della beautiful hair fell about her, shining like a falling stream of brown water. It reached below her knee. It almost made itself into a dress for her. And then she put it up on her head again, nervously and quickly. Once she stopped for a moment and stood still while a tear or two ran down her face. She put on her old brown coat. She put on her old brown hat.
“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della. “I buy hair,” said Mrs. Sofronie. “Take your hat off and let me look at it.” Down fell the brown waterfall. “Twenty dollars,” said Mrs. Sofronie, lifting the hair to feel its weight. “
She was going from one shop to another, to find a gift for Jim. She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the shops, and she had looked in every shop in the city. It was a gold watch chain, very simply made.
At seven, Jim’s dinner was ready for him. Jim was never late. Della held the watch chain in her hand and sat near the door where he always entered. Then she heard his step in the hall and her face lost color for a moment.
“Della,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas gifts away and keep them a while. They’re too nice to use now. I sold the watch to get the money to buy the combs. And now I think we should have our dinner.”