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5 The end of the story

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Yes!and the bedpost was his own.The bed was his own,the room was his own.Best and happiest of all, the future was his own, to change his life in!
‘I will remember the past,and think of the future,’repeated Scrooge,as he jumped out of bed.‘God bless you,Jacob Marley!And God bless Christmas!’
In his excitement he found it difficult to speak.His face was still wet from crying.‘Here are my bed-curtains!’he cried delightedly.‘They aren't stolen! And I'm alive!Those were only shadows of things that may be!The future will be different!I know it will!’
All this time his hands were busy,hurriedly putting on his clothes.He put his left foot in his right shoe,couldn't find the buttons on his shirt,and forgot to brush his hair.
‘I don't know what I'm doing!’said Scrooge, laughing and crying at the same time.‘A merry Christmas to everybody!A happy new year to all the world!Hurrah! There's the door which Jacob's ghost came through!There's the corner where the ghost of Christmas Present sat!There's the window where I saw the travelling ghosts!It's all true,it all happened!Ha ha ha!’
Really,for a man who hadn't laughed for so many years,it was an excellent laugh.The father of a long line of excellent laughs!
‘I don't know what day of the month it is!’said Scrooge.‘I don't know how long I've been with the spirits!I don't know anything.I'm just like a baby.Never mind!I prefer being a baby!Hurrah!’
Just then he heard the church bells ring out louder than he had ever heard before.Running to the window, he opened it and looked out.No fog at all, a clear, bright, cold day, golden sunlight, blue sky,sweet clean air,merry bells.Oh, wonderful!wonderful!
‘What's today?’he cried,calling down to a boy in the street.
‘Today?’replied the boy,in great surprise.‘Why,it's Christmas Day!’
‘So I haven't missed it!’thought Scrooge.‘The spirits have done it all in one night!’He called down to the boy again,‘Hallo, young man!Do you know the meat shop at the corner of the next street? ’
‘Of course I do,’replied the boy.
‘What an intelligent boy!’said Scrooge.‘Do you know if they've sold the big turkey that was in the shop window yesterday?’
‘What,the one as big as me?’asked the boy.
‘What a delightful boy!’said Scrooge.‘It's wonderful talking to him.Yes, that's the one!’
‘It's still there in the window,’said the boy.
‘Is it?’said Scrooge.‘Well, go and buy it.’
‘You don't mean it!’cried the by.
‘I do,I do.I'm serious.Go and buy it,and tell the man to bring it back here.Come back with the man and I'll give you a shilling.Come back in less than five minutes and I'll give you three shillings!’
The by went off like a bullet from a gun.
‘I'll send the turkey to Bob Cratchit's! laughed Scrooge.‘He'll never know who's sent it!It's twice as big as Tiny Tim!Ha ha ha!’
He went on laughing as he wrote Bob's address,gave it to the man with the turkey,and paid for a taxi,because the turkey was much too heavy to carry all the way to Camden Town.
Now he finished dressing,and went out into the streets, wearing his best clothes.The town was full of happy, busy people,and Scrooge smiled at all of them.Three or four men said cheerfully to him, ‘Good morning,sir! And a merry Christmas to you!’scrooge thought these were the best sounds that he had ever heard.
As he was walking, he suddenly noticed one of the comfortable-looking gentlemen who had come to his office to ask for money for the poor.Scrooge went straight up to him, took the old gentleman by both hands,and said,‘My dear sir,how are you? A merry Christmas to you, sir!’
‘Mr Scrooge?’asked the gentleman,surprised.
‘Yes, that's my name.I'm very sorry for what I said to you when you visited me yesterday.Will you please—’and he spoke very quietly in the gentleman's ear.
‘Good Heavens!’cried the gentleman.‘My dear Mr Scrooge,are you serious?’
‘I am.Not a shilling less.I must tell you,I haven't given anything to anyone for years.’
‘My dear sir!’said the gentleman,shaking hands with him.‘I don't know how to thank you for—’
Don't say anything,please,’replied Scrooge.‘Will you come and see me tomorrow about it?’
‘I will!’cried the old gentleman happily.
‘Thank you,and God bless you!’said Scrooge.
He went to church, and watched the people,and gave children money for sweets, and discovered that he had never been so happy in his life.In the afternoon he went to his nephew's house He passed the door several times before he was brave enough to knock.But at last he did it,and was taken into the sitting-room,where Fred and his pretty wife were waiting for their friends to arrive for dinner.
‘Fred!’said Scrooge.‘It's your uncle Scrooge.I've come to dinner.Will you let me stay, Fred?’
Let him stay!Fred almost shook his uncle's arm off.Scrooge felt at home in five minutes.Nothing could be merrier.And what a wonderful dinner they had!Wonderful party,wonderful games,wonderful happiness!
But he was early at the office next morning.Oh,he was there early.He wanted to catch Bob Cratchit arriving late.And he did!The clock struck nine.No Bob.A quarter past.No Bob.He was eighteen and a half minutes late when he finally hurried in.Scrooge was sitting with his office door open.
‘Hallo!’said Scrooge in his old,hard voice.‘What do you mean by coming here so late?’
I'm very sorry,sir, said Bob.‘I am late.It's only once a year.We were rather merry yesterday,sir.’
‘Now I'll tell you what,my friend,said Scrooge,‘I'm not going to have this any longer.And so’,he continued, jumping off his chair and shaking Bob's hand,‘I'm going to pay you twice as much!’
Bob's face went white.For a second or two he thought that Scrooge had gone crazy.
‘A merry Christmas,Bob!’said Scrooge,and it was clear that he meant It.‘A merrier Christmas,Bob,than I've given you for a long time.I'm going to pay you well,and help you with your family,and we'll discuss it all this afternoon over a Christmas drink, Bob! Put more wood on the fire at once, Bob Cratchit,and let's be comfortable!’
Scrooge did everything that he had promised,and more.To Tiny Tim, who did NOT die,he became a second father.He became as good a friend,employer and man, as anyone in London or in the world.Some people laughed to see the change in him,but he did not care.His own heart laughed inside him,and that was good enough for him.He never had any more conversations with spirits, but kept Christmas cheerfully,and lived a happy life.That is what all of us want, and so,as Tiny Tim said,‘God bless us, every one!’