The men stood together on the porch of the Langton home in silence, with
Mr. Langton looking up at the night sky while Dan, Julius, Christopher and
Maurice looked expressionlessly at each other.
“Gary! What are you doing out there?”
yelled Jean from inside the living room.
“Bring the boys inside! And don’t forget the wine.”
Gary leveled his gaze directly at Dan and said,
“I never forget the wine. Now, gentlemen, onward!”
At that the five of them filed into the home, which was filled with music once
again as Jean was now at the piano playing a Christmas Carol – “Angels
from the Realms of Glory” – while several of the children sang along.
Angels, from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King!
Even though the front door to the home was very large, Dan was even
bigger and had to stoop a bit as he entered. Wherever he went in public
Dan inevitably felt a little bit uncomfortable not only because he often felt
crowded and in the way but also because of the way people tended to
stare. But the stares he was getting in the Langton were different – they were
in awe because nearly every one of them had seen him dominate the other
daddlers, especially in the barrel burn. The swarming children were back with
cookies in their hands and crumbs on their faces as Dan and the other
daddlers stood in the living room, watching Jean play and listening to the
children sing. The Christmas tree in the corner was the only thing in the room
taller than Dan – and not by much.
Mr. Langton had set the wine bottles down and disappeared upstairs before
returning with several curious-looking brown bottles.
“This, gentlemen, is something I picked up in Glasgow on our last trip
said Gary as he broke the paper seals on each bottle.
“It’s Brown’s Special Scotch Whisky which I’ve been saving for this Eve of Christmas.
And who better to share it with than the greatest whiskeydaddlers in all the land!”
He poured four large tumblers full of the brown liquid and handed them to
each of the daddlers. He filled a small glass for himself which he held aloft.
“To you, fine daddlers on this glorious holiday full of Christmas spirit,”
he said, head held high.
They looked at each other expressionlessly before downing their glasses – all
except for Dan, who just stared at his.
“What’s wrong, dear fellow,”
“Huzzah is a good thing.”
“I know. But I’m sorry Mr. Langton, I don’t really like whiskey,”
Gary looked up at Dan in amazement.
“A whiskeydaddler who doesn’t like whiskey?”
said Gary, blinking a couple of times.
“Well, I’ll be. I’ve truly heard it all.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that. I think the stuff tastes like ink,”
said Jean, as Dan handed his glass to Christopher who drank it post haste while Julius and
Maurice accepted refills from Mr. Langton.
“What would you like, dear boy?”
“Some milk. If it wouldn’t be too much trouble,”
Dan said almost sheepishly.
“I’ve still got some work to do before I head home.”
“It’s no trouble at all, dear,”
said Jean, reaching up and tugging his beard lightly.
“Is that the secret to why this beard is so full?”
“Um, no ma’am. Or, I don’t know,”
“Well, look at that, sweet Jean,”
said Gary, putting his arm around his wife.
“I do believe you made him blush.”
From behind Dan, there came a familiar voice.
“Here’s some milk,”
“Do you want a cookie, too?
A burst of laughter rang out – not from Gary, Jean or the surrounding
children but from Maurice, Christopher and Julius of all people.
Dan was bright red as he turned to the familiar face, while trying to muster a
“Thank you, I would,”
“Well, there’s plenty in the kitchen,”
said Daisy as she turned and walked away.
“Follow me if you like.”
“Yes ma’am, I would,”
he said while shooting a look back at the other daddlers, who started to follow
as well but stopped dead at his green-eyed glance.
They passed through the family library, where several of her cousins were
sitting and drinking in relative peace, and the dining room, which was
already exquisitely set for tomorrow’s feast, then into the kitchen.
“Watch your head,”
Daisy said as she grabbed a plate stacked with cookies
and presented it to him.
“That’s something I guess you hear a lot.”
“Yes ma’am, I mean, miss,”
said Dan as he drank from his glass.
“Oh, don’t be so formal,”
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
“No, I remember you.”
“From the train station?”
“Yes, and the Whiskeydaddle Festival. And when we made a delivery here
Daisy looked up at Dan and into his green eyes and, for the first time, smiled
“Have a seat,”
she said, gesturing to a chair as her smile continued to play out.
Dan sat down and ate several of the cookies while drinking the milk. Daisy
leaned up against the edge of the kitchen table next to him. With him sitting
and her standing, they were almost eye to eye.
“How long have you been working at the Great Western?”
she asked him.
“A few years now,”
“You work at the Post Office, don’t you?”
“Yes, I’ve been there for almost a year,”
said Daisy proudly.
Dan finished his fistful of cookies and milk and stood up to leave.
“Thank you for the hospitality, Daisy, but we should probably be heading
said Dan, looking around the kitchen and not at Daisy.
“This is a very nice house. You must like living here.”
“Oh, I don’t live here,”
“I live on my family’s farm just outside of town.”
“Really? My family has a farm just outside of town,”
“I’m going there for Christmas.”
The two of them slowly began making their way back into the living room
where Gary and Jean were doing their best to keep Julius, Christopher and
“Okay, boys, let’s head back,”
“Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Langton for the hospitality.”
“You are more than welcome,”
“And thank you for the whiskey!”
The four men made their way to the front door with Daisy trailing almost too
close because when Dan stopped suddenly her face bumped into his back.
Dan laughed and turned to look at Daisy, who was now in full blush.
“Reminds me of the train station,”
said Dan, with a wink.
“Yes, I never really thanked you for that,”
she said with a slight smile.
“You don’t have to, although…”
Dan’s voice trailed off. Out on the porch, he could hear Julius loudly clearing
“Ah, I was just going to ask maybe if you’d…”
Again, Julius with the throat clearing.
“Do you want to have lunch sometime?”
Dan was a bit taken a back.
“That’s what I was going to ask,”
“I know. You can thank me later for helping you get there,”
she replied, with a smirk.
“Merry Christmas, Dan.”
Dan crouched down a bit to look her in her eyes (hazel).
“Merry Christmas to you, Daisy.”
Then he turned and walked out the front door, which she shut behind him.
Then she noticed her aunt watching her, from around the corner.
“Daisy, why are you jumping up and down?”