One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.
Della felt so bad she sat down on their shabby little couch and cried, but that didn’t help either. Drying her eyes, she walked to the window of the small apartment. The furnished flat at eight dollars per week was all that she and her husband Jim could afford on his weekly salary of twenty dollars.
But tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for her Jim. She had spent many a happy hour planning to buy something nice for him. If she had only been able to save more money, she could have bought something line and rare, something that deserved the honor of being owned by Jim.
Whirling from the window, she stood before the mirror. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.