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by Abigail Van Buren

Angry Husband Leaves Home to Find a Friendly Welcome

DEAR ABBY: I have always been touched by the acts of kindness stories in your column. When I was 20, I went into New York City to attend classes. Upon my arrival, I was mugged in the bus station. It was rush hour and I was too scared to scream.

After the mugger ran off, I picked up the few belongings that had fallen out of my handbag, walked across the street and down the stairs to the subway. It was then I realized I had no money to buy a token. I started crying and couldn't stop.

A middle-aged woman with a friendly smile arrived and stayed at my side until the authorities arrived. She calmed me down and wouldn't leave until she knew I was in safe hands. Before she left, she slipped some money into my pocket.

After Sept. 11, I heard people say how "surprised" they were that New Yorkers "came together." Not me, Abby. I have known since the day I was mugged that there are only a few bad apples in the Big Apple. I hope my good Samaritan will see your column and realize what her compassion and generosity meant to me that day and ever since. -- STILL COMMUTING IN NYC

DEAR STILL COMMUTING: Thanks for an upper of a letter, which proves that kindheartedness is universal -- and not limited to any one area of the map.