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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 236

A spot near the Piscataqua River was another hiding-place, and early in this century the ground was dug over, two of the seekers plying pick and spade, while another stood within the circle they had drawn about the spot and loudly read the Bible. Presently their implements clicked on an iron chest, but it slid sideway into the ground as they tried to uncover it, and at last an interruption occurred that caused them to stop work so long that when they went to look for it again it had entirely disappeared. This diversion was the appearance of a monster horse that flew toward them from a distance without a sound, but stopped short at the circle where the process of banning fiends was still going on, and, after grazing and walking around them for a time, it dissolved into air.

Kidd's plug is a part of the craggy steep known as Cro' Nest, on the Hudson. It is a projecting knob, like a bung closing an orifice, which is believed to conceal a cavern where the redoubtable captain placed a few barrels of his wealth. Though it is two hundred feet up the cliff, inaccessible either from above or below, and weighs many tons, still, as pirates and devils have always been friendly, it may be that the corking of the cave was accomplished with supernatural help, and that if blasts or prayers ever shake the stone from its place a shower of doubloons and diamonds may come rattling after it.

The shore for several hundred feet around Dighton Rock, Massachusetts, has been examined, for it was once believed that the inscriptions on it were cut by Kidd to mark the place of burial for part of his hoard.

The Rock Hill estate, Medford, Massachusetts, was plagued by a spectre that some thought to be that of a New Hampshire farmer who was robbed and murdered there, but others say it is the shade of Kidd, for iron treasure chests were found in the cellar that behaved like that on the Piscataqua River, sinking out of sight whenever they were touched by shovels.

Misery Islands, near Salem, Massachusetts, were dug over, and under spiritual guidance, too, for other instalments of Mr. Kidd's acquisitions, but without avail.

It takes no less than half a dozen ghosts to guard what is hidden in Money Hill, on Shark River, New Jersey, so there must be a good deal of it. Some of these guardians are in sailor togs, some in their mouldy bones, some peaceable, some noisy with threats and screams and groans—a "rum lot," as an ancient mariner remarked, who lives near their graves and daytime hiding-places. Many heirlooms are owned by Jerseymen hereabout that were received from Kidd's sailors in exchange for apple-jack and provisions, and two sailor-looking men are alleged to have taken a strong-box out of Money Hill some years ago, from which they abstracted two bags of gold. After that event the hill was dug over with great earnestness, but without other result to the prospectors than the cultivation of their patience.


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