So, to catch you all up on the goings on.. two days ago, i purchased a beautiful chair from a local deli.. well, actually I found it among many antiques in a room in the back. And to make a long story shorter.. my best friend and I found a pouch full of cut gems under the cushion of this chair. Rubies, diamonds and emeralds. They’re all about two carats each. Quite a treasure indeed. I wrapped the pouchful in tin foil and placed it toward the back of my fridge. Now it just looks like leftovers. I know that sounds like a crazy place for these stones, but until Lois and I figure out what to do with them, that’s where they’re staying. We are both freaking out a little and are trying to figure things out. Like, does Franz K., the man who sold me the chair, know about this treasure trove? Did he put these lovelies where we found them? He sold the chair to me for three hundred dollars. He said he wanted to get rid of it. Why would he sell the chair to me knowing the pouch was there? He hasn’t contacted me and I haven’t contacted him. The gems must be stolen. And I wonder if AC Doyle Moving and Storage knows anything about them. Two guys who work for them delivered the chair here per Franz’ request. So many questions. This afternoon, Lois and I are going to The Bard’s Deli to nose around a little. We don’t want to ask questions of the wrong person. We’re hoping Franz K. is working there today. I could call first, but that would seem off. Lois will be here in a half hour with her kitty. We’re going to have Christopher and my dog Errol hang out together while we’re gone.
I putter around the house. I’m pretty nervous. But time flies, and the doorbell rings. Lois and Christopher, right on time. She lets kitty out of his carrier and he and Errol run off to do whatever they do when we’re not around. I’m sure they have their own secrets. And they know their Moms have been extra nervous the last couple of days. … So what have you figured out, Robyn? .. . Absolutely nothing. It makes me nervous having those things in my house. I’m not even tempted to take them out of the pouch and look at them. I don’t feel at all like we won the lottery. I just want them back with their rightful owner.. whoever he or she is! .. I feel the same. Nothing but scared that the wrong person might know we have their valuable stones. The sooner they’re back where they belong, the better. But how do we figure that out without anyone knowing we have them? … Well, going back to where they came from the other day is the first step, I think.
We make it to lunch in seven minutes. Quick trip for afternoon traffic. I park, and we walk in.. as casually as we can. I don’t see Franz K. anywhere.. nor do I see the African Gray Parrot that was here the other day. Instead, C. Bronte appears from out back. That’s what her nametag says. And she says, what can I make for you ladies this afternoon? … And I order a chicken salad sandwich on rye, and a small broccoli salad on the side. Lois orders a chicken parm sandwich and a side of potato salad. .. And two Pepsis. If we drink a lot, we’ll have a reason to go out back. … C. says..coming right up! She has a beautiful smile. And she’s wearing a gorgeous pendant around her neck. Looks like a small ruby.
Lois and I take a seat and wait for our lunch. … So, what do we do now, Robyn? Are you going to ask about Franz? .. I think so. .. I figure it won’t hurt to ask. When C. brings our food, that’s what I do. I say, do you know when Franz K. will be working again? … Come up to the counter with me, and I’ll check the schedule. .. And I think, well, this is easy. No evasiveness at all. C. reaches under the counter and pulls out a big red leather eight by eleven sized journal. No computer stuff here. This is all handwritten. She turns pages. … Let’s see, Franz is scheduled to work again four days from today. On the eleventh. Is there anything I can help you with? … No thank you. We’ll wait for him. … She just smiles and returns to the back. That’s when I hear a crow caw. And I ask about him. C. appears in the doorway and says, oh that’s Herbert. He belongs to my sister Emily. And now that you mention Franz.. he wanted me to give you this note. He knew you’d be back. I shake a little, but take the note back to the table. It’s written on the prettiest lavender stationery. Lois and I read it together. It says, I know you have the gems. Don’t worry. They’re meant for you. S. Holmes wants you to hold them in your time for safe keeping… In our time? …
By M. Raynes