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Buried in a Book
by Ian Curtress

He was about eight or nine when he became interested in pirates and treasure. Soon had read all the books on the subject, fact and fiction, in his local library. Living only a few miles from the coast made it all the more fascinating
His most engrossing thoughts were on buried treasure. He knew there was gold and silver still buried in Britains soil. Many finds have been made by metal detectors.
He was determined to have one when he was older. Dreamed about a hoard of precious gems and silver coins.
Behind their cottage there was a wood where, with his friends he made dens pretending to be pirates escaping from the law. They drew treasure maps with difficult clues.
It was a Saturday afternoon, he was on his own, his friend was on holiday. He thought he would make a real map of a special place in their wood.

He looked for an unusual spot but with trees where identifying marks could be made to identify the position. Having found a great place he went home to think of something to bury.. His father was a pipe smoker so there were always tobacco tins somewhere in the house and choosing one was easy.
Then he had a great idea. He would put something special in the tin and instead of telling his friends he would make several copies of the map and put them inside appropriate books in the library.

He took a penny from his pocket money and polished it until it gleamed. Placed it in the tin. With a note saying “there is silver nearby”
And signed it. The Buccaneer!
Then dug a hole shown on the map and buried it.

He was relaxing after a hectic move into their new home.
Now forty years of age. Not a midlife crisis but you do think about your life in more detail.
He had married after University and they moved abroad with the careers. Their Son and Daughter were born abroad. It had been very rewarding but nice to be home.

He looked at his nine year old Son, head in a book…..and quietly laughed. His Son looked up and said why the laugh.
Not about pirates is it it? No why.
Well I was mad about pirates, buried treasure, gold and silver. In fact I buried some when I was about your age. I drew maps and put them in library books.
You did what!
Yes I know it was wrong to put things in library books but I didn’t damage them. What did you bury…. A penny coin and signed…..embarrassed…Buccaneer!
He laughed. Do you think it was found. We’ll never know he said. Know what his Wife asked, coming into the room.
Dad buried treasure when he was young and we are going to find it Hold on he said, we are doing no such thing.

The upshot was of course they were going to see where he grew up and buried treasure!
Fortunately it was only about seventy miles away and the drive was arranged for the following Saturday. The drive was very pleasant and he had forgotten how lovely the countryside was in that County.
He warned them that after all these years there will be development and the wood will have disappeared.
His warning proved correct. The wood had gone and in its place was an attractive group of lovey stone cottages. Being nosey he drove in.
There was the name plate. “Buccaneer Loft”……. and the the first cottage was named Penny Cottage.