On this afternoon Lisa McEvan was playing a game of Monopoly with her little brother. “Aw, man, I have to go to jail,” she sighed, moving the little metal shoe piece to the jail space.
Her freckled, red-haired little brother rolled the dice and moved his piece as he asked, “Where’s William?”
“He’s helping Father at the shop, Timmy,” Lisa replied, fingering her light brown hair.
“Tim, Lisa! Wash up for lunch!” Mother called from the kitchen.
“Just remember it’s your turn, Lisa,” her little brother, Timmy, said standing up and stretching. Lisa nodded than washed her hands after her brother had done it.
As they sat at the little table in the kitchen eating there was a loud knock on the door.
“Go see who it is, Timmy,” Mother told Tim as he stuffed another piece of cheese into his mouth. He pushed back his chair and dashed out of the kitchen, whistling. Timmy put his eye up to the little peephole in the door. “Mother, it is Uncle Brett!” he shouted, and then went back to the kitchen to finish his food.
Mother went to answer the door. “How are you, Lauren?” Lisa and Timmy could hear a deep voice say.
“Fine, thank you. How’s Elizabeth?” Mother replied.
“Aw, she is nearly 2 months pregnant! Very nauseated. Poor gal. She spends all day in bed now.” Uncle Brett let out a long sigh.
“I came to wish Lisa a belated birthday…where is she anyway?” he added, his eyes twinkling.
“She and Timmy are at the table eating lunch,” Mother answered.
“Oh, I am sorry; I didn’t mean to interrupt. If I had known I would have come later. It’s kind of late to be having lunch so I figured you folks were done eating,” Uncle Brett apologized.
“That is fine,” Mother smiled, then called, “Lisa, Timmy, your uncle would like to see you!” Timmy accidentally dropped his fork on the floor and ran with his sister into the living room.
Uncle Brett pretended to be startled and threw off his cap, “My melons, Tim! You’re growing fast! And so are you, Lisa! Last time I saw you both, you were only six and three!” Timmy looked pleased and stood up straight with his heels barely touching the floor.
Lisa only smiled, a sweet smile like her mother’s. “This is your birthday present, Lisa, enjoy!” Uncle Brett handed Lisa a little package wrapped in brown paper. Everyone watched as she opened it. Inside was a little green and gold box with a key for her to keep her treasures in.
“Thank you!” Lisa burst out, wrapping her arms around him, “It’s a splendid gift!”
Uncle Brett then took out two little boxes. “These are for William and Timmy. They’ve always admired my shells from the sea and now they have some of their own!”
“Thank you, Brett,” Mother said, “Bring my love to Elizabeth.”
“Sure will, Lauren. Say ‘hi’ to the men for me.” With that Uncle Brett tipped his hat and left.
“I like your brother, Mother!” Timmy shouted. “He is fantastic!”
“He is,” Mother agreed.
After lunch was finished and the dishes were washed, Lisa went into her room and set the little box from her uncle on the dresser.
“I’ll put my bracelet in it,” she decided, and took the little key from her pocket. Then she turned it in the keyhole. A delightful tune began to play when she opened the lid. “Oh, it’s simply wonderful!” she thought.
Then she saw that inside the box the velvet could be lifted up and underneath there was a secret storage place for her most precious treasures. Lisa was delighted.
She lifted up the velvet and gasped. There was money down there! Uncle Brett had given her a beautiful box and a lot of money.
Lisa could hear her brother and father come in the front door so she quickly slid the money back under the velvet, put her bracelet on top, and shut the lid. It automatically locked so she put the key in her pocket and went into the living room to meet them.
William was sitting in a wicker chair looking over Timmy’s and her game of Monopoly and commenting about how she should have bought Park Place two turns ago.
William was a Monopoly professional. Often he and Timmy would sit for hours in the wicker chairs and play this game. Lisa, however, only played it once-in-a-while because she had gotten somewhat tired of it.
Father and Mother were talking about the store by the kitchen doorway so Lisa sat down on the couch and watched her brothers.
“William,” Lisa said, “you can take over my Monopoly side if you want.”
“Sure! Thanks, Lisa!” he replied. And then after that William and Timmy were occupied for quite a while.
Lisa was sitting on her bed and reading a book when Timmy tore in. “My Melons, Timmy! What…?” Lisa dropped her book on the bed and stood up.
“William and I are going outside to play in the snow? Want to go too?” Timmy asked breathlessly, his cheeks flushed.
“I don’t see why I shouldn’t,” Lisa replied, “This book is a bore anyway.”
Timmy leaned over to look at the title of the fat blue book that was lying on her bed. “The History of Amphibians”?! I should think you would be bored!” he said making a disgusted face.
“Well, there was nothing else to read! Lisa said, “I’ll come out!”
“Mother wants us back at 4:30 sharp. William’s got his pocket watch with him, and…oh, you might want to put on twenty layers of clothes. It’s cold out there.” Timmy said. Timmy rushed out the door to join William then soon later Lisa came out.
She had on a thick, warm, winter jacket, mittens, wool socks, a blue hat, and many other winter items. She came over to William who was making a snow man and asked, “Where on earth is Timmy?”
William grinned and threw off his cap. “Well, I reckon you’re just going to’ have to find him! Show yourself, Tim McEvan!”
Lisa was surprised to see the snow about a foot away was moving. “Tim? William, is he under the snow?!” Lisa asked in amazement.
William had no time to answer for just at that minute a little furry animal popped up his head and spotting the snowman’s nose, ran to it and dragged it back into his hole.
Someone behind Lisa burst into a fit of giggles, “That wasn’t ME! Do you think I’m all that hairy?”
Without warning, Lisa packed a snowball and threw it into Timmy’s face. Then Timmy threw one back, William threw one, and the war began. “Goodness, what time is it?” Lisa asked, after awhile.
William felt around in his pocket, and his jaw dropped open. “The-the-the Grandpa’s watch it-it-it’s gone!” he stammered. “We’d better look for it…Timmy go inside and tell Mother we’re fine-just looking for something,” he ordered.
Timmy vanished and William and Lisa began frantically digging with their hands. Once Lisa thought she had found it, but it was only an old rusty bottle cap. “It’s got to be here somewhere!” William said, after they had been digging for awhile, “Maybe we should just forget it,” he added.
“No, I will keep looking. It was Grandpa’s watch, and I know it’s dear to you,” Lisa replied.
Timmy came out of the house and said, sighing, “It’s almost dinner time so Mother wants us to come inside and look for it tomorrow.”
“Oh, well,” William said, “I hope we find it.”
“And one more thing…” Timmy said, brightening up, “Mother’s making hot cocoa!”
“Hurray!” Lisa rejoiced. The three children ran inside into the warm kitchen where their parents were waiting.
The next day another layer of snow covered their footprints. “Children,” Father said, “I’m sorry, but it’s way too cold to go outside today. The temperature is well below 0 degrees. I went outside to get wood this morning, and my fingers just about fell off.”
“Oh, I so hope the watch doesn’t brake or something. We’ll, just play Monopoly!” William said, good naturedly. Lisa gave in even though she didn’t really want to play such a time consuming game all day.
Since it was his day off Father played Monopoly too. Of course he won.
That afternoon the gold watch was just about forgotten.
To be continued!