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A well dressed business lady  walked into J.W.'s Prospector's Supplies in Prescott Valley one afternoon, carrying a metal detector and laid in on the counter. She seemed to be on the verge of tears. Kevin Hoagland the store manager,, said, "How did it go" "Not well", she said. Turns out the lady had rented the detector the day before and left a sizeable deposit for it, but said she couldn't get it to work. She had rented it to search for a diamond studded gold ear ring in the shape of a horseshoe that she had lost when she was bucked off her horse near the stables close to her home in Chino Hills. It was her favorite set of ear rings, worth a few hundred dollars, and it had been a gift from a special person on a special occasion, so it was the sentimental value that bothered her most about the loss. She was genuinely distressed and sad about losing the item, and seemed to blame herself because she couldn't stay on her horse when he started to buck!

Kevin said he was sorry that she was unable to get the detector to work, and she quickly acknowledged that it wasn't the machine's fault, and that she understood she was inexperienced in operating a metal detector. Kevin told her not to worry about the rental fee, he wasn't going to charge her anything, and he expressed sympathy for her loss, and for her difficulty with the detector.  Kevin and I looked at each other and being on the same wave length, shared a knowing smile as I piped up and offered to help the lady search for her lost ear ring the following day if she would like the help. She was elated at the offer and an appointment was made to meet the following morning at the horse stables.

Upon arrival, I was more than a little concerned about what I saw. The trail that she had been riding on when bucked off, was being shared by off road ATV vehicles which had massively churned up the sandy terrain.  At that moment, I wouldn't have given a plug nickle for my chances of finding an ear ring as small as a dime in the torn up sand heap, as evidenced by the deep ATV tire tracks that I was looking at. I asked her to show me the area where she thought she had been bucked off and after walking several yards, and looking around a bit, she said, "I think around here somewhere". I asked to see the remaining ear ring so I could place it on the ground and hear what it sounded like in my ear phones. I took the ear ring from her, leaned down and started to  place it on the ground but decided against it. Instead, I said, "Hold out your hand" I dropped the two ear rings in her hand which surprised her, as much as I had been surprised when I saw her lost ear ring right in front of us on top of the ground in plain sight!

She was overjoyed at getting her ear ring back and offered to pay me for the service, which of course, I declined. As it so happened, she was a professional masseuse, and she offered me a "treatment" which I also graciously declined. She then asked if I had anything against hugs?

Heck, call me an opportunist if you want to, but after all the disappointment she'd been through? I just didn't have the heart to turn her down . . .


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