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Old Mr. Soames always feared that his son would be a bad man. As a child Hendrick had been very mean and in his youth he had never mixed with other people. The path of his future life was already established.
His father was a kind and popular man, who was very respected by the workers at his factory. Finally, though, ten years after the death of his wife, he handed the business over to his son.
The two men continued to live together in the big house outside the town, but, as time passed, Mr. Soames came down to the factory less and less until finally he was not seen from one Christmas to the next. He knew very well what was happening in the town because the postman kept him in touch, but the terrible stories he had heard about his son’s behavior made him so angry that he stopped going out and never smiled again. Meanwhile, Hendrick was known as the meanest and cruelest factory owner in the country.
One Christmas Eve, five years to the day after he had retired, Mr. Soames died in his sleep. All the workers went to the funeral but Hendrick refused to invite them back to the house. He was too mean to provide tea and sandwiches.
A year later he cut his workers’ wages. They needed money to buy presents for their children but he would not listen to their complaints. He spent Christmas Eve alone, counting his money. Suddenly the door opened. He could just make out a shadowy figure in the dark. “Who are you? What do you want?”
The door closed and the visitor spoke. “It’s me, Hendrick. Your father.” As he stepped into the light, Hendrick saw that it was.
“You have disgraced me. You count your money while your workers go without food. If you do not take 50 pounds to each of them this evening, I will haunt you forever.”
Hendrick stared in terror. Slowly he crossed the room and counted out the money.
“Now be good to your workers.”
With this, old Mr. Soames disappeared into thin air, leaving nothing but a ghost of a smile.

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Старый мистер Соамс всегда боялся, что его сын будет плохим человеком. В детстве Хендрик был очень подлым и в молодости никогда не смешивался с другими людьми. Путь его будущей жизни уже установлен. Его отец был добрым и популярным человеком, которого очень уважали рабочие на его фабрике. Наконец-то, хоть через десять лет после смерти своей жены, он передал дела своему сыну. Два человека продолжали жить вместе в большом доме за городом, но со временем мистер Соамс все меньше и меньше спускался на фабрику, пока, наконец, его не видели с одного Рождества на другое. Он прекрасно знал, что происходит в городе, потому что почтальон поддерживал его связь, но страшные истории, которые он слышал о поведении своего сына, сделали его таким злым, что он перестал выходить и никогда не улыбался. Между тем Хендрик был известен как самый злобный и жестокий владелец фабрики в стране. Один канун Рождества, пять лет на следующий день после того, как он ушел на пенсию, г-н Соамес умер в своем
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спасибо большое