Tim collected his gifts within the metal hoop and then pestered Santa for more, investigating pockets, sticking his hands into straw, lifting the sides of the red coat until he contacted a Smith and Wesson revolver. The boy snatched his hand back as if it were burnt and scowled at the man in the red suit. "You're not Santa Claus; you're Daddy." Charley called across the room, "He's one of Santa's helpers!" Jesse sat low in the chair with his boots kicked out, drew off the soft red cap by its cotton ball, then reached out and snuggled Tim close to his chest. He said, "Let me tell you a secret, son: there's always a mean old wolf in Grandma's bed, and a worm inside the apple. There's always a daddy inside the Santa suit. It's a world of trickery.