Phooey and the Buried Treasure

by Arnold Nelson

      One summer Phooey spent a month on his Grandfather's farm. His Grandfather was going to put in a fish pond and Phooey agreed to help him dig. So Grandfather and Phooey were both out there digging. They had been digging for almost a week and were almost done. They were talking about the fish Grandfather was going to put in the pond. Phooey stepped on his shovel and hit something metal.

    Phooey said Grandpa I hit something metal. Grandpa said dig it out lets see what it is. So Phooey dug a little more and said It looks like an old tin can. Phooey dug a little more and pulled the can out. He took the top off the can. When he did he had such a shocked look on his face Grandpa said What is it Phooey Phooey said a-a-a-a-a money. lots of money. Grandpa walked over to phooey and took the can from him and looked in. the can was filled to the brim with money.

   My Dad told me a story about the man he bought the farm from. He said the man didn't trust banks and buried his money. I never believed it but it must be true. He set the can down and said let's dig around here some more and see if there are any more cans. 30 minutes later they had 7 cans of money. Grandpa said I think we have all the cans. Let's take them inside and count it. So they took the cans in and started counted. When they got done they totaled it up and there was $22,530 all in $10s and $20.

    Phooey said what are we going to do with all this money. We will take it to the sheriff. Maybe he can find some descendants of the old owner Grandpa said. So they got into Grandpa's old truck and drove into town and stopped in front of the Sheriff's office. They got out and went in. Grandpa said Ross, we have a problem. We found all this money in tin cans in the yard. I am sure it belonged to the old man Dad bought the farm from. do you know anything about the family?

     Ross said Bill your father bought that farm almost 70 years ago. As far as I'm concerned the money is yours. We will never find the descendants. Take it and do what you want with it. I have more important things to take care of.

     Grandpa said Ok I will put it in a savings account at the bank. Phooey likes a mystery. maybe we will just see what we can dig up. What do you think Phooey? Phooey smiled and said It sounds like fun. Where do we start?'

     Grandpa said First we put the money in the bank where it will be safe, then we will go talk with Eliza Summers. she has been here her whole life. maybe she knows something. So they put the money in the bank and drove over to Eliza Summers' house.

     When they walked in Eliza said I was just about to make lunch. Have you had any lunch? When Grandpa said no she continued Why don't you join me we can talk while we eat. So they did, and when lunch was ready they started eating. then Eliza said what did you want to talk about Bill? Grandpa said we were digging on the ranch today and found quite a bit of money buried on the farm. Would you know anything about the Enos Robertson family? The ones my Dad bought the farm from.

     Goodness said Eliza That was a long time ago. Let me think a minute. I went to school with his daughter Daisy. Enos had a son 2 years older then me, Richard I believe his name was. Daisy and I graduated in 1939. It was shortly after that, Sometime in 1940 he lost his wife Annabell. She fell down a flight of stairs and never recovered. Richard joined the Navy shortly after his mother died. He was killed in Pearl Harbor. Enos fell apart after he lost Richard. Just wasn't able to do anything after that. Poor Daisy had to sell the farm she could not take care of the farm and Enos too.

    Your father came along at the right time. Daisy moved into town with her father and worked at the diner to pay the bills and took care of her father until he died, in 1945 I Think. After he died Daisy left town and went to Florida. I heard she married about 1950. never heard a thing after that.

   Would you no anyone that might have more up to date info? Grandpa said. Eliza said The only I can think of is Emma Jones. they were always very close in school. along with Doris James. Doris died in 1990. Emma is your best bet. She lives in that assisted living center out on highway 312. I can never remember the name.

    Grandpa said I know where it is. thank you for the info Eliza and Thank you for lunch. Phooey said Yes thank you for lunch it was very good. Such a sweet boy Eliza said you are both welcome. Come back anytime.

    Grandpa and Phooey got back in the old truck and drove out to see Emma. When they got out there Emma was sitting in the community area watching TV. When Grandpa and Phooey walked in Emma looked at them and a big smile broke out on her face. Bill she said It is good to see you, it has been way to long. Who is this? Don't tell me this is Nana's boy. Why last time I saw you you were just a baby.

    Grandpa said Yes this is Phooey. He is growing up. How are you Emma? Emma said I am doing pretty good for an old lady. What brings you out here? Grandpa said We found some money buried on the farm and we are trying to locate descendants of Enos Robinson so we can return the money to them. We have been talking to Eliza she told us some things, but she said you might have more up-to-date info. What did she tell you?

    She said that Daisy moved to Florida somewhere after her father died and Richard died at Pearl Harbor. She also said Daisy got married but that was the last she heard. Grandpa said

   That is all true. Daisy and Doris and I were very close. After we graduated we always wrote letters and kept each other up-to-date. Doris died of Cancer, such a shock she was such a beautiful girl too. She was so eaten up I hardly recognized her the last time I saw her. Daisy and I both went to her funeral. Daisy was Daisy Arthur then she married a man named Philip Arthur.

    They had 3 beautiful children. Frank, Abby and Brian. That was 1990 Frank and Abby were in College then and Brian was in High school. Five years later my sweet Daisy was killed in that terrible automobile accident with Arthur. I went to her funeral that was in 1995, so sad. Phooey saw her wipe a tear away as she continued They were living in Orlando at the time. If you really want to try to contact her kids you may try putting an ad in the Orlando newspaper. If you find them ask them to come visit me. I would really like to see them again and catch up on all the news.

