Chapter 5 – The End of It
Yes! And the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the time before him was his own, and he could make the best of it.
“I will live in the past, the present, and the future.” Scrooge repeated, as he got out of bed. “I don’t know what to do! I am as happy as an angel! I don’t know what day of the month it is. I don’t know how long I’ve been among the spirits. Hallo! Hallo there!”
He ran to the window, opened it, and put out his head.
“What’s today?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes.
“Today?” replied the boy. “Why, Christmas Day!”
“It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven’t missed it! The spirits have done it all in one night. Hallo, my fine fellow! Do you know the poulterer’s at the corner? And do you know whether they’ve sold the big turkey that was hanging up there?”
“What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy. “It’s still hanging there now.”
“Is it!” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it! I am in earnest. Go and buy it and come back with the man that I may give them the direction where to take it. I’ll give you a shilling for it. Come back with the man in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown!”
The boy was off like a shot.
“I’ll send it to Bob Cratchit,” whispered Scrooge cheerfully. “It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim.”.
He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. He had not gone far, when he came towards the two gentlemen, who had walked into his office the day before.
“My dear Sir,” said Scrooge, “How do you do? I fear I wasn’t pleasant to you yesterday. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness to …”, here Scrooge whispered in his ear.
“Lord bless me!” cried the gentleman, “My dear Mr Scrooge, are you serious? I don’t know what to say to such generosity.”
Scrooge then went to church, and walked through the streets, and watched the people. He had never dreamed that anything could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he went to his nephew’s house.
“Fred,” said Scrooge, It’s your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?”
Of course, Fred let him in; it was a very hearty welcome and they all had a wonderful party.
But Scrooge was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only catch Bob Cratchit coming late. And he did it; yes, he did. Bob was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come in.
“Hallo!” growled Scrooge, in his usual way. “What do you mean by coming here at this time of day? I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,” he continued, jumping from his stool, “and therefore I am about to raise your salary. A merry Christmas, Bob.”
Bob Cratchit was very surprised, and so were many people who found Scrooge so changed. Scrooge became a better person. To Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. Scrooge became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city or town in the good old world.
It was always said of Scrooge, that he knew how to keep Christmas well. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim would say, God bless us, every one!