At the end of the chest was a portion partitioned off, which contained two drawers, a large and a small one, both of iron, lined with wood. The large one contained three parchment books written in French, the first of which Alec declared was an account of the life of Barbe Rouge, and the other two were log books of his various voyages.
In the right hand or small drawer was a very small gold casket of exquisite workmanship, filled quite full of precious stones in their natural rough state, together with a few cut gems of medium size. I should say altogether they would have just filled a half-pint measure; not that I believe they are ever sold in this manner, as if they were nuts or peas. These then were Tussaud’s “petite fees,” and pretty ones too.
Of course we put a fabulous price on this part of our treasure; I think in our ignorance we mentioned ten thousand pounds as about their value; but when they were sold in London some months after, in a well-known auction room, they realised but little more than a tithe of this amount.
Next day being fine we carefully filled the hole up again, ramming the earth down with a heavy wooden ram, and finished up by replanting the currant bush, which I believe still lives, or its descendant, to mark the spot where we discovered Jean (Barbe Rouge) Tussaud’s treasures.
We presumed at the time that the skeleton we found was that of the mate, William Treffry, mentioned in the document, who had quarrelled with Red Beard as to the property, and that the latter had stabbed him to the heart, afterwards throwing the corpse upon the treasure, thus burying his guilt and his goods at the same time. A translation of the books we found corroborated us in this surmise, and accounted for many other things regarding the property which at the time we could not understand.
I may add that among the clothing, we found a number of odds and ends, relics of the eighteenth century, which I still treasure in my home, one room of which forms quite a respectable museum, as since my sojourn in Jethou I have brought many curious things from Holland, France, and Spain, many of which have pleasant stories attached to them.
We found miniature portraits of a Spanish gentleman, and a handsome fresh-coloured young lady with an English name, for their names were painted round the margin; a pair of gloves apparently blood-stained, a case of writing materials, four jewelled rings, a tress of dark brown hair nearly four feet long, an English Bible, two watches with enamelled cases (about the size of small turnips), and several other things which need not be mentioned here, but of which we discovered the history in the parchment books.
[Illustration: Decorative scroll]
5: These books I have since had translated, and find them to be full of “Red Beard’s” personal adventures; most of them of such an interesting nature, that coupled with our discovery of his treasure, and what I have since learned of him from various sources, I have no doubt the public would be interested in them. Possibly at no very distant period I may publish a book embodying the principal adventures set forth in these manuscripts, as many of the events in the life of Barbe Rouge are of a startling character.