Mission.org
Published in

Mission.org

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Section 10 of 10

We are excited for the holidays, and to get even more in the mood, we’ve been republishing A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Over the past two weeks, we’ve shared bits and pieces of this classic Christmas story. We hope you’ve been enjoying the story as much as we have!

If you haven’t already, be sure to give these a read before continuing to the story below:

Marley’s Ghost — Part 1

Marley’s Ghost — Part 2

The First of the Three Spirits — Part 1

The First of the Three Spirits — Part 2

The Second of the Three Spirits — Part 1

The Second of the Three Spirits — Part 2

The Last of the Spirits — Part 1

The Last of the Spirits — Part 2

The End of It — Part 1

The following was written by Charles Dickens and originally published in 1843.

The End of It — Part 2

Shaving was not an easy task, for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you don’t dance while you are at it. But if he had cut the end of his nose off, he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it, and been quite satisfied.

He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good- humoured fellows said,’ Good morning, sir. A merry Christmas to you.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards, that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, those were the blithest in his ears.

He had not gone far, when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman, who had walked into his counting-house the day before, and said,’ Scrooge and Marley’s, I believe.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met; but he knew what path lay straight before him, and he took it.

‘My dear sir,’ said Scrooge, quickening his pace, and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. ‘How do you do. I hope you succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of you. A merry Christmas to you, sir.’

‘Mr Scrooge.’

‘Yes,’ said Scrooge. ‘That is my name, and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear.

‘Lord bless me.’ cried the gentleman, as if his breath were taken away. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge, are you serious.’

‘If you please,’ said Scrooge. ‘Not a farthing less. A great many back-payments are included in it, I assure you. Will you do me that favour.’

‘My dear sir,’ said the other, shaking hands with him. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence.’

‘Don’t say anything please,’ retorted Scrooge. ‘Come and see me. Will you come and see me.’

‘I will.’ cried the old gentleman. And it was clear he meant to do it.

‘Thank you,’ said Scrooge. ‘I am much obliged to you. I thank you fifty times. Bless you.’

He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.

He passed the door a dozen times, before he had the courage to go up and knock. But he made a dash, and did it:

‘Is your master at home, my dear.’ said Scrooge to the girl. Nice girl. Very.

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Where is he, my love.’ said Scrooge.

‘He’s in the dining-room, sir, along with mistress. I’ll show you up-stairs, if you please.’

‘Thank you. He knows me,’ said Scrooge, with his hand already on the dining-room lock. ‘I’ll go in here, my dear.’

He turned it gently, and sidled his face in, round the door. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array); for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points, and like to see that everything is right.

‘Fred.’ said Scrooge.

Dear heart alive, how his niece by marriage started. Scrooge had forgotten, for the moment, about her sitting in the corner with the footstool, or he wouldn’t have done it, on any account.

‘Why bless my soul.’ cried Fred,’ who’s that.’

‘It’s I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred.’

Let him in. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper when he came. So did the plump sister when she came. So did every one when they came. Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, wonderful happiness.

But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. That was the thing he had set his heart upon.

And he did it; yes, he did. The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.

His hat was off, before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock.

‘Hallo.’ growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day.’

‘I am very sorry, sir,’ said Bob. ‘I am behind my time.’

‘You are.’ repeated Scrooge. ‘Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir, if you please.’

‘It’s only once a year, sir,’ pleaded Bob, appearing from the Tank. ‘It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.’

‘Now, I’ll tell you what, my friend,’ said Scrooge,’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,’ he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again;’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary.’

Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.

‘A merry Christmas, Bob,’ said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. ‘A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year. I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob. Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit.’

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He 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, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

The End

That’s all for this story! Subscribe to our newsletter that way you don’t miss more Christmas stories like this!

Did you enjoy this article? Help spread the Christmas cheer by clapping this up and sharing around on the socials so that others can find it!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mission

Mission

Award-winning media studio. Learn more at mission.org