Let us try it.
Lisa and Olga, longtime friends. They have been friends since high school. Studying was given to them quite easily, especially mathematics and physics. After graduation, the choice of profession was unambiguous. They began to choose a university with a mathematical bias and of course associated with computer science. Moreover, such sciences are in demand now. In the future to find a job will be easy. Such specialties are always needed, at least in the bank, at least in the production.
It was not difficult for them to enter the Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Applied Mathematics. They received good knowledge in the Lyceum; especially the lyceum was mathematically biased.
The first three years of study were somehow unnoticed. Lectures at the institute, parties with friends, trips to nature, and of course trips to the sea with tents. It was a sin to complain about student life. Lisa and Olga met with the guys, but they did not have regular guys. One was tedious, the other all in school and partying he was not interested, well, the third was generally a loafers. His parents had well-to-do people, and that left an imprint on his upbringing. At one time Lisa and Olga liked Roman, but he almost did not pay attention to them.
So unnoticed and flew three years of study. Everything somehow changed during the summer holidays. Lisa’s parents had a cottage out of town. Lisa did not like to go there. Digging in the ground was not interesting, and to take care of trees, bushes, and seedlings was for her boring occupation. If her parents were drawn to the cottage, Lisa spent time reading books or bathing in the canal, the benefit it was not far.
This summer the parents decided to buy a ticket to the sea and asked Lisa to stay in the country and look after the garden. Summer was hot, the soil sandy, and had to water every day. Refuse was somehow inconvenient; parents put too much work into this cottage.
Being at the cottage for two weeks, somehow boring and Lisa, without hesitation, called Olga.
— Listen to your friend, help out, — Lisa said. My parents send me to the country for two weeks; do you want to share this link with me?
— In principle, you can, — Olga said. Sitting in a sweltering city, a little pleasant.
When should I come?
— Sunday, — Lisa said. There are food, so take your personal belongings and do not forget the swimsuit. The bus leaves the station at four o’clock. I will meet you.
Having met a friend in the evening, having unpacked their things, the friends arranged dinner.
Evening after conversation flew quickly.
— Listen to Olga, — Said Lisa, and pouring tea. I was reading a few detective books the other day. It turns out that not only men were famous detectives, but also women. A year ago, I watched a multi-part film about Mrs. Kirsanova. I like to read good detective stories. Disclosure of crimes is both logic and mathematics. It is very interesting. I just here thought, but not whether we should try to engage in private investigation.
— What are you, Lisa, overheated in the sun? — Olga said. Which of us are female detectives? What are we going to look for?
— Well, I have to think about it, — Lisa said. People lose cats, dogs and even husbands. People always have problems, and someone has to solve them.
— Well, I do not know, — Olga, said. It is somewhat unexpected. Well, let us try it.
The girls got to work. In principle, the case as a current has not been.
— What are we going to look for? — Olga asked. Cats, dogs?
— Well, I think we should file an advertisement first. There is nowhere to go without her. We will submit an offer of our services on the Internet to begin with. You do not need the money. We will see about that.
Waiting for some offers, to the surprise of the girls, did not have long. Ten days. By this time, the «working» in the country was ending, and it was possible to return to the city.
The offer was received by email. Although the girls left their mobile numbers, the client for some reason did not call; perhaps he had his reasons for it. The message was «Hello. We address you after reading the message on the Internet. We are both retirees. Pensions are small, and you, according to the announcement, do not take much for their services. Here is the thing.
When I was young, I used to do philately. There was a time. Someone collected stamps, someone postcards, match labels, boxes of cigarettes. I went to vintage societies, shops. I bought something. I changed something. Very often exchanged with each other.
Over time, when I entered the institute, this hobby passed, and it was not time. There are albums in the closet. I even forgot about them. One day I showed the collection to my grandson, Vasily. There is a conversation about our youth. I told him what we did, what we were into. The grandson, at first, showed no interest. Lately he started to ask a lot about the collection. He kept asking if she was valuable. Once he even took a picture of all the stamps. He said it would be a keepsake. I find this all suspicious. I do not know the real value of my collection. If I could work on a computer, I might have learned something myself. I am a humanitarian by profession. In my life, there were no computers. This letter helped me send my neighbor. He does not want to do that. If you had agreed to take this case, I would appreciate it. I have small savings and 100—150 dollars I could allocate. If you’re interested in this offer, let me know.»
