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Lesson Plans

The Ultimate Test---long post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 9 Jul 1999 20:36:59 EDT

This is for all you romantic folks. It is about the true character of
people. Skip it if you don't like sentimental stuff.


The Utimate Test
John Blanchard stood up from the bench
straightened his Army uniform, and studied the
crowd of people making their way through Grand
Central Station. He looked for the girl whose
heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl
with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months

before in a Florida library. Taking a book off

the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with

the words of the book, but with the notes

penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting

reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.

In the front of the book, he discovered the

previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With

time and effort he located her address. She lived

in New York City.

He wrote her a letter introducing himself and

inviting her to correspond. The next day he was

shipped overseas for service in World War II.

During the next year and one month the two grew

to know each other through the mail. Each letter

was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance

was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph,

but she refused. She felt that if he really

cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.

When the day finally came for him to return from

Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00

PM at the Grand Central Station in New

York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the

red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." So at

7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl

whose heart he loved, but whose face he'd never


I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell You what happened:
"A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long

and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from

her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers.

Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in

her pale green suit she was like springtime come

alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting

to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I

moved, a small, provocative smile curved her

lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost

uncontrollably, I made one step closer to her,

and then I saw Hollis Maynell.

"She was standing almost directly behind the girl.

A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked

under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her

thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes.

The girl in the green suit was walking quickly

away. I felt as though I was split in two, so

keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep

was my longing for the woman whose spirit had

truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there

she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and

sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly

twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped

the small worn blue leather copy of the book that

was to identify me to her.

This would not be love, but it would be something

precious, something perhaps even better than

love, a friendship for which I had been and must

ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and

saluted and held out the book to the woman, even

though while I spoke I felt choked by

the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm

Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss

Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I

take you to dinner?" The woman's face broadened

into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this

is about, son," she answered, "but the young

lady in the green suit who just went by, she

begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she

said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I

should tell you that she is waiting for you in

the big restaurant across the street. She said it
was some kind of test!"

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss

Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is

seen in its response to the unattractive. "Tell

me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will

tell you who you are."