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Caroline’s Christmas, forgotten again

This Christmas we forgot, as we do every year, to publish Stephen Leacock’s “Caroline’s Christmas, or the Inexplicable Infant.” Here, three days late, is a snippet:

“…The Old Homestead was mortgaged! Ten years ago, reckless with debt, crazed with remorse, mad with despair and persecuted with rheumatism, John Enderby had mortgaged his farmstead for twenty-four dollars and thirty cents.

To-night the mortgage fell due, to-night at midnight, Xmas night. Such is the way in which mortgages of this kind are always drawn. Yes, sir, it was drawn with such diabolical skill that on this night of all nights the mortgage would be foreclosed. At midnight the men would come with hammer and nails and foreclose it, nail it up tight.

So the afflicted couple sat.

Anna, with the patient resignation of her sex, sat silent or at times endeavoured to read. She had taken down from the little wall-shelf Bunyan’s Holy Living and Holy Dying. She tried to read it. She could not. Then she had taken Dante’s Inferno. She could not read it. Then she had selected Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. But she could not read it either. Lastly, she had taken the Farmer’s Almanac for 1911. The books lay littered about her as she sat in patient despair….

We recommend, though, that you read the entire story—read it aloud, to gathered family, perhaps your own.

 

Improbable Research