Thursday, July 27, 2006

How I bought my BB gun – part 4

How I bought my BB gun part 1
How I bought my BB gun part 2
How I bought my BB gun part 3

by Tom Gaylord

I raced home with mother's items and then asked if I could go over to the dump. She didn't like me going there because the place was dirty and I always brought home neat stuff, but she said if I finished mowing the yard, I could go. I tell you, grass has never been cut so fast as ours was that afternoon. Then it was off to the dump to make my money scoop.

I settled on a large tin can with the edges beaten down so they wouldn't cut me. I hammered nails through the can to make holes for the water and muck to drain, and those had to be beaten flat on the inside, too. After about an hour, my money scoop was finished.

The next morning, I hurried over to the lake to try out my new invention. Let me tell you—it worked on the very first try! After sifting through all the mud in the can, I found fifty-six cents! It took about five times as long to make one dive and sort through the can, but I used the extra time in between dives to breathe deeply for the next dive. I found a dollar and fifty-three cents on the very next dive!

I already had my BB gun, plus money left over for BB shot. My third dive netted me forty-seven cents and a real gold ring! I was beside myself with joy. Surely I had discovered the way to a fortune by simply diving for it. One more dive brought up only twelve cents, but it also almost got me caught, too. The caretaker was now out and walking the beach, looking down at the sand for something. I swam quietly to the other side of the platform and waited for him to move on before I snuck back out of the water.

Hurrying home, I was mentally adding up my finds when the thought struck me, how would I explain my newfound wealth to my parents? They would want to know where I had gotten the money, and I didn't want to tell them, for they were certain to disapprove.

Even if they let me keep it, they would insist that at least half be deposited in my savings bank, which was a cast iron box I kept beside my bed. Father had the key to that box and the rule was, half of whatever I made had to go in the bank. Twice a year, my father took out the contents and deposited them in a real bank downtown for me. I probably had lots of money down there, but it wasn't of much use to me.

After beating the hall runners for my mother, I went back over to the lake to think about my situation. I was sitting on a bench when the old caretaker walked up and sat down beside me. He asked how I was and how my summer had been going, and I said something, I suppose. Then, he surprised me by telling me he had seen me sneaking out of the lake several times in the past few mornings. He said he was wondering what I was up to, but he thought he had figured it out this morning. He said he figured I was diving for something I lost out by the platform.


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