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In front of a windowless, soot-blackened brick wall on a snowy evening, a young girl wearing one shoe, a dress, and apron, tries to sell matches. She has no buyers. A cheeky lad comes by and steals her show, right off her foot. A lamplighter passes. She huddles by the wall, lighting a match from time to time, and through the brick she can see a series of visions: a roaring fireplace, a table with a roasted turkey, a Christmas tree, a beckoning woman with a kindly face. As night passes, the child sleeps. Is there any rescue for her?