Simone and the Missing Ring
This is not a Bible story but it is patterned after one. After Part Two can you guess which Bible story is the original?
We left Simone at the fence post in the middle of the night. He had been struggling with his plan to steal the ring. This weekend they planned to drive to another city to visit Rosetta’s brother. There he could sell the ring and get a nice gift for his wife. That idea was too much to resist. He grabbed it and softly sneaked back into his cabin, trying not to wake up Rosetta. She, however, noticed him coming in and asked what was going on. He lied to her and said, “Nothing. Just went for a little walk because I couldn’t sleep.”
Next morning, when the ranch hands all came back to work on the fence, Phillipe called them together and said, “Yesterday I took my ring off to keep from damaging it. I put it on this fence post but forgot to put it back on. Now it is gone. Do any of you know where it is?” They all said, “No”. They didn’t even know that it had been there. Simone lied again and said he didn’t know either. For him one sin was leading to another. He had stolen the ring, lied to his wife and now lied to his boss.
Phillipe added another comment. “In the middle of the night,” he continued, “I heard the horses neighing and came out to check. I thought there was someone out there but I couldn’t see anyone so I went back to bed. Now I think there was someone out there by this post and took the ring in the night. Was one of you out there at night?” He looked each one of them in the eye and each one said, “NO, I wasn’t.” Simone lied again but it seemed as though Phillipe looked him in the eye longer than the others. Maybe he sensed that Simone had been looking at the ring enviously in the past. Maybe Phillipe suspected that Simone was unhappy with his lot and wanted money.
At this point Simone had the opportunity to confess, to admit that he was guilty and return the ring. But Simone had a different idea. He would try to convince Phillipe that none of the men were guilty. “There are crows and owls and jays around here,” he told Phillipe. “Sometimes they pick up things. Maybe one of them has it. We should check their nests.” “That ring means a lot to me. I must have it back,” insisted Phillipe. They all promised to let him know if they saw it anywhere or discovered a bird’s nest that might have it. Simone vigorously agreed to do that too but he was still sure that Phillipe suspected him. If he were to question Rosetta he would find out that Simone had been out in the night. Rosetta would tell the truth. Then Phillipe would be convinced that Simone was the thief. Simone was on dangerous ground but decided to risk it. Friday was torture for Simone. He had to pretend innocence, make it look like he was seriously on the lookout for the ring while at the same time planning to take it with him on their weekend away. On the trip Rosetta kept asking him why he was looking so preoccupied and troubled, but he shrugged it off.
After arriving at her brother’s home he excused himself by saying he needed to go shopping on his own because he planned a surprise for Rosetta. In a jeweler’s shop he produced the ring and explained that he was in some financial difficulty and needed to sell the ring. What could he get for it? The jeweler looked at the ring, looked at Simone, then studied the ring closely and almost said something, but held back. He studied it again with a magnifying glass and then told Simone he would need some time to make a decision. Could he come back at 2 pm?
Simone came back with Rosetta. Leaving her in the car he went into the store with high hopes. The jeweler confronted Simone by saying, “Did you see the minute engraving inside the ring? It says, Thanks, Phillipe, VCA. I’m the one who made this ring as a gift from the Valley Cattlemen’s Association for his years of work as president. This is a stolen ring!” The color drained from Simone’s face. At this point a policeman walked in from the back room and a police car pulled into the lot. Panic set in. A frightened Rosetta followed that policeman into the store and learned the devastating truth. “It’s been a tough week,” the police remarked. “First a riot started by a gang of four and now this. We’ve had to double up in the cells. You’re coming with us, Simone!” Simone would be kept in prison overnight while they contacted Phillipe to determine the next step. A distraught Rosetta drove back to her brother’s place. Now what?
Simone was led to a cell already occupied and was shocked to see that ___________ was to be his cell mate! (To be continued next week.)