Monday, April 18, 2011

Ninepence Kidnapped?

By Mary Vee

Gladys Thoughts

photo courtesy of
I loved having Ninepence and Less as my children. They played with each other and helped do chores at the inn.  We laughed, played, and sang together. I can't begin to tell you the fun we had. I no longer felt lonely. 

God blessed me more than I could image. No really! Within a short period of time many more children with no parents joined our family. 

Although Less was younger he acted like an older brother toward Ninepence. Of all my children these two took care of each other as blood brother and sisters would.

Usually mothers taught children at home, but I couldn't,I still had to work at the inn and do foot inspecting. We needed a school in Yangcheng. The Mandarin permitted a teacher to come.

Five years after the school opened, Less told me about a stranger outside the school gate. A man pulled Ninepence away and talked with her several times that week. One time the man grabbed her and tried to take her away. Less told me he protected her, poor thing.

I went to the school to meet them the next day. Less saw me and pulled Ninepence's in my direction. He pointed toward the man. "That's him." The man glared like he wanted to hurt us. 

"Come children, Let's go home." Problems like this were difficult to solve in the Chinese culture. Rules and laws had to be obeyed for everything.  I went to the Mandarin for help. 

"Ai-we-dah," he said, " I would like to help but the man hasn't done anything wrong yet. I am willing to send a soldier to the school. Tell Ninepence to scream when the man approaches her. If she will do this the soldier will have proof to arrest the man."

Sure enough, the man stood outside the school gate the next day. The second she walked out of the school he grabbed Ninepence's arm and dragged her toward the bushes. Ninepence screamed and kicked. The soldiers ran after the man, pulled him away from the bush, and arrested him. 

The next day, the Mandarin called me to his office. "Ai-we-deh, the man was Nincepence's uncle. He wants to take her home. If you wish to keep her you will have to go to trial."

"But, honorable Mandarin, he only wants money. It I say the wrong thing at the trial, he will take her away from our home and sell her to people who don't love her."

He smiled. "Yes, Ai-we-deh, I know. I will help you. Remember I am the judge.  If I give a small nod, say, 'Yes' at the trial. If I shake my head a little, say, 'No.'"

My knees trembled at the trial. I watched Mandarin carefully and said yes when he nodded and no when he shook his head.  The man spoke at the trial, also. "She is my niece. I have the right to take her. She is my property." He glared and shook his fist at me.

God took control. The Mandarin asked questions to follow the laws. He also asked questions in a way that would help Ninepence stay with me. When everyone finished speaking, Mandarin hit the gong with a stick. "The decision has been made. Ninepence shall stay with Ai-we-deh."

The man bowed to the Mandarin then glared at me before leaving.

Once again, God showed his love by protecting Ninepence from her evil uncle, and by blessing me with her sweet smile a little longer.  Thank you, God.

Come back next week to read more, God had more adventures for me!

Gladys Aylward

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