American Adventure Contemporary


Jim Cowles - October 2021

2,500 words

     Listen! What was that! It sounded like someone trying to get in my window, but I don't see a soul outside. It sure makes me wonder if someone came in that way to steal it, then got scared I'd catch them. I tell you what, now that I've found it, I've got to know who did it. I mean,.maybe it was there all the time, I guess, huh (?), but if it was, how could I miss it? I must have walked passed it a thousand times, so if it was there, I just missed it? Ha! Hard to believe!. No way! Someone must have known I have been looking for it for months; someone who felt guilty they took it, so now they put it back, where I would find it? But, who and, and, well.... why? Oh, I know I’m thinking it id a forensic conspiracy, but I cannot think any other way. If it was there all along, I would have found it months ago. This is just blowing my mind. I'm glad to have it back, but......

     Well, it could have started as a joke, then turned sour. If someone took it, it would seem they might want to put it back pretty quickly after seeing how angry I had gotten. But, they surely saw I was more upset with myself than anyone else, for letting it out of my sight. Oh, maybe I lost it myself and just missed it when I was out looking for it. I know I must have gone over these grounds inch by inch and I am sure it was not there. I know I looked around and under this bush a dozen times, but now suddenly, it turns up here, and not under the bush exactly, but right in front of it, near the pathway. I think someone is playing games with me, and I am going to have to find out who, or otherwise, I will go crazy. I think I’ll call old Dan boy and have a little chat with him. It would be just like him to hold it, then wait ten months, then put it near that bush so I could find it. He pulls jokes on just about everybody, but not me. That's because he knows how upset I get when someone, anyone does that to me. I do not like practical jokes and he knows that better than anyone. 

     It’s ringing. I’ll probably get his stupid answering machi...., Well, I’ll be.... Hello, Danny boy. I’m glad you finally answered your phone, man. I sure did not want to hear your crazy long message again. When are you gonna change that darn thing? It takes 5 minutes to leave you a message these days and I don’t want to even call you any more, man. What? No, heck no, nobody put a hitch in my giddy-up. Huh? No, and I didn't get up on the wrong side of the bed, either. Danny, Danny, no, no, stop that crap and just listen. Now, is there anything you want to tell me before I say anything more? I mean, anything you want to get off your chest before I find out about it on my own?   

     Dan, just tell me, man. Come clean right now and I promise I will not be angry. What? No, I’m not. I am not “already” angry. No, man, I wasn’t kidding. I hate that damn message you have on your answering machine. I can repeat it verbatim. “Don’t hang up, (Oh no)….., We’re oh so glad you called, so...., Don’t hang up... (Unless you're selling something). Now, you gotta wait for the big long tone. We’ll call you back when we get home. Now, don’t forget to leave your Phone.... Number. Don’t hang up!” Did I get it right? Yeah and you sing off key, too. Who did that bass part for you, you know, “Oh No,” and “Unless you’re selling something?” That’s you? You’re kiddin’ me man. A vocal machine, huh? It might change your voice, but you still sing off key. The Orlons did that tune so much better than you, pal.

     No, now look Dan, do you remember that day I said I couldn’t fin....... ? Yeah, that’s it. Uh huh. Well, It has been right at a year since I lost it, misplaced it, or had it stolen and this afternoon, I was walking to Bob’s, along the same path I have walked forever. Yeah, through that little field between our two houses, you know where I’m talking about, don’t you? Yes, that’s it. Well, I looked down and right by one of the bushes near the path, I saw a little sparkle, you know, a gleam, like. Yep. You got it. I found it. Say, you jumped onto this awfully quick, Danny boy.

     Listen Dan. I suspected you right away. No, no, you know it’s like some stunt you’d pull, don’t give me that stuff. Did you, do it? You know what! Did you nab it and wait all this time, then put it where I’d find it? Whadda you mean, “what kind of guy do I think you are?” You know it’s just like some of the crap you’ve pulled in the past, only you’ve never done anything like that to me.

     Ha. That’s true. I really got angry with you that time. So, you say you know better than to do anything like that to me again, huh? I scared the hell out of you? Ha! I doubt that, Dan. Okay! You didn’t do it; you really didn’t? Well, you are the only one I thought of when this thing turned up today. Okay, okay. I’m sorry for accusing you, but I am stumped, man. If you didn’t do it, help me figure out who did. No, I mean who stole it, then put it where I’d find it all this time later? It makes a difference to me, Danny. Yes, I've got it now, but I can't let this thing go. Nope, I’m pretty sure I didn’t lose it, because I never carried it with me that often. I had no reason, too. I always left it in the box under my bed, that’s where I keep all my valuables and you know that, Dan? You are the only other person who knows it’s there. Okay, I said I was sorry, didn’t I? Cheees! Well, what are you doing right now? Uh huh. Uh huh. Well, can you come over and help me figure out this thing? Yes, right now, not yesterday, but right-away. Can you? Okay, good. I'll see you in a minute. 

     He ought to get here pretty quickly. Uh, yeah, there he is. I Can see him coming out of his side door. That’s another thing. He lives right across the street, close enough to slip in here and be gone with that thing before I even knew it was gon....  Hey, Dan. How you doing, Danny boy.  

