Adriana told Haily, “I fantasized about being a treasure hunter and honestly that is why I’m here. I was hoping to find Jarvis’s treasure.”
Haily laughed. “You actually wanted to be a treasure hunter? That is what you’d say if someone asked you what you want to be when you grow up?” He laughed again.
“Why is that so amusing?” Adriana turned away from him.
“I just never thought of that as a career path that people choose. It is such a few and far between kind of gig.” He smiled and took Adriana’s hand. “I never thought I’d be a bank robber as a kid. I thought about being a firefighter or a sheriff.”
“You were a bank robber?” Adriana turned back and looked at him.
“It’s kind of like a treasure hunter, really.” He sat down. “ I probably shouldn’t have told you that.”
“I won’t say anything.” Adriana squeezed his hand. “You knew Jarvis, then?”
“Oh yeah, he was my mentor. We worked together for a few years.” He set his gaze out a window and continued, “I was young and dumb, I ran away from home over something I cannot remember and I fell in with a rowdy crowd. I had started some fight and ended up bloody and alone in an alley where Jarvis found me. He took me in and cleaned me up and watched over me. Then once I recovered, we started hitting the banks. I was indebted and grateful, so I went along with it and I actually began to enjoy the thrill of it.” He paused, deep in thought.
“Please don’t stop. I want to hear all about it.” Adriana said.
“Well, it was good for a few years. We could’ve retired any time. Then we met a lady named Sage. She ran a brothel and was a very beautiful woman. She was a bit old for me but I didn’t see it at the time. I was smitten and Jarvis knew it. That didn’t stop him from taking her though. They coupled up right in front of me and that was the last time I’d seen Jarvis.” He bowed his head. “I took off and found a quiet town to settle down in for a while. Then I heard of his passing and came out here.”
He looked at Adriana, “I guess I’m treasure hunting too. I figured if he’d had a will, I should’ve been in it. I helped make some of that treasure.”
“So the treasure is real?” Adriana lit up.
“I’m sure of it. Like I said, we could’ve both retired years earlier and I think he kept going for a while. I talk like I’m so old. I’m only twenty five. I just started young. We could’ve retired when I was eighteen.” Haily trailed off again.
“Can I help you find it?” Adriana asked.
“Oh, I already know where it is.” Haily stated.
“Oh.” Adriana slumped a bit.
“You are more than welcome to some of it. I have plenty of my own still.” Haily told her. “I could use some company in this house too.”
“We only just met.” Adriana blushed.
“Well, not all treasure is silver and gold. When you find it, you have to claim it.” Haily smiled at her again.
“I suppose this place could use a little help. I could be your roommate at least for a little while.” Adriana agreed.
“Do you want to see the treasure?” Haily asked.
“Do I need to answer that?” Adriana
Haily moved a chair and a table, and then another chair off of the rug in the living room. Then he rolled up the rug and started jumping on the wooden planks systematically. The first three sounded pretty solid but the fourth one gave a bit more and had a louder resonance. Haily kneeled down and stuck his fingers into the crack between the boards and lifted up. One side came easier than the other and Haily adjusted his grip. “Jarvis always hid the spoils in the same place, everywhere we stayed. He said that no one ever expected it to be in the main part of the house, right under their feet.”
The boards came up one after another until four were freed to reveal a pile of gold and jewelry and money bigger than Adriana could have imagined.
“Would you like to move your share somewhere else?” Haily looked at Adriana.
“No, it’ll be safe there.” She was trying to hide her excitement. She helped him replace the boards, rug and furniture and then the two of them started cleaning their home.