This story was written in answer to Fandango’s One Word Challenge. Word – ‘Credibility’
This story also includes the Your Daily Word Prompt word – ‘Sovereign’
Here’s what I came up with …
The most important attribute for a pawnbroker is their credibility. If they didn’t show themselves to be fair and honest, people would never come to trade. The pawnbroker could never make good money on those trades either. The police would likely get interested if the pawnbrokers seemed shady too.
Robert prided himself in being the most honest pawnbroker in the city. He had a heart of gold, and would never let it be turned to lead. The problem was when dishonest customers came to trade.
“Those are genuine full gold sovereigns – they’re worth four-thousand-five-hundred-pounds. Give me the money.” demanded the latest customer arriving at the screened counter. He was maybe twenty-five and looked a little scruffy in his blue hoodie and baseball cap. He slid twenty gold coins into the tray.
“Okay, let me check.” Robert took one of the twenty coins and used a loupe to examine it. “Hmm, I need to analyse this further. I won’t be a minute.” Robert slipped out the back of his shop. He was gone a couple of minutes and returned with a handheld device.
“What’s taking so long.” The man seemed hot under the collar as he glanced at the door with increasing regularity.
“Sorry, sir. I need a couple more minutes here.” Robert set his device to look for bronze and pressed it toward the coin. “These are not genuine. They’re too light and the gold analyser indicates they are more bronze than gold.” Robert showed a false reading on his device.
“You liar! I want my money!” the man banged the window. “Now!”
“You saw me do the test in front of you, sir. These are worth about two-hundred in total.” Robert remained calm. He knew his Lexan window was keeping him protected.
“Bullshit! You’re scamming me.”
“Not at all. I’m not buying a single coin from you.” Robert slid the dodgy coins back across the tray allowing his customer to collect them.
“Not even for the two-hundred?” the man took the coins, his nostrils flaring with anger masking his growing nervousness.
“They’re fake. I cannot sell them on and so they’re of no use to me.” Robert folded his arms. “Have a nice day, sir.”
The man flipped him off and stalked toward the door.
It made Robert sick that he’d just let so much gold walk out the door but he knew the sovereigns were stolen. He watched the customer reach the door.
The man swung out a hand and shoved a display rack of drums and tambourines to the floor. One cymbal among them clattered noisily under the watch display case. He glared back at Robert, stepped outside and swore. He’d walked right into a pair of waiting police officers.
Robert grinned as he watched him get handcuffed and led away. He’d been told of a robbery last night by the police. They’d said it involved the theft of the twenty sovereigns. With his credibility on the line, Robert had slipped out the back to get his gold testing device and told his jewellery expert to call the police.
Robert would smile about his good deed for the rest of the day.
Have a great day!