A Scrap of Old Cloth
‘Whatcha doing, mate?’
Ben was pulling at a bit of old cloth that had been stuffed into a crevice in the wall of the cellar. ‘You know we’re not supposed to be down here, yeah?’
‘Oh I thought I’d check it out. There might be treasure inside, or something interesting.’
He tugged some more.
The fabric he pulled out was old and dirty but it was shot through with gold thread and looked like something worth shaking the dust off. Flicking the cloth created a small cloud but the swinging light bulb picked out the gold threads so they sparkled.
‘Heh! It’s a hat.’ And he put it on. The cloth kinda moulded around his head so it fitted quite well.
I stared at him. ‘I’ve seen this before.’ I walked over to the stack of old paintings propped up against the wall. I pulled the top one towards me, then the next. The third was the one I was looking for. I pulled it out and stood it up against the cellar wall. It was a painting of some old dude with an almighty moustache waxed to two points, like Poirot, only better. The man in the painting was wearing baggy trousers, a fancy jacket with gold on the shoulders and a big red sash. And on his head was that hat.
I said, ‘My grandpa told me this was his grandpa or great-grandpa or something. He was in India during some war. And look, it’s his hat! Go and stand over there, Ben, in front of the painting and I’ll take a pic with you and my ancestor.’