My Dear Susy Clemens,
I have received and read all the letters which you and your little
sister have written me... I can read your and your baby sister's jagged
and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with
those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for
I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well. You will find
that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered
in your own letters--I went down your chimney at midnight when you were
asleep and delivered them all myself--and kissed both of you, too...
But... there were... one or two small orders which I could not fill
because we ran out of stock ...
There was a word or two in your
mama's letter which . . .I took to be "a trunk full of doll's clothes."
Is that it? I will call at your kitchen door about nine o'clock this
morning to inquire. But I must not see anybody and I must not speak to
anybody but you. When the kitchen doorbell rings, George must be
blindfolded and sent to the door. You must tell George he must walk on
tiptoe and not speak--otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up
to the nursery and stand on a chair or the nurse's bed and put your ear
to the speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle
through it you must speak in the tube and say, "Welcome, Santa Claus!"
Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not. If you say it
was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to be . . . and then
you must tell me every single thing in detail which you want the trunk
to contain. Then when I say "Good-by and a merry Christmas to my little
Susy Clemens," you must say "Good-by, good old Santa Claus, I thank you
very much." Then you must go down into the library and make George close
all the doors that open into the main hall, and everybody must keep
still for a little while. I will go to the moon and get those things and
in a few minutes I will come down the chimney that belongs to the
fireplace that is in the hall--if it is a trunk you want--because I
couldn't get such a thing as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know .
. . .If I should leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to
sweep it into the fireplace, for I haven't time to do such things.
George must not use a broom, but a rag--else he will die someday . . . .
If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not
holystone it away. Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and
whenever you look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind you
to be a good little girl. Whenever you are naughty and someone points
to that mark which your good old Santa Claus's boot made on the marble,
what will you say, little sweetheart?
Good-by for a few minutes, till I come down to the world and ring the kitchen doorbell.
Your loving Santa Claus
Whom people sometimes call
"The Man in the Moon"