A single dad named Felix was resting at home one day when he heard a sound of a lawnmower. He wondered who might be mowing their lawn at the time and decided to get outside and check. To his surprise, it was the elderly lady who lived next door, Mrs. McAllister.
She was way too old to be mowing her lawn. On top of that, she was barely walking with the help of her cane, so Felix offered to do the job for her, but he couldn’t help but wonder why she wasn’t getting any help from her son who barely visited her.
Mrs. McAllister was glad to accept Felix’s help. This wasn’t the first time he was there for her when she needed help around the house.
As a thank you for his kindness, Mrs. McAllister invited her hear neighbor inside and offered him a glass of lemonade. But as though that wasn’t enough, she told him to wait for her because she had something to give to him.
After a couple of minutes, she came back with a strange box in her hands. She handed it to him and told him it was an item that had a special value to her and now she wanted Felix to have it.
He was hesitant and said he couldn’t accept that box, but she insisted. She then gave him a bag of apples for his daughter Suzie.
Once home, Felix gave the apples to Suzie, and she told him there were some papers inside with what looked like codes written on them. She assumed they were for the box her father brought home. Suize wanted to open the box but Felix said no. He believed that he should return the box back to Mrs. McAllister.
The following day, he took the box and went to Mrs. McAllister’s house. When she didn’t respond, he decided to get inside. Unfortunately, she was in her bad and looked like she was sleeping, but she was in fact dead. She must have passed away during the night.
Some days later, Felix decided to search the Internet in hopes of finding some information about the box he received. To his surprise, it turned out it was of great historic value and could be sold for over $250,000.
Felix was both overjoyed and scared. He wasn’t sure if he should keep that box, but at the end of the day, that was Mrs. McAllister wanted.
One day, someone called Felix on the phone. “This is Tim, the lawyer for Mrs. McAllister. I’d like to get together with you right away. Are you free right now?”
The following day, they met at a nearby cafe. But the lawyer wasn’t alone, Mrs. McAllister’s son, Henry, was with him.
“Lexi, I’ll get right to the point. A small box with dials on the lid has been stolen from my mom’s house. It is a valuable family treasure. I gave you a chance to do the right thing because you were the last person in her house.”
“You think I stole from your mother?” Felix yelled. “Mrs. McAllister gave the box to me as thanks for cutting her grass—a chore you should’ve done for her!”
“Mom would never have given you that box!” Henry said as he poked Felix in the eye with his finger. “My great-great-grandfather was a famous politician, and he bought it from a famous craftsman!” There are only two like it in the whole world! I’ll give you $1,000 for the box when you give it back to me. Deal?”
“No.” Felix got up. “If you want to buy it, you can do so when I put it up for auction. Well Henry, goodbye.”
Felix went to a nearby sales house the following day.
Mr. Whitaker, a serious man with a snobbish accent, asked him to come into a back room for the evaluation and a woman named Ellen joined them.
“I can immediately verify that the craftsmen’s mark on the underside is authentic,” said Mr. Whitaker. “That means this is a pretty important piece, sir. One of only two in the whole world.”
Ellen bent down to look at the box. “That is quite lovely…may I see your provenance documentation?”
“Excuse me?” Felix exclaimed.
“You need to provide a certificate of authentication, or any verifiable document that proves the artifact’s authenticity and your ownership,” Ellen said.
At that moment, Felix stood up and said he would leave, but they wouldn’t let him, telling him they needed to contact the police so that he could explain how he got to possess something that valuable. But Felix fled the place.
That night, he decided to enter Mrs. McAllister’s some in hopes of finding the papers. But just as he entered through the window, a flashlight blocked his sight. It was Henry.
“Not so high and mighty now, are you Felix?” Hendry said.
“This is not how it looks. I only need—” Felix said scared.
“The documentation for the box, I know,” Henry said. “Because that box is linked to my family, the auction house called me after you tried to scam them. Yes, I did tell them you stole it—”
Henry then gave Felix an ultimatum. He either brings the box by 08:00 am the following day or he was reporting him to the authorities.
Felix went home running. He though hard and decided not to return the box that his neighbor wanted him to have it. Then, he took the box, together with his daughter, and went to his mother’s place. He told his girl, Suzie, to sell the box for no less than $100,000 and use the money for her studies. He then returned home and waited for the police to knock on his door.
And that’s exactly what happened. Felix was accused of selling the box and spent four months in prison while waiting for his court date. But then, he was informed that someone paid his bail.
Once free, he learned that the bail was paid by his mother and daughter.
Stunned, he asked them if they sold the box to someone, but Suzie said no.
“Well, I didn’t listen to you about the box,” Suzie said with a smile on her face. “I found a way to open it instead. That was a real award and a note from Mrs. McAllister inside. That box was very important to her, dad. It was written in the note.
“So I showed the note to your lawyer, and then I took the box with all the papers to an antique dealer,” Suzie added. “He gave us enough money for it to post bail and we still have $100,000 left!”
What a story!
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