She walked several kilometers bare-footed through dangerous mountain terrain in cold winter to buy a Bible. But it was sold out before she got to her destination. What happened? Find out.
There are dreams and there are dreams. And there are dreamers and there are dreamers too. Some of these dreamers realize their dreams, while others have had their names writ in water. In some, theirs may be an ambition to rule empires, while for other young men, mere accomplishment of marrying a fair lady and living happily with her ever after in a hanging garden beside a blue sea, is a big dream.
Now consider one of these dreamers who dreamt of owning a Bible. But family being very poor could barely provide food for members, not to talk of buying a Bible. Now this dreamer is not Biblical Joseph, dreamer. But her name is Mary Jones, a sixteen - year old girl born 1784 in a village in Wales that goes by curious name of Llanfihangel.
There is nothing wrong to dream of owning a Bible though. But odds against her were many. Because girl lived in wrong century and dreamed in wrong times. In those days, to own a Bible was to die. Like William Tyndale. Like Jan Hus. Like so many others.
But big dreamers are die-hards. And Mary was one of them. So this daughter of poor weavers started saving whatever money that she got in order to buy a Bible. It was Marys parents that aroused her interest in Bible. They told her Bible stories and instilled fear of God in her heart. Since family never had a Bible, Mary often read a neighbors Welsh Bible.
Then when she is sixteen years old in year 1800, news came that a few Welsh Bibles were available for sale at local church at Bala. She checks her box of coins. It is full. She tells her parents that her dream is coming true. For she is going to Bala to buy her own copy of Bible.
The journey to Bala itself was not an easy one. From Llanfiangel in Atlantic coastline up to Bala in hinterland is over 40 kilometers. Again, she was to walk barefooted in middle of winter and without a winter coat or boot to get there. Furthermore, it was a steep mountainous terrain, often rising, falling, and meandering here and there. And worse, it was a highway for robbers.
Few parents would allow a sixteen-year old daughter to take risk. But few families have sixteen year olds who have a love for Bible. So on day of Marys departure, Mr. and Mrs. Jones buys bread and dried meat that would last her journey, ties them up in a large white handkerchief and puts it in a basket.
Mary ties her coins in a neck handkerchief, keeps it in pocket of her long dress, adorns a hat and carries her basket of provisions. And with a hug, a kiss and a goodbye from her parents, she starts long, uncertain journey to Bala.
She had thought of making journey in three days. She walked 18 kilometers first day. It was very cold and she shook all along journey. She only stopped to eat and rest under a tree. She was almost dropping dead when she sights a watchman warming himself beside a fire in a village gate house. Not wanting to spend money by lodging in an inn, she begs watchman that he allows her to pass night in gate house.
No problem says old man spreading his palms by fire. But who ye and where art thou goest this winter cold? he asks.
I am Mary. Going to Bala.
Thats 22 kilometers away, and no winter boots and coat, says old man absent mindedly. Heres some hot soup. Itll do ye some good.
With that, he pours hot soup in two bowls. And they drink and talk of weather. Before long, old watchman falls asleep followed by tired Mary.
In morning, she thanks old man, washes her face and continues her journey. Today, she walks 15 kilometers, stopping twice to rest and eat. What makes journey hard is that she would have to climb and descend mountains. Her legs swoll and ached. And at night, she meets a group of weavers who were working through night by a fireside. She indicates her willingness to help in loom for an opportunity to stay night.
The curious weavers receive her after hearing her story. She works for a while and is allowed to even sleep in early morning hours. They even give her a coin before she leaves in morning. When she was exhausted in evening, she drags herself into an unlit gate house at outskirt of a village. The watchman was not there. Perhaps, he will be coming later, she thought. And she lay on a mat and sleeps away.
It is 2 am. Two thieves, Red Devil and Black Night are looking for someone to rob. The road is empty. It is plain that they would have to go hungry and empty handed. And night is cold. They look into dark gate house. The night watchman didnt come. So they decide to go in and rest for a while before break of dawn. But to their surprise they find a girl fast asleep there. Red Devil holds her throat, while Black Night searches and takes her money. After that, they take her remaining bread and meat, leaving cloth and basket; and run away.
The local apothecary generally called Dr. Hades finds it unusual to be woken by this barefooted girl with a basket this early morning. After listening to her, he asks:
Do you know them that stole your money?
No, was Marys answer.
And is that why you want to drink arsenic to kill yourself?
Yes, she replies.
But where did you get coin you want to use to pay for poison?
She explains that it is a gift from some weavers whom she had helped to weave night before. But Dr. Hades is not satisfied with her answer. Perhaps, girl is a run-awayone of these bad girls in neighborhood. Perhaps, she needs food and a good sleep. He goes to an inner room, returns with a mixture which he gives to her, and asks her to use coin to buy some food.
Mary thanks him and walks to gatehouse. She spreads white handkerchief on ground, finds a piece of rock, and starts to write a suicide note on it, bottle of arsenic by her side. But halfway, she falls asleep.
Lord Godsend, a generous rich man, happens to be passing through that road at that time. He is driven in his horse- drawn chariot by Johnny, who is in habit of swearing by minute.
By Jove, girl is dead, he says to Lord Godsend, pointing to sleeping Mary as they ride pass.