Lisa and Olga reread this message several times.
— I think grandson decided to earn some money, — Olga said. No wonder. He took pictures of stamps for a reason. He decided to check, maybe there is something valuable.
— We do not lose anything if we take this job, — Lisa said. We do not take any money forward. If something happens — well, but not, there are no losses. Unless we are going to waste time. We have to start somewhere. I think, first and we need to take a picture of the entire collection and check all the stamps on the Internet for the cost. Maybe the old people are worried for nothing, and the grandson will be in vain to steam. We have to start somewhere.
After receiving an answer from the old men, the girls went to their home. Fortunately, they lived not far away. The small old house was in the private sector. An old man opened the cage. He looked quite cheerful. If the girls did not know his age, he could be given no more than seventy.
— Come through the girls — I am looking forward to it.
The house was small, old, but inside was clean and cozy. All the decorations and furniture gave out affluence of tenants. The old men tried to maintain order as much as possible.
— Come on, sit down, — the host said. My name is Nikolai Ivanovich, and you, as I understand it, Lisa and Olga. My wife’s not home right now, she went to the store. Well, I made everything you asked for.
On the table lay a stack of five or six old albums.
— How many stamps do you have? — Olga asked.
— I have not counted them in a while. Once there were a thousand two.
— Decently, — Lisa said. We will not hold you for long.
— Olga, take a picture of all the stamps and do not forget to note which stamps are in which albums.
— Nikolai Ivanovich, — Lisa said. We rather decided on the price. We do not want to take the deposit. In a week, I think we can find out some information. If you are satisfied with what we will find out, then you will pay.
Taking photos, the girls said goodbye to the owner and went home. On the street there was summer weather, there were no classes at the institute. You can fully immerse yourself in this case. That is their first thing.
The girls decided to work at Lisa’s house. Her parents have already returned and immediately went to the cottage. They can do it quietly. Well, Olga brought her laptop from home.
Dividing the pictures roughly equally, the girls set to work. It was quite convenient to deal with the collection. Grandfather designed the albums quite neatly; it was clear that once it gave him pleasure.
All brands were divided by themes and years. Good thing, the internet. You can see everything you need, what is valued and how much is appreciated.
The work was quite slow. You had to browse more than one site to find the right information.
Two days have passed, but the routine work has not shown significant results. The stamps were mostly quite ordinary. Although the dates on them were 1950 or 1960, but according to catalogs they were worth mere pennies.
After all, on the third day they were lucky. Lisa was looking through another photo of the page. One of the stamps in the row was one. I guess Grandpa did not know which series to put it in.
The image on the stamp was of little interest. It is an old battle. On top was the inscription «250 years of historic Poltava victory.» The 1959 mark was worth 40 cents. Well, the date and date. My grandfather had such stamps. Stamps were very often issued by some date. Lisa began to view the information about this brand, not expecting to learn something interesting. However, the information was quite unexpected.
«Unissued postage stamp of the USSR in 1959. On the mark denomination of 40 cents captured Swedish troops. Before the issue of the brand, diplomatic relations with Sweden improved. In order not to offend the partners, it was simply decided to destroy the circulation.
Officially, the postage stamp was sold for several minutes, after which the circulation was seized and destroyed. Forty stamps have been preserved. It is known that it costs about 10—20 thousand dollars.»
Oh, my! Lisa read this information several times and immediately shared it with Olga. They double-checked everything again. There was no mistake.
That is what the grandson might have been interested in. Take away, in case of this brand in the old people, no one would notice. Well, you will think, there is no one of the two thousand stamps.
It took the girls another day and a half to see the rest of the stamps, but nothing special else came across.
Lisa called Nikolai Ivanovich and arranged a meeting.
