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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 239

The four men did return, however, and lived by themselves amid the woods of Saugus, the gossips reporting that a beautiful woman had been seen in their company—the mistress of the pirate chief, for, of course, the mysterious quartette had followed the trade of robbery on the high seas. Three of these men were captured, taken to England, and hanged, but the fourth-Thomas Veale—escaped to a cavern in the wood, where, it was reputed, great treasures were concealed, and there he lived until the earthquake of 1658, when a rock fell from the roof of the cave, closing the entrance and burying the guilty man in a tomb where, it is presumed, he perished of thirst and hunger. Dungeon Rock, of Lynn, is the name that the place has borne ever since.

In 1852 Hiram Marble announced that he had been visited by spirits, who not only told him that the pirates' spoils were still in their olden hiding-place, but pointed out the spot where the work of excavation should begin. Aided by his son he tunnelled the solid granite for a distance of one hundred and thirty-five feet, the passage being seven feet high and seven wide. Whenever he was wearied the "mediums" that he consulted would tell him to make cuttings to the right or left, and for every fresh discouragement they found fresh work. For thirty years this task was carried on, both father and son dying without gaining any practical result, other than the discovery of an ancient scabbard in a rift. The heiress of the house of Marble alone reaped benefit from their labors, for-resuming on a petty scale the levies of the first dwellers in the rock—she boldly placarded the entrance to the workings "Ye who enter here leave twenty-five cents behind."

In several cases the chasms that have been caused by wear of water or convulsions of nature (their opposite sides being matched) were believed to have been hiding-places, but, in the old days in New England, it was believed that all such fractures were caused by the earthquake at the time of the crucifixion—a testimony of the power of God to shake sinners.

The Heart of Greylock is the name given to the crater-like recess, a thousand feet deep, in the tallest of the Berkshire peaks, but it was formerly best known as Money Hole, and the stream that courses through it as Money Brook, for a gang of counterfeiters worked in that recess, and there some spurious coinage may still be concealed. The stream is also known as Spectre Brook, for late wandering hunters and scouting soldiers, seeing the forgers moving to and fro about their furnaces, took them for ghosts.

Province Island, in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont, is believed to contain some of the profits of an extensive smuggling enterprise that was carried on near the lake for several years.

A little company of Spanish adventurers passed along the base of the Green Mountains early in the last century, expecting to return after having some dealings with the trading stations on the St. Lawrence; so they deposited a part of their gold on Ludlow Mountain, Vermont, and another pot of it on Camel's Hump. They agreed that none should return without his companions, but they were detained in the north and separated, some of them going home to Spain. Late in life the sole survivor of the company went to Camel's Hump and tried to recall where the treasure had been hidden, but in vain.


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