I’ve always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt – Part 47

Here’s the thing…

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.

Once again there’s a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.

“A hundred square miles, that must have run up the coast close to Patterson’s Reach?” I asked.

Patterson’s reach was about five miles to the north, a small town, where there was little fishing done and allegedly a lot of ferrying drugs being dropped off by large ships coming along the offshore shipping lanes.  No one could prove it, and every trap set by the coast guard had failed to find any evidence.  That meant that someone was tipping them off.

It was also the domain of the Cossatino’s who discouraged anyone else from living there.  It was said that Cossatino owned all of the lands the town sat on and the people who lived there worked for him.

“Only as far as Patterson’s reach and then inland for about 20 miles, about as far as the Faultline and perhaps the closest point between the foothills and the sea.  Ormiston had bought all the land thinking that the treasure was buried on it.  You see, he had a map too, long before Boggs senior had started forging them for the Cossatino’s.”

And in hearing that it begged the question, who had first found the original map?  If Cossatino found it, then getting Boggs senior to forge a lot of useless maps would hide where it really was.

What if Boggs ‘original’ map was yet another elaborate forgery, given to him by Cossatino to create others?  I put that thought to one side.

I wondered if Boggs had been to see her, to get some background.  If there was going to be an expert on the treasure, if it existed or not, she would know.  In fact, she probably knew old man Ormiston.

“Does that map still exist?”

“Perhaps.  It was not found in his effects after he died.  Spent his last years in an asylum.  It wasn’t not finding the treasure, or losing his fortune that sent him mad, it was Alzheimer’s, poor old man.  Whatever documents that were found when his relatives cleaned the place out were brought to the library to be stored, cataloged at some point, and one day when someone decides to write a history of the area, no doubt they want to see the collection.”

“I couldn’t look at the papers?”

“Are you interested in writing a local history.  I’m sure your hunt for the treasure and the many fruitless other expeditions looking for it would make a very entertaining chapter.”

“Maybe I will.”

If that was what it took to look at the documents.  There might be something interesting to be found.  Especially if he kept a diary.  I thought it best not to ask, and fuel suspicions.

“Elmer said there might be relations of Ormiston still around here?”

“Yes, I did say that which I now regret.  There are, but I don’t know who they are.  I knew his wife’s family name was Maunchen, and that the Maunchens came from California originally, and there’s nothing to say they didn’t go back.  Certainly, the wife would be deceased by now, and they had three daughters, all of whom would have married, and changed names.  You’d have to go digging through wedding records in at least a dozen parishes.  If you were thinking of investigating.”

“Sound like too much hard work.  Besides, the treasure doesn’t; exist.  I’m only helping Boggs to keep him from doing something stupid.”

“Like father, like son, unfortunately.  You do realize the father made some outlandish claim in the hotel one night that he had found the clue to where the treasure was buried.   Trouble was, he was prone to making outlandish claims, and by that time, a drunkard.  He went missing the next day, and has never been seen since.”

“You think he found it?”

“No.  But I’m guessing someone thought he had and killed him trying to find out.  We’ll never know.”

“A lesson to be learned then.  I’ll keep an eye on Boggs junior just in case he’s thinking of making an equally outlandish claim.”

“You do that.”

She opened a drawer and pulled out a form and handed it to me.

“What’s this for?”

“A request to look at the archives.  You have to register, and I have to give you a special card, the key to the history of Arkwon County.”

Where it said signature, I signed it.

“You fill out the rest.  When do you want me to pick up the card?”

“Monday next week.  In the meantime, be careful.”

She said it like she knew I would be walking into trouble.

© Charles Heath 2020

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