An Angel In Disguise
-T S Arthur
The story is based in 18th Century America. It revolves around an old woman and her three children. The woman is consumed with an alcohol addiction that ruins her life and social standing. The woman eventually dies due to her alcoholism and leaves three orphans behind her.
Seeing the tragic circumstances the people give her a proper burial. They even decide to help the surviving kids. The eldest kid was a John, a 12 year old boy who is adopted by a peasant who could use an extra set of hands on his farm. The middle child is a girl named Kate who is adopted by Ms. Elli who is not impressed by the young lass’ ill-discipline and tantrums. The youngest girl Maggie is the one who needs the most care as she suffers from severe disability after a childhood accident left her incapable of movement. Her spine is damaged and so everyone comes to the conclusion that a care house will be best for her.
The funeral ends and everyone empties the place fast. They completely forget about Maggie. She gets nervous seeing everybody leave her alone and helpless. However, she notices Joe, the village wheelwright who stood near her. Joe has a tragic story of his own. He absolutely loves kids but he and his wife Jane have not been blessed with any children of their own. Maggie sees him as her only recourse and gives him a shout.
Joe obliges and takes Maggie home with him. He knows that his wife would not welcome Maggie and his intuition his realized when Jane asks him about getting rid of little Maggie.
Joe tries to convince his wife from citing Holy Bible to appealing to her good sense. The young life of Maggie has already been full of trials and tribulations and now she was without any family and completely incapable of surviving on her own. Jane, even though she did not make it apparent to his husband, starts to develop attachment to young Maggie. Her heart softens to her tortuous young life.
Joe asks Jane to take care of Maggie for a day. He promises to send her to a poor house (almshouse) the next day. He leaves for work and does not return till evening.
On his return, he peeps through the window and sees Maggie and Jane talking to each other. Jane seems to be interrogating Maggie about certain thing. However, when he enters the house he decides not to discuss what he saw. Instead, he has a friendly chat with Maggie. Her innocence, affection and purity of thought win him over.
At dinner, Jane again asks Joe about his plan for Maggie. Joe reasserts that he will take Maggie to the poorhouse next morning. Even though Jane does not say it herself, Joe can sense and feel a change of heart and attitude in Jane’s voice. He realizes that young Maggie has made home in her heart and years of pain and loss has finally started to recede in Jane’s mind.
She decides to take Maggie’s dinner to her chamber herself. While Maggie eats her dinner, Jane is enamored with her uncontaminated heart and winsome smile.
The sweetness of Maggie’s words and the fragrance of her innocent thought melt all the frosty bitterness in Jane’s heart. Maggie reminds her of all that she has always wanted and could not have. She saw her daughter in Maggie. Convinced and conquered, Jane urges Joe to let Maggie stay for few more days.
In the end, her stay never ends. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson finally get the child they always wanted and Maggie gets the warm and loving family she always deserved.
The story celebrates the theme of love and that love always conquers hate and distrust.
The characters sketches strong realistic personalities and human traits of compassion, affection, selfishness, insecurities, doubt etc.
The title speaks about ‘Angels’ and characters of young Maggie and the Thompson couple displays many angelic qualities.