The Pirates Scalp - A Treasure Map

The pirates sailed north for a place to bury their treasure of gold, somewhere secluded but distinctive.

They came up on a small island just off the east coast of Boston.  There was a legend that had been around for many years that they hurried and buried their chest of gold and drew lots to see which of their number would be killed and his body left on top of the chest to protect it from all treasure hunters. Over the years more was added to the legend of the treasure. It was said that the gold could be dug up only by three people at midnight when the full moon was directly overhead. They must form a triangle around the exact spot and work in absolute silence, words would break the charm!

In the early 19th century, A.B. McDonald and two of his friends attempted to find the treasure by following the directions on an old map they came across in a chest, stored in the attic of an old merchant who had died years earlier.  At midnight, under a full moon which was shining directly on them, they sweated and dug, silently. Shovelful by shovelful, they dug deeper and deeper. The sweat poured off their bodies even in the chilled night air. The mosquitoes swarmed around, biting, but the three men were afraid to kill them for fear the sound would break the charm. Any amount of discomfort could be tolerated in order to find the buried treasure chest. Suddenly there was the echoing sound of a shovel striking against iron. Just as the men saw a corner of the chest emerge from the dirt, someone yelled," We've hit it!" and the trio of treasure hunters watched in consternation as the chest immediately began to sink out of reach.

A.B. and his friend tried for the rest of their lives in vain, to retrieve the old chest which contained the treasure.  They took the secret of the location of the old map to their graves. 

Before his death in 1892 A.B. had placed the old map in a small box and stored it behind a brick in his fireplace mantle.  In the box he also placed an old tattered piece of paper with the story of where the map had originally come from.  He had written the tale about a buried treasure hoard on an island "east of Boston" and the old dying sailor that had confessed to him of being a part of the notorious crew of pirates. The sailor went on to tell the story of the treasure and where they hid the map.

After the pirates had captured a merchant ship, which contained a large amount of gold bullion, the Captain became concerned. He had lost many of his men in battle and others had succumbed to the ever present dangers of disease.  The Royal Navy was fast closing in on them and he knew it would be disastrous to his ship and remaining men in his crew if they were caught without increasing the size of his crew.

The Captain made an offer to several of the captives. If you will join my crew I will let you live?  Two of the captives agreed, the others were killed where the stood and their bodies where dumped in the sea.

They headed north up the coast from North Carolina to an island just east of Boston where they found a place to bury their treasure.

When they arrived on the island the Captain was concerned that he couldn't trust the two captive crewmen.  So he took one of them, two of his original crew and himself to the island and buried their gold.  The old sailor said that he knew of the legend about drawing lots but no one had known of the captives.  The Captain had killed and buried the captive they took with them to the island and the other three returned to the ship.

After the treasure was buried the first mate drew a map of the location and gave it to the Captain.  Because he still had one of the captives on board and didn't trust that he wouldn't steal the map.  The Captain called his first mate and had his head shaved and tattooed the map on the top of his head for save keeping, then he destroyed the other map.  Since they still had several months at sea the first mates hair had grown back hiding the map.  No one only the Captain, his first mate and the cook which tattooed the map on his head knew its location.

Just before they arrived back in North Carolina the cook got drunk.  He was bragging about a map he had tattooed on the first mates head.  The captive crewman had heard the cook’s story and just after arriving jumped ship and was able to get away.

Several weeks later the first mate was seen in a local tavern.  When he left the crewman who had been captive on his ship seen him leave the tavern.  With two other men they captured the first mate took him to the back of an old warehouse and shaved his head, where they found the map.


One of the captures cut the first mates throat and the cut the map from his head.

The map above is that very map, taken from the head of the first mate. 

As told by a witness to the deed,

Ye olde sailor who had the need.

Twas taken from the first mate’s crown

Twas hid there while the Captain frowned.

Twas placed there by Olde Cook Mate’s Ink,

Twas hidden there from all who think.

For only three, know where to find,

The shining coins hidden from the mind.

A charming dig with only three,

Just East of Boston, Not far from me.

No words shall mate’s dare to mutter,

While moon shines bright, all will shutter.

The crown beneath his wooly head,

Ye Olde Mate’s shall soon be dead.

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