List Of Contents | Contents of Black Bartlemy's Treasure by Jeffrey
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whispered all about us.

"Why, 'tis airy and very dry!"

"And very dark by day, Martin."

"True enough!  Still 'tis a wondrous place--"

"O very, Martin, only I like it not at all."

"Why then, the bed, the bed should serve you handsomely."

"No!" says she, mighty vehement.  "You shall make me a better an
you will, or I will do with my bed of fern."

"Well then, this pot--here is noble iron pot for you, at least!"

"Why yes," says she, smiling to see me all chapfallen, "'tis
indeed a very good pot, let us bring it away with us, though
indeed I could do very well without it."

"Lord!" says I gloomily.  "Here have I found you all these goodly
things, not to mention chair and table, thinking to please you
and instead--"

"I know, Martin, forgive me, but I love not the place nor
anything in it.  I am very foolish belike, but so it is."  And
here she must needs shiver.  "As to these things, the bed, the
chair and table and the shelves yonder, why you can contrive
better in time, Martin; and by your thought and labour they will
be doubly ours, made by you for our two selves and used by none
but us."

"True," says I, greatly mollified, "but this pot now, I can never
make you so brave a pot as this."

"Why, very well, Martin," says she smiling at my earnestness,
"bring it and let us begone."  So I reached down the pot and
espied therein a long-barrelled pistol; whipping it out, I blew
off the dust and saw 'twas primed and loaded and with flint in
place albeit very rusty.  I was yet staring at this when my lady
gives a little soft cry of pleasure and comes to me with somewhat
hidden behind her.

"Martin," says she, "'tis a good place after all, for see--see
what it hath given you!" and she shewed me that which I had
yawned for so bitterly, viz. a good, stout saw.  Tossing aside
the pistol, I took it eagerly enough, and, though it was rusty, a
very serviceable tool I found it to be.

"Ha, comrade!" says I, "Now shall you have a chair with arms, a
cupboard, and a bed fit to lie on.  Here is all the furniture you
may want!"

"And now," says she, "let us begone, if you would have your
supper, Martin."  So I followed her through the little tunnel
and, having lowered her on to the table, gave her the pot and
then (albeit she was mighty unwilling) turned back, minded to
bring away the firelock and pistol and any such odds and ends as
might serve me.

Reaching the cave, I heard again the dismal groans and wailing,
but much louder than before, and coming to the door, saw it
opened on a steep declivity of rock wherein were rough steps or
rather notches that yet gave good foothold; so I began to descend
this narrow way, my candle before me, and taking vast heed to my
feet, but as I got lower the rock grew moist and slimy so that I
was half-minded to turn back; but having come this far,
determined to see where it might bring me, for now, from the
glooms below, I could hear the soft lapping of water.  Then all
at once I stopped and stood shivering (as well I might), for
immediately beneath me I saw a narrow ledge of rock and beyond
this a pit, black and noisome, and full of sluggish water.

For a long while (as it seemed) I stared down (into this water)
scarce daring to move lest I plunge into this dreadful abyss
where the black water, lapping sluggishly, made stealthy menacing
noises very evil to hear.  At last I turned about (and mighty
careful) and so made my ways up and out of this unhallowed place
more painfully than I had come.  Reaching the cave at last (and
very thankful) I sought to close the door, but found it to resist
my efforts.  This but made me the more determined to shut out
this evil place with its cold-breathing air, and I began to
examine this door to discover the reason of its immobility.  Now
this (as I have said) was a narrow door and set betwixt jambs and
with lintel above very strong and excellent well contrived; but
as I lifted my candle to view it better I stopped all at once to
stare up at a something fixed midway in this lintel, a strange
shrivelled black thing very like to a great spider with writhen
legs updrawn; and now, peering closer, I saw this was a human
hand hacked off midway 'twixt wrist and elbow and skewered to the
lintel by a great nail.  And as I stood staring up at this evil
thing, from somewhere in the black void beyond the door rose a
long, agonised wailing that rose to a bubbling shriek; and though
I knew this for no more than some trick of the wind, I felt my
flesh tingle to sudden chill.  Howbeit I lifted my candle higher
yet, and thus saw beneath this shrivelled, claw-like hand a
parchment nailed very precisely at its four corners, though black
with dust.  Wiping this dust away I read these words, very fair
writ in bold, clear characters:




