The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on March 10, 1940 · Page 55
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 55

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 10, 1940
Page 55
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v ) y.v jujA ;lflMIII WW llll, or Pieces-Is and All Ijer's Black sf Famous 7A Treasure Map That Led Explorer, Wilklns to the Flood Hoard. There Is Evidence, He Writes, That It Was Made by James Caesar, Flood's Mate and Quartermaster, Whom Flood Thought He Had Killed on the Island, But Who Lived to Kill Flood. Copyright by Harold T. Wilkins. -wT. w ji . Curious Old Engraving Found by Mr. Wilklns f pit. of Turtle Gatherers, and In Which Were Some 7 ji. J fj of the Clues to Flood's Treasure. I am I. iv;o-"l; bneer of Hispcniola, as San Domingo Was These Meat-Curers nere urtven uesperaie. fruilties of the Spaniards and Became the rates. From a Print in the "History of Buccancers"First Edition of 1744. .; The Spaniards, jealous of anyone beside them-1ves having a foothold In America, decided to riA of hn fr harmless buccaneers. .They rove them out of Hispaniola, and to make sure 'lev would not return killed off all the wild cattle. rhis was a serious mistake, for those half-savage hen had to look for some other means of existence hey .1oied the freebooters -and began tne great irind" of nimrv which was the cnse of the de pletion of Spanish power in the West Indies. nt ih coaster oointed out the Rio Beuay Where Captain Kidd had moored the Que- gh Merchant before ne sauea jor rw ui, ventually Execution Dock, in the sloop Antonio, those of a palm. Ater we slid under tne lee or oavona uifau uuw lagues from which is Santa Catarina isiana. - It was off a lonely creek, west of Santa CaU ina that we found clues to the mysterious halfe fonno hai " Aa I nronose to make another trip hor. T will nnlv aav that the bav is located some where between Santa Catarina and the Bahia de k'umbaa. We hired a Negro fisherman to put us ashore n the sweeping crescent of coral sand In the bay. Ie was not keen on the job; the place was shunned y natives wno swore n was nauniea. ne wia hat some Negroesl close tnsnore one morning, aw on the beach a queer-looking man in out-andish dress. He beckoned them to land, but hey saw his eyes, black and cold, and hesitated, le beckoned them to follow him up the beach. Chen seemed to vanish. "Well, I'll be damned," exploded H. P. when e heard this. "I've been dreaming of a chap like hat night after night" Our boatman's eyes stuck out like organ stops ipd he began to shake. But we persuaded the fisherman to land us, and no sooner did we step out of his boat than he backed water hastily and rested on his oars a good two hundred yards out near the opening in the reef . ' We gazed across the wide beach hemmed in by coral reefs. It was high tide. Overhead the sun burned like a bolt of incandescent flame, and the sky was fathomless blue, unstained by the smallest cloud. Outside the reef the- Caribbean crashed cn the coral in regular diapason. There was not a moving thing except ourselves and the boatman, a small, black blot in the brilliant green, blue and amethyst of the bay. We shouldered picks, spades. H. P. patted his pocket where reposed a compass. I carried measuring rod and line, a number of sharpened sticks and, optimistically, a bucket to hold the treasure in. Close to the eastern horn we found the first boulder, drilled. Making allowance for magnetic variation we set our course and measured off the ground. At the first twenty-five-yard mark we drove a sharpened stick, and, as we did so turned up a nest of five turtle eggs. Then we moved fifty feet N. and 8 feet W. Here we came upon a second boulder buried in the sand, also drilled. From that boulder we measured 20 feet N. E. whick-brouehtjis-to thejnouth-of -a little brook, splashing over white and colored pebbles out of a green arcade of brilliant trees and bushes ablaze with blossoms. The "coco palm" of the chart had vanished. Caribbean hurricanes, natural decay, insects could account for that But tnere sure enough were gray and almost petrified roots that might have been w . ' MIA H. P. now drew out his "dowser," or divining rod. ' i' , . . "If there's anything here, this'U find It," he declared. Slowly quartering the ground, he cast around gradually widening the circles he paced about the palm roots. Suddenly, his rod violently dipped downward. "Here it is," he roared. I drove in a stake. We plunged our picks in the earth, digging like demons. Sand flew until the hole was surrounded ; by a respectable heap. , "Hi! What's this?" H. P. danced in the hole, brushing dirt, from something. It was a bit 6f rotted wood. "I'll swear that's black oak," he said slowly. Frantically we spaded up a layer of the stuff, rotted and soft with age. insects fastened on us, but we didn't even notice their stings. Below the wood we found a layer of compact brown fiber. Probably cocoanut husk put there to keep water from whatever was below. We ripped that fiber out like madmen and my pick drove deep into the earth and jarred on something that made me howl with the sudden unexpectedness of the shocli. "It's iron," I gasped as soon as my teeth went off ' ' "Now careful, careful. Must go steady," soothed H. P., who was shaking like a leaf. Delicately we enlarged the hole until we had cleared the top of a chest banded with iron. "Got it!" he howled. , Then his smile faded "Look!" " ..-.v.''1 ,- The sand around the box was filling with water. "Quick, get it out!" We jumped into the hole and gripped Iron loop handles in the top of the chest We jerked madly. Something gave way beneath our feet - The top of the chest came away, the sides seemed to cave in l'ke a concertina; water welled tip in a strong flood. We barely had time to scramble out of the excavation when a great hole gaped at our feet; the chest crashed into utter blackness and disappeared. 1 We stood like fools, the' lid of the chest in our ' hands ; the rest of the chest and its contents dropped into some subterranean cave. We dropped a plummet and line In the hole and found no bottom at .two hundred and fifty feet "Oh, well," said H. P. "It's the luck of the game, I suppose. Have some rum."; He held out (Continued on Page 15) "Caesax Snatched Bis Knife and Reached Down for the Terrified Captain Flood, Who Was Banging on ' to the Treasure Chest. Flood Gave a Convulsive Bound and Gripped Caesar About One Ankle. Then Was a WUd Yell as the Two Men, Locked Together, Went Flashing Down the Precipice. After Them the Great Chest Fell, Crashed on the Ledge and Burst Open, and Gold Cups, Coins and Jewels' Danced In the Surf Until the Cleansing Sea Came In and Covered the" Broken Bodice and the Treasure,"

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