Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl.
She stood by the window and looked out with no interest. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a gift.
Suddenly she turned from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brightly, but her face had lost its color. Quickly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its completely length.
The James Dillingham Youngs were very proud of two things which they owned. One thing was Jim's gold watch. It had belonged to his father. And, long ago, it had belonged to his father's father. The other thing was Della's hair. If a queen had lived in the rooms near theirs, Della would have washed and dried her hair where the queen could see it.
She moved quickly out the door and down to the street. Where she stopped, the sign said: "Mrs. Sofronie. Hair Articles of all kinds."