Kadogan’s Gift

“Are you sure it’s here?” Fiona dumped the heavy sports bag next to the brambles.

Kadogan looked shifty.  “I think it’s here.” He said.  “I memorised the location by the large oak, but it fell last winter.  This place, however, does look familiar.”

“Didn’t you think to make a map or something?” Fiona said, unzipping the sports bag.

“Maps are only worth making if the memory is defective.” Kadogan said loftily.  “Besides, I’m almost sure that this is the correct place.  Please dig here, right next to the stone mile marker.”

“Which should mark the treasure?” Fiona pulled out a small shovel from the bag.

“My good friend Andrew hid the treasure here before these way markers were built.” Kadogan leaned against an ivy coated beech and thought.  “It was the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace.  They had taken York and the priests were saying so many masses that I had to get out of the city.  You remember what it was like.”

“Nope, I don’t.  I wasn’t born then.  Wasn’t it Henry VIII?  It was a few hundred years before my time.  Why did you bury it?”

Kadogan shrugged.  “I had watched the Romans bury their treasure when the Angles came, and the Angles buried their treasure when the Northmen took the city, and they buried their treasure when William harried the North.  I thought it was something I ought to do.”

Why am I doing this? Fiona thought to herself.  Why am I in the middle of a muddy field when I could be having a drink in a bar with my friends?  The thought of buried treasure was too much for her to resist, though, and Kadogan knew it.  “What are we going to find?” she asked.

“I’m not quite sure.” Kadogan inspected his immaculate finger nails.  “Treasure that has been buried for nearly five hundred years is often not in prime condition.”

“I could be digging up tinsel and painted feathers?” Fiona paused for a moment to look carefully at Kadogan.

“It’s hard to remember.” He pushed himself upright and stood next to Fiona.  She jabbed the shovel in hard and hit something.  She knelt beside the hole and her probing fingers pulled out a sodden leather bag that fell to pieces as she lifted it.  After a startled glance at Kadogan, Fiona pulled a water bottle out of the sports bag and ran it over the round shapes.  It took a few moments but when Fiona spread out the find on the muddy towel there were a dozen gold nobles and a few coins that Kadogan identified as Venetian ducats.

“It is always difficult for elfen to judge a gift to a normal.”  Kadogan said, crouching over the towel.  “The treasure will be sold and the proceeds go to fund our joint enterprise.  However today, on the day of your birthday, Fiona Ellen Greene, I give you the gift of finding buried treasure.  I hope you like it.”