Read CHAPTER II of Our Pirate Hoard 1891 , free online book, by Thomas A. Janvier, on

I was glad to find, when I married Susan, that she believed in my destiny too. After talking the matter over quite seriously, we decided that the best thing for us to do was to go and live either in or near Lewes, so that my opportunities for investigation might be ample. I think, too, that Susan was pleased with the prospect of having a nice little house of our own, with a cow and peach-trees and chickens, where we could be very happy together. Moreover, she had notions about house-keeping, especially about house-keeping in the country, which she wanted to put into practice.

We found a confirmation of my destiny in the ease with which the preliminaries of my search were accomplished. The house that we wanted seemed to be there just waiting for us a little bit of a house, well out in the country, with a couple of acres of land around it, the peach-trees really growing, and a shed that the man said would hold a cow nicely. What I think pleased Susan most of all was a swallow’s nest under the eaves, with the mother swallow sitting upon a brood of dear little swallows, and the father swallow flying around chippering like anything.

“Just think of it!” said the dear child; “it is like living in a feudal castle, and having kestrels building their nests on the battlements.”

I did not check her sweet enthusiasm by asking her to name some particular feudal castle with a frieze of kestrels’ nests. I kissed her, and said that it was very like indeed.

Then we examined the cow-stable we thought it better to call it a cow-stable than a shed and I pulled out my foot-rule and measured it inside. It was a very little cow-stable, but, as Susan suggested, if we could not get a small grown-up cow to fit it, “we might begin with a young cow, and teach her, as she grew larger, to accommodate herself to her quarters by standing cat-a-cornered, like the man who used to carry oxen up a mountain.” Susan’s allusions are not always very clearly stated, though her meaning, no doubt, always is quite clear in her own mind. I may mention here that eventually we were so fortunate as to obtain a middle-sized cow that got along in the stable very well. We had a tidy colored girl who did the cooking and the rough part of the house-work, and who could milk like a steam-engine.

As soon as we got fairly settled in our little home I began to look for my great-great-great-uncle’s buried treasure, but I cannot say that at first I made much progress. I could not even find a trace of my great-great-great-uncle’s house in Lewes, and nobody seemed ever to have heard of him. One day, though, I was so fortunate as to encounter a very old man known generally about Lewes as Old Jacob who did remember “the old pirate,” as he irreverently called him, and who showed me where his house had been. The house had burned down when he was a boy seventy years back, he thought it was and across where it once had stood a street had been opened. This put a stop to my search in that direction. As Susan very justly observed, I could not reasonably expect the Lewes people to let me dig up their streets like a gas-piper just on the chance of finding my family fortune.

I was not very much depressed by this turn of events, for I was pretty certain in my own mind that my great-great-great-uncle had not buried his treasure on his own premises. The basis of this belief was the difficulty that must have been even greater in his time of transporting such heavy substances as gold and silver across the sandy region between Lewes and where the Martha Ann used to lie at anchor in Rehoboth Bay. I reasoned that, the burial being but temporary, my relative would have been much more likely to have interred his valuables at some point on the land only a short distance from the Martha Ann’s anchorage. When I mentioned this theory to Susan she seemed to be very much impressed by the common-sense of it, and as I have a great respect for Susan’s judgment, her acquiescence in my views strengthened my own faith in them.

To pursue my search in the neighborhood of Rehoboth Bay it was necessary that I should have the assistance of some person thoroughly familiar with the coast thereabouts. After thinking the matter over I decided that I could not do better than take Old Jacob into my confidence. So I got the old man out to the Swallow’s Nest that was the name that Susan had given our country place: only by the time that she had settled upon it the little swallows had grown up and the whole swallow family had gone away under pretence of seeing if the cow was all right (Old Jacob was a first-rate hand at cow doctoring), and while he was looking at the cow I told him all about the buried treasure, and how I wanted him to help me find it. When I put it in his head this way he remembered perfectly the story that used to be told about the old pirate’s mysteriously lost fortune, and he entered with a good deal of spirit into my project for getting it again. Of course I told him that if we did find it he should have a good slice of it for helping me. I told Susan that I had made this promise, and she said that I had done exactly right. So, after we had given him a good supper, Old Jacob went back to Lewes, promising that early the next week, after he had got through a job of boat-painting which he had on hand, he would go over with me, and we would begin operations on the bay. He seemed to think the case very promising. He said that when he was only a tot of a boy his father had pointed out to him the Martha Ann’s anchorage, and that he thought he could tell to within a cable’s length of where the schooner used to lie. I did not know how long a cable was, but from the tone in which Old Jacob spoke of it I judged that it must be short. I felt very well pleased with the progress that I was making, and when I told Susan all that Old Jacob had told me, she said that she looked upon the whole matter as being as good as settled. Indeed, she kept me awake quite a while that night while she sketched the outlines of the journey in Europe that we would take as soon as I could get my great-great-great-uncle’s treasure dug up, and its non-interest-bearing doubloons converted into interest-bearing bonds.