List Of Contents | Contents of Black Bartlemy's Treasure by Jeffrey
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"O wonderful!" she cried.

"Nay, it is not done yet!" says I, a little shamefaced.

"And how may I help you?"

"Watch me work."

"Indeed and I will keep your fire going.  So come let us begin."

Our meal done, I gathered twigs for kindling and a great pile of
driftwood of which was no lack, and with small boulders I builded
a fireplace against the cliff where we soon had a fire drawing
merrily, wherein I set my precious piece of timber.  Having
charred it sufficiently I found it an easy matter to break out
the iron bolts and nails; five of them there were of from four to
eight inches in length, and though the ends were much corroded by
the sea, there yet remained enough sound iron for my purpose. 
And now, my bolts ready for the fire, I began to look for some
stone that might serve me for hammer, and my companion likewise. 
Suddenly, as I sought and mighty diligent, I heard her cry out to
me, and beholding her leaning in the cave mouth, all pale and
trembling, came running:

"What is't?" cries I, struck by the horror of her look.

"O Martin!" she gasped.  "O Martin--'tis in there--all huddled--
in the darkest corner!  And I--I slept with it--beside me all
night!"  Coming within the cave I looked whither her shaking hand
pointed and saw what I took at first for a monstrous egg and
beyond this the staves of a small barrel; then, bending nearer, I
saw these were the skull and ribs of a man.  And this man had
died very suddenly, for the skeleton lay face down one bony arm
folded under him, the other wide-tossed, and the skull, shattered
behind, showed a small, round hole just above and betwixt the
cavernous eye-sockets; about the ribs were the mouldering remains
of a leathern jerkin girt by a broad belt wherein was a knife and
a rusty sword; but that which pleased me mightily was a thing
still fast-clenched in these bony fingers, and this no other than
a heavy hatchet.  So, disturbing these poor bones as little as
need be, I took the hatchet and thereafter sword and knife; and
then, turning to go, stopped all at once, for tied about the bony
neck by a leathern thong I espied a shrivelled parchment. 
Wondering, I took this also, and coming without the cave, found
my companion leaning as I had left her and very shaky.

"O Martin!" says she, shivering, "and I slept within touch of

"But you slept very well and he, poor soul, is long past harming
you or any."  So saying I smoothed out the crackling parchment
and holding it in her view, saw this writ very bold and clear:

"Benjamin Galbally
Slain of necessity June 20, 1642
This for a sign to like Rogues.

"Adam Penfeather."

"Will this be our Adam Penfeather, Martin?"

"Indeed," says I, "there is methinks but one Adam Penfeather in
this world, the which is just as well, mayhap."

"Then he murdered this poor man?"

"Why the fellow had this hatchet in his fist, it hath lain
rusting in his grasp all these years, methinks his blow came
something too late!  Though he must be mighty quick who'd
outmatch Penfeather, I guess.  No, this man I take it died in
fight.  Though why Adam must set this placard about the poor
rogue's neck is beyond me."

"Let us go away, Martin.  This is an evil place."

"It is!" says I, glancing at the great pimento tree that marked
the grave of the poor Spanish lady and Black Bartlemy.  "Truly we
will seek out another habitation and that at once.  Howbeit, I
have gotten me my hammer."  And I showed her the hatchet, the
which, unlike the ordinary boarding-axe, was furnished with a
flat behind the blade, thus:

(Line drawing of the hatchet.)



Seeing my companion so anxious to be gone, I left my fire to burn
out and, giving her my hand, forthwith turned my back on this
place of death, nor sorry to do it.

Following the base of the cliff we found an opening in the rock
vaulted and arched by nature so that it was of white sands,
bordering the lagoon, the which we there and then agreed to call
"Deliverance" in memory of our escape.  What with the soft sand
and scattered rocks it was ill-going for my companion, but though
she limped painfully she held bravely on nevertheless, being of a
mighty resolute mind as this narrative will show.

Now as we went slowly thus, I pointed out caves a-plenty and very
proper to our purpose, but she would have none of them and was
forever lifting her eyes to the cliffs and tree-clad, greeny
slopes beyond.

"Let us seek above," says she, "where there be trees and mayhap
flowers, for, Martin, I do love trees."

"Nay but," says I, "none save a bird or a goat may climb yonder."

"Let us be patient and seek a way, Martin."

"And you all bruised and lame!"

"Nay, I am very well and--see yonder!"  Looking whither she would
have me, I saw, beyond this great jutting rock, a green opening
in the cliffs with a gentle ascent.

