“This is the Will of Jean Tussaud, Master Mariner of C—— (sometimes called Barbe Rouge). To the person who is lucky enough to find my treasure house, I herewith declare him to be my heir, and whatsoever he may find shall be his, and for his sole benefit.
“My chief mate, William Trefry, a Cornish man, wished to become my heir before my death, but I could not agree with him on that point, although I left him in possession of the key of my ‘petites fees’ (little fairies). The key and a valuable knife are all I gave him.
“The bearings of my treasure house are these:—
[Illustration:-THE PUZZLING DOCUMENT-]
“The lucky one
will find the following property.... (Here follows
list of many valuable articles, and winds up with), ’and lastly my
pretty box of petites fees.’
“I leave Jethou to-night to join my vessel, which is about to make a voyage to the West Indies, to see what business can be done there. I leave this paper, so that should I never return, the goods I have so industriously and riskily gathered together, may still be of service to someone who may have skill enough to discover their whereabouts.
“JEAN TUSSAUD (Barbe Rouge),
“Feb. 19, 17—.”
Here was a puzzle to which for weeks I could obtain no clue whatever, but one day as I was sitting under the shade of the huge walnut tree overlooking the garden, the idea came into my mind that this kind of tree flourishes for generations, and from the gigantic proportions of this particular tree, it must be a great deal more than a century old.
I found Monday, and asked him how old he thought it would be, and he gave it as his opinion that it was one hundred and fifty years old, if it was a day. Then said I,
“What is the French for walnut tree?”
“Noyer,” was his reply, and into my pocket went my hand to bring out the mystic document to see if there was an N on the chart. Joy, there was, and at sight of it my hand trembled violently, and I felt ready to choke with excitement, as I believed I had now a key to the finding of the treasure.
Monday was as excited as myself, all he could exclaim was, “Oh, la, la! Oh, la, la!” which was with him a mark of supreme delight.
We fetched the yard measure, and commenced our survey, as I shrewdly guessed the fine old mulberry tree had something to do with the calculations; if so the distance from the mulberry tree (Murier accounting for the letter M) to the walnut tree would be twenty-four yards; so we measured, but could not make the distance correct, as we made it 26-2/3 yards, or just eight feet too much. This quite nonplussed us, and our excitement greatly abated; but we were not yet vanquished, and set our wits to work to discover the meaning of another of the letters from which we could take further measurements.