Thread: New studio
View Single Post
  #203  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:04 AM
joseph engraver's Avatar
joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Platinum
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 652
Default The Navy Cross

I had to wake him in order to undress him and put him into his bed. With tears flowing down my cheeks I put away his artificial leg, folded his clothes and put them on his dresser and went to feed Alice her tuna fish, then I turned on the TV but found nothing of interest. After she had eaten, she jumped into my lap and stayed there until I turned out the lights and went to bed.
It was impossible for me to sleep. My uncle’s conversation and the thought of his collection kept me awake until I felt Alice jump onto my bed and curl up near my feet.


He was up at sunrise; I could smell his coffee brewing. I found him in the kitchen, dressed in his bath robe and opening a tin of tuna for Alice while she pranced around his crutches. He looked pale and grey, but he smiled when he saw me.
Do you ever feed your cat anything but tuna uncle?
No James, if you read the label on all the different brands of cat food you will see they all have, “Not for human consumption” on them. Now why in the hell would I feed my cat a product that I am not supposed to eat? I am fixing a piece toast with peanut butter and marmalade do want me to fix some for you?
Uncle you need to eat more than a piece of toast, you don’t look well and I am worried about you.
James, I told you that I plan to eat a good meal. I think that I am ready for a rib eye steak, mashed potatoes and maybe green beans in butter, and a glass or two of win tonight. Now you stop worrying and eat what you want, then fix me a bath in that Jacuzzi, then we will be going back to town.
He put the tuna in a bowl and gave it to Alice, and then he ate his toast and finished a second cup of black coffee.
This time he willingly got into the Jacuzzi and soaked for a half hour. When he was finished and I had dried him off and helped him to dress, he again kissed me on both cheeks and said,
Thank you James, I feel much better, now call us a cab and we shall go to town. Today you are going to see my collection after I stop at my bank.
When we were parked in front of the Wells Fargo Bank I got out and opened the door for him, then helped him out of the cab. He adjusted his crutches stood up tall and straight, then told to wait for him. He turned around and walked towards the bank.
As I watched him go I could see that he was having trouble, at one moment I was sure he would collapse. I went to him but he refused my arm.
I am fine, now please wait, I need to do this on my own. I will not be long.
Then he left me and disappeared behind the automated glass doors .I could tell he was determined to go alone and told the cabby to wait. It seemed to take forever, but then I saw him slowly making his way back to where I was standing.
He put a bank bag and some envelopes on the seat and let out a sigh of relief.
There, James, that business here is finished, now we go and see the collection.
I helped him into the cab and he gave directions to our next stop .As we rode, he said.
There is a storage unit where I have put all the things I have collected over the years. The sword is one item that I sold from it. The reason I sold it is so you would have a better understanding of the potential value of my collection. Not because I needed money.
Today, I will make arrangements for all of it to be shipped to your home. These trunks and cases contain memorabilia from the Revolutionary, Civil and the Indian wars, pistols, swords, flags, uniforms, bayonet, medals, photographs and much more. They are very heavy, too heavy for us, but I will arrange for them to be shipped today. I am sure everything will be delivered to your home by this afternoon.
There is so much that I want to explain .But I have saved books on the value of things such as these, and I am sure you can figure it out what to do once you study them. You are a bright boy, and I will be well pleased if these things help fund your education.
When we arrived at the storage company, he stopped at the office and picked up the keys, and then we opened the storage unit. It was not very large, it was dark but I could see four large military style trunks on the floor.
He gave me a set of keys and said. There is two hundred years of history in those trunks. You will find the contents well packed away, safe from mildew, mice, and moths and rust. I have not opened them since I had them brought here after Lillian died.
I was overwhelmed by emotion and I began to sob as I said.
Uncle, I do not want you to die for a long time, I want you to live, I love you and I don’t want these things you have cared for.
I know you love me James, and you must know that I love you.
You are so very young and I am sure you cannot comprehend death.
I want you to understand that every one’s life is a series of steps, each one bringing us to its inevitable end. One of the most enjoyable moments in my life has been meeting you, and finding a person that can be rewarded by my existence on this earth. I could never have told you anything about them, but I know that the storage company would sell them, you parents will give them away to the Salvation Army and they would be scattered everywhere, and my total life would be meaningless. I am not giving you an easy task, you will have to spend many months researching each item if you want to find the rewards they can bring .Do you understand how I feel?
Here are the keys to the trunks and an inventory letter that goes with them; this is not the right place to open them.
Now we go to the office and get these things shipped to your home. With your help tonight I will fix dinner .We need to buy steaks, vegetables, and a bottle of good California wine, cognac, and chocolate ice-cream for desert.
We had been home not long when the delivery truck drove up to the house. Looking very pleased, my uncle told them to take the trunks to his room and deposit them there. After settling the bill he said.
I feel much better. Now we will take Alice to the park, where I can enjoy the fresh air, late afternoon sun and look at the roses. Tonight, we will have a good meal together, and I promise I will eat everything.
That night he did eat everything and drank two glasses of wine. After dinner he gave me the bank bag and two notarized letter´s he had had written for him at his bank.
This, James is all the money I have. This letter confirms that I am giving it to my niece, your mother and her husband as payment for the care they have given me.
And this letter gives you the four trunks as a present for the wonderful time i have spent with you. Now would you open that bottle of brandy for me James? I am tired and want to have a good night’s sleep, and a bit of brandy is just what I need.
I said, I hope sleep well uncle, and then i helped him to bed. I returned to the kitchen, opened a can of tuna for Alice and cleaned the table, and then I went to bed. As I was falling asleep Alice curled up next to me.
In the morning I woke late. Alice was gone and my uncle was still not up.
I went into his room and found Alice sitting next to him. There was a note on his bedside table along with a small navy blue leather case. The note said, Open this up now.
Inside I found The Navy Cross.
I touched his hand and felt his flesh cold as ice. My heart was shattered by a devastating sadness. Five day later I put the Navy Cross around Alice´s neck took her to the park and we spread my Great Uncle´s ashes amoungst the roses.
The End
__________________
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
Reply With Quote