The heat of the day had already reached double digits, but the lunch time crowd forced Muriel to sit in the open air of the street café. There she sat in sweltering temperatures, even in the shade of the awning, and tried hard to keep her mind on the day's study.
Absentmindedly, she watched pedestrians and cars alike, as they rushed along the busy afternoon street-- in such a hurry to get nowhere. People dressed in casual and formal business attire, mothers pushing strollers, and the occasional student like herself, mixed and mingled with the homeless vagabonds.
Distracted by a squeaky wheeled shopping-cart filled to overflowing, Muriel could not help but overhear a lopsided conversation.
"I thought they would be here by now," an old woman stooped down to tug at the wrinkled stocking on her left leg. "Didn't you say they would be at the Arch around noon."
"Well, that's what they told me."
"Then where are they," the woman’s heated reply came booming across the café tables.
"Sshh," a ragged voice responded in a near whisper. "Gladis, keep your voice down. You want others staring, you silly woman?"
"Let 'em gawk," the woman grew louder and wove a free arm around before her. "Think I care what a bunch of pansy businessmen think?"
"You're bothering that young woman in the café, look how she's staring." Muriel dropped her eyes away, though still secretly fascinated by the intense dialog.
"Probably one of those gold digging lizzys you hear about," the old woman turned wide eyes on the café front. "Well, you ain't gettin' a dime off me, girly."
Shamed by her eavesdropping, Muriel forced her attention back to the book on her table as the woman slowly waddled toward the corner. Though her voice carried in the afternoon heat, it grew softer as she left the diners behind.
"That chauffeur should be fired. If I don't make it to the castle in time to clean up for the social, he will be."
"Do you think that handsome Prince Brian will be there again?" the ragged, softer voice was barely heard.
"Yes," the woman's loud words carried even from the distant corner. "He was so hot in that blue tux last year."
She couldn't help but feel sorry for the old woman, who seemed be lost in her own little world. As her eyes focused once more on the study, Muriel's heart nearly stopped with the revelation before her. . .
"1 Samuel 16:7; But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Muriel sighed a heart repentant prayer for the homeless as her eyes lingered on the street corner where she caught a last glimpse of the old woman as she wrestled her rickety shopping-cart over the curb, still arguing contentedly to herself.
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