Poor old Mike! Last week he saw a telly prog about a Roman building being unearthed in London and it didn’t take long to convince him that there was plenty more to be found if you did enough digging.
Unfortunately, Ed overheard this bit of the conversation and volunteered his garden for a trial excavation.
He suggested that an overgrown part of the vegetable plot might be a particularly rewarding area to turn over - and Mike actually thanked him for the offer!
‘We’re being conned!’ I protested, as we started work.
‘Ed’s just letting us do the clearing so he can get planting.’
‘But,’ insisted Mike, ‘you never know what you might find,’ and, as he spoke, his shovel hit something with a loud, mettalic clunk!
‘Look at this!’ he exclaimede, dragging a battered, oblong shape from the soil.
‘If this isn’t a Roman shield, I’ll eat my best socks!’
It did look sort of shield-shaped and there were rusty lumps in each corner that might have been decorations, once upon a time.
‘There’s something written on it!’ gasped Mike, excitedly. ‘Up in this corner. It says...I...X...L...E...G...I...O...N..? THE NINTH LEGION!! You’ve heard of them! They marched off to fight the Britons and were never seen again! And I’ve found their remains in Ed’s garden!’
‘I doubt it,’ I grinned, brushing more dirt from the inscription. ‘What it actually says, is “FIX LEG 1 ON THIS CORNER”.
It’s the top of Ed’s old coffee table! Still, you weren’t entirely wrong, he did use it to shield the rhubarb from the wind!’
See you soon