Adriana was sad to see so many people sitting in rows of white chairs when she arrived at the Jarvis place. She was hoping that there wouldn’t be very much competition and what she had would be enough. She took a seat near the back and a friendly lady handed her a number with a handle on it. Her number was 33.

From her vantage point, she could see almost everyone attending. There was a couple in the front that seemed very wealthy and there was a man on the right side that looked like a real cowboy but she noted he had some fine rings on. More very well dressed people filed in and sat near the front.

There seemed to be many people there that weren’t actually participating. There were extra seats set up on either side of the main seating and those people were not holding numbers. She did notice that the man from the general store was there with his sister.

Some of the people with numbers didn’t look any better dressed than that brother and sister so Adriana assumed they were not going to be bidding on the house itself.

The auctioneer stepped up onto a podium and his round red face split with a smile and he said, “Thank you ladies and gentlemen for attending this estate auction of Casterdale. Today we will be selling a few belongings and the former home of Sean Jarvis.”

A scrawny, younger man pulled a chest onto the stage and Adriana’s heart jumped before her mind calmed her excitement. She thought to herself, “Adriana, there is no way that the treasure is going to be auctioned off… unless by accident.” Adriana was leaning so far ahead in her seat that she almost fell out of it as the young man opened the chest.

“The first item is this chest. It is filled with men’s clothes. Mr. Jarvis was about six foot tall and around two hundred pounds. We’ll start the bidding at $20.” The auctioneer started a fast song and dance, pointing at people and yelling numbers.

The excitement was overwhelming. Apparently Adriana wasn’t the only one who thought it could have treasure in it. There were women and men of every size bidding on the chest. It was sold for $450.

Adriana had to sit on her number to keep herself from joining in. She had to wait for the house. She had $85,000. If she spent any of it, she might miss her opportunity to get the house.  The information she’d gathered had said the bidding on the house would start at $10,000, so she hoped she’d have a chance.

The auctioneer was singing again as the crowd bid on a painting. He’d mentioned something about not checking the back for any maps before he’d started. Adriana was impressed with this. Obviously everyone thought there was a treasure but the real money was going to belong to the city after this auction. She was used to people being dishonest so she was sure that everything they were auctioning was thoroughly checked ahead of time. And certainly if any treasure was found, it was already gone. She also knew that if someone had found it, everybody would know already. She has never met anyone good at keeping a secret.

Once Adriana had decided that there would be nothing of interest auctioned off before the house, she felt calm. She watched as a rather beat up car, another chest, a gold watch and some horses were auctioned off before finally the deed to the property is up on the bidding block.

The auctioneer hinted subtly to the treasure before starting the bidding. The very first bid was the cowboy for $100,000. Adriana was crushed. Now she’d have to find another way to discover the treasure.

The cowboy’s bid was the only bid for the house. The other wealthy people had come away with horses and chests and some of the other things and probably already had nicer houses. Adriana took a long look at the house. It really wasn’t anything fancy. It wasn’t even very big and some of the shingles were coming off the roof.

Then Adriana stared at the cowboy. He didn’t notice her. He didn’t dress like any of the other townsfolks and her eyes focused in on the rings again. She’d have to keep an eye on him.

Does Adriana

Follow the stranger?

Go back to the bookstore and make a plan?


Go to the Beginning

4 thoughts on “At the Auction

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