"Well, I," triumphed Flame, "have got a chance to spend Christmas just exactly the way I want to!... The one chance perhaps in a life-time, it would seem!... No heart aches involved, no hurt feelings, no disappointments for anybody! Nobody left out! Nobody dragged in! Why Father-Funny," she cried. "It's an experience that might distinguish me all my life long!

With a sudden revival of enthusiasm two small hands crept out of their big cuffs and clutched her Father by the ears. "Oh Father-Funny!" pleaded Flame. "If you were too old to want it for a 'holler' day and not quite old enough to need it for a holy day ... so that all you asked in the world was just to have it a holly day! Something all bright! Red and green!

"You couldn't wish one 'A Merry Aunt Minna' any more than you could wish 'em a 'Merry Good Friday'!" From the clutch on his ears the small hands crept to a point at the back of his neck where they encompassed him suddenly in a crunching hug. "Oh Father-Funny!" implored Flame, "You were a Lay Reader once! You must have had very amorous eyes! Couldn't you please persuade Mother that..."

The least that delicate relatives can do is to take extra precautions at holiday time.... Oh, of course your Uncle Wally has books in his library," he brightened, "very interesting old books that wouldn't be perfectly seemly for a minister of the Gospel to have in his own library.... But still it's very disappointing," he wilted again. "I agree with you ... utterly, Father-Funny!" said Flame.

But it was a very frankly disconsolate little girl who stole late that night to her Father's study, and perched herself high on the arm of his chair with her cheek snuggled close to his. "Of Father-Funny," whispered Flame, "I've got such a queer little pain." "A pain?" jerked her Father. "Oh dear me! Where is it? Go and find your Mother at once!" "Mother?" frowned Flame.