Milo sat on the street corner with a hat placed on the ground in front of him. Next to the hat was a sign asking for spare change. Dressed in dirty, ragged clothes and badly in need of a shave, the man strummed a guitar and sang a song a little off key but not too badly. A small dog on leash sat beside him, watching the people walking past them. Those people, for the most part, ignored him, but once in a while a person would stop briefly and toss a coin or two into the hat.
Milo was beginning to get discouraged at how little he had taken in and was about ready to stop for the day when an old man in a suit a few years out of fashion stopped in front of him. He just stood there, staring at Milo as he watched him play. When Milo stopped, the old man requested a song. Milo didn’t usually get requests, so he was a little surprised but went ahead and played.
The old man stood there and listened to Milo play and sing, and a distant look crept into his eyes along with a sad smile. When Milo finished, he thanked him and tossed a handful of coins into the hat and walked off.
Milo watched him walk away, then put the guitar aside and looked in the hat. He was surprised to find a large pile of coins. As he emptied the hat to count them, he noticed that all the coins from the old man were very old and possibly worth quite a bit.
Milo cast a look in the direction the old man had gone, wondering who he was. Then he gathered his things and headed off with his dog to find the nearest appraiser to have the coins checked out.
Milo found an appraisal shop a couple of blocks over. He had the coins inspected and when the appraiser told him the coins were actually rather rare and worth thousands of dollars, he about fainted from surprise and again wondered who that old man had been and why he’d given him the coins.
The appraiser asked him how he’d come by them, and Milo told him. The appraiser nodded and told Milo he’d heard about him. The old man was a well-known collector in the area, and he’d recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and he was probably looking to do some good with some of his things before he was gone.
Milo thanked him and sold one of the coins to him for some immediate money, then left with the others while he decided what to do with them.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “coin”: