Grandma Campbell's Heart-shaped Locket (two)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
Two girls search for answers about their find beside the river.

Submitted: September 14, 2016

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Submitted: September 14, 2016

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 .There were two girls from the south of England who were fortunate enough to visit to their New Zealand grandparents had found a gold heart-shaped locket in the paddock beside the Waianakarua River. The girls enjoyed treasure hunts and wanted to solve the mystery, of how the gold heart-shaped locket ended up in a rabbit burrow down by the river.

The girls felt old fashioned yet cool chugging into town in Granddad’s old truck!  After an ice cream, they visited the town museum and with the help a nice woman, searched the land records, marriage records, and the internet. It turned out Grandma Campbell’s maiden name was Jacobi, she and Thomas Campbell travelled out on the same ship in 1895 and both their home places were listed as Gorton, Manchester. It all fell into place rather neatly.

Back home, for fun, Granddad looked up the Manchester white pages and found three Jacobis listed. The girls wanted to ring all of them straight away, but Granddad counselled that it would be the middle of the night. Instead, he suggested they have another word with old Albert, and the girls were keen because he had a fox terrier called Tish. They thought that they could play with her.

Granddad told Albert what they had found out and that Grandma Campbell’s maiden name was actually Jacobi. He smiled and said that he had been speaking with his older sister, Edline who knew more.

Apparently the whole village worried about Grandma Campbell after she was widowed, and a number of kids went down the hill to visit or help her. There was one girl who was especially attached to her though and she was Lizzie Morrison. Lizzie never married and worked in the Pacific Islands for years, school teaching or nursing. She retired to Oamaru and is now in a rest home overlooking the harbour. She is very crippled up, but still sharp as a tack at the age of 93. She had always kept in touch with Zeke Jacobi, Grandma Campbell’s younger brother. 

The girls wanted to visit Lizzie Morrison, but Granddad and Granny weren’t so sure, rest homes can be intimidating for children, but after a short family conference it was decided that they should go to visit Lizzie.

Granddad and the girls were shown into Lizzie’s room, which was actually quite nice and not at all smelly. Lizzie was pleased to see the girls. She asked them who they were and the girls replied nicely to her. Granddad told Lizzie that that they were interested to talk about Grandma Campbell and that the girls had found an artefact that might have belonged to her.

Shyly, the oldest girl placed the gold heart-shaped locket and chain in Lizzie’s hand. She looked at it, and ran then the chain through her fingers. Tears filled her eyes and down her cheeks.

The girls feared for a moment that they had done something wrong.

When Lizzie composed herself, she said that when she was about ten years old, she had lost the gold heart-shaped locket and chain while taking Polly the cow to the river for a drink. The loss has nagged at her all her life! And yes, it belonged to Grandma Campbell.

The gold heart-shaped locket and chain was made by her father, who was a goldsmith in Gorton, Manchester, and was the only link Grandma Campbell had with her family. She was distraught when it was lost.

Granddad asked what Lizzie thought was appropriate to do with the gold heart-shaped locket and chain. Her reply was to just keep it, but then reconsidered. Zeke’s granddaughter, Mary, looks after him and sends a Christmas card each year. If she could only see the locket, hold it. Lizzie smiled at the thought.

The assurance was given that Mary would get to hold the golden heart-shaped locket and that Granddad would keep in touch with Lizzie - she was pleased.

When fortune smiles, things fall into place! The girls regularly travel north with their parents, usually bypassing Manchester, but as per arrangement, the day came that they were to visit Mary and her grandfather, Zeke.

Mary answered the door and told the visitors that Lizzie had been in touch. Nobody could believe about the girl’s find. Zeke too was delighted to meet them and was excited about the gold heart-shaped locket. The girls had packed it in a pretty box.

Zeke asked Mary to hand him a small box from the mantel and presented it to the girls. Inside there were two replicas of the gold heart-shaped locket – with each girl’s initials engraved on it. The Jacobi family still work with gold, and Zeke’s father had kept the pattern from all those years ago!

Mary would treasure her gold heart-shaped locket and the lock of hair!

Good came from good.

 

 


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