A TOAST TO SANTA CLAUS
Whene'er I find a man who don't
Believe in Santa Claus,
And spite of all remonstrance won't
Yield up to logic's laws,
And see in things that lie about
The proof by no means dim,
I straightway cut that fellow out,
And don't believe in him.
The good old Saint is everywhere
Along life's busy way.
We find him in the very air
We breathe day after day–
Where courtesy and kindliness
And love are joined together,
To give to sorrow and distress
A touch of sunny weather.
Ten minutes later a passing taxi was hailed by a shivering gentleman carrying an iron pot full of pennies and nickels and an occasional quarter in one hand, and a turkey-red coat, trimmed with white cotton cloth, thrown over his arm. Strange to say, considering the inclemency of the night, he wore neither a hat nor an overcoat.
"Where to, sir?" queried the chauffeur.
"The police-station," said Hetherington. "I don't know where it is, but the one in this precinct is the one I want."
"Ye'll have to pay by the hour to-night, sir," said the chauffeur. "The station ain't a half-mile away, sir, but Heaven knows how long it'll take us to get there."
"Charge what you please," retorted Hetherington. "I'll buy your darned old machine if it's necessary, only get a move on."
The chauffeur, with some misgivings as to the mental integrity of his fare, started on their perilous journey, and three-quarters of an hour later drew up in front of the police-station, where Hetherington, having been compelled in self-defense to resume the habiliments of Santa Claus under penalty of freezing, alighted.
"Just wait, will you?" he said, as he alighted from the cab.
"I'll go in with you," said the chauffeur, acting with due caution. He had begun to fear that there was a fair chance of his having trouble getting his fare out of a very evident lunatic.
Utterly forgetful of his appearance in his festal array, Hetherington bustled into the station, and shortly found himself standing before the sergeant behind the desk.
"Well, Santa Claus," said the official, with an amused glance at the intruder, "what can I do for you to-night? There ain't many rooms with a bath left."