Whilst Molly and Will were on their road trip, and Anna was busy doing on-line readings, Grace called Patrick to The Attic. “Good morning to you Patrick!” greeted Grace.
“Top of the morning to you Miss Grace!” Patrick replied, and he meant it. “Something you wished to discuss with me?” he asked.
“Oh yes, indeed,” replied Grace, her eyes sparkling with mischief. “Patrick I am well aware of the state of the roof and the repairs required. I think it is about time we gave these people a hand in maintaining our home, don’t you? (Patrick nodded his head eagerly) Now listen closely, Patrick, I have a wee plan….”
Later that morning, after Anna had finished her work, she made some lunch and took it outside to sit in the orchard beneath the trees. The dappled shade offered a cool place to sit and relax, the day was still somewhat warm, but the shift in the seasons was obvious, the evenings were getting cooler and she needed to organise some firewood for the coming winter. Having spread out a blanket on the cool grass and had finished eating, Anna laid down and closed her eyes. Drifting in and out of sleep she felt an increasing discomfort beneath her, something poking into her back. At first it felt like a lump of grass or soil, but it persisted in causing discomfort, almost like it was purposefully poking her. Slightly annoyed at that distraction, she pulled back the blanket to flatten the lump but as she hit it with her fist, it made an odd noise. There was something beneath it. Curious, she parted the long grass, thinking ‘I must mow the lawns later’, and revealed something that caught the sunlight. Brushing back the dirt revealed an old tin, like a faded biscuit tin. Intrigued, Anna dug around it to discover that it was an old tin, with a faded scene of Paris on it. Digging around it loosened the tin enough for her to be able to lift it out of the dirt. Brushing off the soil revealed a sweet little tin box, maybe an old chocolate box. It had a some weight to it. Her heart was racing, what had she found? Pulling back the blanket, she sat in the dappled sunlight, holding her breath with anticipation. ‘What could possibly be buried under this old apple tree?’ she thought to herself. Prying open the tin carefully, the lid a little rusted, she wriggled it gently until it popped open. Inside was a piece of pale printed fabric, soft like silk, which had a floral pattern. She unwrapped it carefully, to reveal a piece of jewellery. It sparkled in the filtered sunlight, the jewels casting tiny rainbows. On closer inspection, it was a bracelet or maybe an arm band made up of rows of brightly coloured stones, of brilliant blue and white. Now Anna knew about crystals and that these indeed were precious gems! The piece appeared to be in perfect condition. But why was it buried under the apple tree? She picked up her plate, the blanket and the box and took them inside.
In the kitchen, letting her eyes adjust to the dim light, she placed the box on the table with its lid off and the folds of the fabric pulled back to display the beautiful piece of jewellery. It was exquisite in design and the stones were well cut, catching light even in the dimly lit kitchen. She moved the box over to the bench under the window sill accessing better light. The piece of jewellery captivated her, mesmerised her as it captured the light casting a dazzling display of the tiniest rainbows up the wall. It made her laugh! What was the story behind this? Who had buried it and why? Where had it come from and who owned it originally? It would have been made as a gift for someone special, it had that feel to it. Unsure of what to do, she rang Molly.
After a brief catchup, Anna shared what she had found in the garden earlier that day with her. “Molly it is exquisite. I have it sitting in front of me now. There are six sections to it, in each one has a faceted blue sapphire, surrounded with cut diamonds set in tiny silver and gold tulip flower shaped settings, the stem of which forms a link between the sapphire and the diamonds that surround each one, there are ……ten to each section, and another three diamonds which form links. Looking down on it the settings are lined with silver or maybe white gold, but underneath it is rose gold. I have a feeling it is worth quite a bit of money Molly! I wonder where it has come from? Do you think it may have been Grace’s? But why would she have buried it underneath the apple tree? It had only a light layer of soil over the top of it,” Anna rambled on excitedly.
When she paused to catch her breath, Molly intervened, “First things first….you must check in with Grace – see if she knows anything about it. Then, if it is ok with her, get a valuation done on it, let’s see what it is worth.”
“I’ll take a pic of it and send it to you,” Anna offered.
“Better still, let’s both meet with Grace, I’ll see you in The Attic tonight, say…9pm?”
“Yeah, good idea! See you then!”
After ending the call, Anna turned to look through the kitchen and up the hall to the bottom of the stairs. As much as she was tempted to go up to The Attic on her own just now and talk to Grace, she also wanted to share this with Molly tonight. She would be patient and wait. Then she felt hands wrap around her wait and hold her tight. Sensing Patrick’s presence, she asked him what he thought of the bracelet. The only reply was a mischievous chuckle. Sighing with resignation, she would just have to wait.
At the motel in Alma, Molly interrupted Will from his work. “I’m making some coffee, want some?” She offered, distracting him for a moment so that she could discuss this with him. “What was all that about?” He asked, putting his artwork aside and joining Molly at the kitchen table.
“Anna found a buried treasure!” Molly blurted excitedly.
“She what?!” Will replied.
“When she was having lunch out in the orchard, she felt something hard beneath the blanket and under a mound of dirt in the amongst the grass she found an old tin chocolate box. Inside it was a beautiful bracelet. Look, she sent me a pic…” Molly showed Will the picture on her phone.
