There’s More Than Meets The Eye
Sometimes, there’s a lot more to things than what can be seen at first glance. You might have encountered something or someone and thought you had a grasp of everything there was to that object or that individual.
But suddenly, something might happen that can thwart your expectations or what you thought you knew. And this is something that happens pretty often at yard sales.
On The Lookout For A Bargain
Why do people usually go to yard sales? The answer is easy: to find a diamond in the rough, some valuable item that has gone unseen; to discover something the worth of which has been invisible to other eyes.
But what if the worth of one of those items was miscalculated not only by the people who didn’t want it, but also by the person who decided to buy it? This is what happened to Emil Knodell, the protagonist of this story.
The Story Of Emil Knodell
Emil Knodell, aged 67, was a Texas native and a retired marketing director, on top of a US veteran. Since his retirement, one of his favorite hobbies was scouting around estate sales and yard sales.
He had found a few bargains and had been surprised by the finding of a few rare items in his lifetime. But he couldn’t expect what he would find on his next yard sale in Missouri, Texas.
He Wasn’t Expecting Anything Special
In all fairness, after parking next to the yard and leaving his car, Emil didn’t expect to find anything out of the ordinary; to him, it just seemed like another run of the mill yard sale.
Still, even those were fun for him. Everytime he went to one, he ended up seeing something he liked enough to take it home. Sometimes he liked it as something useful at the house, sometimes it was something that he could get a good price for and sometimes he just wanted a souvenir from that particular yard sale. But this time was different.
It Seemed Like An Average Yard Sale
That yard sale was organized by some real old-timer, experienced company, which meant that all items would be thoroughly examined and precisely priced. In other words, no diamonds in the rough or overlooked valuables were expected.
In this kind of yard sales, usually what you see is what you get, no more, no less. But apparently, some of the company’s employees forgot to take a second look at one particular item.
And Emil Stumbled Across It
Emil was strolling across the lines of items for sale and, just as he expected, he wasn’t seeing anything too unique. There were some interesting and nice goods, sure; but nothing that he would call a bargain, or nothing that he felt especially compelled to take home with him.
But suddenly, one specific object caught his attention.
A Mysterious, Antique Dresser
It was an old wooden dresser. It was made of wood with a white marble top, with some beautifully carved drawers. According to the appraisal, it dated back to the 1890s.
It looked nice, for sure. But Emil wanted to know if there was something more about the item that he hadn’t seen at first glance. He decided to take a closer look.
What Was Inside?
He looked at the sides and the back of the dresser, and he didn’t see anything special. Then, he decided to take a look at the drawers.
There was nothing inside either. Apparently, that was just what it was: a beautiful and antique wooden dresser. But there was something that Emil had forgotten to check.
‘What’s The Price?’
He asked about the price of the piece of furniture. It was $100. However, the price was $300 just two days ago. Apparently, nobody wanted that item and the managers of the yard sale just wanted to get rid of it.
Gladly, Emil thought he had found a bargain. He bought the item and he started carrying it to his car. That’s when he heard some strange, unsettling noises coming from inside the dresser. Something was rattling in there.
There Was Something Else
He stopped to find out what that was. He laid the dresser on the floor and checked the drawers again: there was nothing there, just like the first time he checked. He kept examining all the sides of the dresser to make sure he hadn’t missed anything.
And he found something unexpected: there was a secret compartment at the base of the dresser. It seemed specifically designed to hide something rather than just store it. His heart was racing as he opened that secret drawer.
A Secret Stash
When he finally saw what was inside, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
It was a stash of very valuable and antique items: gold coins, historical artifacts from the Civil War, jewels, personal mementos and letters. That was a treasure; not only was it worth multiple times what he had paid for the dresser, but it was also a piece of history.
What Should He Do?
Emil found himself in a dilemma: what should he do about the secret, precious stash? He had only paid for an old dresser and he had ended up with a lot more. But he was unsure of what to do with it.
The first thing he did was call an appraiser. The total value of the stash was calculated to be around $10,000. That was a lot of money.
But he thought about the ethical side of the incident: he had only paid for the old dresser, and that’s what he thought he was taking home with him. The managers of the yard had been clearly clueless about what was truly inside the dresser.
Also, some objects from the stash clearly would have some sentimental value to whoever owned it originally. So he made a decision.
And Old Ex-Marine’s Choice
He would return the stash to whoever was the original owner of the dresser and he would just keep the latter. After all, it would have been unfair to follow the “finders, keepers” policy in this situation.
“I’m an old ex-Marine, and I try to do the right thing,” Emil explained later to the reporters that asked him about his story.
The Owner Of The Treasure
That same evening, he took the stash back to the managers of the yard sale and informed them of his discovery. He also asked to be put in contact with whoever had sold them the dresser so their identity could be verified as the relative or relatives of whoever left that treasure there for their descendents.
Finally, someone appeared and rightly demonstrated that the stash belonged to him. Emil gave it back and took the dresser home, glad to have followed his Marine moral code regardless of temptation. Truly an example to follow.