Four days after I moved into my house on Fieldstone Road, I found a gold-colored bird under a loose tile. I came close to tripping over the blue ceramic, so I reached down to see how loose it was. Four strong tugs and I had cracked it away from the grout.
Tucked beneath the jagged tile and crumbling grout was a burnished gold figure...some kind of bird.
I thought it odd that it was under a tile;( not an easy place to consider if one wanted to hide something.)
I studied the heavy gold bird with the eye of a child on Christmas morning. Was there anything more fun than found treasure? I slipped it into an old jewelry bag and dropped it into a drawer.I thought, "I'll take it to the jewelry store and find out its value; if any." My next thought was, "Now I've got to get new tile and flooring."
It had been a tough several years. Our sweet grandson had died from a car accident, our daughter was living out of the country with a man we never trusted, and my husband had left us a year before cancer attacked and killed him.
That's how I ended up on Fieldstone, in an old manor house that had been left to my husband.Old money had supported my husband growing up, but the kids and I had never seen a dime of it in forty years. That changed however, with his death. He had been living two lives. His other "supposed" wife had been living in Miami with the high finances. He had seen the light, however, when he became ill...His girlfriend turned away from him. She had no idea about his other "real" family. Now, she surely would without his money. He left everything to us. My son, daughter, and I had never stopped loving him. Things sometimes, are just what they are. At least my kids would now be cared for, which helped with my worries.
Monday morning, I was getting ready to do errands and decided I would take the gold bird to check about it, too. Leaving the dentist's office, I pulled into "The Treasury's" parking lot. I was happy there weren't other cars there. I would see the jeweler right away.
Mr. Edmond must have been busy doing something "important" because he ignored me for over fifteen minutes. Finally, I got up and said, "if you are busy, I'll take this to someone else for an appraisal. That seemed to resonate, and he ambled over. I held out my hand and shook the bird from its bag into it. Mr. Edmond glanced over, and stumbled into his desk chair. Next, he was sitting in the chair, grasping both arms. He put his hand out and said,"Give it to me, please."
He wouldn't speak. He wouldn't answer my questions. He wouldn't put down my bird! I interrupted his reverie for the third time with, "Hello, there!" He looked at me as if he had no idea who I was. His next words were a question:" What do you want for this?" I responded with,"I'm not selling it." I explained how I acquired it, and that it obviously had been in my husband's family.
Mr. Edmond "ordered" me to stand where I was(with the bird I had,literally, wrenched from his hand).He said he had something to show me and that he would be right back.
Carrying a heavy book, he bustled in with more speed than I thought him capable. Rustling through the old tome, he came upon a full-page lithograph...of my bird.
The bird was golden, the same size as mine. As I looked closer, the words described it's origin. It had been placed around the neck of Moses by the Queen. He had worn it around his neck until stolen by a servant. People had been searching for "The Crowned Phoenix" ever since. It was a long-standing question why he wore a Greek medal when an Egyptian equal would have been "Bennu". This was an age-old question...and an age-old find.
"The Crowned Phoenix" lay before us. Mr.Edmond kept trying to take the bird back into his office but I decided this was way beyond me and I needed a lawyer or art dealer.I grabbed the bird and bag and left.
My instinct locked in and I headed for the Police station. Something of that value wasn't safe with a woman and two kids...(and Mr. Edmond).
I was led to Sgt. Thomas.He listened attentively, then said, "Its impossible to guard some trinket, so I suggest you head over to the Museum."As little as I trusted Sgt. Thomas's understanding of the situation, I did think his advice to go to the museum made sense.
I asked to see the curator and waited in her office. She flew in with a story-board in her hand, obviously not wanting a visitor right now. Then I said,"I have "The Crowned Phoenix". The story-board and her glasses she'd been holding, fell to the floor. I worried she would be next.
