The Adventures Of Ted And Josh No 5 - Theres Gold In The Barn
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No more school for the rest of the year! It had finally happened.
The doors burst open and the kids started running like little ants coming out of their hole to defend their home against invaders.
You wouldn't have been able to find a frown on any face as they poured out of that doorway to start that long awaited summer vacation.
School was out and it was time to start living.
Ted walked out of the door and leaned against the railings that lined the steps and waited for Josh to appear. The two boys always rode their bikes home together.
Their houses were only 3 miles from the school and they liked to stop off at the ice-cream shop on the corner for a single cone before going home.
Josh came through the door looking a little ragged.
"What happened, you should be smiling." Ted said as he stood up and looked at Josh.
"It's nothing," Josh answered, "let's get out of this place."
The two boys walked over to the bike rack and unlocked their bikes for the trip home.
Ted kept looking at the worried face of his friend.
They exited the school yard gate and turned on to 5th Street and headed down toward the corner.
As they stopped for the traffic lights at the intersection, Ted couldn't stand it any longer.
"Come on buddy, open up and tell me what's going on." he said.
"I'll tell you soon, I really will," Josh answered, and then said, "let's get over to the ice-cream stand and take a break."
They turned in to the parking lot at the Cone Palace, got off their bikes and leaned them up against a bench sitting in the shade.
"I'm buying today," Ted said, "so go ahead and get what you want."
He started pulling out coins from his pocket.
"Did you rob your piggy bank?" Josh asked as he smiled.
"I've been saving it up for a week, instead of getting milk at lunch," Ted answered, "I've been planning for this day."
"And I thought you were just saving cows when you took water instead of cow-juice." Josh said with another grin. "I'm sorry buddy, had you figured wrong."
After ordering their double scoops they walked back over to the bench where their bikes were parked.
Taking a big lick off his cone Ted started. "Okay, let's hear it."
"Well, here goes and don't you laugh at me either," Josh said as he took a deep breath and a lick from his cone.
"Laugh! Don't be silly," Ted answered, "I wouldn't do that to you buddy."
"I've been wanting to go back down to that old barn we found last month." Josh said with his head down.
"What?" Ted asked, "I couldn't hear you."
"The barn!" Josh said again, raising his head and looking at Ted, "I've been wanting to go visit that old barn again."
"I thought you said that," Ted said, "The barn. The barn with those wild dogs and all of that stuff scattered around, that barn?"
"I mean it," Josh answered, "I don't know where it's coming from but it started Monday and I don't know what to do with it. Those weren't wild dogs, just misunderstood."
"You know I've got to ask why?" said Ted, looking at his friend.
"You won't laugh at me?" asked Josh, glancing up at Ted.
"I told you already I wouldn't laugh," Ted said, "where are you when this happens?"
"I've been having dreams about gold," Josh answered, "I don't know what the two have in common if anything, but I'm losing my mind."
"Yes, and I know it sounds crazy." said Josh.
"I'm just not sure I'm hearing you right."
"I know," Josh said and then continued; "it sounds crazy and it's driving me crazy."
Ted stood staring at Josh before he spoke.
"Okay, how about I sleep over tonight and we'll talk about it some?" Ted asked.
"You sleeping over?" Josh asked, his face had a happier look.
"Sure, I can call my Mom and get permission and we'll be on our way. Maybe we can figure all this out."
"That's great," Josh said as he licked his cone and threw his leg over his bike.
" Let's get going!"
The two boys made their way out of the parking lot and started peddling their way home.
It was 6:30 when dinner was over.
The two boys helped Josh's Mom clean up and then were off to the back yard.
It was a thing of beauty; the tree-house that sat perched up on that big limb in the mighty oak tree sitting in Josh's back yard.
The two boys had built it only last summer and had used it a lot to sit in and talk things over in their young lives. It was the place they went to when things were getting them down and the place that seemed to be safe from the outside world.
A place that girls weren't allowed and parents never came to.
A good spot to figure out this barn and gold thing that had Josh losing sleep.
They had the okay from their Moms to spend the night camping out in the tree-house.
A boys dream come true.
They already had everything up in the house that two boys might need.
