• The Boy with the Box

  • Narrator

    It was an ideal Christmas day.

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  • The sun shone brightly but the air was crisp and cold, and snow and ice lay sparkling everywhere.

  • A light wind, the night before, had swept the blue, icebound river clean of scattering snow;

  • and, by two o'clock in the afternoon, the broad bend near Creighton's mill was fairly alive with skaters.

  • The girls in gay caps and scarfs, the boys in sweaters and mackinaws of every conceivable hue, with here and there a plump, matronly figure in a plush coat or a tiny fellow in scarlet, made a picture of life and brilliancy worthy of an artist's finest skill.

  • Tom Reynolds moved in and out among the happy throng, with swift, easy strokes, his cap on the back of his curly head, and his brown eyes shining with excitement.

  • Now and again, he glanced down with pardonable pride, at the brand new skates that twinkled beneath his feet.

  • “Jolly Ramblers,” sure enough “Jolly Ramblers” they were!

  • Ever since Ralph Evans had remarked, with a tantalizing toss of his handsome head, that

  • Profile Picture of Ralph in The Boy with the Box

    Ralph

    “no game fellow would try to skate on anything but 'Jolly Ramblers,'”

  • Narrator

    Tom had yearned, with an inexpressible longing, for a pair of these wonderful skates.

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  • And now they were his and the ice was fine and the Christmas sun was shining!

  • Tom was rounding the big bend for the fiftieth time, when he saw, skimming gracefully toward him through the merry crowd, a tall boy in a fur-trimmed coat, his handsome head proudly erect.

  • Profile Picture of Tom in The Boy with the Box

    Tom

    “That's Ralph Evans now,”

  • Narrator

    said Tom to himself.

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  • Profile Picture of Tom in The Boy with the Box

    Tom

    “Just wait till you see these skates, old boy, and maybe you won't feel so smart!”

  • Narrator

    And with slow, cautious strokes, he made his way through laughing boys and girls to a place just in front of the tall skater, coming toward him down the broad white way.

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  • When Ralph was almost upon him, Tom paused and in conspicuous silence, looked down at his shining skates.

  • Profile Picture of Ralph in The Boy with the Box

    Ralph

    “Hullo,”