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her, I proceeded to examine the place. The castle' consisted of an irregular assemblage of cliffs and rocks-one of the latter being quite remarkable for its height as well as for its insulated and artificial appearance. I clambered to its apex, and then felt much at a loss as to what should 5 be next done.

While I was busied in reflection, my eyes fell on a narrow ledge in the eastern face of the rock, perhaps a yard below the summit upon which I stood. This ledge projected about eighteen inches, and was not more 10 than a foot wide, while a niche in the cliff just above it gave it a rude resemblance to one of the hollow-backed chairs used by our ancestors. I made no doubt that here was the ‘devil's seat' alluded to in the MS., and now I seemed to grasp the full secret of the riddle. 15

The 'good glass,' I knew, could have reference to nothing but a telescope; for the word “glass' is rarely employed in any other sense by seamen. Now here, I at once saw, was a telescope to be used, and a definite point of view, admitting no variation, from which to use it. 20 Nor did I hesitate to believe that the phrases, 'twentyone degrees and thirteen minutes,' and 'north-east and by north,' were intended as directions for the leveling of the glass. Greatly excited by these discoveries, I hurried home, procured a telescope, and returned to the rock. 25

I let myself down to the ledge, and found that it was impossible to retain a seat on it unless in one particular position. This fact confirmed my preconceived idea. I proceeded to use the glass. Of course, the 'twenty-one degrees and thirteen minutes' could allude 30 to nothing but elevation above the visible horizon, since the horizontal direction was clearly indicated by the words, 'north-east and by north. This latter direction I at once established by means of a pocket-compass; then,


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pointing the glass as nearly at an angle of twenty-one degrees of elevation as I could do it by guess, I moved it cautiously up or down, until my attention was arrested by

a circular rift or opening in the foliage of a large tree 5 that overtopped its fellows in the distance. In the center

of this rift I perceived a white spot, but could not, at first, distinguish what it was. Adjusting the focus of the telescope, I again looked, and now made it out to be a human skull.

“On this discovery I was so sanguine as to consider the enigma solved; for the phrase 'main branch, seventh limb, east side,' could refer only to the position of the skull on the tree, while shoot from the left eye of the death's

head' admitted, also, of but one interpretation, in regard 15 to a search for buried treasure. I perceived that the

design was to drop a bullet from the left eye of the skull, and that a bee-line, or, in other words, a straight line, drawn from the nearest point of the trunk through the

shot' (or the spot where the bullet fell), and thence 20 extended to a distance of fifty feet, would indicate a

definite point-and beneath this point I thought it at least possible that a deposit of value lay concealed."

"All this,” I said, "is exceedingly clear, and, although ingenious, still simple and explicit. When you 25 left the Bishop's Hotel, what then?”

"Why, having carefully taken the bearings of the tree, I turned homewards. The instant that I left the devil's seat,' however, the circular rift vanished; nor could

I get a glimpse of it afterwards, turn as I would. What 30 seems to me the chief ingenuity in this whole business, is

the fact (for repeated experiment has convinced me it is a fact) that the circular opening in question is visible from no other attainable point of view than that afforded by the narrow ledge on the face of the rock.

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“In this expedition to the Bishop's Hotel' I had been attended by Jupiter, who had no doubt observed, for some weeks past, the abstraction of my demeanor, and took special care not to leave me alone. But on the next day, getting up very early, I contrived to give him the 5 slip, and went into the hills in search of the tree. After much toil I found it. When I came home at night my valet proposed to give me a flogging. With the rest of the adventure I believe you are as well acquainted as myself.” "I suppose," said I, "you missed the spot, in the

, first attempt at digging, through Jupiter's stupidity in letting the bug fall through the right instead of through the left eye of the skull.”

"Precisely. This mistake made a difference of about 15 two inches and a half in the 'shot '—that is to say, in the position of the peg nearest the tree; and had the treasure been beneath the 'shot,' the error would have been of little moment; but 'the shot,' together with the nearest point of the tree, were merely two points for the 20 esablishment of a line of direction; of course the error, however trivial in the beginning, increased as we proceeded with the line, and, by the time we had gone fifty feet, threw us quite off the scent. But for my deep-seated convictions that treasure was here somewhere actually 25 buried, we might have had all our labor in vain.”

presume the fancy of the skullof letting fall a bullet through the skull's eye—was suggested to Kidd by the piratical flag. No doubt he felt a kind of poetical consistency in recovering his money through this ominous 30 insignium.”

Perhaps so; still, I cannot help thinking that common sense had quite as much to do with the matter as poetical consistency. To be visible from the Devil's seat,

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it was necessary that the object, if small, should be white; and there is nothing like your human skull for retaining and even increasing its whiteness under exposure to all

vicissitudes of weather.” 5 “But your grandiloquence, and your conduct in swing

ing the beetle-how excessively odd! I was sure you were mad. And why did you insist on letting fall the bug, instead of a bullet, from the skull?”

"Why, to be frank, I felt somewhat annoyed by 10 your evident suspicions touching my sanity, and so resolved

to punish you quietly, in my own way, by a little bit of sober mystification. For this reason I swung the beetle, and for this reason I let it fall from the tree. An observation of yours about its great weight suggested the latter

15 idea.”

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“Yes, I perceive; and now there is only one point which puzzles me. What are we to make of the skeletons found in the hole?”

“That is a question I am no more able to answer 20 than yourself. There seems, however, only one plausible

way of accounting for them--and yet it is dreadful to believe in such atrocity as my suggestion would imply. It is clear that Kidd—if Kidd indeed secreted this treas

ure, which I doubt not—it is clear that he must have had 25 assistance in the labor. But, the worst of this labor con

cluded, he may have thought it expedient to remove all participants in his secret. Perhaps a couple of blows with a mattock were sufficient, while his coadjutors were busy in the pit; perhaps it required a dozen—who shall tell ? ”

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BARTRAM the lime-burner, a rough, heavy-looking man, begrimed with charcoal, sat watching his kiln, at nightfall, while his little son played at building houses with the scattered fragments of marble, when, on the hillside below them, they heard a roar of laughter, not mirth- 5 ful, but slow, and even solemn, like a wind shaking the boughs of the forest.

" Father, what is that?" asked the little boy, leaving his play, and pressing betwixt his father's knees.

"O, some drunken man, I suppose," answered the 10 lime-burner; "some merry fellow from the bar-room in the village, who dared not laugh loud enough within doors, lest he should blow the roof of the house off. So here he is, shaking his jolly sides at the foot of Graylock."

“But, father,” said the child, more sensitive than 15 the obtuse, middle-aged clown," he does not laugh like a man that is glad. So the noise frightens me!

“Don't be a fool, child!” cried his father, gruffly. “ You will never make a man, I do believe; there is too

* NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864), American novelist, best known, perhaps, for his series of short stories, Twice-Told Tales, in which this tale was included, and Mosses from an Old Manse, and for his novels, The Scarlet Letter, and The House of the Seven Gables. This story was published in 1851. See also pp. 39-45, 47-50, 54, 62, 64-65.

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