Good Girl Goldie

aka Goldie Garcia

The Search

This is the story as told to me by my Facebook friend Norma Amezcua. It is based on The Other Wiseman by Henry Van Dyke.

According to this story, Artaban was the fourth wiseman from Persia who sold all his worldly possessions and purchased three precious jewels: a blue sapphire, a red ruby and a white pearl. He and his faithful servant Orantes set out from Persia to Babylon to meet the three wisemen who were waiting for him, so that together they could travel to Israel in search of the newly born king, the promised Messiah of Israel. Artaban planned to gift the three precious jewels to his king when he had the privilege of meeting him. However, on his way to Babylon, Artaban voluntarily parted with the blue sapphire in return for food, lodging and medical care provided by the owner of an inn, for himself, his servant and a badly injured stranger who was robbed and beaten up by thieves.

Due to the delay caused by this incident, Artaban was not able to meet the three wisemen, and so they set out in search of the king. When they reached Bethlehem, they discovered that the baby king and his parents had escaped to Egypt, as King Herod had ordered the killing of all baby boys below two years of age. Soon, Artaban was able to see for himself the rampaging soldiers of King Herod going from house to house in search of baby boys, to fulfill the wish of the king. The captain of the soldiers burst into a house where a young mother was holding her baby boy tightly to her chest to escape the wrath of the soldiers. As the captain was moving towards the terror-stricken woman with his sword drawn out, Artaban intervened and offered the soldier the second precious jewel he possessed, the red ruby, if he would spare the life of the woman and her baby boy. The captain accepted the offer and snatching the ruby from Artaban’s hands, left the house.

Artaban and Orantes then left Bethlehem and traveled to Egypt looking for the new king so that he could present the only remaining jewel, the white pearl, to his king. They reached Egypt, but could not find this new king. For the next thirty years they traveled from country to country in the whole middle-eastern region looking for the new king. Finally, they heard that the new king resided in Jerusalem and that he was the kindest human being that ever lived. Artaban was now a very old man and his greatest wish was to see the king and place the white pearl in his hand before he died. He now walked slowly towards Jerusalem. On reaching Jerusalem he learnt that the Governor Pontius Pilate was about to kill his king by crucifying him and decided that he would visit Pontius Pilate and plead for the release of his king by offering him the world’s largest and whitest pearl. However, on his way to see the governor, he met a group of slave sellers who were dragging a young girl who had been abducted from her parent’s home. The girl was screaming and appealed for Artaban’s help. The soft-hearted Artaban again decided to intervene on behalf of the poor slave-girl and bartered his last possession, the large white pearl, in exchange for freedom for the girl from her captors.

Artban and Orantes were now old, frail and feeble. They were penniless, having parted with his valuable possessions to help the needy. They finally found the Messiah dying on the cross. Artaban and Orantes fell to their knees. Artaban asked for forgiveness for not being able to present his king with the three precious jewels. It was at this very moment that Artaban heard a voice from heaven, “Oh! Artaban, you have already given me your three precious jewels, when you gave them away to help the people in need.”