The Secret in the China Head Doll
The old, cracked China head doll’s tattered torso, arms, and legs lay neatly on the kitchen table while Mary began sewing the new body.
“Mom, I found this paper in Dorothy’s head. What are all of those symbols?” Lucy asked. The old piece of paper had several dots, lines, and other marks on it.
“I’m not sure. They seem to be in some sort of code. Look how old this paper is! It could be as old as the doll,” Mary told her ten year old daughter.
“The lady at the yard sale said the doll was around sixty years old. Have you looked at the other things that were in the box?” Lucy asked while turning to look at the cardboard box. “There may be other codes in there.”
“Besides dish towels and pillow cases, the only other thing was this small brown Bible.” Lucy read the dedication page. “This Bible is presented to Michelle DuMont, on her tenth birthday, April 16th, 1927 from her Aunt Christine Morgan.” She paused then said, “Here’s a picture of a little girl.” She pulled it from the Bible to show her mother. A tow headed little girl in a dark dress peered at them through the sepia aura of the photograph.
“I doubt that the lady at the sale realized that this Bible was in the box. I think we had better take it back.” Maria looked at her watch. “Maybe she will still be there.”
When Maria and her daughter arrived at the white vinyl sided house, the two women who had the sale were taking unsold items from the lawn and putting them into the back of a pick-up truck.
“Hello,” one of the ladies called out to Mary and Lucy as they walked toward her. “You’re almost too late. We were just about to pack it all up and take it to the Goodwill.”
“We were here early this morning,” Mary told her. “We bought a box of things for $5.00.”
“Oh, yes, I remember,” the lady said as her friend continued loading the truck.
“We found this Bible in the box, and we thought you may like to keep it. It also had this picture in it.”
“Yes, and we also found this paper inside the China head doll,” Lucy chimed in hurriedly.
“Why, that’s my mother when she was five. Thank you for returning it to me,” she smiled. “Now, you say you have something else?”
Lucy gave her the paper with the code.
“Oh, wow! This brings back memories! When I was a little girl, my mother and I played a game to help me learn Bible verses. The verses were in code, and we had to decipher them. One day, we took turns hiding the various verses before we decoded them. I hid one inside Dorothy’s head because my mother was going to sew a body for her that day. I forgot all about it, and I don’t guess that mama ever found it.”
“What does the code say?” asked Lucy.
“Have you heard of John 3:16?” she asked.
Both Mary and her daughter shook their heads no.
Michelle DuMont’s daughter smiled. “Do you have a few minutes? I’d love to tell you about that verse.”
Mary and Lucy nodded yes.
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