September 22, 2021
A woman went down the basement of her new house one day only to race back upstairs after she heard a voice coming from behind a locked door.
Patty was starting over. She had just recently left her good-for-nothing husband after he almost made them bankrupt with his gambling habits. She moved to a small town in Iowa with their two kids, a girl named Mary and a boy named John.
The first thing she did when she arrived at the town was purchase a small old house located on the city's outskirts. It had a fence, a nice yard for her kids to play, and the house hardly needed any renovation.
To Patty, who had been in the market for a cheap ready home she could promptly move into, it was a blessing. A couple of days after she and her children moved in, she went down to the basement, where she saw two doors.
One door opened to a small room where old junk was stored while the other was locked. She tried to push it, thinking something had jammed it from behind; however, she stopped when she heard a noise from behind the door.
Patty thought it was her imagination, so she put her head against the door, listening. "Help-p-p me!" a voice whispered, but Patty was already off, racing away from the strange door and dark basement.
When she reached her living room, she took several breaths to steady her nerves, entered the kitchen, picked up a knife, and returned to the basement.
"Whatever is in there can come out now so we can duke it out before my kids get back from school," she thought to herself.
When she got there, she listened for the voice and heard it again. It sounded like it was whimpering. One steady kick to the area beside the already weak doorknob got the door ajar and revealed a dejected old woman.
"Mario?" a small weak voice called. It didn't sound menacing in the least.
"No, it's not Mario, it's Patty, the new owner of this house."
"New owner? I don't understand, this is my house," the old woman said.
Patty was more worried about why the woman was locked in the basement, so she invited her to have tea before she asked what her story was.
"I bequeathed the house to my grandson, to be inherited after my death."
"He sold it, '' Patty said with regret. "And that means I robbed you of your only home. I'm sorry."
"So that's why he put me in there, so I don't get in his way," the old lady sighed.
When Patty made to call the police to report the crime, the older woman who called herself Maddie begged her not to. She wanted nothing to happen to her grandson and would rather leave.
Patty's heart went out to her, so she agreed not to call and also suggested that Maddie live with her as a nanny for the kids. The old woman did her best; she cooked, cleaned, and even helped them with homework while Maddie was busy at work.
One day, Maddie was making pie when Patty's daughter came running to her. She had tears on her face and bad news to share — her younger brother had fallen into a river.
The old woman and the girl ran to the river and caught sight of the boy, little John was barely holding on to a tree branch that kept him from floating away with the current.
He looked scared. His friends, whom he had been playing with, could not go in to rescue him because the current was much too strong for any of them, so the old woman got in to help.
The cold water shocked her, but it did not stop her from getting to the boy and taking him ashore safely. When Patty heard of the deed, she praised Maddie and promised to take care of her forever.
Soon after the incident, the older woman fell ill. The cold from the water worked a number on her, and she had contracted pneumonia. The boy she rescued lived on healthily, but she passed on after some time.
After a week, Patty decided to take the late woman's things apart. She stumbled upon a small box filled with precious jewelry, and a note addressed to her.
It read, "If you found these, then it means I've passed on and you've come to clear out my things. I'm thankful for the time I spent with you, Mary, and John because you gave me a taste of family again. These jewels are for you, Patty, and for your family. I hope they help you when you're in a difficult place, just as you once helped this old woman. From Maddie with love."
Patty put the money she got from selling the jewelry to good use, and she lived comfortably with her children for a long time.
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