It was quiet in dormitory 4 and though all the boys were sitting in the dining room, Jennings and Darbishire talked in the dining room. rustle.

They just sat down to drink tea, said Darbishire.

Jennings pressed the red blanket to his chin, and Darbishire began to glue the cotton to Jennings ' face.

I just hope that he will not fall in the middle, ' said Darbishire.

- Oh, it'll be all right in the middle. But pieces on the sides..."

- Oh, I don't mean the middle of the beard, I mean the middle of the party."

-You wait at the door, said Darbishire. Jennings, when they left the Dorm. I'll go first. Then you will knock and open the door."

"And if old Wilkie gets angry again, or my beard falls off, and everyone laughs!""

- It's gonna be okay, Jen. Do you have a fountain pen?"

- Yes, it's in my pocket."

- Then it's all right. Let's hope for the best."

Jennings would be surprised to learn that he wasn't the only person who was worried about the part he had to play... But at that moment he could not know. Mr. Wilkins, in a red robe and a white beard, was hiding behind the kitchen door, ready to enter from the other end of the dining room.

* * *

As usual, there was a Christmas tree in the house. canteen. After tea, as a rule, there were games and singing, and then a concert, which was organized by the guys themselves. But this time Mr. Pemberton decided to show the film.

The party was going on in those moments when Darbishire entered the dining room and hurried to his place, where he waited for the father. a plate of cheese and tomatoes was waiting for him.

Where were you? Venables Asked.

I cannot tell, ' replied Darbyshire. It's secret."

He looked at the table where Mr. Wilkins was sitting. usually sat... his eyes widened in surprise... Mr. Wilkins wasn't there! He looked around the room. Mr. Wilkins was nowhere to be found. hall!

Is the end of our plan, ' said Darbishire. to myself. "What will old Jen do when he enters the hall?" It's too late to warn him now. It's too late to do anything. I can only wait and see what happens."

That's when Mr. Carter called.

"You will be interested to hear that an important visitor has promised to come and join us tonight," he said with a smile. "I think our guest has already arrived and is waiting to enter."

Mr. Carter coughed loudly... and Mr. Wilkins knocked on the door.

All heads turned to the sound and so only a few boys heard a knock on the door at the other end of the room. room. But Darbishire heard them and knew too well what they mean.

Then the kitchen door opened and the boys saw Santa Standing in the doorway.

There was a sigh of surprise and delight. But there was an even bigger surprise... Because at the same moment that Mr. Wilkins entered the dining room from the kitchen, the door was open. at the far end of the dining room, a small figure in a red blanket opened up and cotton wool around his face came in.

The two Christmas Fathers stopped and stood looking at each other in surprise. All the boys turned from one end of the dining room to the other, like spectators on a tennis court match.

What's happening? Atkinson asked. Two Fathers."

Why not? temple said. "I think they mean big Santa Claus and Little Santa Claus, or maybe father Christmas and grandfather Christmas."

Mr Wilkins went. Jennings went too.

The teacher and the boy walked slowly until they met in the middle of the dining room at the Christmas tree.

Mr. Wilkins recognized little Father Frost at once.

'Well, well! I didn't expect to find another Santa Claus here, " said Mr. Wilkins.

I didn't expect to meet you either, sir... I mean, I didn't want to come here because of that... about what you said, sir," Jennings explained. - But I came for a minute to give you Christmas. present, sir."

And Little Santa Claus put his hand in his pocket and gave big Santa a pen.

Big Santa looked at him in surprise. Then he took the gift.

- My pen! he exclaimed. "How wonderful! That's very kind of you, Jennings or Santa Claus! Thank you so much for finding him."

"It's all right, sir," said Little Santa.

- Now let's see if I can give you a present.," said Big Santa, and he took Jennings ' penknife and gave it to its owner. "Please take this little gift with my best wishes."

"Oh, thank You, sir,I mean Santa Claus, sir."

There was applause in the dining room.

Jennings wanted to say one more important thing. Now is the time, he decided.

"I think I must go, sir," he said. "I just wanted to give you your pen. You see, I found it in the mailbox. the closet, and you said I should stay and clean it up..."

"I see what you mean," said Big father. Christmas smiles through its bear. - That was very careless of me. And now I can't ask my little brother to leave the party. So please stay and join us tonight."

"Oh, Thank you, Father, that is, thank you, sir, Santa Claus, sir."

Jennings wanted to hurry to his table, but changed his mind. - Wait a minute, Jennings, or Santa Claus. We Father Christmas must say our greetings to all these people who have come here. So let's do it together, okay?"

"Yes, sir," said Jennings.

And the two Christmas Fathers said together, "merry Christmas to you all."

After a round of applause Jennings took off his blanket and beard and ate his cheese, tomatoes and cakes.

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