The Peoples Voice (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 13, No. 24, Ed. 1 Friday, December 23, 1904 Page: 3 of 8
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I GERRY TALBOT'S
"James," sakl Gerry Talbot, sud-
denly, looking up from the letter he
had just received, "you needn't mind
about" the rest. The dinner will not
come off, after all."
The decorated end of the big, sump-
tuous studio looked oddly distasteful
to Gerry Talbot since the reading of
Miss Wakefield's telegram, which had
shattered his enthusiastic plans. He
had invited her—and, for chaperon-
age, her brother and his wife—to a
Christmas studio dinner, which he
meant to make as festive as possible.
Of course, her rejection at the last
hour had been a gentle invention pre-
pared to avert a greater disappoint-
ment, for he had let her know unmis-
takably how it was with him, and he
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"And lo, the star which they saw
In the east went before them," whis-
pered the boy, gazing upward at its
pure white light in the hush of the
"But mankind," said the old man,
sadly, "has not followed. In all the
Christmas eves since it looked on the
shepherds in that field of Bethlehem,
it has looked on men doing evil some-
where to their fellows. Its light has
been dimmed by the lights from camp
fires of armies and from flames of
burning cities. I am old, and it is
weary waiting for the fulfillment of
"The star is beautiful and splendid,"
said the boy with shining eyes.
"Undimmed I shine," said the Star.
"And He in whose sight a thousand
years are but a day sees mankind look
toward me every year with new in-
telligence and love. Ages have passed
and other ages still must be before
the Word shall be fulfilled. But every
Christmas eve I shine upon a world
that has moved forward step by step."
Greater grew the radiance of the
Star, until the world sank away, and
still find pure it shone over Jerusalem.
Whose calm and faithful eyes are
these that look toward it from a cell?
Stephen lies there, soon to be taken
to the city wall and stoned to death.
Again it shines upon the Holy City,
surrounded now by a Roman army
under Titus. Before another Christ-
mas eve, Jerusalem shall be no more.
The temple of the Most High shall
be razed and Titus leave nothing on
Mount Moriah save a little heap of
And again there is a Christmas eve.
Six hundred years have passed. The
Christianiworld has fallen far away
from the Sermon on the Mount.
Hatred and Intolerance bave dis-
torted the cause of Christ into a cause
for shedding of blood from Bethlehem
to tho far isles of Great Britain.
Shining for the first time on Christ-
mas in the New World, in 1-192, the
Star sees Columbus and his crew turn
toward it from their small craft as
they roll in the great blue sergos of
the tropical ocean off the coast of
Haytl. It may be that there is too
much Christmas eve cheer aboard the
Santa Maria. For before the Star has
set. she is a hopeless wreck on the
rocks of the beautiful island.*
The Star is to see many cruel things
STAR IN THE EAST
Wondrous Story of the Centuries
That It Told to the Boy
Who Gazed at It.
in the New World after that. Its
serene beam shines on Montezuma in
1519, a prisoner in the bloody hands
of Cortez. It shines on Cortez again
with his men in the next Christmas
eve, lying before Tezcuco, which he
is to enter and plunder before the end
of the week.
On the Christmas eve of 1529 and
for ten Christmas eves thereafter the
Star looks on an American Odyssey.
It is the Odyssey of Alvar Nunez and
his three companions, sole survivors
of the expedition of Pamfilo de Nar-
vaez, wandering along the northern
coast of Mexico, through Texas, to
the Rocky Mountains, and thence to
Mexico, trying to find a way to take
them back to Spain. They spend one
Christmas eve in being worshiped as
demigods by a tribe of Indians. They
spend many others in working as
In 1567 the Star sees a gathering in
Antwerp. It is a terrible gathering
that conceives a thought of inhuman
wickedness and ferocity. Yet out of
this Christmas meeting shall a great
freedom be born. For it is that of the
Spanish rulers in the Netherlands,
and at it is adopted the decree of the
Inquisition that condemns all the in-
habitants of the Netherlands, with but
few exceptions, to death. And the
War of Liberation follows. It is the
first to break the cruel and deadening
power of Spain.
