The Drum Goes Dead is a Christmas book, my very favorite. It is by Bess Streeter Aldrich, author of Miss Bishop. It takes place during The Depression and was published in 1937.
Aldrich uses Mr. Lanning, a local banker, to unfold the story about the town's stalwart characters who have endured years of financial problems. One by one the citizens come into the bank for modest withdrawals on Christmas Eve.
Mr. Lanning, with worries of his own, asks them: