If someone had tampered with their bandanna, which had remained untouched for all those years, could they have somehow found their box of beloved keepsakes too? She knew her panic was unrealistic and unfounded. The chance that anyone would even think of digging up the earth beneath that old tattered piece of cloth was ridiculous. No stranger could know what that cloth had represented. Perhaps the new bandanna was simply a prankster’s joke.
Still, she couldn’t seem to rid herself of the fear that gripped her. She grabbed her shovel and began to chip away at the frozen ground in a panicked frenzy. She needed to make sure the box was still there. She had to reassure herself.
But, her progress was slow and practically fruitless. The ground was so solid that every stroke of the spade only chipped away a tiny bit of earth. She was determined to unearth that box if it took her the rest of the day. She was startled by the gruff masculine voice that came from behind her. She twirled around to see who had spoken to her in that impudent tone.
A tall figure of a man stood only inches away from her. He loomed over her, in fact. She couldn’t see anything of his face except his eyes, for he was as wrapped as she was. Her eyes were watering again as she squinted up at him. He again found his voice and bellowed at her, his tone angry, “What do you think you’re doing with that thing?” He grabbed the little spade out of her hand with a jerk. “You have no right to be here digging up other people’s property,” he bellowed.
“This is not your property, Mister. We’re standing in the middle of a wood,” she bellowed back. “Give me back my shovel. You’re wasting precious time,” she insisted.
“What do you think you’re doing with that little spade on this frozen ground? Who in their right mind would be digging up a patch of dirt on a frigid day like this? Don’t you have anything better to do?” he queried incredulously.
Chelsey looked at him defiantly and said with more confidence than she felt, “I’m on a mission.”
“What kind of mission?”
“A personal one.”
“What kind of personal?”
“If you must know, I’m searching for something that means a lot to me.”
“And that something is buried in the ground beneath this tree?” his tone was incredulous.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, it is.”
“And how do you know there is something buried here?”
“Because I’m the one who buried it, that’s why!” in an exasperated tone.
The man studied Chelsey intently with those suspicious eyes of his. Then he said, “I feel sure there is nothing for you to find down there; but if you are determined to do this thing, I guess I could help you...”