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What would you do?

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This afternoon I had a 1971 split level out in the boonies. The seller is the original owner. He was a nice older guy, hanging out in the detached garage for the entire 3 1/2 hour inspection.

The last thing to look at was the upper attic, accessed through a scuttle in one of the master bedroom closets. I had to take a bunch of crap out and remove the shelf before I could squeeze though. The attic was empty; I stayed on the ladder. Next to me was a cigar box. Curious, I flipped the top open. I didn't touch what was inside, but couldn't resist taking two quick pictures before closing the lid. I let the buyer take a peek at the attic from the ladder, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that he wouldn't open the box. I couldn't see for sure if he did or didn't, but if he did open it, he's got a good poker face.

My dilemma, was whether to tell the seller about it. He must know about it, so keep your mouth shut was my original thought. Then I reasoned, maybe he did forget it was there, because who in his right mind would leave a cigar box full of cash where it was sure to be found, knowing the house was going to be inspected. In my mind, I pictured the guy moving out, then six months later, having a V-8 moment when he realized he left his stash behind. I also pictured the guy jumping down my throat for going into his personal property. I decided not to say anything.

The buyers left before me. The guy was still sitting in his garage. Just before I got in my van, I abruptly changed my mind. I told him that I saw the box and opened it. He seemed kind of puzzled. The box had cash in it, I said. "Oh, that. If my wife knew about that, I wouldn't have it any more" was his reply.

So apparently he hadn't forgotten about it, and he didn't seem the least bit upset that I opened it.

My wife said I was wrong to open it. Maybe so, but if I see a cigar box in an otherwise empty attic, I'm going to look in it.

What would y'all do?

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Nothing wrong with looking. After all, he knew you were coming. More importantly, there could be something in there you needed to see. Anyone remember the pic where the cigar box was used as a junction box?

By the way, Joe, you said you took a couple of pics. Is the second one (which we don't see) where you are stashing some of the bills in your pocket?[;)]

Also, I would have told the fellow that it was there. For all you know, he could have Alzheimer's and did not remember that it's there. Quite plausible, considering that he didn't remove it prior to the visit by you, a stranger who could have taken it.

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I would have looked. I have looked.

But I've never found anything of value. I would never pore through someone's boxes, or open anything that was sealed. But if the attic floor is barren save for one tiny cigar box?

Curiously, I've found several unboxed devices that women use to pleasure themselves just inside attic scuttleholes.

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I'd have quietly taken the seller aside and let him know I came across the box.

It'd be the right thing to do, even at the risk of being labeled a nosy nillie.

Maybe you were supposed to find it because the seller has in fact forgotten all about it.

Then maybe again, he doesn't know a thing about it. Kind of like my recently deceased grandmother; while cleaning out her closets, my parents kept finding pockets full of stashed cash. Grand total came to about $10k. My grandfather had no clue she was stashing cash.

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I once found a luggage that was filled with alot of cash, and three apples. I couldn't resist asking the homeowner about it. It turned out he knew nothing about it either. Shortly before I left, while I was in the other room, the guy's wife came home and I overheard him asking her about it.

I couldn't help but to notice the silence, when finally she admitted that she hadn't always been true, and had some "extramarital" moments. I heard her add that every time she had an affair, she had her lover give her an apple.

The gentleman also got quiet, I guess he was figuring that after years of marrige, 3 affairs wasn't so bad.

I then heard him ask about the large sum of money, and her reply was "every time she had a bushel full, she sold them."

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Tired rerun of the doilie story, Steven.

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily."

The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the doilies."

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