There are but few persons, in the United States, who have not heard the name of the renowned pirate, Captain Kidd. There are also but few to be found who have any intelligent conception of his wild and guilty career. The banks of the Hudson, the islands scattered through the Sound which skirts the southern New-England coast, and the wild rivers and craggy harbors which fringe the rugged shores of Maine, are all rich with legends of the exploits and hiding-places of this notorious buccaneer.
Thousands of fanatical people have employed themselves in digging among the rocks and sands, in search of treasure of gold and jewels supposed to have been buried, in iron-bound chests, by this chief of outlaws. It was well known that he had plundered many a rich Spanish galleon, laden with golden coin, bound to or from the colonies. Many a Spanish lady had been compelled to walk blindfolded the awful plank, until she was jostled into the sea, while her chests of golden ingots and diamonds fell into the hands of brutal assassins.
It was not always easy for the pirates to dispose of these treasures. They were sometimes pursued by men-of-war. Doubtless, as a measure of safety, they did at times bury their spoil, intending at a convenient hour to return and reclaim it. And it can hardly be questioned that, in some cases, pursued, harassed, cut up, they never did return. Therefore it may be that there is treasure still hidden in some secluded spot, which may remain, through all coming ages unless by some accident discovered. This belief has, in bygone days, nerved many a treasure-seeker to months of toil, all along our northern coast, from Passamaquoddy Bay to the Jerseys.
Half a century ago, when superstition exerted much more powerful sway than now, the wildest stories were told, around the fireside, of the complicity of the robber with the Archfiend himself, and of the agency of the Prince of the Power of the Air in protecting his subjects. Hundreds of parties, equipped with hazel rods, whose dip should guide them to the treasure, and with spades to dig, have gone to the most lonely spots at dead of night, in search of these riches. It was believed that not a word must be spoken, and particularly that Satan was so jealous, that if the Divine name were uttered, some terrible doom would befall them.
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