Dubious "Old Kriss," A

US-FOLKS is purty pore — but Ma
She's waitin' — two years more — tel Pa
He serves his term out. Our Pa he —
He's in the Penitenchurrie!

Now don't you tell! — 'cause Sis ,
The baby, she don't know he is. —
'Cause she wuz only four, you know,
He kissed her last an' hat to go!

Pa alluz liked Sis best of all
Us childern. — 'Spect it's 'cause she fall
When she 'uz ist a child , one day —
An' make her back look thataway.

Pa — 'fore he be a burglar — he's
A locksmiff, an' maked locks, an' keys,
An' knobs you pull fer bells to ring,
An' he could ist make anything! —

'Cause our Ma say he can! — An ' this
Here little pair of crutches Sis
Skips round on — Pa maked them — yes-sir! —
An' silivur-plate-name here fer her!

Pa's out o' work when Chris'mus come
One time, an' stay away from home,
An' 's drunk an' 'buse our Ma, an' swear
They ain't no " Old Kriss " anywhere!

An' Sis she alluz say they wuz
A' Old Kriss — an' she alluz does.
But ef they is a' Old Kriss, why,
When's Chris'mus, Ma she alluz cry?

This Chris'mus now , we live here in
Where Ma's rent's alluz due ag'in —
An' she " ist slaves " — I heerd her say
She did — ist them words thataway!

An' th'other night, when all's so cold
An' stove's 'most out — our Ma she rolled
Us in th' old feather-bed an' said,
" To-morry's Chris'mus — go to bed,

" An' thank yer blessed stars fer this —
We don't 'spect nothin' from old Kriss! "
An' cried, an' locked the door, an' prayed,
An' turned the lamp down. . . . An' I laid

There, thinkin' in the dark ag'in,
" Ef wuz Old Kriss, he can't git in,
'Cause ain't no chimbly here at all —
Ist old stovepipe struck frue the wall! "

I sleeped nen. — An' wuz dreamin' some
When I waked up an' mornin' 's come, —
Fer our Ma she wuz settin' square
Straight up in bed, a-readin' there

Some letter 'at she'd read, an' quit,
An' nen hold like she's huggin' it. —
An' diamon' ear-rings she don't know
Wuz in her ears tel I say so —

An' wake the rest up. An' the sun
In frue the winder dazzle-un
Them eyes o' Sis's, wiv a sure-
Enough gold chain Old Kriss bringed to 'er!

An' all of us git gold things! — Sis,
Though, say she know it " ain't Old Kriss —
He kissed her, so she waked an' saw
Him skite out — an' it wuz her Pa. "
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