This is the story of the buried treasure on Money Island, which lies in Greenville Sound, not far from Wilmington, North Carolina. It was told by Mr. Jonathan Landstone many years ago, and is a part of another story which follows, and which will explain something further about the mysterious little island that blinks in the sunlight and tries to hide its secret. The words are Mr. Landstone's and were written by him, to make sure that the story would be told correctly when the time came to publish it.
(Mr. Landstone's MS.)
My grandfather lived in Charleston, S.C. My home is in Philadelphia. In my boyhood I visited him several times. He was a fine old man, and was very fond of me. He used to tell me many stories of the good old colonial days. He said his father was a pirate; but that pirates in those days were gentlemen. Although they made game of the King's revenue on the high seas, it was regarded as nothing very wrong; and, although they played havoc with the Spanish shipping, it was but the assertion of a time-honored right of Englishmen, who never did love Spaniards. They were, many of them, ingloriously hanged, it is true, but it was by the King's officers, and not by the people.
However, not to defend pirates, or indeed to condemn them, I will tell you what my grandfather narrated about his father, who was Capt. John Redfield. He was a gallant seaman, who consorted with Charles Vane and other doughty corsairs of those days of romance upon the seas.
When Captain Kidd forsook the King's commission to run down the pirates on the American coast, and organized his formidable squadron, Captain Redfield was chosen as his trusted counsellor, to accompany the brilliant leader on his adventures. He gave up his own ship, and was with Captain Kidd on many voyages, being entrusted with many a commission of importance.
One fine spring morning, while off the Carolina coast, Captain Kidd was pacing his deck, enjoying the warm splendor of the early sunshine. He had just returned from a successful voyage among the Spanish colonies of the south, and was gaily attired after the manner of a Spanish cavalier. He wore a cocked hat, decked with a yellow band and a black plume, and a coat of black velvet which reached down to his knees. His trousers were blue, and were adorned by large golden knee-buckles. He wore massive silver buckles on his shoes. With his well-proportioned body, neatly trimmed beard, and steady, alert eyes, he presented as fine a picture of a man as could have anywhere been found. His manner had the dignity and repose of a beneficent prince, as he gave his orders for the day and received the salutations of his men.
The ship had passed the Cape of Fear, and was making in towards the shore-line, which Captain Kidd was observing with great interest. Some near-by point was evidently the destination. At length, at his orders, the sails were lowered and the anchor dropped. "We will lie here to-day," he remarked, "and have a little rest."
This information met the ready approbation of the men, who soon disposed themselves in careless groups about the ship....