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Captain Kidd’s Money
by [?]

“Wal, you see, boys, there’s a queer kind o’ rock down on the bank ‘o the river, that looks sort o’ like a grave-stone. The biggest part on’t is sunk down under ground, and it’s pretty well growed over with blackberry-vines; but, when you scratch the bushes away, they used to make out some queer marks on that ‘are rock. They was sort o’ lines and crosses; and folks would have it that them was Kidd’s private marks, and that there was one o’ the places where he hid his money.

“Wal, there’s no sayin’ fairly how it come to be thought so; but fellers used to say so, and they used sometimes to talk it over to the tahvern, and kind o’ wonder whether or no, if they should dig, they wouldn’t come to suthin’.

“Wal, old Mother Hokum she heard on’t, and she was a sort o’ enterprisin’ old crittur: fact was, she had to be, ’cause the young Hokums was jest like bag-worms, the more they growed the more they eat, and I expect she found it pretty hard to fill their mouths; and so she said ef there was any thing under that ‘are rock, they’d as good’s have it as the Devil; and so she didn’t give old Hokum no peace o’ his life, but he must see what there was there.

“Wal, I was with ’em the night they was a talk-in’ on’t up. Ye see, Hokum he got thirty-seven cents’ worth o’ lemons and sperit. I see him goin’ by as I was out a splittin’ kindlin’s; and says he, ‘Sam, you jest go ‘long up to our house to-night,’ says he: ‘Toddy Whitney and Harry Wiggin’s com-in’ up, and we’re goin’ to have a little suthin’ hot,’ says he; and he kind o’ showed me the lemons and sperit. And I told him I guessed I would go ‘long. Wal, I kind o’ wanted to see what they’d be up to, ye know.

“Wal, come to find out, they was a talkin’ about Cap’n Kidd’s treasures, and layin’ out how they should get it, and a settin’ one another on with gret stories about it.

“‘I’ve heard that there was whole chists full o’ gold guineas,’ says one.

“‘And I’ve heard o’ gold bracelets and ear-rings and finger-rings all sparklin’ with diamonds,’ says another.

“‘Maybe it’s old silver plate from some o’ them old West Indian grandees,’ says another.

“‘Wal, whatever it is,’ says Mother Hokum, ‘I want to be into it,’ says she.

“‘Wal, Sam, won’t you jine?’ says they.

“‘Wal, boys,’ says I, ‘I kind o’ don’t feel jest like j’inin’. I sort o’ ain’t clear about the rights on’t: seems to me it’s mighty nigh like goin’ to the Devil for money.’

“‘Wal,’ says Mother Hokum, ‘what if ’tis? Money’s money, get it how ye will; and the Devil’s money ‘ll buy as much meat as any. I’d go to the Devil, if he gave good money.’

“‘Wal, I guess I wouldn’t,’ says I. ‘Don’t you ‘member the sermon Parson Lothrop preached about hastin’ to be rich, last sabba’ day?’

“‘Parson Lothrop be hanged!’ says she. ‘Wal, now,’ says she, ‘I like to see a parson with his silk stockin’s and great gold-headed cane, a lollopin’ on his carriage behind his fat, prancin’ hosses, comin’ to meetin’ to preach to us poor folks not to want to be rich! How’d he like it to have forty-‘leven children, and nothin’ to put onto ’em or into ’em, I wonder? Guess if Lady Lothrop had to rub and scrub, and wear her fingers to the bone as I do, she’d want to be rich; and I guess the parson, if he couldn’t get a bellyful for a week, would be for diggin’ up Kidd’s money, or doing ‘most any thing else to make the pot bile.’

“‘Wal,’ says I, ‘I’ll kind o’ go with ye, boys, and sort o’ see how things turn out; but I guess I won’t take no shere in’t,’ says I.