fredag 27 december 2013

På julens tredje dag

 plockar jag fram "The Amazing Quest of Mr. Ernest Bliss" av E. Phillips Oppenheim, från 1922. En bok som inte har något med julen att göra, men som jag ändå förknippar med en doft av hyacinter och en smak av äpplen och nötter, eftersom jag hittade den i bokhyllan i juletid. Det är många år sedan nu, och kanske är det dags att läsa om den, för jag minns inte så värst mycket av den annat än att jag tyckte den var nöjsam. Nu är jag ingen oppenheimexpert, men jag har en känsla av att den här boken skiljer sig en hel del från hans andra böcker som nog får betraktas som äventyrsromaner.
 I dag rekommenderar vi (Johannes och jag) " The Christmas Angel" av Abbie Farwell Brown.


At the sound of footsteps along the hall Miss Terry looked up from the letter which she was reading for the sixth time. "Of course I would not see him," she said, pursing her lips into a hard line. "Certainly not!"
A bump on the library door, as from an opposing knee, did duty for a knock.
"Bring the box in here, Norah," said Miss Terry, holding open the door for her servant, who was gasping under the weight of a packing-case. "Set it down on the rug by the fire-place. I am going to look it over and burn up the rubbish this evening."
She glanced once more at the letter in her hand, then with a sniff tossed it upon the fire.
Her mistress looked up from the fire, where the bit of writing was writhing painfully, and caught the expression of Norah's face.
"What have you there?" she asked, frowning, as she took the object into her own hands. "The Christmas Angel!" she exclaimed under her breath. "I had quite forgotten it." Then as if it burned her fingers she thrust the little image back into the box and turned to Norah brusquely. "There, that's all. You can go now, Norah," she said.
"Yes'm," answered the maid. She hesitated. "If you please'm, it's Christmas Eve."
"Well, I believe so," snapped Miss Terry, who seemed to be in a particularly bad humor this evening. "What do you want?"
Norah flushed; but she was hardened to her mistress's manner. "Only to ask if I may go out for a little while to see the decorations and hear the singing."
"Why, all the windows along the street are full of candles," answered Norah; "rows of candles in every house, to light the Christ Child on his way when he comes through the city to-night."
"Fiddlestick!" again snarled her mistress.
"And choir-boys are going about the streets, they say, singing carols in front of the lighted houses," continued Norah enthusiastically. "It must sound so pretty!"
"They had much better be at home in bed. I believe people are losing their minds!"

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