“The angel is right," he whispered. "Niklas is the last true Santa. But if they had their way" -- the elf pointed to a white door at the opposite end of the caravan -- "our dear Niklas would have been turned into chocolate a long time ago."
"Oh be quiet!" cried Matilda, while Emmanuel covered his face with his wings.
“Well, he's right, Matilda." Niklas took off the white beard and hung his red coat over his chair.
"Why? Who's behind that door?" Ben asked anxiously, and stared at it. The door was barred with three strong bolts in the shape of pinecones. . . . An elf boot was wedged into the keyhole.
"It's not a very nice story!" Niklas said. "Are you sure you want to hear it?"
Ben nodded, his eyes still on the white door.
"OK then." Niklas sighed. "Maybe it's time to tell at least one child what really happened to Christmas."