Dancing Dan's Christmas
by Damon Runyon [1884-1946]
Page 3 of 4
On her face is a large smile, as if she is dreaming of
something very pleasant. On a chair at the head of the bed is
hung a long black stocking, and it seems to be such a stocking as
is often patched and mended, so I can see that what Miss Muriel
O'Neill tells Dancing Dan about her grandmamma hanging up her
stocking is really true, although up to this time I have my
Finally Dancing Dan unslings the sack on his back, and takes
out his package, and unties this package, and all of a sudden out
pops a raft of big diamond bracelets, and diamond rings, and
diamond brooches, and diamond necklaces, and I do not know what
else in the way of diamonds, and Dancing Dan and I begin stuffing
these diamonds into the stocking and Good Time Charley pitches in
and helps us.
There are enough diamonds to fill the stocking to the muzzle,
and it is no small stocking, at that, and I judge that Gammer
O'Neill has a pretty fair set of bunting sticks when she is
young. In fact, there are so many diamonds that we have enough
left over to make a nice little pile on the chair after we fill
the stocking plumb up, leaving a nice diamond-studded vanity case
sticking out the top where we figure it will hit Gammer O'Neill's
eye when she wakes up.
And it is not until I get out in the fresh air again that all
of a sudden I remember seeing large headlines in the afternoon
papers about a five hundred-G's stickup in the afternoon of one
of the biggest diamond merchants in Maiden Lane while he is
sitting in his office, and I also recall once hearing rumors that
Dancing Dan is one of the best lone-hand git-'em-up guys in the
Naturally, I commence to wonder if I am in the proper company
am with Dancing Dan, even if he is Santa Claus. So I leave
him on the next corner arguing with Good Time Charley about
whether they ought to go and find some more presents somewhere,
and look for other stockings to stuff, and I hasten on home and
go to bed.
The next day I find I have such a noggin that I do not care
to stir around, and in fact I do not stir around much for a
couple of weeks.
Then one night I drop around to Good Time Charley's little
speakeasy, and ask Charley what is doing.
"Well," Charley says, "many things are doing, and
personally," he says, "I'm greatly surprised I do not see you at Gammer
You know Gammer O'Neill leaves this wicked old world a couple
of days after Christmas," Good Time Charley says, "and," he says,
"Miss Muriel O'Neill states that Doc Moggs claims it is at least a
day after she is entitled to go, but she is sustained," Charley
says, "by great happiness in finding her stocking filled with
beautiful gifts on Christmas morning.
"According to Miss Muriel O'Neill," Charley says, "Gammer
O'Neill dies practically convinced that there is a Santa Claus,
although of course," he says, "Miss Muriel O'Neill does not tell
her the real owner of the gifts, an all-right guy by the name of
Shapiro leaves the gifts with her after Miss Muriel O'Neill
notifies him of finding of same.
"It seems," Charley says, "this Shapiro is a tender-hearted
guy, who is willing to help keep Gammer O'Neill with us a little longer
when Doc Moggs says leaving the gifts with her will do it.
"So," Charley says, "everything is quite all right, as the
coppers cannot figure anything except that maybe the rascal who
takes the gifts from Shapiro gets conscience-stricken, and leaves
them the first place he can, and Miss Muriel O'Neill receives a
ten-G's reward for finding the gifts and returning them. And,"
Charley says, "I hear Dancing Dan is in San Francisco and is
figuring on reforming and becoming a dancing teacher, so he can
marry Miss Muriel O'Neill, and of course, " he says, "we all hope
and trust she never learns any details of Dancing Dan's career."