An Excuse to Reread Roald Dahl’s “The Mildenhall Treasure”

You guys saw that story about the couple in California who found $10 million in gold coins just casually buried on their property? What a dream. But it happens: Mental Floss has a list of similar cases up, like this guy who bought a $2.48 thrift store Declaration of Independence, which turned out to be one of the original copies commissioned by John Quincy Adams, which later sold at auction for $477,650. It also happened in England in 1942, and Roald Dahl wrote that gorgeous, simple, nonfiction short piece about it called “The Mildenhall Treasure,” in which the farmer Gorden Butcher is swindled by his boss Sydney Ford.

They were on to Roman Treasure, and almost without question it was pure silver… Worth millions it must be.

Worth literally millions of pounds.

His breath, coming fast, was making little white clouds in the freezing atmosphere.

“There’s still more down here, Mr. Ford,” Butcher was saying. “I can feel bits of it all over the place.”

The PDF of Dahl’s whole perfect collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More is online here, and “The Mildenhall Treasure” comes third.