I took my bag of loot and drove back to Houston without stopping, almost rushing, as if I was being followed. It’s a little disconcerting to steal your own sister’s belongings, especially when you’ve reported her missing. Especially when one of those belongings is a boat load of cash.
When I got back to Houston I didn’t go home, where I had been staying with my parents. Instead, I went my best friend Laura’s apartment downtown, where she made coffee while I sat on the floor and dumped out the bag.
“What the hell?” she asked, handing me a cup of coffee and gesturing to the pile of cash on the floor. What is THIS?”
“I’m not going to spend it.”
“Why do you have it?”
“I don’t know. It’s a long story.”
I pushed the piles of money out of the way when I heard a strange thump. There, among some wads of money wrapped in rubber bands, were two items. One was a student ID card from UT Austin belonging to a girl named Grace Szabo. The other was what looked like a chess piece. A large, heavy, very old-looking chess piece. But I wasn’t sure, because it was a carving of an elephant. I handed it to Laura and she sat down heavily on the floor while holding it.
“My god,” she said, “This looks like it’s from a museum.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a Rook.”
“A Rook? Are you sure it’s not a Knight, or a King?”
“No, it’s a Rook.”
Laura should know. She’s was the Junior National Chess Champion.