Flashlight, blankets, bedrolls, and extra goodies in case they got hungry.
Everything was in order and they could hardly wait to make the climb up the hanging ladder to their outpost in the sky.
As darkness settled over the back yard, it was surprising how spooky things seemed high up in the tree-house.
Ted kept looking out of the door.
"It sure is dark tonight," he said after peeking out for the hundredth time, "I don't remember it being this dark before. That sure is a big moon."
"It's always dark when the sun goes down and the moon comes up." Josh answered, glancing up from his map of the old barnyard they had drawn last time they were there.
"That's why they call it night."
"Funny, aren't we?" Ted said as he made his way back to the light from the lantern they had placed on the floor.
"You're not scared of a little darkness, are you buddy?" Josh asked as he smiled big at his friend.
"No," Ted answered, "just making a statement, that's all. We better get some sleep, tomorrow is a busy day."
It was 6:45 by Josh's watch the next morning as they made their way down the trail toward the dirt road that would lead them to their destination. The sun was starting to climb out from behind the Smoky Mountain peak that surrounded their small town.
Mist was still hanging in the air and the dew was heavy as they made their way down the winding trail following the creek bed.
Ted, shifting his backpack on his shoulder, took out his cellphone and snapped a picture of the stream and mountains. Even at almost his twelfth birthday he could still see the beauty around him.
Josh stopped and smiled at his buddy. "It's not hard to see why people visit this area, is it?"
"It's got it all, that's for sure. Do you think you'll always live here Josh?" Ted asked.
"I don't know, there's places I want to go see, but right now, this is home."
The trail had turned into a dirt road and was headed down toward a valley.
As the two boys stepped out of the tree line they could see the old barn sitting across the pasture. It looked much the same as it did when they discovered it only a few months before.
"Doesn't look much different." Ted said as he looked around.
"What did you expect?" asked Josh, starting toward the old place.
"I'm not sure," answered Ted, "maybe a farmer or his wife and some kids playing in the yard, or some kind of life."
Josh laughed. "You do have a great mind for images, I must say."
"It looks pretty lonely out here." Ted said.
"I would say there's been no one here for quite some time." Josh said.
The wind blew and made the old place shake and rattle, causing Ted to stop and look around.
"It's just the wind," Josh said, "let's have a look inside."
"O' great! Just what I wanted to hear you say," Ted said as he shrugged his shoulders. "Inside, that's where I wanted to go."
"Ah come on," Josh said with a grin, "what's the worst we can find in there?"
"If you have the time, I can tell you some of the things I can think of."
The old door was standing open as the two boys came close to the entrance.
Using a stick, Ted brushed away some cob webs that hung in the morning air across the doorway.
The sunlight shining through the open doorway caused the inside of the old place to lighten up and the shadows fall away some, exposing old wood and a loft that had seen better times.
"Strange place." Ted said in a hushed tone. "Strange."
Josh, taking it all in, finally spoke; "I might have used a different word myself but that one will do for now."
Ted, glancing over at his buddy, started walking forward toward the stalls.
"Let's go back there," Josh said turning away and heading for the back of the old building.
Picking up an old rusted shovel that was lying on the straw covered floor, Josh continued to move toward a corner at the back.
"Are we searching for something special?" Ted asked as he followed Josh.
"I don't know," Josh answered, "but I've got a feeling I want to check that old hole back there."
Looking at where Josh was pointing, Ted could see a half hidden hole covered by an old wagon wheel with some grass growing up through the spokes, only half of it was visible, the other half buried in the hole that Josh had seen.
"Good eyes," Ted said, "I wouldn't have noticed that."
"You might have." Josh answered as the two boys made their way to the corner where the old wheel stood.
Taking hold of it, Ted tried to move the wheel, but to no avail.
"It's been here for some time I reckon partner." Ted said.
"Yes, I bet it has," Josh said as he started moving the dirt from around the old wheel with the shovel. "Let's see if this helps any."
The old wagon wheel started moving more with each shovelful of dirt that Josh threw out.
All at once it reached the point where it couldn't stand on its own anymore and the wheel just fell apart.
Josh, looking up with a grin, started moving the pieces of wheel from the spot that it had covered.
