The Lost Gold

Once there was a bank employee named Paul who worked at one of the world’s most sophisticated gold vaults. It was called the global bank. Loads of gold was stored in the building’s basement. It was one of the largest in the world.

Paul was doing his normal business, working with people setting up bank accounts when his manager, Mr. Smith, told him that the security cameras in the gold vault weren’t working and that he must check the problem and fix it, as Paul was also an engineer. Only once before, Paul had been down in the vault.

The bank owner gave him the combination numbers to open the vault. There were several locks and complex doors; it needed to be like this to prevent any robbery. After the innocent employee headed toward the lower levels, he found the door. It was massive. There were so many intricate locks that laid in front of the door. Paul casually entered the combination code to open the vault, but something strange happened. The vault’s massive door was not opening.

Paul was completely shocked. The door just wouldn’t open. But then, he realized something. Mr. Smith only gave him the combination numbers, not the exact pattern. With six numbers in the combination, there would be tons of different six digit numbers to open the vault door. And then Paul thought, Why would my manager give me the numbers but not the proper code? Trying to avoid going back upstairs, he pursued the attempt to open the door. He tried each and every pattern possible. After nearly 30 minutes of trial and error, he finally opened the door with the correct code/pattern. When it was opened, Paul was amazed because he had only seen this much gold once in his life.

His boss had done another strange thing: he did not specify which security camera was “broken.” Paul examined each camera extra carefully and saw that all the cameras were working properly and were intact. He began to get a little suspicious. He was at the same time confused. He climbed down the ladder from the security camera in the ceiling. He was about to walk out until something strange caught his eye. One of the golden bars in the vault seemed to be chipped. A little, gray dot appeared on the gold bar. Paul inspected it closely until he uncovered a baffling sight. He realized the gold stored in the vault was fake when he saw missing paint on the gold. They were just gray steel bars painted gold.

Paul scratched the gold and sure enough, the gray steel became more visible. He was shocked. He didn’t know what to do, but he knew what was happening was wrong and that he should put an end to it. But he began to uncover something else. If Mr. Smith instructed him to fix security cameras that were healthy, why did he send Paul down in the first place? Did Mr. Smith deliberately do this because the gold was a counterfeit, and he wanted Paul to find out? Paul didn’t know why. He thought about calling the police. Never in his seven years working at the bank had he witnessed anything like this. He exited the vault and headed upstairs thinking to himself, The manager has recently been preventing people from going into the vault. But one thing still lingered around in Paul’s mind: If my manager was so protective of the gold vault, then why did he casually tell me to go down? Does he trust me? As Paul went to his office to tell Mr. Smith what happened, he felt a bit nervous. He opened the door to the manager’s office and stressfully entered the large and nicely decorated office. It had a beautiful, lavish floor and a modern interior design.

“I think the gold downstairs is fake,” Paul said anxiously.

“I know!” Mr. Smith said in an angry and annoyed tone.

Paul had no idea what to say next. “You’re a fraud,” he said.

“I’m no fraud, but a very clever person,” Paul’s manager said in disgust.

And with that, Paul left the manager’s office. But he had an idea. An idea that would expose Mr. Smith.

Paul believed that the bank’s money was stolen by the owner and kept in his household. And replaced with artificial gold. He assumed that Mr. Smith had stolen gold to sell it and make money. He was determined to stop it and decided to follow Mr. Smith to his home. So at 5:00 p.m., Paul got into his car and saw Mr. Smith enter into his car. Immediately, Paul followed him. After 30 minutes of following Mr. Smith, they began to exit the city and enter into a small town. Luckily, his manager was oblivious to the car following him. At the edge of the town in a large house isolated from the neighborhood, Mr. Smith stopped and pulled into the front of his house. Paul parked his car a few yards away and watched Mr. Smith walk into his house. But then, he realized that he didn’t think about how he would get into the house. After Mr. Smith entered his home, he got out of his car and walked around the side of his house. He looked through one of the basement windows. He saw a door and could see something shining through. It could only be gold. Paul found out how to enter into the basement. One of the windows was small and had a very small opening. With a stick he found in the front yard, he pried open the window and squeezed through and got into the house. He had a sack with him to hold the gold. He got past the door and took some gold and filled up the sack. It got heavy, but it was manageable. Suddenly, Paul tripped and made a loud noise. Seconds later, he could hear someone coming down the basement steps. Despite having throbbing pain in his knee, he threw the sack outside and climbed out, but as his leg got out through the window, Mr. Smith ran toward him. With all his might, the manager grabbed Paul’s leg and tried to drag him through the window. Paul, who already had his knee in pain, used all his power to pull his leg back. Mr. Smith was pulling harder than ever. He wouldn’t let Paul get away. But something the manager had just noticed was that the shoes on the “thief’s” feet were strangely familiar.

“Paul!” the manager screamed. “Come here.” Normally, people would think that Paul would break away, but instead he had the feeling that Mr. Smith was trying to welcome him. Paul decided to go through the window thinking he could uncover something.

“I understand you tried to steal the gold to give the police proof,” the manager said in an annoyed tone. “But there is a big reason I deliberately led you right to the artificial gold. You see, I secretly work for another business that’s illegally selling gold to make money. I led you to the counterfeit gold because I wanted you to join me. You’re one of my most intelligent workers. I want you to be part of this business.”

Paul knew this was wrong but realized he would make a ton of money. Still, he declined the offer, and Mr. Smith made a big mistake. And with that, Paul ran out through the window, and Mr. Smith chased after him.

“I will call the police. I will end you,” Mr. Smith threatened. Paul immediately got into his car and sped away. There was nothing Mr. Smith could do. Calling the police made no sense, because if he called the police, he would basically be calling them because someone declined a job offer. Paul was in total control of the situation. Knowing that he just caught someone doing something illegal, he could easily call the police and get Mr. Smith into trouble.

The next day, Paul told the FBI that Mr. Smith was making money in an illegal business. The whole FBI crew came that morning. Mr. Smith was furious at Paul and came face to face with him.

“I will destroy you,” he said angrily. But for now, Mr. Smith’s five-year imprisonment would keep Paul in good hands.

Paul was glad he did the right thing. He was well-known internationally because he exposed one of the most illegal businesses in the world. People in the illegal business knew about Paul and what he did. Despite all this glory, the employees in the illegal business that weren’t sent to jail were after Paul. And Mr. Smith would be back.

The hunter would soon become the hunted.



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