ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
Do you 'member me tellin' you 'bout me and Rosebud diggin' up that can fulla money in it out there in the pasture? Well if you don't, we did. We was tryin' to dig up this ol' stump out there when we found this black, aig-shaped lookin' thing wedged in between two of the roots. It was about a foot long and, to tell the truth, it was kinda scary lookin'. I didn't much want to mess with it. There wasn't neither one of us had ever seen anything like it before and I ain't one to go pokin' my nose into things that I don't know nothin' about. I didn't know what that thing was but I thought it might be somethin' bad. I prob'ly wouldn't have dug it up atall if Rosebud hadn't been there with me. But she was. She was standin' right there lookin' over my shoulder and I didn't want to let on like a thing like that had me spooked.
So I didn't have no other choice but to dig the dang thang up. It was either that or look like I was some kind of fraidy-cat right there in front of Rosebud and I for shore wasn't about to do that. No, she gives me enough grief without me doin' somethin' like that. But I was glad we did dig it up, though, after we got it out and busted it open and found out there was money in it. Oh don't get me wrong. It wasn't no fortune. There was a little over a hunnert dollars in it, mostly in ones, fives and tens and a handful of change.
But it was kinda strange. The money was different. Like, there was a two dollar bill in amongst the bills. And some of the change was kinda funny lookin' too. There was one great big penny, big as a quarter, and there was one that said it was a half-dime. It was real old, from back in the 1800s. I figgered it wasn't no 'count since it was so old. If it was even real. I know they don't make half dimes no more. I mean, who'd want one? And people's gonna think a big ol' penny like that'un is fake for shore. I told Rosebud we prob'ly ort to throw it away before we get in trouble for havin' a countryfit penny.
But she wouldn't hear of it. Said a lot of people collects old timey money like that. Said some of it's worth a lot more'n what it shows on the face of it and we need to have it looked at by somebody that knows a lot more about money than we do. She said a big penny like that might bring as much as a quarter from one of them coin collectors.
Maybe so. I know a lot of people like to collect odd stuff. Like bobwire. Some people collect that. And if they'll collect ol' rusty bobwire, a big penny or a half-dime might be worth somethin' too. But I'm doubtin' that any of that paper money, them dollar bills and fives and so on, is worth anything atall. I ain't for sure it's even real. It don't look like real money. For one thing, it's bigger'n the money we've got nowadays, half again as big. I took one out of my billfold and put it side by side and the words is different on the old money. It's got the same pitchers but the old money has got writin' that says "gold certificate" on it, whatever that means.
I told Rosebud that maybe we ort to have it checked out. I'd be afraid to try and spend it anyways. It just looks too fishy to me. So we dumped it in a seegar box and I set it on top of my chester drawers 'til we could figger out zactly what to do next. But havin' it settin' up there in plain sight like that was a mistake. I couldn't think about nothin' else. And the more I thought about it, the wilder my thinkin' got.
Do you recollect me tellin' you a while back about findin' what looked like a treasure map out there in the barn? It was tucked in amongst a bunch of ol' letters and papers and stuff and crammed down in a box up in the barn loft. There's always been stories up here in the holler about an outlaw, Jesse James or somebody like that, that moved up here after he got too old to rob banks and such and lived off what he'd already stole.
There ain't nobody knows if it's the truth or not, but that's how the tale went. People said he buried his treasure and drawed a map so he could go back to it when he got ready but he died sudden and nobody couldn't find the map. And they couldn't find the treasure either. Treasure hunters about dug up the whole holler tryin' to find it for the next hunnert years but, not havin' the map, none of 'em ever found it.
And I'll bet you a dime that the map we found up there in the barn loft was the one to that outlaw's money. But the trouble was, it was too late to do any good by then. Too much had changed. The map showed roads and places that ain't here no more. Like, it showed the money to be buried at a big oak tree that's prob'ly been dead and gone for 80 years.
But I got to thinkin' about the map and about that money we found and it started botherin' me. What if it was that outlaw's money? Do you know what that means? It means we've got a bunch of stole money in a seegar box settin' right out in the open on top of my chester drawers! What if the law was to come nosin' around up here and caught me with it?
No use takin' no chances. I got up right then, right in the dead of night, and took it out and buried it again.
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