"O Martin!" cries she, stopping suddenly, "O Martin, 'tis like
England, 'tis like one of our dear Kentish lanes!"  And indeed so
it was, being narrow and grassy and shady with trees, save that
these were such trees as never grew on English soil.

"Let us go, Martin, let us go!"

So we began the ascent and (despite the blazing sun) the slope
being gradual, found it easier than it had looked.  On we went,
and though she often stumbled she made nought of it nor stayed
until we were come to a green level or plateau, whence the ground
before us trended downwards to a wondrous fertile little valley
where ran a notable stream 'twixt reedy banks; here also bloomed
flowers, a blaze of varied colours; and beyond these again were
flowery thickets a very maze of green boskages besplashed with
the vivid colour of flower or bird, for here were many such birds
that flew hither and thither on gaudy wings, and filling the air
with chatterings and whistlings strange to be heard.

Now beholding all this, my companion sank to the ground and sat
very still and silent like one rapt in pleasing wonder.

"O!" says she at last and very softly.  "Surely here is an
earthly paradise, O Martin, the beauty of it!"

"Yet these flowers have no smell!" says I.  "And for these gaudy
birds I would give them all for one honest English robin or
sweet-throated black bird!"

But she, chin in hand, sat a-gazing upon this prospect as she
would never tire.  As for me, I began to look around and, the
more I looked, the better I liked this place, pleasantly shaded
as it was by trees and affording from this eminence a wide view
of the sea, the lagoon, and Deliverance Beach below.  Moreover, I
heard near by the pleasant sound of falling water and, drawn by
this, came to a flowery thicket, and forcing my way through,
paused suddenly, as well I might, for before me, set in the face
of a rock, was a door.  All askew it hung and grown over with a
riot of weed and vines; and behind the weatherworn timber I saw
the gloom of a cavern.

Approaching this door I found it built with ship's timbers
exceeding stout and strong, joined by great battens clamped with
bolts and nails, and in the midst a loophole; and besides this I
saw divers shot-marks in these timbers the which set me a-
wondering.  Now having my hatchet in hand, I set about cutting
away bush and vines, and forcing wide the door (the which swung
'twixt great beams like jambs, clamped to the rock) I stepped
into the cool dimness beyond.  The place was irregular of shape
but very spacious and lighted by a narrow, weed-choked crevice
high up that admitted a soft, greeny glow very pleasing after the
glare of the sun; by which light I perceived that from this cave
two smaller caves opened.  Now seeing this place had once been
the abode of some poor castaway, I sought high and low in hopes
of finding something to our use if no more than a broken cup, but
came on nothing save the ruin of a small table; the place was
bare as my hand.  I was yet busied in my fruitless search when
comes my companion all pleased-eyed wonderment.

"Why, 'tis as good as any cottage!" cries she.

"And better than some," says I, "for here is no thatch to leak
and no windows to break and let in the rain!"

"O Martin, for a broom!" says she, looking around upon the floor
ankle-deep in dead leaves, twigs and the like.  "O for a broom!"

"These leaves be well enough--"

"But better for a broom, Martin."

"Why then, a broom you shall have," says I, and coming without
the cave I cut twigs sufficient to my purpose, and divers lengths
of vine, very strong and tough, and therewith bound my twigs
about a stick I had trimmed for a handle; whiles she, sitting
upon a great stone that lay hard by, watched me with mighty

"You are very clever, Martin!" says she.

"'Tis very rough, I doubt."

"I have seen many a worse broom used in England, Martin."

"Why, 'twill serve, mayhap."

