The Gift Of The Magi
Confere: One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair.
Della: Will you buy my hair?
Madame: I buy hair. Take your hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it.
Confere: Down rippled the brown cascade.
Madame: Twenty dollars.
Della: Give it to me quickly.
Confere: Oh, and the next two hours she was looking for Jim's present. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. It was a platinum fob chain. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's.
Della: "If Jim doesn't kill me before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"
Confere: At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops. Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered.
Della: Please God, make him think I am still pretty.
Della: Jim, darling, don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you.
Jim: You've cut off your hair?
Della: Cut it off and sold it. Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair!
Jim: You say your hair is gone?
Della: Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered, but nobody could ever count my love for you.
Confere: Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.
Jim: Don't make any mistake, Dell. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.
Confere: There lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims.
Della: Oh, oh, Jim, you haven’t seen your present! Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.
Jim: Dell, let's put our Christmas presents away and keep them a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now I suppose you can put the chops on.
Confere: The magi, as you know, were wise men - who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. And here we see two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.