XXIX – Rome’s Missing Money, or “Does Anyone Know Who Owns This Stuff?”

Dear Journal:

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written, but circumstances kept me a trifle busy.

What circumstances you might ask? The Treasury audit, that’s what. I was going over the lists of available gold reserves with the officials who constantly follow me everywhere, when we made a nasty discovery.

Rome was broke! I don’t mean a little low or stretched; I mean BROKE! There wasn’t enough coinage available to buy lunch, let alone run an empire. My first pointed question was, how? Where had all the finances gone!? It didn’t make sense.

The Patricians and other nobles were slopping over with money. I was, reputedly, one of the richest men in the known world. The Marketplace was doing a booming business and trade was actually on the rise. So how come the Imperial Treasury was empty?

I came to the conclusion that there had to be another, hidden, source of wealth. It was with that thought in mind that I ordered a thorough search of all the official buildings on the Hill. Find the REAL treasury and do so fast! If word got out about this, there would be wholesale panic.

I also had the Lady use all of her considerable bullying power to scare the truth out of someone. Anyone. The Mutts even got into the act by sniffing corners and following scents we humans couldn’t pick up. They could be seen ambling through the hallways sniffing, mumbling, and rumbling as they searched high and low. For what, they didn’t know, but they were obviously determined to find whatever it was.

The lady was the first to hit pay-dirt when one of her agents beat…um, convinced someone to disclose the secret. There was a hidden treasury all right. It just happened to be BENEATH the Imperial Palace.

So, en masse, we converged on the lower levels of the palace. Funny thing, the Mutts were already there and staring at a seemingly innocent section of wall. Upon further examination, we found a hidden door and, using hammers, opened the place up. The chamber we walked into was huge…and filled with what looked to be most of the loot taken in over three hundred years of Roman conquest.

We wandered around in awed silence, gawking at the incredible wealth around us. Besides immense amounts of coinage neatly stored for use, there were treasures thought to have disappeared, or never existed at all.

One of the items which intrigued me was a large, gold box. It was beautifully engraved and had two large, winged creatures on the lid. They were kneeling, facing each other, their outstretched wings nearly touching. The whole thing was supported by two gold carriage poles.

I went to get a closer look, and just as quickly, backed away. The box had a nasty, deadly aura about it. Touching it seemed like a very bad idea. I figured that we’d better find the owners and get that thing out of there. It might be what was causing Rome’s bad luck the last few years.

We also found the crown of Egypt, taken by Augustus, as well as the rest of the royal regalia of the Pharoahs.

Well, we’d solved the mystery of the missing treasury, but we still needed answers. Why was this vault here, with the loot of ages stored in it? It would take some time to catalogue everything, but we could transfer all the coinage to the real treasury. I couldn’t help but wonder what other little surprises lay in wait for me.

Chapter XXX

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 1:15 AM  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Chapter XXIX Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)XXVI – Roman Caesar, Little Brother, and MuttsXX – Rude Romans And PaybackXXV – The Roman and . . . HAIL WHO . . . ? Published in: […]

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