In Chapter 5 conscience-stricken
Susanna meets someone who can help.
The noisy chatter of dolphins and sea gulls mingled with the soft
babble of diners at the charming cafe where Lydia and her party
sat outdoors to enjoy an early dinner. She felt refreshed by the
misty sea breeze which wafted through the resort area, leaving a
taste of salt on the tip of the tongue.
Freshly showered and dressed, they were all quite hungry as they
awaited their meal of simple beach fare. Suddenly Susanna fidgeted
in her chair.
Whats up, Susanna? inquired Lydia.
I...uh...lost somethin, Miss Lydia. Just relax. Ill
be back in a jiffy.
Frantically Susanna began to retrace her steps. Oh no...oh
no! she moaned, wringing her hands . My mom gave it
to me! It just dropped off my neck! Now where on earth was I? Oh,
Before Susanna could reenter the womens bathing area, she
was approached by a young man clad in a white tunic and trousers.
Susanna noted the shimmering cleanliness of his elegant garments,
and the absence of wet sand on his shoes, which shone like burnished
How eerie, thought Susanna. No one else seemed to notice that man,
whose fine apparel seemed so out of place on the beach. She studied
him more closely. He was looking only at her. His face glowed with
those wondrous qualities very familiar to one who lived in the Kingdom
Age. He must be an immortal saint. All of them, regardless of individual
personality, exuded that same soul-stirring loveliness of countenance;
an expression so compellingly alive with divine goodness and love;
sweet graces of the Holy Spirit which rejoiced the hearts of mortal
believers who encountered those clothed in Christs likeness.
But really, could it possibly be him?
Kindly he extended his hand and inquired, Does this belong
to you, Susanna?
There it was, safe in the palm of his hand. Her treasured pendant,
with its simple gold chain and single glimmering pearl. The one
she always wore beneath her clothing, hidden from little Aarons
grasping hands. She had forgotten to remove it when changing into
her swimsuit, and her mind was so preoccupied, she hadnt even
noticed its absence when she showered and changed back into her
Tears rushed to the little womans eyes. To think she could
have lost it forever. It was of modest monetary value, compared
to Lydias vast hoard of riches. But Susannas mother
had saved a long time to purchase that treasure, a rare milkrose
pearl, for her eldest daughter.
My moms pendant! cried Susanna, in joy and relief.
Oh, thank you, Sir! How on earth could I ever have lost it
to begin with?
The stranger knew. Your chain was defective; it broke. Therefore
the pearl was lost to you. I took the liberty of replacing that
weak chain with one more worthy of your mothers pearl.
How beautiful the intricately wrought chain was; indeed, its rich
lustre almost diverted the eye from the pastel gem it held.
Oh, Sir! breathed Susanna. Its lovely! Its
strong-lookin, too! By the way, wheres the other one?
It washed out to sea, said the kindly gentleman. Shall
I retrieve it for you?
Susanna was flabbergasted. How could anyone possibly reclaim so
miniscule an object lost in the vast depths of the sea? Oh
no, Sir! Please dont bother! This one is so much nicer. Anyhow,
my moms money went into the pearl, not that fake gold chain.
Shell be thrilled to see the new one.
The stranger smiled tenderly. I can assure you, Susanna, this
chain is precious and wrought of the purest gold. It will neither
corrupt nor tarnish.
How kind, how caring, her mysterious companion was. Enraptured,
Susanna asked, Oh, Sir, how can I ever thank you?
As she received the gem from his hand, her soul was held fast in
his fathomless gaze. His smile sobered into into a look of paternal
reproach. You know, Susanna, he patiently replied, as
if he had dealt with her before. Come with me now. Our King
seeks His own lost treasure. His business requires all urgency.
Part of her longed to follow him, to pour out her heart to him,
to cast away the burden of her tormented soul. But her weaker side
Not now, please Sir, she whimpered. Miss Lydias
been through hell. She needs me, Sir. She mustn't go through still
more, not even for my sake!
Sorrowfully the stranger turned and walked away. After hed
gone some distance, Susanna saw him fade into thin air.
Oh, my Lord, it was him! she shrieked. She raced back
to the cafe.
The gasping governess reseated herself at the round patio table.
Lydia smiled coyly. I caught a glimpse of you flirting with
someone. Why didnt you invite your boy friend to have a bite
Uh...he wasnt hungry, Miss Lydia. He had to head on
back to work.