"'Tis excellent!" says she, and taking the broom from me away she
limps with it forthwith and I, standing without the cave,
presently heard her sweeping away (despite her bruises) and
singing sweet as any mounting lark.  I now set out to bring away
such things as I had left behind, as my iron and the turtle-shell
(the which I held of more account than all the jewels in Adam's
treasure) and on my way stopped to cut a stout, curved branch
that I thought might furnish me a powerful bow; and another that,
bladed with iron, should become a formidable spear.  Though why
my mind should run to weapons of offence seeing that the island,
so far as I knew, was deserted, and no wild beasts, I know not. 
Reaching Deliverance Sands I paused to look about me for such
pieces of driftwood as might serve us, and came on several full
of nails and bolts; some of these timbers being warped with age
and others comparatively new.  And looking on these poor remains
of so many noble ships and thinking of the numberless poor souls
that had manned them and gone to their account, I could not but
feel some awe for these storm-rent timbers as I handled them. 
And presently as I laboured I spied a piece new-painted, and
dragging it forth from sand and seaweed, knew it for the gunwale
of our own boat.  This put me in great hopes that I might come
upon some of our stores, but, though I sought diligently then and
for days after, I never found anything but this poor fragment. 
Having laid by such timbers as shewed iron of any sort, I went my
way and so at last reached our first shelter.  And what should I
espy upon a ledge of rock just above me but a goat; for a moment
the creature blinked at me, chewing busily, then scrambled to its
feet; but in that instant I caught up a heavy stone that chanced
handy and hurled it; the poor beast bleated once, and rolling
down the rock thudded at my feet, where I despatched it with my
knife.  My next care was to skin it, which unlovely task I made
worse by my bungling, howbeit it was done at last and I reeking
of blood and sweat.  None the less I persevered and, having
cleaned the carcass I cut therefrom such joints as might satisfy
our immediate needs, and setting them in my turtle-shell with my
irons, hung up the carcass within the coolest part of the cave
out of reach of any prowling beast.  This done, I went down to
the lagoon and laved my arms and hands and face, cleansing myself
as well as I might, and so, taking my well-laden turtle-shell
under one arm and the reeking skin beneath the other, I set off. 
Now it was mid-day and the sun very hot, insomuch that the sweat
poured from me, and more than once I must needs pause to moisten
my hair to keep off the heat.  At last, espying a palmetto that
grew adjacent, I made shift to get me a leaf, whereof, with twigs
to skewer and shape it, I made me the semblance of a hat and so
tramped on again.  Being come to the plateau I set down my
burdens, very thankful for the kindly shade and the sweet, cool
wind that stirred up here, and turned to find my companion
regarding me pale-cheeked and with eyes wide and horror-struck.

"Why, what now?" says I taking a step towards her; but seeing how
she shrank away I paused and, glancing down at myself, saw my
clothes all smirched with the blood of the goat.  "How, is it
this?" says I.  "Well, a little blood is no great matter!"  But
she still eyeing me mightily askance I grew angry.  "Ha!" quoth
I, "You'll be thinking doubtless of the murders aboard ship and
my bloody jerkin?  Why then, madam, think and grow as wise as you
may!"  Saying which I strode off; and thus I presently heard the
soothing sound of falling water, yet look where I might could see
none save that in the little valley below.  Being direly athirst
I began to seek for this unseen rill, and little by little was
led up a steep, bush-grown acclivity until, all at once, I found
myself in a right pleasant place; for here, all set about with
soft mosses, fern and flowers, I beheld a great oval basin or
rocky hollow some twelve feet across and brim-full of pellucid
water through which I might see the bottom carpeted with mosses
and in this water my image mirrored; and what with the blood that
fouled me, my shaggy hair and beard and the shapeless thing upon
my head, an ill-enough rogue I looked.

This pool was fed by a little rill that gurgled down from rocks
above and, having filled the basin, flowed out through a wide
fissure and down the cliff to lose itself amid flowery banks
'twixt which it ran bubbling joyously to meet the river.  And
now, having satisfied my thirst and found the water very sweet
and cool, I stripped and bathing me in this pool, found great
solace and content, insomuch that (to my great wonder) I
presently found myself whistling like any boy.  At last I got me
forth mightily refreshed, and that the wind and sun might dry me,
strove to cleanse my garments, but finding it a thankless task I
got dressed at last, but my chain-shirt I left folded beside the
pool and I much more comfortable therefor.

Following the dancing rill, I clambered down the rocks and so
into the little valley where ran the stream.  Fording this, I
came amid thickets where was a glory of flowers of all colours,
but one in especial I noticed, white and trumpet-shaped.  And
here I was often stayed by quickset and creeping plants, their
stems very pliant and strong and of the bigness of my little
finger.  On went I haphazard through a green twilight of leaves,
for here (as hath been said) were many trees both great and
small, some of which were utterly strange to me, but others I
knew for cocos-palms, plantain and bread-fruit, the which
rejoiced me greatly; and hereabouts I found growing great bunches
of black fruit like to grapes, though smaller, and which I would
not dare touch until, seeing divers birds peck at them, I
ventured to taste and found them excellent.  So, gathering some
of these to stay my hunger I pressed on, despite the heat, for
from somewhere before me was the roar of great waters, and forced
me a passage with my hatchet until this denser wood gave place to
a grove of mighty palm trees, and beyond these I came suddenly
upon a great, barren rock that overhung a lake, whose dark waters
were troubled by a torrent hard by that poured into it with a

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