“Idiot!” Stretch shouted in his mind. “Giant is going to get me killed!” Switching to his more siren like tone he said “I don’t. Some friends and I are on a last chance guys being guys road trip. One just got divorced, another just ended a bad relationship, we all had our reasons when we decided to pack it all in on a spur of the moment and go on this road trip. One of them even quit their job. I at least took vacation.”
“And this guys being guys road trip brought you here?” queried the gentleman almost absent mindedly as he examined and photographed another coin. The photographing bothered Stretch.
“Well, we aren’t ordinary. We listed out all of the places in America which had things on our bucket list. One guy had the fine arts and Poe museums here on his list. Another wanted to see that mansion with the Japanese gardens.”
This brought the hairy eyeball from the graying man.
“Some of us are gay, is that a problem? If so I can go back to the hotel and look up the next entry on the search list” Stretch quietly challenged.
The man looked up rather shocked and stated “Around these parts most of us don’t admit what you just stated publicly. There are quite a large number of us. Why do you think we have so many museums and attractions?”
“I hadn’t really thought about it” answered Stretch.
“In times of old the Gentrified called it being a Dandy. They mostly turned a blind eye to the matter as long as it wasn’t carried on publicly. We were necessary to design and decorate these fine mansions. Today the religious terrorists which back the likes of Ted Cruz would like to execute us in the most Christan way possible.”
“I’ll keep that in mind” responded Stretch. “Do you have more questions about the coins because I really don’t know much.”
“Oh, no. That explains most of it, except why you had these with you” said the gentleman.
“One of the destinations on the list is Vegas. More for Cher and the circus shows, but, Vegas has a way of cleaning a person out so I packed these in case I was all tapped out and wanting to get home. Mine was the largest car and it was fine for batting around the boroughs of New York, but the trip down here took a toll. I have a two o’clock appointment at Pepboys and would like to get these added to my pre-paid card before going over there. I’m told putting the struts on will cost north of two grand and it needs tires too. I figure these should at least soften the hit my slush fund takes” completed Stretch.
“I need to send the images out to verify they have not been reported stolen” said the gentleman. “It’s a precaution we’ve been doing lately. Some hot ones came through and we had to eat it. I will know in a couple of hours if they are clean so you should have plenty of time to make your appointment. There is a small restaurant at the end of this block, just around the corner. They do a good job with breakfast and lunch. They tend to let people read the paper in peace rather than hurrying them out the door to milk another cash cow” said the graying gentleman kindly. “Once I know all is clean I can look up a price for you.”
“You don’t know now?” asked Stretch.
“Oh, I know the raw gold price. Six ounces at fair market would be $7200 and we would pay 80% of that. These are all old. Three of these are quite old though and I don’t wish to screw you, if you will pardon the vulgarity. I seriously doubt they were stolen since some were from a time when they were somewhat less than legal to own. The Internet is a wonderful thing. I can send high quality images almost instantly to my colleagues and get answers back before you finish breakfast.”
“Your story isn’t why I believe these coins aren’t hot. Had even one Krugerrand of this age been snatched in America or one of our friendliest nations, I would know. This age doesn’t come up very often.”
“What do you mean ‘friendliest nations’?” queried Stretch.
“Canada, England, Ireland, France and a few others. Coin dealers have a loose network and the police forward any theft reports to it. Within a matter of hours we know about a rare coin theft. As long as we do some diligence and send them images of anything, ah, special, coming through, they otherwise leave us alone.”
“Why so few countries, I would think every coin dealer would want on that network?” asked Stretch.
“They would, but, without the correct treaties for extradition, return of property, prosecution, etc. they aren’t allowed in” responded the graying gentleman.
“Bet they are pretty honked off about that” offered Stretch.
“A few, but, most, not so much” answered the gentleman. “You see, a Russian Oligarch would never report the theft of rare coins, gems or art to an international hot list. The same with a third world dictator, warlord or leader of a drug cartel. Likewise, anyone from that category would consider such things pilfered from one of our friendliest nations justifiable compensation for tolerating our existence or some such thing.”
“Since they don’t play by our rules, they aren’t part of our network and, sadly, we return the favor. Only stupid street level punks try to hock stolen rare coins, tagged gems, etc. after they rob it. Local law enforcement wants them. It makes for good press. Politics being what they are, when booty of this nature leaves their countries, our friendliest nations are glad to accept it into the legitimate economy. Thus is the current world of the oldest form of hard finance.”
“Go eat your breakfast or just have coffee and read a few sections of the paper. Wait close to two hours before coming back. You can hold onto these or I can put them in the vault. It’s fine either way.”
“Put them in the vault?” queried Stretch.