The story centers on a gardener named James and his young daughter Mary. Their simple, joyful life is interrupted when Mary is accused of theft. During the trial, Mary maintains her innocence and tells the truth, in spite of great pressure. But Mary and her father are convicted as thief and accomplice and begin their sentence for the crime. Throughout their sentence, James encourages Mary with lessons from nature about the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and continues to prepare her for what is to come.
The constant demeanor and unchanging attitude of the characters in this little book is a source of substantial encouragement to modern listeners.