Nikolai Ivanovich was not alone at home this time. His wife Anna Andreevna was hustling in the kitchen. By the girls’ arrival, she decided to make a cake for tea. Sitting at the table, the girls began to talk, but Nikolai Ivanovich asked to wait for Anna Andreevna to join them.
Lisa took out only one piece of paper from the folder and put it on the table. Starting the conversation was not easy, as it was necessary to think about how to say and what to say. Olga looked at those around her.
— Nikolai Ivanovich- she began. Lisa and I checked your stamp collection for value. You have about two thousands of them. All but one of them do not represent any special value. However, one brand is quite valuable. We printed out its characteristics and its approximate value.
Lisa handed out a leaf to Nikolai Ivanovich. Grandpa put on his glasses and started reading. After a while, he put the leaf aside, took off his glasses and looked at the girls.
— You know, I had no idea, I had anything of value, — he began. At one time, I remember, many were chasing rare brands. I did not have any money. I bought what I liked for a minimum price. I did not even have a special collectible system. Some amateurs collected only certain series. One is only fauna. The other is flora. Well, I» kept it going. Maybe he was young. I did not know much about it. I do not even remember how she got to me. Perhaps this brand was exchanged from a man who did not know its value.
— So. What am I going to do about it?
— Nikolai Ivanovich — Lisa started. I think your grandson will get to that information, too. Will come to visit you for this brand. Naturally, he will try to take it.
Of course, we can offer you something, but you have to decide. If you really value this brand, it should be removed from the album and hidden in a safe place. Well, as for me, I would implement it for such a decent sum. With this money, you would live easier in old age. We could repair your house, upgrade your furniture, and leave something for a rainy day.
— Thank you girls, — said Nikolai Ivanovich, looking at his wife. We will think about it. However, you are doing great. Nowadays it is difficult to meet decent people. There are so many crooks now. I would love to pay you for this job. We have talked about the sum before, but I will add a little. Good work should be well paid.
Going home, the girls were in good spirits. It is not even about the money, although two hundred dollars in our time is good money. The main thing is that they did something. That is their first case.
In summer, time runs fast. It is the winter that lasts. The girls were doing their own thing. Having completed the first case of investigation, they did not really expect to continue. Hobby, it is a hobby. Well, who among us in his youth was not fond of adventurous projects?
But about ten days later, Lisa got an e-mail: «Hello. My name is Sergey Gennadievich. I am the director of Astarte. I appeal to you after reading your ad. If you don’t get into trouble, please contact me by phone.»
The phone number was listed in the letter and Lisa did not hesitate to call the specified number.
She got a nice man’s voice. Lisa read somewhere that the voice can be said about the character of the person, about his mood. By voice, you can understand whether it is necessary to deal with this person or to shun him. The level of human development is heard in the voice. Yes, probably, a whole science defines a person by voice. However, Lisa and without science felt, with this person it is pleasant to communicate.
The conversation was not long. Sergey Gennadievich offered to meet at the Chico Cafe at lunchtime in the city center and discuss all the issues.
Lisa, after a little thought, agreed. To meet in the center of the city in a cafe, it is not on the edge of the forest, where they can «stitch». She did not see the dangers in that meeting. They agreed to meet the next day at two o’clock.
Lisa called Olga and told her about the upcoming meeting. After all, she is a companion and she should know everything.
Lisa tried to dress more respectable for this meeting. Come it in a sporty form, the confidence in it will be much lower. As she approached the cafe, Lisa tried to prepare herself morally for the meeting. It will not be possible to conduct a conversation loosely, but it is not necessary to show prudish self. We should try to arrange the interlocutor to yourself.
When she went to the cafe, Lisa got the phone and was going to call, but a nice man approached her and politely said
— Excuse me — Are you Lisa?
— Yes, and you must be Sergey Gennadievich?
Sergey Gennadiyevich politely offered to sit at his table.
— I usually have lunch in this cafe, it is not far from the company and cook here quite tolerably. I made an order at my discretion. If you do not mind, share this meal with me, and we will talk at the same time.