The basketball game became irrelevant the rest of the evening. James and Brad were too busy to turn it off, but ironically, Brad took the time to turn the volume all the way down. When Brad did this, he hadn’t even heard whom the letter was from. He could tell from James’ expression that the contents were going to be important.
James made Brad wait a little longer before he told him whom the letter was from, for he opened the envelope slowly, making sure not to damage any portion of the package. Once he had the letter out of the envelope and unfolded, he said, “I suppose you want to know what all the fuss is, don’t you?”
Brad didn’t even say anything. His emphatic nod spoke volumes. James smiled and continued, “The letter is signed by a certain Ben F. Arnold.”
Brad’s eyes widened at the mention of the old man’s name because, obviously, he hadn’t expected that surprise. When James didn’t go on, Brad spoke up, “I’m waiting here!”
“All right,” James said mockingly, “here’s what Mr. Arnold had to say: ‘Dear Mr. Miller,
“I am writing you on behalf of my late grandfather, Thomas Arnold. That may sound strange to you.”
Brad nodded, agreeing with the late Mr. Arnold.
“It definitely sounds strange to me, for he has been dead since 1962. But, here's the part of the story I know about. My grandfather told me to write to a Mr. Miller of your address and send it before March 2, 2035.
“The purpose of the letter was the transmission of a small note, presumably written in his own hand. I thought he was losing his mind when he told me this. I confirmed my suspicions when I checked the address, and it didn't exist. But, he was my beloved grandpa, so I didn't immediately throw away the note. Instead, I put it in a safe place and forgot about it for nearly 50 years.
“After I retired as CEO of ArCom, I discovered I had more time than I knew what to do with. So, one of the things I decided to do was clean out my house top to bottom. This was more difficult than I had originally thought. Of course, I was more than 80 years old at the time.
“During my venture, I found the note from my grandfather and the instructions that went with that note. I was curious, so I checked the address again. This time it existed, but it wasn't owned by anyone named Miller.
"But, even the existence of the location sparked my interest enough, and so, I decided to keep track of the house. When county records showed that a certain J.D. Miller purchased the property, I decided to write this letter. Of course, before that, I was literally flabbergasted.
“I have told the part of the story I know. I hope whoever may read this will be able to make some sense of it. Unfortunately, I probably won't be around to find out the answers.
"When my grandfather first gave me the task more than 60 years ago, I blew it off as the rantings of a crazy old man. In fact, when I saw the date, I didn't think I could do what he wanted because I didn't think I would live that long. Well, perhaps I will. March 2, 2035 is in two days.
"I may be 100 years old, but I don't believe these are the rantings of an old man. I may not be able to see anymore, but my mind is as strong as ever. So with these words I bid you farewell: my grandfather was not crazy and neither am I. So, his note must be important. I entrust it to you, Mr. Miller.”