In a while I turned from this hateful thing, and coming to the
bed began to examine the huddle of goatskins, and though full of
dust and something stiff, found them little the worse for their
long disuse; the same applied equally to the sailcloth, the
which, though yellow, was still strong and serviceable.  Reaching
the firelock from the corner I found it to be furnished with a
snaphaunce or flintlock, and though very rusty, methought cleaned
and oiled it might make me a very good weapon had I but powder
and shot for it.  But the bandoliers held in all but two poor
charges, which powder I determined to keep for the pistol. 
Therefore I set the musket back in the corner, and doing so
espied a book that lay open and face down beneath the bedstead. 
Taking it up I wiped off the dust, and opening this book at the
first page I came on this:




Hereupon, perceiving in it many charts and maps together with a
plan of the island very well drawn, I thrust it into my bosom,
and hearing my lady calling me, took pistol and bandolier and so
to supper.

Thus amidst howling storm and tempest we sat down side by side to
sup, very silent for the most part by reason of this elemental
strife that raged about our habitation, filling the world with
awful stir and clamour.

But in a while seeing her so downcast and with head a-droop I
must needs fall gloomy also, and full of a growing bitterness.

"Art grieving for England?" says I at last, "Yearning for home
and friends and some man belike that loves and is beloved again!"

"And why not, Martin?"

"Because 'tis vain."

"And yet 'twould be but natural."

"Aye indeed," says I gloomily and forgetting my supper, "for
contrasting all you have lost, home and friends and love, with
your present evil plight here in this howling wilderness, 'tis
small wonder you weep."

"But I am not weeping!" says she, flushing.

"Yet you well may," quoth I, "for here are you at the world's end
and with none but myself for company."

"Why, truly here is good cause for tears!" says she, flashing her
eyes at me.

"Aye!" I nodded.  "'Tis a pity Fate hath chosen you so ill a

"Indeed and so it is!" says she, and turns her back on me.  And
so we sat awhile, she with her back to me and I gloomy and
despondent hearkening to the howling of the wind.

"You eat no supper!" says I at last.

"Neither do you!"

"I am not hungry!"

"Nor I!"

Myself (speaking after some while, humbly):  Have I angered you?

She:  Mightily!

Myself:  Aye, but how?

She:  By your idle, foolish talk, for if I grow thoughtful
sometimes why must you ever dream me repining against my lot? 
To-night, hearkening to this dreadful tempest I was full of
gratitude to God that He had brought us to this safe harbourage
and set me in your companionship.  And if my heart cry out for
England sometimes 'tis because I do love England.  Yet my days
here are too full of labour for vain grieving and my labour, like
my sleep, is joy to me.  And there is no man I love in England--
or anywhere else.

Myself (and more humbly than ever):  Why then I pray you forgive
me, comrade.

At this she looks at me over her shoulder, frowning and a little

"For indeed," says I, meeting this look, "I would have you know
me ever as your comrade to serve you faithfully, seeking only
your friendship and nought beyond; one you may trust unfearing
despite my ungentle ways."

And now I saw her frown was vanished quite, her eyes grown
wondrous gentle and her lips curving to a smile; and so she
reached out her hand to me.

And thus we two poor, desolate souls found great solace and
comfort in each other's companionship, and hearkening to the roar
of this mighty tempest felt the bonds of our comradeship only
strengthened thereby.

When my lady was gone to bed I, remembering Adam's journal, took
it out, and drawing the candle nearer fell to examining the book
more closely.  It was a smallish volume but very thick, and with
very many close-written pages, its stout leathern covers battered
and stained, and an ill-looking thing I thought it; but opening
it haphazard, I forgot all save the words I read (these written
in Adam's small clerkly hand) for I came on this:

May 10.--Glory be and thanks unto that Providence hath been my
salvation and poured upon unworthy me His blessing in that I this
day have fought and killed this murderous rogue and detestable
pirate, Roger Tressady.

Here followed divers accounts of his labours, his discovery of
these caves and many cunning devices day by day until I came on

May 28.--To-day a storm-beat pinnace standing in for my island,
and in it Abnegation Mings and divers others of Bartlemy's
rogues, survivors (as I judge) of that cursed ship "Lady's
Delight."  They landed, being fifteen in all and I in great fear
and distress therefore.  They leaving their boat unwatched I
stole thither and to my great joy found therein a watch-coat and
bonnet, 3 muskets, 2 swords, 5 pistols with powder and shot, all
of which did hide among the rocks adjacent (a cunning hiding-
place) where I may fetch them at my leisure, Providence aiding.

