The heroine of this story is an eight-year-old girl in a Pennsylvania orphanage. She was painfully shy and had such annoying mannerisms that she was shunned by the other children and regarded as a problem child by the teachers. Two other orphanages had managed to have her transferred. Now, once again, the director was seeking some pretext for getting rid of her.
One afternoon it appeared that an opportunity had arrived. An ironclad rule held that any letter from a child in the institution had to be approved by the director or a house mistress before it could be mailed. The little girl had been observed sneaking down to the main gate and carefully securing a letter in the branches of a tree that overhung the wall of the orphanage. The director could scarcely conceal her elation.
She hurried down to the brick wall. Sure enough, the notes were visible.
The director pounced on it and tore open the envelope. She pulled out the note and quickly read it. Stunned, she stood staring at the piece of paper, then hung her head. It read:
To anybody who finds this: I love you.