On the morning before Christmas, the miser Scrooge passes down a London street on his way to his counting house. So much is he detested that no one speaks to him until a beggar approaches, asks for alms, and is angrily stricken to the ground. A spirit appears and tells the miser that the beggar will again appear that night.
Scrooge approaches his counting house, and as he is entering, the beggar again appears before him. He places his hands before his eyes to shut out the apparition, and when he looks again the figure has vanished. The interior of the counting house where Bob Cratchit, the clerk, and Scrooge's nephew, Fred, are attending to their duties. Fred announces that he has just been married. His bride, together with the crippled boy, Tiny Tim, enter the office. Looking out the window, they discover the approach of Scrooge, and at the advice of Fred the ladies conceal themselves. Scrooge enters and is told of Fred's marriage. He kisses the bride, but immediately regretting his action, orders them out of the office. They plead for a Christmas holiday, to which Scrooge eventually consents.
The spirit appears and leads Scrooge from the office. A merry throng on a London street, with a stranger scattering money to the children who gather about him. The spirit leads Scrooge to the throng, who shun him as he endeavors to speak to them at the command of the spirit. The cripple at the lodgings of Scrooge, and the latter entering, still led by the spirit. The beggar warms himself by the fireplace, while Scrooge in anger attempts to strike him, when he is transformed into the image of the dead partner of the miser. Horror-stricken, Scrooge sinks into a chair, and looking into the fireplace seeks a vision of his boyhood days. With a cry he sinks to the floor. The spirit again compels him to look into the fireplace, where he sees a vision of his forsaken sweetheart, as well as that of himself as a young business man. Thoroughly overcome, he falls to the floor exhausted, but the spirit again raises him with a command to follow him from the office.
The meager home of the Cratchetts, where, at the command of the spirit, he showers money upon the ill-paid clerk and his happy family and is again led away. The Christmas festivities at the home of Fred, the nephew of Scrooge, Fred toasts his uncle, but the company refuse to drink to the toast. Scrooge, concealed in the recess of the window, notices this, and coming forward, showers them with money, promising that hereafter he will lead a different life. The spirit and Scrooge in the lodgings of the latter, where Scrooge falls upon his knees in prayer. Christmas Day, Scrooge gives a banquet to all his house can hold, including Fred, the Cratchetts and his friends, where he promises that in the future he will live to achieve the happiness of others.
|Tom Ricketts||Ebenezer Scrooge.|
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