May 29.--This day 1 hour before dawn secured arms, powder, etc.,
and very grateful therefore.

May 30.--To-day set about strengthening and fortifying my door
since, though Roger Tressady is dead, there be other rogues yet
to slay, their evil minds being full of lust for Black Bartlemy's
Treasure and my blood.  And these their names:

A true list of these rogues each and every known to me aforetime
in Tortuga, viz.:

My enemies.                My equipment against the same.

Abnegation Mings (Mate of  A determined mind.
  the "Vengeance" galley)  3 Musquets with powder and shot
Benjamin Galbally            a-plenty.
Jasper Vokes               2 Swords.
Juliano Bartolozzi         1 Axe.
Benjamin Denton            2 Pikes.
Pierre Durand              5 Pistols.
John Ford                  A chain-shirt.
James Ballantyne
Izaac Pym
Robert Ball
William Loveday
Daniel Marston
Ebenezer Phips
A boy and one woman.

June 1.--This day, waked by a shot and the sounds of lewd
brawling, I to my lookout and mighty alarmed.  Upon the sands a
fire and thereby a woman and 6 or 7 of these rogues fighting for
her.  She, poor soul, running to escape falls shot and they to
furious fight.  But my hopes of their destroying each other and
saving me this labour vain by reason of Abnegation Mings bringing
them to accord.  Thereafter they to drinking and singing of this
lewd piratical rant of theirs.  Whereupon I tried a shot at them
with my long-barrelled arquebus to no purpose.  Have made me some
ink and do answer very well.

June 2.--Went a-hunting three of my destroyers, viz. the rogues
Galbally, Vokes and Bartalozzi.  But they well-armed and keeping
always in company did no more than harm Vokes in the leg by a
bullet, and so to my fort and mighty downcast.  Began to make
myself a chair with arms.  This day also wrote me out divers
parchments thus:




and of these parchments 13 (the boy being already dead), with
every rogue his name fair writ that they might know me for man of
my word and leave me and my treasure in peace.

June 3.--The weather hot and I out after my bloodthirsty enemies. 
Came on the French rogue Durand and him sleeping.  Removed his
firearms and kicked him awake.  He to his sword and I to mine. 
Took him in quarte at the third passado through the right eye--a
shrewd thrust.  Tied a parchment about his neck and so to my
refuge very full of gratitude.

June 4.--To-day, guided by Providence, surprised Izaac Pym
gorging himself on wild grapes.  Spying me he whips out his
pistol, but I fired first.  Tied a parchment about his neck and
so left him.

June 5.--Evil days for me since these murderous rogues keep ever
together now and on their watch against me day and night.  My
great chair finished and all I could wish it.

June 9.--This night the moon full they assaulted my fort with
huge halloo and many shot, battering my door with a great log for
ram.  But I shooting one and wounding others they left me in

June 10.--All this day ventured not abroad fearing an ambuscado. 
And lighting a fire within my inner cave the smoke showed me how
I might hide from my bloodthirsty foes an need be.

June 11.--My would-be slayers camped all about my refuge and
howling for my blood, though keeping well out of my line of fire. 
So I to making me a ladder of ropes whereby to come at my new-
found sanctuary.  Determine to make this my bedchamber.

June 12.--My cruel enemies yet raging about me ravening for my
blood and I very fearful.  Have taken down my bed to set it
within my secret chamber.

June 13.--This morning early the rogue Benjamin Denton, venturing
within my fire-zone, took a bullet in his midriff, whereof he
suddenly perished.

June 14.--This morning having gotten all my furniture into my
secret chamber do find myself very comfortable.  But my stores
beginning to run low do put myself on half-rations.

June 15.--My murderers very silent with intent to lure me to my
death but I--

The rest of this page was so stained and blotted that I could
make nothing of it save a word or phrase here and there as:

..secret pass...pit of black water and very...fear of
death...head over my chin so that I...miserably
wet...on hands and knees being determined...wonderful beyond
thought for here...tlemy's Treasure...very great...this gold I
saw was...emeralds, diamonds and...pearls a-many...through my any poor crazed soul.  For here was treasure
greater...moreover and wealth undreamed...shaft of...suddenly
...the valley...sore annoyed I stood to...he knelt...seeking the
water...turned...our knives...through my forearm but I...broke
short against my chain-shirt and I...beneath the armpit.  So back
by the secret way to bind up my hurt and behold again my

Here my candle dying out and I in the dark, I laid the book aside

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