From some of the windows bright lights were already beginning to stream until it was almost as bright as day. But the little child seemed to have no home, and wandered about listlessly from street to street. No one took any notice of him except perhaps Jack Frost, who bit his bare toes and made the ends of his fingers tingle. The north wind, too, seemed to notice the child, for it blew against him and pierced his ragged garments through and through, causing him to shiver with cold. Home after home he passed, looking with longing eyes through the windows, in upon the glad, happy children, most of whom were helping to trim the Christmas trees for the coming morrow.
“YO HO! my boys,” said Fezziwig. “No more work to–night! Christmas Eve, Dick! Christmas, Ebenezer! Let’s have the shutters up!” cried old Fezziwig with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson…”
“Hilli–ho!” cried old Fezziwig, skipping down from the high desk with wonderful agility. “Clear away, my lads, and let’s have lots of room here! Hilli–ho, Dick! Cheer–up, Ebenezer!”
Clear away! There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away, or couldn’t have cleared away with old Fezziwig looking on. It was done in a minute. Every movable was packed off, as if it were dismissed from public life forevermore; the floor was swept and watered, the lamps were trimmed, fuel was heaped upon the fire; and the warehouse was as snug, and warm, and dry, and bright a ballroom as you would desire to see on a winter’s night.