Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Ugly Trinket
by [?]



Respected and beloved by all her neighbors, Mrs. Linden, a rich widow, lived a solitary life in her grand, old castle.

One day some urgent business called her to the city of Antwerp. Here she was detained longer than she had expected, and during her stay she visited the principal points of interest, among them an old cathedral, famed far and wide for its beauty.

With deep reverence, she entered this time-honored house of worship. Its high, vaulted roof, its long rows of stately columns, its beautifully painted windows, the altar in the distance, and the twilight and the stillness of the holy place filled her with admiration and awe. In her heart arose a feeling of the nearness of God, and she knelt and prayed.

Then she passed slowly on, stopping often to study the wonderful paintings by the old masters, and the inscriptions upon tablets placed on the walls in memory of notable men and women long since passed away.

Suddenly she stopped and read a tablet. It had been placed there in honor of a pious woman who had suffered much in her life, but had always striven to do good; and these words were written there: “She rests from her cares, and her good deeds live after her.”

Mrs. Linden then and there resolved that as long as she lived she would bear all her troubles and trials patiently, and do good to all, so far as lay within her power.

As she neared the altar of this grand cathedral, she noticed a little girl eight years of age, clad in black, who was kneeling there and praying fervently. Her eyes were riveted on her hands, tightly clasped before her, so she noticed nothing of Mrs. Linden’s presence. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and her face had a look of sorrow and reverence.

Mrs. Linden was at once moved to pity. She did not wish to disturb her, but as the child arose, she said softly: “You seem sad, my little one! Why do you cry?”

“I lost my father a year ago, and a few days ago they buried my mother,” said the child, as the tears rolled the faster.

“And for what did you pray so earnestly?” asked Mrs. Linden.

“I asked for help. ‘Tis true I have some relatives in the city, and I would like one of them to take me. The clergyman says that it is their duty, but they do not want the trouble. I can’t blame them, for they have children enough of their own.”

“Poor child,” said Mrs. Linden, “no wonder you feel sad.”

“Truly, I was much sadder when I entered this cathedral,” said the girl, “but all at once I feel much better.”

These words pressed on Mrs. Linden’s heart and she said, in a motherly way, “I think that God has answered your prayer. Come with me.”

“But where? For I must return to my house.”

“Let us go to the clergyman. I know him well, and I will ask his advice,” continued Mrs. Linden. Then she offered her hand to the child, and led the way.

The aged clergyman arose with astonishment from his chair, as he saw the woman enter with this child.

Mrs. Linden explained to him how and where she had met the little one, at the same time asking the girl to step aside while she engaged the old man in quiet conversation.

“I have decided to adopt this little girl and be a mother to her. My own dear children died when they were infants and my heart tells me that I could give the love that I had for my own to this little orphan; but I would like you to advise me further. Do you think that my care would be given in vain?”

“No,” said the clergyman, “a greater deed of charity you could not do; nor could you easily find such a good, well-mannered child. Her parents were right-living people, and they gave this, their only daughter, a good training. Never will I forget her mother’s last words: ‘Father, I know that Thou wilt care for my little one, and send her another mother.’ Her words are now being fulfilled. You have been sent to do this.”