“Twenty dollar gold pieces,” Moses went on in a professorial tone, “are the most commonly found gold coins today because people hoarded them when they were made. Each coin contains about an ounce of gold, and the price of the coin depends on the price of gold bullion. Gold is soft, so the coins that actually saw the inside of somebody’s pocket are pretty beat up. They can be worth anywhere between $300 and $400.” He sat back and said proudly, “This one’s in pretty good shape, so far as I can tell, so I figure it’s high end.”
“Wow.” Bill looked at the coin with more respect. “I wonder whose it was?”
“Who belonged on the other end of that arm, you mean?”
He shrugged and pulled off her glasses. “You’d be amazed the kinds of things people haul around in their pants. I know a guy carries a big blue glass marble around, I mean it’s two inches in diameter. Says its his good luck piece. Every time I see it I’m glad for him that it hasn’t broken. Ouch.” He winced. “I know a woman carries an ivory carving of a sea otter everywhere she goes, changes pockets only when she changes her pants. It’s her, I don’t know, totem, I guess.”
“Like a good luck charm?”
“And you’re thinking this gold coin was a good luck charm, too?”
He looked at the coin. “If it was meant to bring good luck to its owner, and the owner was attached to the that arm, it sure failed of its purpose.”
Excerpt from Better to Rest, the fourth Liam Campbell novel.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.