By Neel Anil Panicker
It was a divided house.
While some thought it to be a book, albeit an ancient one, others were firm that it was a long lost reassure box.
In either case, the Cochin Gang, as the group___Albert, Lucas, Biju, and Emma___called themselves, were itching to prise open its contents.
Another reason for their hurriedness was the heat.
It was over an hour earlier they had all descended the stony steps that led from the basement of the ancient near abandoned castle and the heat was getting ro them.
With no light whatsoever and with only the beam of a flickering torch, the four had begun to feel claustrophobic with Emma, the only girl among the eighteen year olds showing signs of exhaustion.
‘Quick, let’s open it and see what it is. One moment more and we will all die like fleas on the floor here, half screamed Albert.
Lucas, who prided himself on being the leader of the group, didn’t waste a moment and opened the flap.
“It’s rushed iron,” he whispered, his voice betraying his heightened state of anxiety laced with anticipation.
The other three huddled around him.
The box made a creaking sound before the hinges gave away.
With a single force, Albert yanked it open.
As Lucas shone the torch lights, the four let out a collective gasp.
There inside, lay a silk red coloured cloth covering.
“I told you. It’s a treasure box”, shouted Biju, his booming voice bouncing off the stony walls of the cellar.
Pin drop silence prevailed as Lucas opened the cloth covering.
Voila! there lying in front of them, shining like a thousand stars were a phantasmagorical range of multi-hued diamonds, each bigger than a grown man’s fist.
Emma, who had kept quite all this while, and also the baby of the group let out a loud shriek.
The others too had expressions of sheer incredulity and wonderment in their eyes.
All four hooked eyes with one another, and then after what seemed an eternity, they all screamed at the top of their lungs in unison, ” We have become filthy rich,”
They were the right. The Gang of Cochin, the four who came from impoverished fisher folk families would soon become noveau riche, the new rulers of the ‘Venice of the East.
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