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The Freedom of Truth
"Georgia! It's time for tea", the nanny called.
"Coming Bonny!" replied Georgia with excitement.
Georgia rushed down the curved wooden staircase into the dining room, which faced the French windows leading to the gardens. At the table there were pearl white porcelain plates, filled with all kinds of pastries: small ones, big ones, a paradise of sweetness. Georgia sat at the table, stretched the napkin over her white lacy dress and devoured the food.
"Once you finish your tea, I will take you to Christopher's house for your weekly playdate", stated Bonnie. About half an hour later, Bonnie was walking Georgia across the short pebble path to her neighbors.
"Good afternoon!", said Nancy.
"Come on Georgia! Let us go to my room!", exclaimed Christopher.
"Christopher! You did not even say hello to Bonnie! How rude of you. You cannot play with Georgia now! She will entertain herself while you go to the study and write 15 times: I shall always greet a visitor with a bow and a handshake, understood?"
"Yes Nancy!", mumbled Christopher as he walked towards the study. In the meantime, Nancy led Bonnie and Georgia to the sitting room to have tea. How could Georgia possibly eat any more pastries or drink any more tea? She excused herself and wandered off in search of the study. Suddenly, she heard a noise, as if something made of metal had fallen on the floor. Georgia tiptoed and peaked through the study door. Christopher was unlocking the display case where his father kept all the most valuable and prized family possessions. He looked around the room to make sure no one was there, delicately opened the glass doors, and looked at every single valuable, as if he was deciding which one was best. He reached for the gold pocket watch with the long shining chain. Georgia was a little surprised that Christopher was even holding such a precious object or that he had even opened the display case! Usually, Nancy is the only one except for Christopher's father that opens the display case, just to clean it! Georgia was about to walk into the study to ask Christopher if they could play, when Bonnie called her: "Georgiaaa! Nancy brought out some freshly baked blueberry scones!". She could not answer now! Georgia ran on the tip of her toes back to the sitting room.
"No, thank you, Bonnie and Nancy! Maybe next time! I am sure they are simply scrumptious. Oh Nancy, do you think Christopher would mind if I waited in his room?”, she said.
"Of course not my dear! If you would like, you can pick his books to read or play with his toys”, replied Nancy.
"Thank you”, Georgia exclaimed. Once she was in the room, she took out a picture book, played a bit with dominoes, stared out the window, and watched the clock tick. Georgia wondered what was taking Christopher so long. After all, writing 15 sentences wasn't supposed take an hour. A few moments later, Christopher walked in with a surprised and anxious face. At once, he snuck something into his night table drawer and faced Georgia. So quickly, no one couldn't even see what he hid.
"So, what do you want to play?" Christopher asked.
"Whatever you want" Georgia replied. "I noticed a beautiful set of cowboy figurines downstairs! Would you like to show them to me?"
"OK! I'll go fetch them!" Christopher ran downstairs. Georgia was very curious about what Christopher had put in his drawer in such a hurry. She looked at the door to make sure Christopher wasn't there and quickly walked towards the drawer. She carefully pulled out the drawer: a few rocks, a yo-yo, a few French stamps, ink, and a little shiny silver silk bag. Its shininess attracted Georgia's attention, especially the golden chain slipping out of it. She wondered if it could be the pocket watch Christopher was holding before. If so, why would he have stolen it? Their mothers always taught them stealing was bad. Just as she was reaching for it, Christopher flung the door open. Georgia closed the drawer as discretely as possible.
"Did you get the figurines?" asked her with a little grin. Christopher looked at Georgia with a little doubt in his eyes.
"Oh yes, here they are!" replied Christopher. For the next hour or so, they played and talked.
On her way back home, Georgia reflected about what she saw in Christopher's drawer. What was she to do? Follow her mother teachings about honesty or just let this situation pass? Georgia didn't want to lose her best friend, especially if she made a wrong assumption, but she also didn't want to hide anything in case he did steal the watch. The day was almost over; Christopher's parents were soon going to be home and so would Georgia's. Christopher's father would notice his pocket watch was missing. Christopher would probably return it to his father because he was most likely going to polish it or something, thought Georgia. Everything would work out just fine.
The next morning, Bonnie took Georgia outside on the lawn to play with the new doll her aunt had sent from Paris.
"Bonnie? May we play on the little bridge?" she pointed. "I am sure my doll would love to see the stream running by!"
"If you wish Georgia! But do not lean over the bridge or your doll could fall in the stream!" replied Bonnie. Just as Georgia was humming her favorite song "A Tisket a Tasket", she heard distant shouts from Christopher families' side of the bridge.
"Nancy, admit at once!" exclaimed Christopher's father knee-deep voice. "You stole the pocket watch!". The only thing Georgia could hear next was sobbing.
Georgia's visage was pale. "Oh dear! Are you feeling all right?", asked Bonnie. Georgia looked at her in confusion.
"Bonnie?", asked Georgia in a nervous voice. "What would you do if someone was in trouble, but you thought it wasn't their fault and had an idea about what might've happened, but you didn't want to lose one's friendship?"
"Well my little Georgia, that is a very difficult situation, but I can assure you that the best is to always tell the truth", she replied.
The next day, Georgia heard Bonnie talking to Nancy on the top floor: "Oh dear Nancy! Injustice can lead to so much trouble! I wish there was a way to prove your innocence. We all believe a sweet person like you would never do such a thing! No one that is good and fair lies!", said Bonnie. These words hung over Georgia's head during breakfast. She debated whether to keep her friendship with Christopher or help Nancy keep her job. Georgia could think of nothing else. She had to make a decision, and this decision would reflect her personality. Right before lunch, Georgia asked Bonnie to take her to Christopher's house because there was an urgent situation that had to be dealt with at once.
"Good afternoon Sir, Ma'am, Christopher, Nancy", Georgia said, as she did a little curtsy. "I am so sorry to come at such a time, but I have to say something very important!". Christopher looked at her dubiously. Georgia took a deep breath, gave him a tight hug and a little kiss on the cheek and said: "I am very sad to lose my best friend Christopher, but I must say: Nancy did not steal your pocket watch Sir. Christopher took it." Little tears fell out of Georgia's bright blue eyes. What if he didn't steal anything? She would be accusing him unjustly. Confused looks jumped across the room but there was only one look of disappointment. One look of lack of trust. One look of sadness. One look of guilt. One look of betrayal. It was between Christopher in Georgia.
"Christopher is this true?!?", exclaimed his father.
"Yes, Sir", replied Christopher with a tone filled with shame.
"Nancy we give you our sincerest apologies. Christopher, apologize to Nancy and go up to your room! The subject will only be discussed once our guests leave", said Christopher's father. Christopher walked up to Nancy with his head tilted down and said: "I am truly sorry Nancy! I had no intention of causing you any trouble! "
"I forgive you my dear boy", replied Nancy sincerely. They all stared at Christopher as he climbed the intricately carved staircase up to his room. Once he was out of sight, Christopher's mother cleared her throat and said: "Well little Georgia, that was quite an important thing you just did! Telling the truth saved many hard feelings and Nancy’s job. I can assure you that even after what you revealed, Christopher will again be your friend. No matter what happens, we are all proud of you. We congratulate you for having done the moral thing: telling the truth." Those soft and comforting words brought a wide smile to Georgia's sad visage.