Christmas by Injunction (Henry)

From Summarium
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Christmas by Injunction
1906
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «Heart of the West»
Microsummary: A man tried to bring Christmas joy to a mining town by organizing a Christmas tree and gifts for children, but the town lacked any kids. He eventually found one boy and took him home for Christmas.

In a new mining town called Yellowhammer, a prospector named Cherokee struck gold and invited his friends from three states to share his luck. The town grew to a thousand citizens, but Cherokee's claim soon played out, and he decided to try his luck in the Mariposas. Before leaving, he promised to return if he found anything.

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Cherokee — prospector; generous, hospitable, and enthusiastic about Christmas.

Months later, Cherokee struck it rich in the Mariposas and decided to give the children of Yellowhammer a grand Christmas celebration. He bought a sleigh full of toys and planned to dress as Santa Claus to distribute them. However, there were no children in Yellowhammer, so two men named Trinidad and the Judge set out to find some.

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Trinidad — mining town resident; resourceful, determined, and loyal to Cherokee.
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The Judge — mining town resident; eloquent, supportive of Cherokee's plan.

Trinidad and the Judge traveled far and wide, but they could only find one boy named Bobby who was willing to come to the celebration. When they returned to Yellowhammer, the town had prepared a beautiful Christmas tree and everyone eagerly awaited Cherokee's arrival.

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Bobby Lumsden — young boy from Granite Junction; skeptical, unimpressed by Christmas festivities.

He's goin' to drive down here to Yellowhammer and give the kids—the kids of this here town—the biggest Christmas tree and the biggest cryin' doll and Little Giant Boys' Tool Chest blowout that was ever seen west of Cape Hatteras.

Cherokee arrived dressed as Santa Claus, but was disappointed to see only one child. He spoke with Bobby, who revealed that his mother had a picture of Cherokee and had once kissed it. Touched by this, Cherokee decided to take Bobby home to his mother for Christmas. He promised to buy the boy a silver-mounted rifle and they set off for Granite Junction, arriving just in time for Christmas Day.