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Object Lesson
by John Brooke

“Hi, Jason, am ever glad that you answered the phone, ‘cause I found something really weird in Grandma’s attic.” 

“What do you mean by weird, please be more specific, Martha?”

“Seems to be some sort of garment.”

“What do you think it was used for?”

“Well its either a torture device or a kind of light-weight armor.”

“Describe it.”

“It’s clothing that looks sorta like a sweater, but it’s made of some sort of stiff canvass material. About 50 hard skinny pieces, about a quarter of an inch wide and up to a foot long. These are sewn into narrow pockets that run top to bottom, almost all the way around. The back is open, and the edges are reinforced. A strong, narrow cord is threaded through metal eyelets on each side of the opening. It laces up like shoe.”

“Weirdo, Sounds like something an Amazon warrior might wear.”

“I found it in an old carved leather trunk from Peru..”

“Wow, call the museum, sounds like its worth a fortune!”

“Good idea, Jason I’m hanging up and phoning them right now.”

“Wait a second will you? Call and tell me what the museum says. Okay.”

Jason hadn’t heard anything from Martha after a day, so he phoned her. “Hi, Jason here, I didn’t hear what the museum thought about your treasure.”

“The expert from the museum came right over when I described what I’d found.”

“Don’t keep on the edge, it must be worth a fortune!”

Well the ‘body armor’ turned out to be a woman’s undergarment girdle from the late 1800’s and worthless.”

“What a bummer!”

“Wait! The trunk turned out to be a Spanish Conquistador’s and was worth over $250,000!”

“Marry me!” Gasped Jason.