Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Nothing but Silver|
I had been watching from the shadows for hours. The four men were both clumsy and loud as they pried the dockside warehouse door open. There had been a string of break ins along the dock warehouses. The thing was, nothing was ever stolen but damage was done to the warehouse floor.
I drifted out of the shadows and crossed to the open door. These men were really stupid, they had just gone down the line hitting warehouse after warehouse one right after another. I slipped into the warehouse and heard them prying boards up in the back. I walked back as I pulled my sticks and found them trying to light a full sized lantern.
I shook my head and continued forward, “don’t move.”
They spun in surprise and one blurted, “we aren’t stealing anything!”
I reached the first man and used a stick to prod him into turning. I pulled his hands back, “you have broken in and damaged the owners property.”
I moved to the next man as he turned, “we are just looking...”
The others hissed and he shut up. I shook my head, “I don’t really care what you are looking for.”
I tied his hands and went to the third man. The last one was looking almost frantic, “we will give you money to let us keep looking.”
I snorted as I spun him and pulled his arms back, “not a chance.”
The first man shifted, “we were looking for treasure.”
I laughed as the other men hissed again, “idiots.”
They looked at each other and the last man cleared his throat, “The river pirate Machenry buried thousands of gold coins in ten large iron chests.”
I grinned as I started pushing them towards the door, “tell the story to the minister, he could use the laugh.”
All the way to the Guard building they tried to convince me of the treasure. I pushed them in and a sleepy looking watch commander turned, “thief taker?”
I smiled, “breaking and entering as well as property damage.”
He nodded to a guard that stood and stretched, “I’ll read the report.”
I walked to the table, “they were looking for buried treasure under the warehouses.”
He snorted as the guard laughed and shook his head. I sat and accepted the parchment that was pushed across the table. The commander chuckled, “we get treasure hunters every few years around this time.”
I grinned as I began listing the other warehouses that had been broken into and damaged, “somehow I don’t think the river pirate Machenry buried iron chest under warehouses without someone noticing.”
He grinned as I continued to write. When I finished I stood and headed for the door, “tell the minister why they broke in and damaged the warehouses. I’m sure he will enjoy the story.”
When I slipped into bed Maria snuggled against me, “you are late.”
I turned to hold her, “I had treasure hunters to bring in.”
She sighed and I relaxed before blinking awake at someone banging on the door. Maria was gone and I groaned as I climbed out of bed. I met Maria on the stairs as she came to get me, “a minister and Duke Justice.”
I shook my head as I kissed her on my way past. They were waiting in the living room and smiled as I gestured to chairs, “what can I do for you?”
The duke grinned, “your treasure hunters have drawn attention.”
I snorted and the minister leaned forward, “unfortunately there is a grain of truth to the stories.”
I looked at him and shook my head, “a pirate that buried chests of treasure rather than spending it on drink and women?”
He redden and the duke smiled, “true or not this happens every few years and causes problems.”
I sat up, “why come to me?”
The duke looked at the minister, “well you seem to have ideas on how thieves think...”
I shook my head and leaned back again to think, “I’ll give it some thought.”
I looked at the duke, “you know the dates the pirate operated?”
He grinned, “almost exactly two hundred years ago.”
I grinned, “two hundred years ago the city was smaller with soldiers guarding it.”
I looked at them and they just looked back. I shook my head, “no bandit or pirate would ever come close to where he could be caught.”
The idea and thoughts swirled around in my mind as I remembered an old ruin on the beyond the edge of the city and beside the river. If I remembered right it had been a baron’s keep. He was rumored to have kept and run a large whorehouse. I looked at the duke, “the ruins on the edge of the city. What was the name of the whore monger Baron?”
He looked at me, “Henry I think.”
I laughed, “the cagy bastard.”
They looked at me and I stood, “think about it. Machenry... Henry?”
They looked at each other and the duke stood, “it has been searched but go take a look. His majesty said if you find gold he gets half, you can have anything else.”
I smiled, “of course.”
I saw them out and went to find Maria. I borrowed horses and a large wagon from a stable before heading towards the edge of the city. The ruins were isolated with the nearest house a league away. I unhitched the horses and put them on long leads in thick green grass. I walked through the ruins and just measured it in my mind.
