When Timmy got home from school, the first place he headed was to the back yard. He had converted the old smokehouse into his ‘secret club house’. Over beside a large stack of firewood, he found an unexpected treasure. An expensive looking gold ring caught his eye. He decided it was the official secret clubhouse jewel and he wore it with pride. Shortly before supper, ‘the king’ went into the kitchen to ask for a cookie.
“Where in the world did you get that ring?”; She asked nervously.
“It’s my secret clubhouse ring!”; He shouted. At first he was excited at his good fortune but then regretted telling her about it. Moms are always ruining little boy’s fun!
“Let me look at it for a minute, ok?”
He looked at her to judge if he could trust her with his new treasure. “Well, OK… If you promise to give it back.”
“I can’t guarantee you that. If it belongs to someone else, I’m sure they would want it back. It’s just like how you would want your bicycle back if you misplaced it.” He handed her the ring and she examined it with intense interest. Her heart sank. It was a woman’s High School ring with the initials A. C. R. engraved inside.
“What is THAT!”; Ray asked frantically. The color faded from his face.
Timmy innocently responded; “It’s a girl’s school ring. Mommy said so!”
“Where did it come from?”; He demanded. His tone was slightly less agitated but there was still an intense urgency in his question.
“I found it in the smokehouse, honest.”
“Hmm. It probably belonged to one of the Van Buren family. I’m sure they would want it back. I’ll just drop it off at the bank in town tomorrow. Sherry Van Buren works there.”
“There’s no way it could have belonged to any of them.”; Rhonda dared to challenge. “They’ve been gone for more than fourteen years but the graduation date on this ring is 1992. That was just six years ago. Besides, the owner’s initials are A.C.R.. Do you know ANYONE with those initials, Ray?”
“Timmy, go outside and play!”; Ray demanded. There was a noticeable tremor in his voice.
“But I don’t wanna’ go!”; He protested.
“Do it NOW!”; Ray screamed. Timmy knew he’d better go ‘on the double’ when he heard the seriousness of his father’s voice.