"'Bout time for the train," Brojo said, eyeing his pocket watch.  He drained his cocoa mug and ruffled through the latest edition of the 'Herald.' "Says here Boog and Holly are going to join."  Brojo said. "Beblee, can I get a refill?"

        "I'm not surprised." Beblee pulled out a chair as she handed Brojo his hot beverage.  "Those two have been canoodling since the Claus’ Christmas Party."

       "Do you think they will be a good match?" Brojo blew on the steamy chocolate.

        "Well, it's hard to say, her being a snow fairy, and all.  Still, they seem like a good match."

        "It says here Rose and Bluebelle are going to coordinate the gathering for Holly and Sheeny, gals only."

        "Sheeny? What else does it say?" Beblee tried to unknot her apron, but her arms were too short to reach around her ample behind.

        "Says Sheeny and Jackson are finally joining, too."

        Beblee yanked at her apron sash.  "Well, I figured that. What else does it say?"

        "Not much. 'Says the North Pole will reappear in 202 days." Brojo folded the newspaper and placed it on the table. 

        "Yippers, Brojo! Can you give me a hand?”

        Brojo clapped enthusiastically.

        Beblee picked up the newspaper and swatted at him.

        Laughing, Brojo said, “Well, you asked for a hand.”

        “With my apron, you old fool.”

        Still chuckling, Brojo checked his time piece. “Where’s the train?”

        “It’s not late yet,” Beblee sighed. “So, the joining will be --?”

        “On Sweetheart Day, of course.” Brojo carefully unknotted her apron. “There ya go.” He playfully slapped at Beblee’s booty.

        "Halloo," Elmer hollered, as he crashed through the door.  "Did I miss the train?"

        "Should be here any time." Brojo greeted Elmer with an embrace. "Where ya off to this fine mornin'?"

        “Fine? I heard it’s ‘sposed to snow! Have you been busy?” Elmer asked.

        "Just reading the 'Herald','' Beblee said, swatting Brojo again.

        Elmer chuckled. "A typical day, I see."

        "How are things at the Sports shop?" Brojo steadied the chair, which creaked under Elmer's load.

        "Good," Elmer said.

        "So, you just closed the shop?" Beblee asked, giving Elmer a mug of cocoa. “Where are you headed?”

        “Christmas Tree Forest.”

         "What's goin' on at the Forest that's so important?"  Beblee was one of the nosiest helpers at the North Pole.

         “I dunno. Clancy wants to see me.”

        “He was in here last week,” Brojo said, “on Wednesday.”

        “It was Tuesday,” Beblee argued.

        "Ring-a-ling," the truth bell tinkled.

        “No, it was Wednesday,” Brojo said confidently.  “Wednesday at 7:00.”


        “It was 7:30, and it was Tuesday!"


        “Can I just have my ticket?” Elmer interrupted.

        "Sure thing.”  Brojo went to the window and tore a ticket from the huge roll.  “Here you go.”

        "Thanks.”  Elmer took the ticket and shoved it into his pocket. “I wonder why Clancy didn’t stop by the other day,” he added, almost to himself.

        “It was last week,” Brojo and Beblee chorused.

        “On Tuesday,” Beblee added.


        "Wednesday,” Brojo mumbled, wanting the last word.

        “Wooooo-ooo” the train whistle sounded, halting the conversation.

        “There’s Willie now,” Brojo said.

        Elmer was fingering his ticket, and already on his way toward the door.



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