Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | December 17, 2011

The Christmas Gift – Part VI

Part VI of (IX): THE CHRISTMAS GIFT by Horatio Alger, Jr.

…There was something in the boy’s earnest tone which Lizzie felt was an ample recompense for the little sacrifice she had made. Mr. Dinsmoor fulfilled his promise, and walked with Willie as far as the street in which he lived, when, feeling sure he could no longer mistake his way, he left him.

Mr. Dinsmoor, whom we have introduced to our readers, was a prosperous merchant, and counted his wealth by hundreds of thousands. Fortunately his disposition was liberal, and he made the poor sharers with him in the gifts which fortune had so liberally showered upon him.

Notwithstanding the good use which he made of his wealth, he was fated to experience reverses — resulting not from his own mismanagement, but from a general commercial panic which all at once involved in ruin many whose fortunes were large and whose credit was long-established. In a word, Mr. Dinsmoor failed.

* * * * * * * * * *

Eleven years had rolled by since the Christmas night on which our story opens. Lizzie had not belied the promise of her girlhood, but had developed into a radiantly beautiful girl.  Already her hand had been sought in marriage, but as yet she had seen no one on whom she could look with that affection, without which marriage would be a mockery.

Charlie and Harry, too. Eleven years had changed them not a little. The boys of four and six became fine manly youths of fifteen and seventeen.  The oldest has entered college. Harry, however, who was by no means studious, had entered his father’s counting room.

That was a sorrowful night on which Mr. Dinsmoor made known to his afflicted wife the bankruptcy which was inevitable. Still sadder, if possible, was the sale which it enforced of the house which they had so long occupied, the furniture which had become endeared to them by memory and association, and the harsh interruption which loss of fortune put to all their treasured schemes….

(To be continued Dec. 20, 2011)

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