Mrs. Annie’s eyes turned stone, transfixed on the picture on the opposite wall, her trembling finger pointing towards it. It appeared, she wanted to say something. A picture from her childhood, she never parted with.
Gina, Pat’s wife was astounded. “Oh! I can’t believe this. She did reveal the secret after all. Everyone looked at her, confused. “Last few years I tried everything for this old woman to speak up and the only word that she uttered was that she had forgotten. I can’t wait anymore, we must go immediately to Stierend, that’s where this picture is from, her farm.” Gina wore a funny expression, of greed and exasperation. “She gave the farm to charity but at least her jewels..Lord those jewels, her pearls, solitaire, she hid them all away from us, they are somewhere on that farm!
“Mrs. Annie asked me to send all her belongings to the orphanage,” said old Mrs. Ming, wiping her tears. She was Mrs. Annie’s caretaker and perhaps her only well-wisher in the house.
“Please. We have no place for this junk anymore. You may take that wretched picture with you, even the orphanage will throw it away. Now we do not need your services, you may find some other work!”
I’ll be pleased to take the picture Madam, she was very fond of it. Even she asked me once to keep it after she’s gone. I have no will left to work anymore. She handed me some money to get myself across the sea, to my family.” Mrs. Ming left the room, sobbing.
The funeral was quickly arranged and the family left for Stierend soon after, eager to claim the elusive treasure.
Mr. David, Mrs. Annie’s old friend and manager of the orphanage greeted them, happy to see the family after years.
“Mr. David. Aunt Annie wanted us to give her belongings to the orphanage. In her memory, we’d like to plant a few saplings in the farm, if you don’t mind.”
“Oh no, it’s a pleasure, the orphanage owes a lot to her benevolence. Please go ahead and if you need help, do call us.”
“Erm.. no, we will manage, thank you.” The family scrambled across all corners of the farm, digging, sniffing. By sunset, they sat exhausted, without any luck.
“You seeded quite a lot of plants. Annie will rest happy, I am sure. We grew up together, bunch of friends, spent many summers idling on this very farm. Together, we were a riot, I tell you. My Cousin and Annie were close friends. Before leaving town, he gifted her a painting that had all of us on a treasure hunt here. ”
“Ah yes, that painting, it was her prized possession till her last day.”
“Oh, she didn’t sell it? I thought she would have sold it for a princely sum.”
“Didn’t Annie tell you? My cousin went on to become a renowned painter and that painting must be worth a fortune!”
Photo By: Unsplash
This is an entry for Five00-9, #Vintage. Find all the entries here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/category/five00/five00-9/
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