After clearing away the wheel and pulling up the weeds that had grown over, what the boys had before them was a hole in the ground.
Josh, digging away some of the straw that lay over the hole with the old shovel, found that it seemed to go down for only a few feet.
"Not very deep I don't think," he said as he got down on his knees and pushed some dirt away.
Ted, kneeing down beside him, started moving some dirt out of the hole.
'Clunk'! came the sound.
"What was that?" asked Ted as he stopped digging and looked at Josh.
"I don't know," Josh answered, "let's do it again."
Ted pushed the blade of the shovel into the hole again and was greeting with that same sound, 'Clunk!'
"The shovel is hitting something metal," Josh said as he started moving more dirt out of the hole with his hands.
Ted, following his lead, started digging as well.
"Wait a minute, I've got something!" Josh said.
Ted, grabbing their flashlight, shone its beam of light down into the dark hole.
"Holy cow!" shouted Ted, "it's some kind of chest or trunk, help me bring it up."
The two boys grabbed the object and lifted.
Setting it down before them on the ground, both boys looked at each other with wide eyes and smiles as wide as a canyon.
"It is a chest or trunk, or something!" Ted said excitedly.
"Wow!" Josh said as both boys sat back on their heels and just looked at the old chest that lay before them on the floor.
"Now what?" Ted asked.
"Now we open it," Josh said as he moved forward to the lid covering the chest.
"It's stuck," he said, "give me a hand."
Ted, leaning forward, grabbed hold of the lid and together the boys started opening the cover.
A squeaking sound and it was done.
The two boys couldn't believe their eyes as they sat back and took in the contents of the old chest.
"It's gold!" Ted said in a hushed excited voice.
Before them was a trunk half full of gold coins.
Josh, his mouth open and his eyes big, said; "You're right, it is gold!"
"Oh my," Ted gushed, "what are we going to do with it?"
Josh, looking around as if for an answer said; "I don't know."
"We can't just keep it!" Ted said, swallowing hard. "Who does it belong to?"
"I don't know that either." Josh said.
"We need to sit down, get hold of ourselves and think this thing through." Josh said, letting go of the chest.
"Right, you're right," Ted said as he too sit back and let the chest go. "We need to contact somebody and ask them what to do."
"That does make sense," Josh added, "and let's do it fast."
"I'm going to go outside and make a call to the Sheriff, you want to come?" Ted asked.
"No, I'll stay here and keep an eye on the loot," Josh answered.
'Okay," Ted said, getting up on his feet and starting outside, "I'll be right out here if you need me."
"Okay, thanks." Josh said, never taking his eyes from the coins.
Ted made the call to the Sheriff and he told them to stay where they were and he'd be there as soon as he could.
It seemed like hours, but in fact it was only 45 minutes, before the boys heard the sound of a helicopter coming in.
It was the Sheriff.
Upon landing, the Sheriff made his way over to the old barn and the two boys that were waiting for him outside.
Entering the barn, the Sheriff was led to the chest and the boys opened it.
"My goodness!" the Sheriff said as he knelt down and touched the coins.
"They are real and old. I don't know who put them here or who they belong to but you boys did the right thing in calling me and now we'll go to work and find the answers for all our questions. I'll turn this into the State and see where it leads us. Thanks boys."
The Sheriff continued, "I reckon you boys will have to pose for some pictures and there may be some reward once we find out about this gold. Is that okay with you two?"
"Sure, we can do that." Josh said.
Ted nodded his head yes.
"I guess we'll be going then," Ted said as he watched the chest being loaded into the chopper.
"Hey," the Sheriff said, "you boys want to ride back with all that gold just for the fun of it?"
"You mean, in the chopper!" Josh asked
"Sure, why not," the Sheriff said, "after all, you boys found it and you might as well take it the last mile."
"Wow!" Ted said, "let's go!"
The two boys started off toward the helicopter with the Sheriff following.
Looking at Josh, Ted was beaming as he spoke; "This is one job that is going to be hard to beat."
"Yes, you're right there buddy," Josh said as he climbed into the chopper behind Ted.
As the helicopter took off he said with a big grin, "But I'll do my best."
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