DID you have a happy Christmas?" inquired the New Brother in the anteroom.
"Indeed, yes! Did you?"
"Not particularly. Same old day, same old expense, same old gifts, same old thing," yawned the New Brother. "What did you do that made it happy?"
"First thing I went to church," answered the Old Tiler.
"Why, I didn't know you were a church goer!" The New Brother was surprised.
"It is debatable," confessed the Old Tiler. "But on Christmas I like to go to church. Any-way, I had to see the rector. I had a turkey for someone who would need it. After church I got in the automobile and the chauffeur drove me to see Brother Fosdick and —
"Whoa! You have a car and chauffeur?" demanded the New Brother.
"Always on Christmas," grinned the Old Tiler. "Feel mighty important, too! But it's not mine, of course. A banker lends it to me."
"I couldn't get around without a car," explained the Old Tiler. "So Brother Vandeveer lends me his. I called on old Brother Fosdick. Re hasn't been in lodge in ten years, but he doesn't know it. He thinks he was at the last meeting, and will be there the next. His mind isn't as clear as it was. He orders me to vote on this and how to do that, and is so important about it that he has a good time, thinking he is still a power in the lodge. It's not much of a Christmas present, but it's what he likes best."
"Oh!" said the New Brother.
"Then I was driven to the Masonic Home. Had some toys for some pets and never can deny myself the pleasure of giving them.
"Pets is the word. Two children of a brother of this lodge."
"We had a riotous time, the kiddies and I. They showed me their tree and all their gifts and we played tag a while and they blew horns and it was real Christmas-like. It's a shame to take up so much of the children's time but I had a lot of fun and they were very kind, of course because I am old."
"Is that it I" said the New Brother.
"The big kick came in the afternoon. I made a few calls on sick and housed brethren, and then went to dinner. After dinner we got in the car and went to the orphan asylum, and I had the time of my life. We must have given away five hundred dollars in toys and games and books and dolls."
"You gave away five hundred dollars?"
"No, we did. I didn't pay for them. I am poor. Brother Vandeveer paid for them. All I did was buy them and take them there in Brother Vandeveer's car. He went along because he likes to."
"All you did was spend the money and distribute it and plan it. He just went along. I see," said the New Brother.
"Yes, I'd pay for part of them, but that would take some of the joy from Vandeveer," the Old Tiler explained happily. "We had fun. Then we went back to Brother Vandeveer's home and he gave me a present-think of that! There it is!" The Old Tiler pointed to a handsome stick. "He's quite a wag, is Brother Vandeveer. He's already done so much for me, lending me the car and all. I had no present for him. I told him so. He said I had already given him Christmas, which was nonsense, because I hadn't given him anything. I hardly know where the day went. But I had a real good time. That's what Christmas is for, isn't it?"
"I always thought it was a day to get up late and laze around and stuff myself and go to bed disgusted," snapped the New Brother. "I think I'll try your scheme next time."
"There's plenty of room for you in the car," answered the Old Tiler. "I'd love to have you and so would Brother Vandeveer."
"Oh," said the New Brother, thoughtfully.