The funeral was over. My family and I walked silently to our car. When we were nearly home, I suggested to my husband that we go to the library and pick up the IRS forms we needed to complete our taxes. When we arrived, I noticed the book sale room was open. I headed there—my favorite place in the library.
I always check the kids book area for the Hardy Boys because my husband collected them as a boy. As I was searching the shelves, I noticed an attractive young mother with three beautiful, blonde children. She obviously noticed what I was collecting because she stepped around the bookshelves and said, “Here’s another Hardy Boys book you didn’t see.” I thanked her and noticed that she was collecting Nancy Drew books. I went to another part of the book sale room.
As I was perusing more shelves, I heard the young mother say to the room attendant, “Will you hold these books for me?” When the attendant explained she couldn’t do that, I heard the mother say, “Well, I have money for two books.” I stepped around the corner, saw her leave the desk to place some of the books back on the shelves, and then saw her return to search in her daughter’s little purse for pennies.
I had looked all that I wanted to look, so I walked up to the checkout desk and placed the books I had chosen on the desk. The young mother was still looking for 54¢. I opened my wallet, took out $2.00, and tapped the mother on the shoulder. “Here, let me pay for those books.”
“Are you really sure about that?” she asked in obvious shock.
When I assured her that I wanted her to have the books, she hurried back to the shelf and grabbed the four books, rushed up to the desk, placed the money on the desk, accepted the change, and handed it to me. “Thank you,” she said as she turned to leave.
The attendant just stared back and forth from the young mother to me. I paid for my books and left the room. By that time, my husband had come to the room and watched the scene play out. “Did you know that girl?” he asked.
“No, I’ve never seen her before in my life,” I answered.
“Why did you buy those books for her?”
“Because I think that’s what Brother Hyles would have done if he had been in this room today.”