Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/179

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Tom Chist and the Treasure Box

lower and lower, until there was only time to glance through the other papers in the chest.

They were nearly all goldsmiths’ bills of exchange drawn in favor of certain of the most prominent merchants of New York. Parson Jones, as he read over the names, knew of nearly all the gentlemen by hearsay. Aye, here was this gentleman; he thought that name would be among ’em. What? Here is Mr. So-and-so. Well, if all they say is true, the villain has robbed one of his own best friends. “I wonder,” he said, “why the wretch should have hidden these papers so carefully away with the other treasures, for they could do him no good?” Then, answering his own question: “Like enough because these will give him a hold over the gentlemen to whom they are drawn so that he can make a good bargain for his own neck before he gives the bills back to their owners. I tell you what it is, Tom,” he continued, “it is you yourself shall go to New York and bargain for the return of these papers. ‘Twill be as good as another fortune to you.”

The majority of the bills were drawn in favor of one Richard Chillingsworth, Esquire. “And he is,” said Parson Jones, “one of the richest men in the province of New York. You shall go to him with the news of what we have found.”

“When shall I go?” said Tom Chist.

“You shall go upon the very first boat we can catch,” said the parson. He had turned, still holding the bills in his hand, and was now fingering over the pile of money that yet lay tumbled out upon the coat. “I wonder, Tom,” said he, “if you could spare me a score or so of these doubloons?”

“You shall have fifty score, if you choose,” said Tom, bursting with gratitude and with generosity in his newly found treasure.

“You are as fine a lad as ever I saw, Tom,” said the parson, “and I’ll thank you to the last day of my life.”

Tom scooped up a double handful of silver money. “Take it sir,” he said, “and you may have as much more as you want of it.”