Not the chatty type, she said, "Let me see it. You aren't the first to make that claim, Ms,?" "Evans," I said. Her attitude made me want to leave without showing her the thing, but, I needed her help. She put a black velvet cloth down and I put the gold bird on it.
I could tell she was shocked. She didn't touch it, took out four magnifiers, and an old book,(something like the one Mr. Edmond had).
Two and a half hours later, Brice Tremont announced, "Good God, this appears to be, perhaps, "The Crowned Phoenix". I didn't know how to respond to her except to say, "Yes, I know."
Within another two hours, she had assembled every curator, director, relic and antique specialist she could find. She attempted to carry it into the larger conference room, but I wouldn't have it. I carried it in my own possessive mits, and placed it under the centered light over the table.
The Cairo Egypt Curator of both the Egyptian Museum,(close to the Nile), and another on El Tahrir, the Modern Egyptian Museum of Art, spoke first. "After the slave who stole it from Moses' neck was caught and killed, the Pharaoh's Queen demanded it be buried in the tomb of Thutmose 11.
Scholars have discovered that he was the pharaoh at the time of the Exodus. Many through-out history, have thought it was Ramses. They no longer feel there is proof of that. Alfred Edersham, the head historian at Oxford, mention the "Phoenix" and Thutmose 11 in his book,"The Bible History Volume 2.
The curator continued, "of course, we are all here for the same reason. This "Crowned Phoenix" was also a kind of "Key" as we know now. When the grave robbers stole "The Crowned Phoenix" from the Pharaoh's tomb they had no idea that a code was needed in conjunction with the"Phoenix" to open a treasure beyond comprehension.
The hieroglyphics told the famous story on a hidden wall. By the time the wall's meaning was interpreted, the bird had, again , been stolen. The bird is priceless...but not worth a ransom without the code which would open Thutmose11's inner room. Moses was to have been buried there, with a treasure for his ancestors in the afterlife. Instead Moses led an Exodus.
The day had been long, and I was exhausted hearing these experts drone on. I stood up and reached for the "Phoenix". At least three hands shot out, keeping me from it.
My words were clipped and frigid. "Let go, or you will never see it again...ever."
Ms. Tremont pushed her chair back, telling me she would get me a box and lock. Then they argued about who should know the combination and other concerns of theirs. Stupidity wasn't one of my attributes, so I said, "We will work this out together someday; but not this day. My bird and I are leaving.
The bank had called me earlier and had told me the courts had cleared my opening of the box in storage there by my husband. I went there immediately after the museum meeting.
At the bank, I checked in, and was led to a room where the box would be brought to me.
When it was opened, the note on top said this," I was a terrible husband, an awful father, and a lousy person. If there is a gold medallion in here, know that one of my long trips was legitimate. I was on a dig at pharaoh Thutmose11's tomb.I heard the story of "The Phoenix" at a bar one night. Faith, by mistake, I found it.It was on the second day, and I tripped over a jutting corner of a box, (cutting myself deeply) covered in gold seals. The box was crushed, but marked with the Pharaoh's seal.The team member had left to get a cloth for me. I wrapped my foot and the medal and seals with my foot in the cloth. The largest gold seal, when turned over, had this code: XX11XX0X1X0XX
After taking it to the one man I trusted at the bank...he himself tattooed it on the bottom of my foot. The content was placed here. Faith, this will care for you and the kids for the rest of your lives. You must look up and read of this now before you do anything more.Please do what I say. If it is here, take it to Mr. Robert Zurchard at the Museum( no one else). The reward for the return of "The Phoenix" will be yours and unbelievable.
If the bird is not here, it means I had to move it into my house on Fieldstone. The kitchen has one tile that has a chipped corner. I will put it beneath it.
I did love you,Faith, and I loved the kids. I'm sorry.
Have a happy life now. I was a fool...but I tried to pay you back in this small way.
Oh Yeah, there is this broad from Miami who might show up. Tell her her prize in in this box of Cracker Jacks.
I have always love Egyptian tales.
and 2 member cents.