Hiking is the favorite activity for Justin and his loved ones to share together.
While exploring the woods one day, Justin came across a derelict vehicle containing an ancient locked box. He made up his mind to examine its contents.
The Jones family, including Justin, were avid hikers. They’d hop in the car and head to the best trails in the country, be they in the woods, the hills, or the mountains.
They took a road trip to a forest that was over a hundred miles distant from their city one weekend.
A makeshift camp was set up for them to sleep in each night.
The child had ventured too far from the rest of his family while searching for edible mushrooms. He yelled, “Mom! Dad!” but no one came to help.
He kept on moving, hoping to find his way back. He was taken aback when he came across an abandoned automobile.
He decided to wait for nightfall inside the car in case a wild animal emerged.
After waiting for a while, he finally caught a glimpse of his father. “Justin! Where are you?”
“DAD! I’m here! DAD!” Again, he yelled back. When he spotted his father’s feet coming up the path, he hurried over to give him a big hug.
“I thought I was going to have to spend the night alone!” Justin said, relieved. “Look what I found!” he added after pulling away.
His father was in awe of the classic automobile. They decided to peek inside to see whether there was anything worthwhile within.
An antique box with carved instructions reading, “If you find this box, please take it to the address below. – 5/7/1995. Vincent Davis.”
“That address is just a couple of miles from here,” Justin told his dad. “Should we take it?” he asked.
Now it was his father’s turn to lug the package. It was a big, cumbersome thing. He placed it on the ground and carefully opened it, revealing incredible contents.
There were several gold bars and pictures of soldiers. There was also some jewelry and a number of medals from the service.
“This costs a lot of money! I’m surprised no one has found it yet,” Justin’s dad remarked. “Let’s go take it to the campsite,” he said, leading Justin back to where his mom was.
Justin was excited to show his mum the discoveries they made when they arrived at the spot. “Well, what do you want to do with it?” his mom asked.
The young man didn’t have to give it much thought before answering, “We should take it to the address written, of course. Someone must be looking for it.”
His parents both smiled. “Good job. We’re proud of you for choosing the right thing to do,” his mom said.
The following day, after their camping excursion was over, they drove to the given address. A lady in her sixties answered the door when Justin’s dad rang the bell. The elderly lady asked, “How may I help you?”
“Hello ma’am, what is your name?” Justin asked.
“My name is Linda Davis,” she replied. After confirming her last name, Justin’s dad showed her the box. She gasped, so surprised that someone had finally found it.
“Oh, dear…” she said, tears filling her eyes. “My husband found out that his grandfather had left him an inheritance about 25 years ago. His grandfather buried it in the forest so that my husband’s father wouldn’t steal it away from him,” she started to explain.
“My husband went to find it, but he never came back. We found his body near the highway, frozen. We tried searching for the car, but no one has ever found it in nearby forests. It’s a miracle you found it,” Linda said, wiping her tears.
“The authorities said it’s likely his car broke down and he went to find help. He never found help and died on the way. He likely got lost.”
The gold in the box is of no interest to Linda. She buried her face in the photos of her spouse, holding them close because she missed him so much.
The thought, “Jack, I miss you so much,” crossed her mind.
She was given a moment by Justin’s relatives to examine the contents of the box.
Her reminiscences came to an end when she added, “We never had any children, and I don’t have anything to spend on. I don’t need the gold, please keep it. I would just like his medals, the photographs, and the jewelry because this is my husband’s family heirloom,” she said.
“Oh, no, we can’t possibly take the gold, ma’am. This is yours,” Justin’s dad said, refusing.
“I insist. Please use it on something good,” Linda said, pushing the box towards Justin.
Linda would not take no for an answer from Justin or his parents, despite their repeated protests. They then departed, carrying a chest full of riches.
When they returned to the car, Justin said to his father, “Dad, Linda’s house looked very old, it almost looked abandoned. Can we fix it?”
Justin’s father smiled and agreed. “Of course, we can. We sell the gold and have her house repaired. Whatever’s left of the money, let’s donate to charity.”
The return of Justin and his family to Linda’s land came as a shock.
She was very appreciative that they were very front with their intentions. She had always hoped that one day she could afford to fix up her home, but she had never considered it a priority.
A priceless friendship among Linda, Justin, and his parents began on that day.
When her friends and family came to visit, Linda would eagerly prepare the delicious meals she had long forgotten how to make.
They would occasionally have Linda over so she wouldn’t have to spend the holidays alone.
So, what’s the moral of the story?
No matter how tempting it may be, we should always make the right choice. When Justin’s parents asked him what he planned to do with the box, it was a test.
He didn’t think twice about coming clean about his desire to give the box back to its original owner.
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Whenever possible, we should help those who help us. After Justin and his family returned her late husband’s box to her, Linda insisted they keep the gold.
Instead of keeping the gold for themselves, Justin’s family decided to put the money toward fixing up Linda’s home.
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