Eighty four rings, thirteen bracelets, four necklaces, a gem studded crown, two crucifixes, and dozens of loose jewels gleamed on Madge’s kitchen table. Her head swam as she pondered their possible worth. She decided not to show her treasure to Brenda, feeling it could create a huge rift between them. Instead, she told Brenda that other than some great scenery, the trip was a bust. Brenda got her “I told you so” moment and laughed once again at the idea of aliens using telepathy to guide Madge. Madge let her gloat without retort and within a few days the pressures of daily life overlaid further conversation on the subject.
How to convert some of her treasure to cash was a momentary dilemma until she remembered that her neighbor Jeff was a jeweler who worked from a shop in his garage. Taking them to a pawnshop would realize a small percentage of their worth but with no idea as to what they were and their value she could lose a small fortune. Asking Jeff to appraise them was a logical course of action. But should she do it all at once, or in dribbles and drabs? Her flair for the dramatic led to her starting with the crown and a handful of loose gems. She was nervous and almost peed herself as she waited for Jeff to answer the doorbell. She almost turned to run but the door opened and Jeff invited her in.
Jeff was stunned at first, but soon grew suspicious. After all, Madge worked in a hotel laundry and could scarcely afford decent costume jewelry, let alone a King’s ransom. “Where’d you get this stuff?” He asked with narrowing eyes.
“Dug it out from under a tree in the mountains,” she replied. Deciding honesty was the best policy, she added, “there’s more. Guess I shoulda brought some of the smaller stuff first. Kinda wanted to show off.”
Jeff nodded, still distrustful but overwhelmed by curiosity. As he examined the crown with his loupe, he murmured with approval. Madge was encouraged by his fascination. “It’s really old,” he said. “Solid gold. The gems are cut beautifully and the carat weight is huge. Do you have an idea what it’s worth?”
“No. That’s why I came to you instead of a pawnshop. Can you help me sell it? I could really use the money. Or maybe you could buy it. I know you’ll be fair.”
Jeff grimaced at the idea of a pawnbroker even touching such a fabulous relic. It was museum grade and a part of human history. Possibly worth millions on the open market. “I couldn’t give you one percent of what it’s worth, but I could be your broker to a reputable auction house. That would be the way to go. I understand your need for cash but wish you’d donate it to a museum.”
Madge shook her head violently. “No way! It’s mine now. I went through hell to find it. Like I said, there’s more, and with your guidance we could make some real money.”
Jeff put his hand on his chin while examining the loose stones. “I’d want to see the rest and go online to find any police reports concerning it. If that comes up clean you got a deal. For twenty five percent, of course.”
It seemed high but Madge knew he’d work hard to get the most for her treasure. On her drive home that day she’d asked the alien who could read her mind who the treasure belonged to. Evidently, a thug who broke away from a gang run by a man named Rynax came to the northwest, buried it, then died before retrieving it. That was hundreds of years earlier. She knew there would be no police reports. Brenda would be surprised when she moved to Monte Carlo and never mentioned the thingamajig again.
For more about Rynax and his treasure, read the story Kriga in Mizeta Moon’s new book Stark Raving Mad. Available in the book section of Amazon as a paperback or now in e-book format as well.