     Listen, don’t you give me that Danny boy stuff, Jimmy. Not after you accused me of taking that damn thing. I said I was sorry, Dan, what else do you want. I want a real apology, “Jimmy boy,” that’s what. You can kiss my back-side, Jimmy boy. Of all the things you’ve blamed me for and now, well, now you call me a thief. Danny, Danny, I didn’t call you a thief, man. I called you a prankster. There’s a big difference, son. I know you wouldn’t steal anything, but you sure as heck would cause me a little angst, now, wouldn’t you? Jim, I do joke around a little bit now and then, and I’ll accept you didn’t mean to call me a thief, but it pissed me off, man.

     Come on Dan, help me figure this out. You know that thing has been in my shoe box forever, under my bed, pushed way back in the corner. I probably pull the box out once or twice a year, look at the contents and sometimes even add something to it. I do carry some things to show them now and then, but I'm pretty sure I didn't lose it, because I remember always putting it back. Well, when's the last time you looked at it? Uh, uh!? Jimmy, as Judge Judy, says, “Uh, is not an answer.” Well, let me think a minute, Dan. The last thing I put in there was that marble. You know, the one I bought from Bruce. Yeah, I remember that one. It was kind of opaque and it has to be worth something, at least I think it is, I mean, I gave him $10 for it. I saw one like it that went for $25,000, but I don’t think this one is worth that much. Wait.... Here it is. It’s pretty, isn’t it. I really ought to have it appraised. Anyway, it was in the box when I put this marble in there. Hey... Do you think Bruce could have taken that little thing, thinking I didn’t give him enough money for his marble, then get cold feet and put it where I’d find it? Jimmy, there you go again, blaming someone for stealing one of your valuable treasures. You know Bruce wouldn’t do that, man. Danny, see what your pranks lead too? Suspicion, which includes you and everyone else. You ought to cut that crap, Dan. Ah, you are so full of it, Jim!    

     Okay, now Jim, let's think this thing through. When was it you bought that marble? Uh, well, it had to be around April or May of last year. Okay then.... Did you put the marble in the box right away? Yeah, I did. Did Bruce come with you? No, I was alone. I pulled the box out, then kinda looked through all my stuff. I'm proud of my collection, man. It has taken me years to collect all those things. Well, did you take that piece out at that time? Yes, I'm sure I did. I never get tired of looking at it. You know, I think more about the history of it than it’s beauty and value. Do you realize that thing is near one-hundred-seventy-years, old? I know, I know. It’s valuable, and that's the main reason no one would just lay it down on the ground for you to find, Way too risky, Jim. No one would be that stupid.  

     Now, here’s a serious question for you, Jimbo. Could it have been in a pair of pants, or a shirt of yours, say, some clothes you just laid aside, and when you put them back on, the piece fell out of your pocket when you put them back on? Dan, I didn't put my pants on outside on that path, dude. That’s a real stretch, Dan. No, it could not have been that, trust me. I rarely carried it anywhere, but when I did, I usually carried it in an old ring box. I guess I can't totally rule it out. I've carried it a time or two to show it off and I could have opened the ring box to show it to someone, but I don't remember the last time I did that. Okay then, did you put the box right back under your bed after you put the marble in? Why, of cour...... Uh, well, let me think now. Think, Jimmy, think! Did you put it right back? Well, I do remember, I got a phone call from Mike and had to go in the other room to take it, because it was on our land-line. Aha! Okay, Jim, now how long did that conversation last? Oh, probably the better part of an hour. Now, did anyone have access to your room during that time? No, I locked it so the kids would stay out of here. Well, is there any way, any person could have gotten in your room while you were on the phone? No way, Dan. Did you talk with the kids about it? Yes, first thing, but I don’t believe they could get into my room and anyway, I’ve never told them about my shoe-box.  

     Boy, this is one big mystery, Jim, isn’t it? No other way anyone could have come in here, huh? Well, I did have the window open and it doesn’t have a screen, so it would be pretty easy for someone to climb in, steal the thing, then be gone in an instant. There you go again with the stealing thing, but it's true, your room is ground level, so someone could have come in the window pretty easily, couldn’t they? Yes, they could. So you left the box out on your bed, right next to the window? Yes, that’s right at least I think I did. Well, they say you should recreate the scene of the crime, so get your box out and let’s open it and put it on the bed near the window. Is it safe to say it could have been open that day and right near the window? Yes, it's possible.  

     Okay, now let’s open the window and take a look outside to see if we see any footprints. I know it's been a while, but who knows? Good idea, Dan. It's only been a year, so there could still be some footprints there? Come on, you're kidding, aren't you? Do you see anything? No, but let’s go outside and take a closer look. Let’s go, but I am gonna lock my room just in case. Okay, now see, Jim. It sure looks as if anyone wanting to get into your window would have to come right across this lawn, in plain sight of several houses, or else climb a pretty high fence, through the back yard. I don’t see any footprints, Jim, so it could have been an insid.......  

     Hey, Jimmy, Jimmy, take a look. I just saw a bird fly into your window. Quick, let’s close it before he comes out. Oh, oh, man, it's too late. He's got something, what is it, Dan, would you look at that? He’s got Bruce’s marble. There he goes, let’s follow him. Come on, get a move on, Jimmy. He’s headed across the field. Dan, you are not gonna believe this, but that rascal just flew into the bush next to the path where I found my gold piece. Right there is where I found my gold coin; right on this pathway. You found the culprit, Dan. Oh, you're welcome, my suspicious friend. Oh, look at all the stuff that little guy has collected. There’s some pretty valuable things here, Jim. We best collect them and try to figure a way to find the owners. Look at that! There’s a diamond bracelet. Here’s an Omega watch. Oh my God, look at this! Here’s a..........


Sent from Mail for Windows

November 05, 2021 23:14

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.