Walking through, again, to be “shown” an undefined ‘we need help’ issue quickly showed I that they; the busy as beavers H&W trio, had rummage the whole estate, modestly removed a ‘what we want’ and …done nothing else except to, as skimpy here and there, “TRIED TO ARRANGE THE STUFF” (their words, as emphasized). We walked through. We did not go to the little shed off of the workshop. This was not mentioned. What was mentioned was that what they had done… and were now showing me… was “A LOT OF WORK!”.
“Well it looks like your on top of it.” I said.
“But we don’t know what to do NOW.”
“What to do now?”
“To CLEAN OUT the rest of the ANTIQUES.”
“Don’t know how to clean out the antiques? You mean: Clean out the house?”
“ALL OF THE ANTIQUES TO SELL THE HOUSE”.
“All this?” I said gesturing with one arm.
“ALL OF THIS.”
“Well… you could call a local auctioneer; maybe they’ll take it. Or. Just have a yard sale”.
“Yard sale? Now? It’s gonna SNOW”.
“It is? I hadn’t heard that.”
“NO. It’s WINTER. You can’t have a yard sale in the winter. We already discussed that.”
“Because its WINTER.”
“OK. So. Have it in the spring.”
“But we’re cleaning out the house NOW.”
“So have a sale now.”
“Put price tags on the stuff and let ‘em in to buy it. You should be fine.”
“But how VALUABLE are the ANTIQUES.”
“Not that valuable. Except the desk. What did you do with the desk?”
“We don’t know yet.”
“Where is it?”
“Its STILL OUT THERE”.
“In the shop shed?”
“Yeah THERE. We SET IT UP.”
“Oh. How’d it look?”
“LOOK? It’s a DESK.”
“Oh. That’s nice. Your keeping that?”
“No one knows WHAT to do. Nobody really WANTS it.”
“I think we all want to sell it if its THAT valuable. But we don’t know HOW? HOW would YOU SELL IT.”
“If it were mine I’d figure something out.”
“Oh. Well. How can WE sell it”.
“You’ll figure something out”.
“WE LOOKED ON THE INTERNET.”
“That’s a good start. Find anything?”
“It’s a GOOD DESK because we found some just LIKE IT.”
“Right. Your off to a start.”
“To sell it.”
“To sell it? How much should we sell it for.”
“Well: As much as you can get I suppose. Like I said last week. That takes some skill.”
“Some skill? We found some people who would BUY it we think. But we haven’t called them.”
“BUT how MUCH is what we don’t know.”
“Right. Well: Pick a price. And start high. Like I said.
“YES we know THAT but some of us aren’t SURE.”
“Well only YOU have LOOKED AT IT and SAID it’s GOOD.”
“Oh I see. Get another opinion.”
“Appraisal we THINK”.
“Oh. Ok. Can I see the desk again? It’s set up?”
“Why, ah. SURE I guess. WE DIDN’T GO out there DID WE.”
Out we went; seven of us. To the little shed. We opened the door. I, with the frontal H&W went in to behold while the other two couples hovered at the doorway. I scanned the whole room fast, including the setup and pushed against a side wall desk. The other antiques were all there, I believed, but had been ‘picked up’. I focused on the desk. It was as remembered though now setup. Tambours, broken, had been fussed with slightly. The center compartment door was of and stuffed in place. Otherwise it was pure estate rough and tumble A-OK. I said nothing. Then I said “May I take a picture of it?”
“SURE. I guess.” I heard said from the doorway.
Click went my cell phone camera. I looked at the image. “It looks good. Thank you” I said. I started to walk back out of the shed. No one said anything and the doorway couples parted.
Then came from behind me “But WAIT”
I stepped into the workshop and then stopped saying “Wait?”
“THE DESK is STILL VALUABLE?”
“Oh yes; absolutely”.
“The best thing in the estate.”
“Oh. OK. We’re just not SURE.”
“Well you don’t have to believe me. Anyone who knows will tell you that.”
“Oh. Well. That’s what we need to DO, I guess.”
“Right. You’ll figure it out.”
“YOU don’t want to BUY the DESK?”
“No,” Pause. “It’s too good for me”. Pause. “It’s a good one”.
“HOW would YOU SELL IT?”
“Me? If it were mine I’d figure something out”.
“WOULD YOU AUCTION IT?”
“Maybe. But carefully.”
“WE’RE GOING TO SEE SOME AUCTIONEERS like you SAID.”
“Like I said?”
“IN THERE; ABOUT THE ANTIQUES IN THE HOUSE.”
“Oh. OK. Yeah; good.”
“Do you think they’ll know what to do?”
“Depends on who you get. I’d treat that carefully.”
“Who I show it to; the desk”
“OH WELL we were just going to send some PHOTOGRAPHS FIRST.”
“Yeah? Even that too: Carefully.”
“They’re just pictures to FIND OUT.”
“IF it’s REALLY valuable like you say.”
“Oh. OK. I get it. That’ll do it.”
“We haven’t done that YET; just ONE; THE AUCTIONEER from YARMOUTH. He does APPRAISALS. HE’S COMING TOMORROW.”
“Like I said; that’ll do it.”
I wasn’t kissing the desk good-bye with that. In fact, the opposite. I know the auctioneer. I knew there that there is a big difference between my murmured ‘fifteen thousand’ and… what ‘HE’S COMING TOMORROW’ would say, especially if he went ‘snake in the grass” on these people. In fact, I could figure if he came in a very ‘too low’ that THEY would go ‘snake in the grass’ on HIM, But it is best to look at all of this as just the start. They are just starting the football game with the desk. They’ve receive the punt; the desk is the football. Now they’re gonna move that desk down the field? I do that all the time; move antiques down fields in play… to score a touchdown as cash in my wallet. I see other people …trying… to do that all the time too. I love to watch.