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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 241

A Spanish galleon, the Saints Joseph and Helena, making from Havana to Cadiz in 1753 was carried from her course by adverse winds and tossed against a reef, near New London, Connecticut, receiving injuries that compelled her to run into that port for repairs. To reach her broken ribs more easily her freight was put on shore in charge of the collector of the port, but when it was desired to ship the cargo again, behold! the quarter part of it had disappeared, none could say how. New London got a bad name from this robbery, and the governor, though besought by the assembly to make good the shortage, failed to do so, and lost his place at the next election. It was reputed that some of the treasure was buried on the shore by the robbers. In 1827 a woman who was understood to have the power of seership published a vision to a couple of young blades, who had paid for it, to the effect that hidden under one of the grass-grown wharves was a box of dollars. By the aid of a crystal pebble she received this really valuable information, but the pebble was not clear enough to reveal the exact place of the box. She could see, however, that the dollars were packed edgewise. When New London was sound asleep the young men stole out and by lantern-light began their work. They had dug to water-level when they reached an iron chest, and they stooped to lift it-but, to their amazement, the iron was too hot to handle! Now they heard deep growls, and a giant dog peered at them from the pit-mouth; red eyes flashed at them from the darkness; a wild-goose, with eyes of blazing green, hovered and screamed above them. Though the witch had promised them safety, nothing appeared to ward off the fantastic shapes that began to crowd about them. Too terrified to work longer they sprang out and made away, and when-taking courage from the sunshine—they renewed the search, next day, the iron chest had vanished.

On Crown Point, Lake Champlain, is the ruin of a fort erected by Lord Amherst above the site of a French work that had been thrown up in 1731 to guard a now vanished capital of fifteen hundred people. It was declared that when the French evacuated the region they buried money and bullion in a well, in the northwest corner of the bastion, ninety feet deep, in the full expectancy of regaining it, and half a century ago this belief had grown to such proportions that fifty men undertook to clear the well, pushing their investigations into various parts of the enclosure and over surrounding fields. They found quantities of lead and iron and no gold.

Follingsby's Pond, in the Adirondacks, was named for a recluse, who, in the early part of this century, occupied a lonely but strongly guarded cabin there. It was believed afterward that he was an English army officer, of noble birth, who had left his own country in disgust at having discovered an attachment between his wife and one of his fellow-officers. He died in a fever, and while raving in a delirium spoke of a concealed chest. A trapper, who was his only attendant in his last moments, dug over the ground floor of the hut and found a box containing a jewelled sword, costly trinkets, and letters that bore out the presumption of Follingsby's aristocratic origin. What became of these valuables after their exhumation is not known, and the existence of more has been suspected.


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