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16. CHAPTER XVI
KENNICOTT was heavily pleased by her Christmas presents, and he gave her a diamond bar-pin. But she could not persuade herself that he was much interested in the rites of the morning, in the tree she had decorated, the three stockings she had hung, the ribbons and gilt seals and hidden messages. He said only:
"Nice way to fix things, all right. What do you say we go down to Jack Elder's and have a game of five hundred this afternoon?"
She remembered her father's Christmas fantasies: the sacred old rag doll at the top of the tree, the score of cheap presents, the punch and carols, the roast chestnuts by the fire, and the gravity with which the judge opened the children's scrawly notes and took cognizance of demands for sled-rides, for opinions upon the existence of Santa Claus. She remembered him reading out a long indictment of himself for being a sentimentalist, against the peace and dignity of the State of Minnesota. She remembered his thin legs twinkling before their sled----
She muttered unsteadily, "Must run up and put on my shoes --slippers so cold." In the not very romantic solitude of the locked bathroom she sat on the slippery edge of the tub and wept.
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