on guard between him and the door to the stairway, which they had left open when they came down. The man smiled as he saw the lad push his sister back and come a step or two forward. He made a pretty picture in his white shirt, brown knee-breeches, and little bare legs, the yellow locks about his shoulders, the rapier in his hand, alert and quite fearless.
[Illustration: HE MADE A PRETTY PICTURE--ALERT AND QUITE FEARLESS.]
"My sister thinks perhaps you are a wobber, sir; but I think you are Mr. Khwis Kwingle."
"Yes, I am Kris Kringle to-night, and you see I know your names--Alice, Hugh." His cloak fell from him, and he stood smiling, a handsome Chris. "Do not be afraid. Be sure I love little children. Come, let us talk a bit."
"It's all wite, Alice," said the boy. "I said he wasn't a wobber."
And they went hand in hand toward the fire, now a brilliant blaze. The man leaned heavily upon a chair back, his lips moving, a great stir of emotion shaking him as he gazed on the lit