After James and Brad returned to their home of Jackson, their lives resumed normal activities. Both of them had to go back to work. James worked at a bank as an account manager.
Concentrating on his work proved difficult, for he couldn’t forget the events of his vacation. A couple of times his mind wandered, and he had to apologize to the clients who would be sitting on the other side of the desk.
He had told Brad that he wouldn’t give up his quest; he would find the answers to the questions that plagued him, questions that were old enough to be considered ancient.
And, yet, he began to wonder about how he was letting the issue get to him. After all, the subject that he couldn’t get out of his mind involved events that took place not only before he was born but more than a hundred years before he was born.
The real problem was he didn’t have a clue about what to do next. When he first got back home, he had called his father to tell him the good news about the auction. After he finished his account, his father replied, “Now, I wish I had gone instead of Brad.”
Even without thinking about it, James said, “If it bothers you that much, I don’t mind sharing. $900,000 is a lot. I think I can afford it.”
“No, son,” his father retorted, “I told you that the house was yours, and you know I meant anything inside of it, too. To change now would be to go back on my word.”
“Well,” James said, sighing a little, “I just feel bad, that’s all.” His father told him not to worry about it. James continued, “How about I remember you and Mom all the more so on your next anniversary?”
His father didn’t say anything right away. Then, he said, “That sounds like a plan, son. Sometimes you are too nice, you know that?”
“Who’s the one that gave up nearly a million dollars?” James asked, pleased with his comeback.
His father decided not to respond to it, obviously letting James have the last word. “So, what are you going to do about the truly unexpected find?”
“I was hoping you might know a little about that,” James replied.
“Unfortunately, no. I never knew those journals and letters existed. I do remember that when I was a kid the attic was off limits.”
James nodded and smiled, though his father couldn’t see him through the phone. “Grandpa was very adamant about that. Of course, he was also adamant about not doing much of anything inside the house.”
His father cut in, “Which is why I should have known better about the value of the house’s contents. Everything was pretty much in mint condition, it sounds like.”
“Yeah, everyone who saw the stuff was surprised at the condition, considering the age of some of the pieces.” James paused and then resumed on a different line of thought, “What do you think I should do about the ArCom detail?”
“I don’t think there is much you can do about that,” his father replied. “As you said, this Ben Arnold probably didn’t know anything, anyway. And since I’ve never heard anything about the Millers being partners with ArCom … I mean Arnold Communications … the information probably isn’t there to be found.”
Listening to his father reminded James of something he had been told as a kid. “I just remembered something. Didn’t your grandfather work for Arnold Communications?”
“Now, that you mention it, I remember that, too,” his father said, the light bulb in his head starting to go bright. “My dad did tell me that. Grandfather got laid off when Arnold Communications merged with whoever they merged with and changed their name. I remember getting the impression those events were pretty significant. Someone might have written a book on it.”
“Dad, you are a genius,” James cried out. “I think it is time to go back to the library.”