In the New World the Star looks
on the colonists of Jamestown stealing
out on Christmas eve, in 1G07, to get
corn from the Indians by strategy.
Two years later, Christmas eve sees
them suffering grievously for food
Anno Domini 1620, and the Pilgrim
Fathers rest from their labor of build-
ing the settlement which they have
begun that morning.
Christmas eve, 1075 and 1C7G, sees
war in the New World. In the first
year the New Englanders, instead of
gathering around sociable fireplaces,
are abroad, driving before them the
remnants of the Wampanoag Indians,
whom they have defeated in a great
battle near Narragansett bay; and in
1G7G the French are taking Cayenne
in Giana, after a stubborn siege.
In 1G8G the Star shines on grim and
moody faces in the town of New York.
Sir Edmond Andross, the first royal
governor and vice-regent of New Eng-
land, has just arrived and is making
a roaring Christmas eve of it.
Two years afterward the Star
gleams on his royal master, James II.,
spending his Christmas eve in the
French court, a fugitive driven from
his throne in England.
Sitting with a few companions by
a camp fire in the primeval wilderness
of Pennsylvania, a young surveyor
looks up at it in 1753. He is George
Washington, nine days' journey on his
way home from Lake Erie, where he
has been to carry a message to the
commander of the French that will
end finally in the French and Indian
war. Indians are prowling on his path
that night, but he looks as serenely
at the Star of Bethlehem as if he
were gazing at it from his home in
Christmas eve, 1773, and there are
bands and flying banners in Boston.
Young and old, mechanics and royster-
ers and citizens of substance, are
marching together. Singing "God
Save the King," they head straight for
the wharves, where two teaships are
lying. Some of.the chests go over-
board, still to the accompaniment of
the loyal tune. The others are left
on the ships, but the vessels are forced
to return home without unloading.
Lieut. John Paul Jones, in his new
uniform and clothed in his three-day-
old dignity as member of the Corps
of Naval Officers appointed by Con-
gress, swaggers around proudly oil
Christmas eve in Philadelphia in 1775.
Anno Domini 177G sees 24,000 men
crossing the ice-covered Delaware.
And in 1T77 the Star shines on Val-
ley Forge, where men sit around piti-
able fires In rags—penniless, hungry,
freezing, but unfaltering.
Christmas eve, 1783, George Wash-
ington has surrendered his commis-
sion the day before. For the first
time in seven years, looks up to
the Star without heavy care
had been so hopeful of success that
he had selected a ring for her Christ-
mas gift—a little golden circlet set
with a clear white solitaire.
The streets were thronged with
bustling Christmas shoppers, glad of
heart, with merry, expectant faces,
and here and there a wistful one, too,
looking on, but not buying. As Talbot
turned toward the restaurant he no-
ticed two little girls gazing wistfully
into a confectioner's window.
"Yes, Min, I would. I'd do it fust
thing," said the taller of the two. "Oh,
my! wouldn't it be nice to be rich an'
invite all your friends to a big turkey
an' ice cream dinner!"
Minnie, who was of less sanguine
disposition, said there wasn't any
good in wishing, 'cause nothing ever
came true, anyway; but her friend
kept up a flow of charitable aspira-
tions that interested Talbot in spite
of his gloom. They were very poorly
clad, thin-featured and ill-nourished,
but not unpleasant to look at. Talbot
was conscious, all at once, of an inex-
plicable impulse to gratify the first
"So you would really like to give
your friends a Christmas dinner!"
said he, smiling down at her aston-
ished eyes. "I have a great mind to
let you have your wish."
"Oh, dear me, Min!" she gasped, "I
can't hardly believe it, can you? It
sounds just like a make-believe thing.
Won't Mis' Posey be s'prised! An'
Jonas an' Meg an' Tom! Oh, won't
they be jest too pleased!"
"How many shall you invite?" Tal-
bot asked gravely, taking out his note-
book. "You see, we haven't much
time to spare, so we'll have to begin
our preparations at once. How many
'Well, there's Aunt Kitty an' Uncle
Tim an' the baby. Mis' Posey, Jonas
Boggs, Meg an' Pat Fooley—Min, can
you think of anyone else?"
