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How do you know, Johnny? asks rich man.
Upon mi life, killed by robbers, mi Lord. So they argue back and forth. But after they have gone a good distance, Lord Godsend asks to be driven back to confirm who is right. But Johnny didnt want to hear and prompts horse to ride on. By heavens she must be smelling mi Lord.
Mary had woken up now. She finishes her writing, reads it and signs her name. She quickly eats her last food, drinks mixture, and lies down waiting to die.
Exactly what I said, mi Lord, said Johnny showing Lord Godsend empty bottle of arsenic when they finally get there. Poisoned herself to death. By my horse shoe, a bad girl.
Lord Godsend picks suicide note and reads: I drank poison and died. Because thieves stole money that I wanted to use to buy a Bible. Weep not for me, dear mom and dad. We will meet againMary Jones.
Lord Godsend is angry. Who must have sold poison that killed this girl? He looks at poison bottle and reads address label: ARSENIC. DR. HADES. 13 BALA ROAD, UPTOWN. He gets into carriage at once and rides away to get cops to arrest Dr. Hades. When they get there, however, apothecary begin to swear and say that he never sold her arsenic but a sleeping mixture, which he put in an arsenic container and even gave her back money to buy food since he thought that she needed food and a good sleep.
But cops and all country folks who gather there that morning will not believe Dr. Hades.
Do you think Johnny that girl is sleeping or dead? asks Lord Godsend.
Upon wheels of this carriage, she is as dead as a rock. If otherwise, I will drink arsenic and join my ancestors, he replies. And to prove point police decide to first visit scene, before taking apothecary to jail.
Mary wakes up. What is this? she asks. Had she not taken poison to die? She looks around but she could find neither arsenic bottle, nor suicide note. Only her empty basket. This must be a bad dream she thinks. She now gets up and is confronted by a crowd led by police and a rich man in a horse-drawn carriage. She thinks of running. But where can a girl who is weak, hungry and cold run to? The people also stand momentarily; thinking that it is an apparition.
But it is Dr. Hades that seizes initiative and exclaims: See! She was only sleeping, not dead. Then things are explained. Lord Godsend takes her to an inn where he gives her food to eat and fills her basket with provisions. He also gives her some money to buy Bible. Mary, full of thanks to kind man, continues to walk remaining 7 kilometers to Bala. And people wonder at courage of this little girl who is walking 40 kilometers to buy a Bible.
After that, they joke whether Johnny would take arsenic and die as he swore, for that is what honorable men do. But Johnny is not a man of honor. In name of all saints, he swears again, I knew not when I said so. And they just laugh and call him Johnny joker.
It was Sunday noon when Mary entered church premises. The church service had just ended and worshipers were stepping out of church. Then she asks first people that she meets where Bible copies were sold. One calls other and soon everyone gather and look at her as if she was a space alien.
It was not that she was bare footed and poorly dressed. The fact was that all Bibles had sold out yesterday. And money that she was having could not even buy one, even if it was available. Double trouble for Mary!
Because of chaos that Saturday, Reverend Father himself sold Bibles. He first took his special personal copy that was sent to him by pope. That copy was printed in different colors in both Welsh and English. It also has cross references and a Bible index. The title cover itself was printed in letters of gold and whole Bible was zipped in a golden case. It was such a beautiful Bible that people were busy looking at it when common Bibles sold out.
Those who did not get copies of Bible were manysome families joined to buy one. In fact, two churchmen fought over ownership of last copy, tearing it into two parts. In end, both shared cost and by a toss of coin, one took Old Testament while other had New Testament. That was why they looked at Mary in wonderment, and when they explained to her, she collapsed and wept.
Now, Rev. Goodman looks through church window and wonders what is amiss. So he takes his winter coat and walks out, his golden Bible in hand. After listening to Marys story, Reverend first dries her tears and kisses her. Then he slips his sandals under her feet, takes off his winter coat and puts it on Mary. Third he gives her his golden Bible in Welsh and English and which was printed in many colors with these words: Read it carefully, study it diligently, treasure up sacred words in your memory, and act up to its teaching. And he finally blesses her and tells her to use money which Lord Godsend gave her to pay for a ride home. Marys eyes shine, church people are speechless.
It was big news when Mary reached Llanfiangel on a horse-drawn carriage wearing a winter coat, a pair of sandals, and, wait a momenta golden Bible! Everyone flocks to see Bible and her poor parents are overjoyed.
Years later, this story was told at Committee of Religious Tract Society of London. The result was that a decision was made to supply Bible translations to people of Wales and whole world. So if you own a Bible today, remember sacrifice of a sixteen-year old girl from a remote village in Wales whose dream came true.
May your dream come true!
(EXCERPTED FROM THE BOOK, MARYS DREAM, TO BE PUBLISHED SOON. IF YOU ENJOYED READING THE STORY AND WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION TOWARD ITS PUBLICATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.)
ARTHUR ZULU is an editor, book reviewer, and author of Chasing Shadows! and How to Write a Best-seller. For his works and free helps for writers, goto: http://controversialwriter.tripod.com mailto: email@example.com Web search: Arthur Zulu
Arthur Zulu is an editor, book reviewer, and published author.