Text Illustrations

> A man was driving down a road and he almost didn’t see the old lady,

> stranded on the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he

> could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and

> got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.


> Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to

> help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look

> safe, he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened,

> standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill

> which only fear can put in you.


> He said, "I’m here to help you ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car

> where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan."


> Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad

> enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the

> jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change

> the tire, but he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.


> As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and

> began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was

> only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to

> her aid.


> Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. She asked him how much she

> owed him.

> Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined

> all the

> awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.


> Bryan never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him.

> This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who

> had given him a hand in the past...


> He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to

> act any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him

> back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give

> that person the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added "...and

> think of me".


> He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold

> and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home,

> disappearing into the twilight.


> A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab

> a bite to eat, and take home. It was a dingy looking restaurant.

> Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her.

> The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor - it

> didn’t ring much. Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to

> wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her

> feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed that the

> waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain

> and aches change her

> attitude.


> The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving

> to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan. After the lady finished her

> meal, and the waitress went to get change for her hundred dollar bill,

> the lady slipped right out the

> door. She was gone by the time the waitress ...

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