Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bob Cratchit’s Long Lost Diary

December 26, 1843 - Dear Diary: I scarcely know where to begin! After yesterday’s merry celebration, I arrived quite late at the office this morning and fully expected Mr. Scrooge to discharge me right on the spot. But instead of being angry, he was positively giddy! He hugged me, gave me a substantial raise in salary, ordered me to throw plenty of coal on the fire, shared a snifter of brandy with me in the afternoon, and most surprisingly, offered to help with Tiny Tim’s medical problems. I was sure he was not even aware of Tim’s existence—let alone his poor health. The total transformation in the man is remarkable. This is the most joyous turn of events we could have ever hoped for. Upon hearing the news, Mrs. Cratchit was extremely affectionate this evening for the first time in ages. Possibly another Cratchit on the way? God bless us, everyone!

December 27, 1843 - Dear Diary: Mr. Scrooge instructed me to order a new oil lamp so I might see better at my desk. He also gave me the name and address of one of London’s most prominent surgeons. I assume he wants me to bring Tim there. Due to our lengthy chat over lunch, Mr. Scrooge was late in getting to the Exchange this afternoon and was unable to make a deal when the market price of corn unexpectedly dropped. He stands to lose more than 30 pounds on this transaction. He returned to the office in a bit of a disagreeable mood. There was no brandy today. He did, however, wish me well at closing time and hinted that I might see him at church this Sunday. Now wouldn’t that be extraordinary?

December 28, 1843 - Dear Diary: Brought Tim to Dr. Townsend today. He says he can help but the treatments will be rather expensive. He was very puzzled when I instructed him to send the bills to Mr. Scrooge, but I convinced him that Mr. Scrooge is a new man.

December 29, 1843 - Dear Diary: Did not see Mr. Scrooge in church this morning. I thought of him often, especially when the parson spoke of the power of the spirit of Christmas to bring about unexpected change in a man’s heart.

December 30, 1843 - Dear Diary: Mr. Scrooge must have had an unpleasant weekend. He was rather cross all day. He seemed quite agitated when the invoice for the coal shipment arrived.

December 31, 1843 - Dear Diary: Had much end-of-year bookkeeping to finish today. Mr. Scrooge yelled many times for me to work faster. He also complained, “A perfectly profitable year has all but been ruined by one week of reckless spending!” I do hope it was only the pressure of closing out the books which brought about this foul mood.

January 1, 1844 - Dear Diary: The new oil lamp arrived. When I asked that a jar of oil be included in the sale, Mr. Scrooge leapt from behind his desk and bellowed, “MR. CRATCHIT!! It is you who will be using that frivolous lamp. It is you who shall pay for its fuel! Is that quite clear?!” With my new salary, I should be able to manage. I am getting more concerned about Mr. Scrooge’s state of mind, however.

January 2, 1844 - Dear Diary: Pay day. Mr. Scrooge gave me my old wage today. When I reminded him about my new salary, he yelled, “Salary? That was not a salary, Mr. Cratchit. That was, uh, a Christmas bonus, is what it was. Yes, a one-time bonus. Now get back to work before I dock your pay next week!” I am afraid Mr. Scrooge is quickly losing whatever holiday spirit he possessed last week. Mrs. Cratchit was irate at the news. At least Tiny Tim is responding well to Dr. Townsend’s treatments.

January 3, 1844 - Dear Diary: Dr. Townsend’s invoices arrived at the office today. Mr. Scrooge refused to pay them. I quarreled with him most vehemently. He discharged me right on the spot and threw me out into the snow. Before I could relate this terrible news to Mrs. Cratchit, she informed me that yes indeed, another Cratchit is on the way. 

February 7, 1844 - Dear Diary: Our long voyage is finally over. Mrs. Cratchit and the children did not enjoy traveling by sea, but the gorgeous weather here in the Bahamas makes it all worth while.  Good thing I’ve been keeping a second set of books all these years and skimming five pounds each week from Mr. Scrooge’s money box. I suppose we shall miss cold, dreary London—or maybe not!

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