Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Maize in Milk: A Christmas Story of the South >> Page 319

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription MAIZE IN MILK319
the windows, and glasses, and flower-pots, with the green leaves and
the scarlet berries. To think of the windows of "Maize-in-milk"
looking bare at Christmas ! Think of "Maize-in-milk" having no
visitors at Christmas no fun, no frolic, no dancing, no! By the
pipers, Mrs. Openheart, I don't know how to understand you. Talk
of not keeping Christmas! Why, what in the name of blazes would
you do with me, with yourself, with Bessy Clinton there, and dear
little Rose, and Tom, and Dick, and Harry, and the rest, from
Christmas eve till New Year's?"
"Well, to say the truth, dear husband, I did not think of spending
Christmas at home at all, this season."
"Not spend Christmas at home ! " cried the colonel, with renewed
amazement. "And where, in Heaven's name, would you think to
spend it?"
"Why, down in the parishes with Uncle Thomas. He's often asked
us, you know),
"With Uncle Thomas in the parishes! Go from home to spend
Christmas ! After that I should not be astonished at any of your
notions. But, pray, Mrs. Openheart, when did you know your Uncle
Thomas to spend his Christmas away from home?"
There was a pause, when the good dame, finding that her husband
really waited her answer, meekly admitted that such an event had
certainly never taken place within her remembrance.
"No—no! You may well say that. Well, only go to him and talk
of spending Christmas away from home. Try him, Mrs. Openheart,
by an affectionate invitation to come and stay with us Christmas
week, and you'll get an answer will astonish you. You will certainly
astonish him by the invitation. No no; he's too much a gentleman
of the old school one of the good old Carolina stock, who knows
what his duties are at Christmas who knows what is due to his
neighbors and to hospitality, and who knows"
"But, my dear, considering what our expenses are, and how
greatly they have been increased of late, Edward in Europe, and the
sending of John and William to college the purchase of the old
Salem tract the"
"Poh ! poh! poh! Positively, Emily, I am ashamed of you. This
is only too ridiculous. You are for letting in at the spiggot and
letting out at the bung. As for the Salem tract, it needs but one