Alfred had seen it back there by the small bush just over the crest of the hill.
They had been walking through the woods on their usual Sunday ramble and Alfred, as usual, was leading the group.
Maybe it was the angle of the sun, or just luck, but Alfred had spied the unmistakable glitter of gold shining beside the bush.
He had said nothing and gave no sign that anything was untoward, but he knew that he was coming back here again, probably this evening, alone.
There was something gold lying there and he wanted it.
He knew that none of the others had seen it, otherwise they would have shouted out with glee.
They were all fools.
They would have taken it to the Police-station and allowed the careless owner to come and claim it.
Not Alfred, “finders keepers” was his motto.
He couldn’t contain his hurry to get this walk finished.
He had things to do.
The others complained that he was walking too fast.
This was supposed to be a ramble, not a half-marathon race.
He smiled his apologies and slowed considerably.
"That’s better,"came a whining voice from the rear of the group.
Alfred strode purposefully back toward the car-park on the moor. He was containing his anger and frustration as well as he possibly could.
This delay could be costing him a fortune.
What if another group were to find “his” gold?
Already his mind had conjured up his sole ownership of the treasure, and he imagined whatever it was to have many forms.
Perhaps it was gold coins from a long lost era, or maybe a robber from ancient times had hidden his hoard there and then been hanged without being able to tell another person as to its hiding place.
Many scenarios flashed through his mind as he drove home.
He had decided to wait until it was dark before returning to the moors.
He was sure that he would be able to find the spot with no problem, as he had walked these moors on many occasions, and he felt confident in his ability to walk straight to the spot, even in semi-darkness.
He left home at midnight and it took about thirty minutes to reach the now empty car-park.
It certainly looked very different in the dark, nevertheless he set out at a brisk pace until he came to the crest of the bank. On the other side was the bush, which he recognised in the bright moonlight.
Not wanting to draw attention to his presence on the moor at this hour, he had not used his torch, but now it was imperative to do so if he were to locate his gold.
He sheltered the beam by placing his half-open fingers across the lens.
There it was! Gleaming in the dry dust, half buried in the rock-hard soil beneath his feet.
He stooped and tried to prise it from the earth, but it was stuck fast. Perhaps it was a full bar of gold!
His pulse raced as he worked his fingers into the dry, hard earth.
It was no use, he would have to return to his car for the shovel that he had forgotten to bring in his haste to claim his prize.
He hastened back down the track and in his haste he tripped and fell heavily into a thorny tangle of bramble bushes.
He wanted to scream in alarm but he didn’t,shoe for his voice would carry over long distances in the quiet of the moor.
Clawing his way back out of the bush he winced with pain as he tried to stand. He’d twisted his ankle.
It hurt so bad that he was unsure as to whether it was broken or not.
His greed got the better of him and he slowly hobbled back to the car.
He sat on the car bonnet and removed his boot and stocking.
The ankle was throbbing.
He couldn’t believe his bad luck.
Trust this to happen just when he was on the brink of a rewarding find.
He replaced his stocking and boot.
The ankle had swollen even more and he had to leave the lace loosely tied otherwise he wouldn’t be able to walk at all.
He opened the boot and removed the folding Army issue shovel that he’d bought from the surplus store many months ago.
He had always known that it would come in handy someday.
As he lowered the trunk-lid the shovel slipped from his grasp and fell blade down onto his uninjured foot.
The sharp blade sliced deeply into his thick Gore-Tex shoe and also into his big toe.
This time he did scream.
The echo reverberated across the silent moor.
Now sweating profusely he removed his other boot and stocking to examine his foot. It didn’t look, or feel, good.
His big toe was oozing blood and he staunched the flow with his handkerchief.
He tied it tightly around his toe and tried to put on his stocking and boot. He was unable to do so. The thick stocking wouldn’t allow his foot back into the boot.
He opened the trunk once more and left his boot inside. He could walk like this. It wasn’t too far to the bush.
After a crippling journey he finally reached the bush once more. Again he lit his torch and with the other hand he placed the blade of the shovel beneath the gold object of his desire.
He levered gently on the shovel, but the gold refused to move. It was stuck fast.
Alfred was determined that he wouldn’t give up at this point, but what was he to do?
He couldn’t exert any pressure onto the shovel as both of his feet were throbbing with pain.
He sat on the moor and pondered his problem.
It was as he was deeply engrossed with this problem that a powerful beam illuminated his sorry figure.
It was two Police constables who had seen his light on the hillock and had decided to investigate it.
“Having trouble sir?,” one asked.
Alfred was at a loss as to reply.
One of the constables looked at the shovel and at his futile attempt to cleave the dry soil.
“Been doing a little digging have we sir?,” his colleague asked.
Again Alfred remained silent.
The constable placed the shovel into the soil and pressed down with all of his weight, and then levered upward,.
Alfred and both of the constables were amazed when a human head slowly came to the surface,
The mouth was gaping open, and a solitary gold tooth was revealed in the searching beam of the constables lamp.
“I think you have a bit of explaining to do sir,” said the constable.
Kitos. Any comments?