If it were the location of the ship it didn’t make sense to keep that from me when we would be there soon. If it wasn’t that then it had to be the location of the treasure. That too didn’t quite add up. If we were to be part of the retrieval then why did it matter? I decided I wouldn’t let my imagination get away with me. Best to take things as they came.
None of my mates seemed interested in viewing the journal. We were all in it up to our necks anyway seemed to be the prevailing attitude. A few days later we were told we would be at our destination soon. Isaac would have a word with us the next day and we would at last know what was expected.
Excitement was in the air that night at dinner and I sensed an undercurrent of unease to it. We all wanted to know what lay ahead but mistrust will always attend one with a scar such as Isaacs. I paid little mind to the murmured conversations and kept an open mind.
The next morning at mess the mood seemed less anxious and we all heaved to as we would any other day. Noon came and went and still we heard nothing. It wasn’t until the sun was below the yardarm that the captain came on deck and told us all to head for the galley.
Isaac was waiting for us when we got there. Gone were the smile and the swagger, this time he was all business.
“Good day mates. We are approaching our destination and it’s time I brought you all up to speed on our mission. As I told you when we set sail the Black Rock did not sink. The fact is it was blown onto an island in a storm. One hell of a storm it was, for the ship was driven deep into some woods. Most of the crew survived but according to the journal a mutiny arose. More than half the crew took advantage of the situation to plunder the gold. The captain was put to death. The first mate and several other officers escaped and hid. The rest of those not in on the plot were also killed and fed to the sharks.”
He stopped and looked around. Seeing we were all rapt he smiled.
“The mutineers had only two life boats left from the wreckage they knew they couldn’t move all the gold with those. Mindful that the first mate and the others were still somewhere on the island they decided that the next day they would begin moving as much as they could at a time to another island nearby, leaving some behind to guard the treasure. According to the journal that proved a bad idea.”
We knew what was coming next but we all sat in respectful silence as he told his tale.
“The first mate and his men had escaped with weapons and they watched the goings on, waiting for the life boats to leave. They swooped on the remainder of the crew before they could set a proper watch and killed them in fierce fighting. When the rest returned they dealt to them as well. In the end only the first mate and two others were left.”
He left off there and paced for a bit, his hands behind his back. When at last he spoke again it was to end his story.
“The rest is history as they say. The three survivors decided they had earned the gold and moved it to the island where the first lot had been taken. They buried it well and made a map. They returned to the shipwreck and then moved to the far side of the island to await the next passing ship. They concocted a tale about being cast adrift in a lifeboat during a storm and watching the Black Rock sink.”
So at last we knew what had become of the Black Rock and how a fortune in gold had fallen into the hands of a few men.
Part 6 Tomorrow