“Wow!” He exclaimed, “That’s not costume jewellery, look at the design! I wonder where it came from? Whom it may have belonged to…” his voice trailed off as he looked closer at the photo on Molly’s phone.
“We are meeting with Grace tonight in The Attic to see what she has to say about it.”
“Hmmm….good idea. I wonder if it is her’s, and if so why was it buried in the orchard. How intriguing, can’t wait to hear what she has to say,” replied Will.
Later that night, just before 9pm, Molly prepared herself to meditate. “Wish I could come too,” Will pouted.
“Maybe you can one day, but not tonight Will, I want to be able to stay focussed on Grace. Otherwise I would be focussing on you, making sure you are ok. You could visit with Patrick, that way we would be kinda meditating together,” she smiled at him, not wanting him to feel left out.
“Hey, that’s a cool idea. Are you ready?”
“Yes, I think so.”
Both of them got comfortable and relaxed into meditation. Will imagined climbing the ladder into his loft office. For Molly, the vision of the stairs came to her quickly and excitedly she ran up them and burst through the door. Sitting in the captain’s chair was Grace, and in one of the arm chairs was Anna. Molly hugged them both, the energy was tangible. Grace smiled at them, “I hear Anna has found a hidden treasure. Did you bring it with you Anna?”
“Hell yeah!” She replied unable to contain her excitement. She handed it to Molly first who then passed it on to Grace, who replied, “Oh! I was wondering what had happened to that bracelet! Callum gave it to me as a wedding anniversary present. I had left it in my will to Charlotte. Scoundrel! I wonder why she buried it outside? Ha! Well Anna, looks like it will be your job to get it valued, maybe it can help towards a new roof for the house?” Grace suggested casually.
The next day Anna drove into town. She knew of an antique dealer who specialised in jewellery. She tried to be as casual as possible but as she was about to walk through the door, she realised she had no story to relate to how she came across it. Pretending to have forgotten something, she headed back to the car. Sitting quietly, she asked Grace for some help, and waited for an idea to come to her. After awhile, she opened the box to check the bracelet one more time and noticed a corner of paper poking out from behind it. It was a copy of Grace’s Will! And she heard the words, “Tell him Charlotte was your great Aunt, and it had just come into your possession for your birthday.” Anna, smirked at the quirkiness of Grace, and confidently got out of the car and walked back in to the antique store, quite capable of retelling this story.
Anna told the dealer the story and gently handed him the chocolate tin. He was interested in the tin itself at first. “Well, despite being a little weathered, it is in remarkable condition for something almost 100 years old!” Anna’s face lit up at this. Carefully he opened the lid and unwrapped the fabric revealing the bracelet. “Oh my!” He exclaimed, catching his breath. He opened a drawer in his desk and took out a monocle which enabled him to have a closer look at the precious gems. Anna could see by the colour of his face that he was holding his breath, and cleared her throat to remind him that she was there and also that it was good to breathe. “My dear, where did you say you got this from?”
“My Great Aunt Charlotte, and she in turn inherited it from Grace Forrest.”
“Grace Forrest, where do I know that name from?” His attention drifted for a moment and then returned to the precious jewellery in his hand. “This is exquisite. The design indicates that it was made before the turn of the 20th Century. I would say at a guess that these sapphires are from Burma, possibly being around 12 carats. The diamonds are…..at a guess 8 carats, the setting is white gold and….” He paused as he turned the bracelet over, “18k gold! I could only estimate it’s true value. If you would like to leave it with me, I will have it professionally valued for you. Here let me write you a holding certificate as proof of our agreement. I have a colleague who will be passing through this way on Wednesday, she can give you a valuation and certificate of authenticity. It will cost $250. Would you be interested?”
“Oh yes please!” Anna blurted enthusiastically, then realising this, collected herself and replied, “Oh but first, just let me check with my….mother.” She walked outside the shop and rang Molly to check with her that this was an ok thing to go ahead with. Walking back into the shop, Anna said that the valuation would be helpful, paid him the money and took the receipt. “What time Wednesday can I call you?” she asked.
“Let me see….Louisa should be here abut 10am, say….after 12pm?” He offered.
“Look forward to it, thank you…um….(she looked at the receipt)..Bernard,” and shook his hand. Anna slowly walked across the road, opened the door of her car, flopped into the seat and sat staring out the windscreen for a moment, trying to take in the potential value of this piece of jewellery. Her mind drifting, she was sure she heard chuckling. “Patrick? Grace?” No reply. As she drove off, checking in the rear vision mirror, she saw Patrick’s face smiling back at her. “Jesus! Man, you scared the crap out of me!” But the image was fleeting and Anna continued driving home. She couldn’t help but laugh at the situation in life she had found herself and talking out aloud to herself as she drove said, “I am living in an amazing old house in New Zealand, where everything is being taken care of, there is nothing I need to pay for. I have as much work doing on-line readings as I want and I have a spiritual mentor who lives in the attic room upstairs. Plus…” and she chuckles to herself, “I have a spirit lover who is a time traveller! Oh my god! I love my life!” She turned on the radio to find the song Drops of Jupiter by Train playing…”Perfect!” She said out aloud, and sang along as she drove home. Patrick watched from the back seat, not wanting her to realise he had been with her the whole time.