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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 246

More than forty years after these events a meeting of Spiritualists was held in Columbia City, and a "medium" announced that she had received a revelation of the exact spot where the goods had been concealed. A company went to the place, and, after a search of several days, found, under a foot of soil, a quantity of broken stone. While throwing out these fragments one of the party fell dead. The spirit of the defrauded and murdered captain had claimed him, the medium explained. So great was the fright caused by this accident that the search was again abandoned until March, 1890, when another party resumed the digging, and after taking out the remainder of the stone they came on a number of human skeletons. During the examination of these relics—possibly the bones of mutineers who had been killed in the fight on shore—a man fell into a fit of raving madness, and again the search was abandoned, for it is now said that an immutable curse rests on the treasure.





STORIED WATERS, CLIFFS AND MOUNTAINS





MONSTERS AND SEA-SERPENTS

It is hardly to be wondered at that two prominent scientists should have declared on behalf of the sea-serpent, for that remarkable creature has been reported at so many points, and by so many witnesses not addicted to fish tales nor liquor, that there ought to be some reason for him. He has been especially numerous off the New England coast. He was sighted off Cape Ann in 1817, and several times off Nahant. Though alarming in appearance—for he has a hundred feet of body, a shaggy head, and goggle eyes—he is of lamb-like disposition, and has never justified the attempts that have been made to kill or capture him. Rewards were at one time offered to the seafaring men who might catch him, and revenue cutters cruising about Massachusetts Bay were ordered to keep a lookout for him and have a gun double shotted for action. One fisherman emptied the contents of a ducking gun into the serpent's head, as he supposed, but the creature playfully wriggled a few fathoms of its tail and made off. John Josselyn, gentleman, reports that when he stirred about this neighborhood in 1638 an enormous reptile was seen "quoiled up on a rock at Cape Ann." He would have fired at him but for the earnest dissuasion of his Indian guide, who declared that ill luck would come of the attempt. The sea-serpent sometimes shows amphibious tendencies and occasionally leaves the sea for fresh water. Two of him were seen in Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, in 1892, by four men. They confess, however, that they were fishing at the time. The snakes had fins and were a matter of fifty feet long.

When one of these reptiles found the other in his vicinage he raised his head six feet above water and fell upon him tooth and nail—if he had nails. In their struggles these unpleasant neighbors made such waves that the fishermen's boat was nearly upset.


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