"Lame Betsy an' Moll."
"How ma>ny's that?" asked Lou.
"Twelve, counting us three."
Talbot nodded gravely. "Can you
give me some idea what they would
like to have for dinner?"
"There'll be turkey, won't there?"
"With sauce and stuffin'?"
Talbot wrote down the various
items while they added sundry incon-
"Don't you think it would be nice
to have a little present beside each
plate?" he asked.
Both girls gasped, but looked im-
"Suppose you two go around with
me and pick out what you consider
suitable for each of your guests; be-
cause I should not know what to se-
They set off toward Sixth avenue,
where they soon found themselves in
a whirl of belated shoppers. Talbot
consulted his list as he followed the
fhildren from counter to counter.
"Now, I think you had better both
run home and let your parents see
that you are safe and sound, then set
about the invitations," said Talbot,
when the cab stopped before his own
At precisely 12 o'clock the bell rang
for the first time to announce the ar-
rival of the guests.
Talbot shook hands all around with
a "Merry Christmas!" after which
they all took their places at the beau-
tiful table, the like of which none of
that humble party had ever looked
upon. But it was a kindly madness
that possessed the host of that boun-
tiful dinner, for his stories were of
the pleasantest and his watchful care
Now and then Talbot rose to refill
an empty glass or replenish a half
emptied plate, and in tho midst of one
of his excursions around the table
tho hall bell thrilled merrily, a pro-
longed, Intimate, expectant trill that
sent all the blood rushing madly to
his face. There was a pause, then
James' quiet, well-trained voice said:
"Yes, madam; ho is at dinner in the
The door swung inward, and—
Well, Talbot knew that he was not
dreaming when she came toward him
with outstretched hands and a ripple
of explanation of which he heard not
one word. Indeed, to him one isolated
fact filled the world—that she was
smiling up at him with a great prom-
ise in her eyes. He heard himself say
something about a delightful surprise,
which she interrupted with a half
apologetic question concerning his
Talbot beamed around the table.
"A little friend of mine wanted to
give her friends a Christmas dinner,
and I persuaded her to let me share
it," he explained, jauntily. "It has
been a great treat to me."
Miss Wakefield read the whole
truth for herself as she looked into
the good, homely faces that reflected
their host's praises in every glance.
She said nothing, but her eyes told
what Talbot would have given all he
possessed to hear from her lips. Then
Mr. Wakefield and his wife ventured
in, and Talbot bethought himself to
ask if they had dined, which they had
"I warned Grace that we'd jar
somebody's plans by running in at
this hour, but she thought we might
as well look in on our way home,"
said her brother.
Lou and Talbot made room for
three plates here and there, and as
there was a plenty of crullers and tur-
key and ice cream, all went well to
the very end of the function, when
the eleven originally invited guests
rose and made their adieus with glad
hearts and beaming faces. Talbot saw
them all safely stowed into the ele-
vator cage, when, with a "Happy New
Year, and many jolly returns!" he
hurried back to the studio.
Miss Wakefield stood before the
grate, while her brother and his wife
examined a row of pictures half hid-
den behind the holly wreaths.
"I was sorry to disappoint you yes-
terday," she said, "but poor Ted's tel-
egram was so urgetit that we were
afraid he was worse, and hadn't the
heart to refuse him. When I discov-
ered that we could take an early train
home I made up my mind to run in
"Yes, now," he repeated-
and wish you a Merry Christmas, any-
way; and so we came, you see."
Talbot thought of the ring. He had
taken it from its hiding place.
"For a long while I have wanted to
ask you to accept this—and what goes
with it," he said, simply, holding the
glittering bauble toward her.
A red glow crept into her face.
"Don't you thlak you are taking a
rather unfair advantage of me, Ger-
ry?" she asked.
"Yes, now?" he repeated.
She made no audible answer, but
when the young couple at the othef
end of the room sauntered toward
them they were smiling.—New York
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Allan, John S. The Peoples Voice (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 13, No. 24, Ed. 1 Friday, December 23, 1904, newspaper, December 23, 1904; Norman, Oklahoma Territory. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc116067/m1/3/: accessed September 21, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.