THE PIRATES SCALP
The pirates sailed north
for a place to bury their treasure of gold, somewhere secluded
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
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
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 the first mate left the crewman who had been captive seen
his mate leave. With two other men they captured the first mate
took him to the back of an old warehouse shaved his head, where
they found the map.
The captive that survived then cut his first mates throat, then
the map from his head.
The map above is that very map, taken from the head of the first
As told by a witness to the
Ye Olde sailor who had the need.
Twas taken from the first mate’s crown
Twas hid thar while the captive drowned.
Twas placed thar by Olde Cook Mate’s Ink,
Twas hidden 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 thee.
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.