He knew how to
warn Hannah that all was not well
in the dining room.
It happened this way: the children
had gone next door to see the Christ-
mas tree there and had insisted on|
taking the Princess Starshine with
them. This left Mr. White with no
one to talk to, so he simply dozed
gently, not exactly asleep, you under-
stand, but just resting.
Hannah was talking to her best
friend, Mrs. Nagel, in the kitchen,
as she set bread for the next day.
Hannah always baked bread on Thurs-
day, no matter whether it was the
day after Christmas or not. Mr.
White, dozing between the two piles
of clean plates, could hear their voices
and he liked that because then he
didn't feel so lonely.
Suddenly Mr. White thought he
heard a voice that was not Hannah's
voice, nor yet Mrs. Nagel's. It was
as tiny a voice as the Princess Star-
shine's, but not nearly so sweet.
This tiny voice was sharp and shrill.
"Eek!" it went. "E-eek! Oh,
you must hurry-there are raisins
and nuts and everything perfectly
Mr. White opened one eye
"Eka, eka, eka!" began another
little voice. "How about the Christ-
mas tree? I would so love to nibble
a candy cane."
Mr. White opened his other eye.
"The mice!" he said to himself.
Now Mr. White was not unkind
to mice. He rather admired their
perseverance and their cheerfulness.
But he knew they had no business on
the dining-room table and he thought
only a very mean mouse would eat
the candy on a Christmas tree. He
tried to think of a way to warn Han-
nah, and in a moment he had the idea.
Mr. White simply let his head roll
off the table!
Hannah heard the noise and came
running in, and Mrs. Nagel came
"I knew I ought to have cleared
off the table and now I will," said
Hannah wrathfully. "Those nasty
mice have been in here-see this raisin
dragged across the cloth."
Then she saw Mr. White's head on
the floor and she picked it up and put
him together again.
"I suppose the mice knocked him
over, running past him, ' ' said Hannah,
which shows you that she didn't
know as much about it as you do