    Grandpa said That is a very good idea Emma. What do you think Phooey? Phooey said I like it too. let's try it we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Emma said such a smart boy. I used to be a teacher I taught your mother she was very smart too. When you see her tell her I said hi. Ask her to come visit me sometime. I don't get a lot of visitors and I get lonely.

    Grandpa said Sorry it's been so long Emma I will try to get out here more often. That farm keeps me very busy. I know Bill. Thank you for coming and brightening up my day. I need to take a nap now. Please let me know what happens. Bye Bill. Nice to see you again, Phooey, take care.

   Grandpa and Phooey went back to the ranch and got on Grandpa's computer. They set up a special E-mail address. Then they placed the ad and waiting for an answer. After they got done phooey said Grandpa what is Pearl Harbor?

     You never studied Pearl harbor in school! Grandpa said. No all they said was that after the Japanese attacked it we entered WW2." Phooey said. Grandpa said It happened on December 7th 1941, a day the will live in infamy according to President Franklin Roosevelt. Early in the morning the Japanese attacked our navel base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

   They sunk all 8 battleships stationed there, also destroyed 188 planes. almost 2400 Americans lost their lives over 1100 more were wounded. it could have been worse. Had the Japanese destroyed the fuel tanks on the island the war would have lasted another year or two. costing many more lives. 6 of the battleships were later raised form the shallow harbor, repaired, and put back in service. There are still many bodies on the bottom of that harbor most entombed in the two battleships still down there.

    There is a memorial built right above where the USS Arizona sank. You can visit it next time your family goes to Hawaii. Some of the masts are still sticking up out of the water and every day they fly the stars and stripes on those masts. Some say it was a surprise attack, others say Washington new about it but didn't believe it and chose to ignore the warnings.

    Wow said Phooey I will see if I can talk Dad into taking us there. I would like to see it. That man's son Richard died there along with all those other people, wow!.

    Grandpa said you know we need to come up with some questions in case someone answers the ad. That way we can be sure they are really descendents and deserve the money. What do you think we should ask Phooey? Phooey thought for a minute and said we should ask for Daisy's name before she was married.

    Good question, that is called her maiden name. Grandpa said write it down

    How about where she was born? Phooey said.

    Excellent Phooey. Write that down too. I think 1 more question should do the trick

    How about, who were Daisy's best friend in school? Phooey said after thinking for a while.

    Great Grandpa said write it down too. Now write down the answers to the questions too,. then when someone answers the ad we can E-mail the questions to them. When they answer the questions right we will know we have the right people.

     So Phooey wrote: What is Daisy's maiden name?......Robertson Where was Daisy born?.........Fresno County Ca. Who were Daisy's best friends in school..........Emma James and Doris Jones. He showed it to Grandpa.

    Grandpa said Good, I think we need one trick question though. Write this down What were the names of Daisy's brothers?

   But she only had one brother Richard why did you say brothers? That is the trick. Any relative should know she only had one brother but someone else might try and trick us with a second or third name of someone the doesn't exist.

   Very good Grandpa. So Phooey wrote: What were the names of Daisy's brothers...... Richard

    Great Grandpa said Now you watch for E-mails and anytime someone answers you send them the Question. Tell them we are just making sure they are related to Daisy. When they answer the questions we will know if we have a relative. If some of the answers are close but not exact contact me and we will have to make a judgment call. Within a week they had 3 responses to the ad. Phooey sent the questions back.

      2 days later a lady named Morgan Snyder sent back all the answers to the questions. Phooey told Grandpa about Morgan.

    Phooey said Morgan said she is the daughter of Abby Arthur Marx, who is the daughter of Daisy. She even gave me a phone number to call her. Well lets call her Grandpa said.

    So Phooey dialed the phone and gave the phone to Grandpa. When someone answered he asked for Morgan Speaking She said. Grandpa explained who he was and told here about the money and told her if she could come to California and prove who she was he would gladly hand over the money to her.

    A week later Morgan flew to California and proved who she was to Grandpa's satisfaction. He took her to the bank and got the money for her and gave it to her. Morgan said you need something for all your work tracking us down. Let's split the money 50/50.

    Grandpa said No! that is way to much. I can't take that much. Then use it for Phooey's education Morgan said I was instructed by my mother to give you half and that is what I intend to do. If I don't I will be in a lot of trouble when I get back to Florida.

     So Grandpa accepted and put all the money in Phooey's college fund. Grandpa told Morgan about Emma's wish to talk to Daisy's family.

   Before Morgan left she went to see Emma, When Morgan walked into Emma's room Emma's eyes got real big and she said Daisy! Then she said You can't be my Daisy she is dead. Who are you? Morgan said "I am Morgan, Daisy's granddaughter and Abby's daughter. Emma said You look just like your Grandmother. You gave me quit a scare, Bill found you didn't he? Morgan said yes I am glad came to see me. they talked for about an hour.

     Morgan could see Emma was tired so she started to leave. Emma said before you leave get the old jewelry box off the shelf in the closet and bring it here. So Morgan did. When Emma got the box she opened it up and took out a locket and gave it to Morgan. Morgan opened the locket and there was a picture of Daisy in it. Morgan said I can't take this it is too precious to you.

    I am an old lady I will not live much longer,. I have no need for it anymore, Please take it. I want you to have it because you look so much like her. So Morgan took it, Morgan promised to keep in touch. Then Morgan left. 30 minutes later Emma died with a smile on her face.

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