The area around the stone dock drew me and I sat to look at it. A river pirate wouldn’t bury treasure, he might hide it but not bury it. By the stains the Keep had been destroyed by fire. That told me the baron might not have been able to remove the treasure if he was the pirate. The story was that a jealous woman had burnt it while the baron slept with another woman.
I looked at a pile of stones beside the dock and going up onto the bank towards the Keep. I grinned and stood to walk to it before starting to move stones. I just tossed them to one side or the other and an hour later found the steps. I kept moving the stones and cleared down to a solid stone floor.
I kept going and a few hours later found the caved in opening to a tunnel. It was late afternoon when I cleared enough rubble to walk into the tunnel. It led all the way to a crumbling wooden door that collapsed when I hit it. I walked into a large round room with rubble filled stairs and blank arches.
I started walking around and a little dust stirred which drew my eyes to the floor. I started walking around the room again but bent to look carefully at any marks on the floor. I stopped when I was around and almost under the stairs. Rubble from above half blocked the arch but I saw a lot of scraps and scratches on the floor stones.
I looked at the arch and hit the wall to feel how solid it was. The wall almost vibrated and I grinned before looking around. The round hole to the right drew me and I looked in before looking around again. I pulled one of my clubs and it fit almost perfectly so I pushed it in until I felt some resistance.
I pushed and something gave but nothing else happened. I looked at the wall and realized the rubble from the stairs was blocking it. I started moving stones and it began to get dark. I shook my head before leaving and walking back to the wagon. I thought about what I found as I sat and watched the horses graze.
I finally lay back in the wagon and closed my eyes. I woke quickly to the sounds of the horses snorting. I pulled my night sticks as I slipped out the back of the wagon and moved around the horses until I found the watcher. He was holding a short sword awkwardly and I struck it out of his hand.
I poked him with the other club, “who are you and what are you doing?”
His eyes went wide and he backed up, “we were just after...”
He shut up and I nodded, “the treasure. Run and I won’t feed you to the fish.”
He spun and ran into the night as I bent to pick up the sword. I shook my head and walked back to the wagon and tossed it in before heading to the river and the tunnel. When I stepped into the tunnel I saw the lantern light coming from the other end. I started walking and stopped to watch the three men looking around the large round room.
I leaned against the wall as they looked through the rubble on the stairs. I finally shook my head and walked in, “very dumb.”
They spun and one reached for a dagger. I shook my head, “you really want to do that?”
He looked around before letting it go. I gestured to the tunnel and they walked out. I followed and watched as they argued and headed back towards the city. I shook my head and went to bring all the horse to the wagon where I tied them. I laid in the wagon again and closed my eyes, “I can’t believe I’m still here.”
I told myself that as soon as I saw the next room I would return to the city. I woke to the sun rising and rolled out of the wagon before moving the horses to water and then put them back with the wagon. It took me an hour to move enough stones to push the secret door open. I looked at the iron bound chests around the room and went to the first to lift the lid.
I was surprised it still felt solid. Looking into the chest all I saw was tarnished silver coins. Each of the chests held the same thing. There was another small room and I peeked in to see a pile of silver. There was silver cups and goblets and crowns and candelabra. Everywhere there was silver and nothing but silver.
I harnessed the horses and moved the wagon before starting to load which was not easy alone. It took me several hours to move the chests and then all the treasure. The wagon was creaking heavily when I drove it away and headed back to the city. Men and women stared at the mound of silver that peeked over the side as I went by.
I headed straight to the palace and the stable yards. It was a few moments before the king and the whole court appeared as I climbed down. I smiled, “nothing but silver your majesty. I’ll let your treasurer count it and I would like to provide the half you would normally receive to the royal orphanage. If her majesty would consider going through the loose treasure I would be honored to share it with her and the prince.”
He grinned, “so there was a treasure.”
I shrugged, “to tell the truth, until I looked into the chests I never thought there was.”
I waved towards the horses and wagon, “if you would have the wagon and horses returned to the Sable Stallion I would appreciate it.”
He shook his head as I headed towards the gate and Maria and hopefully a meal.
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