I've always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt - Part 49

Here’s the thing...

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.

Once again there's a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.

A dark look crossed Boggs’ face telling me the name Ormiston wasn’t associated with anything good.  I was still wondering how I had never heard anything about the family.

“How did you stumble across Fredrich Ormiston?”

“I told you I was keeping an eye on Alex.  He and some chap who was, coincidentally, one of the guards we saw at the mall yesterday, they were talking about Ormiston.  I’ve never heard of him.”

“That’s because the Ormiston’s disappeared from around here before the second world war.  What did Alex have to say about him?”

“From what I overheard, he owned a large tract of land near Patterson’s Reach, that it stretched back to something called the fault line, that he sold the coastal area to the Navy and that’s where they put the dockyard, and other than that, not much.  That guard had been doing some investigating for Alex and said he went to the library to ask Gwen.  She’s still there by the way.  She didn’t tell him very much, and even if she did know anything, she hates Alex and his friends as much as we do so she wouldn’t tell him.”

“She’d know of him.  But she would be only one of a few, and those that do would be in the old folks’ home or dead.”

“And yet the name lights up your face, Boggs.  How do you know about him?”

“Not me personally.  My family.  He and my grandfather were friends back in the day.  He sold our family a large block near the river to run some cattle.  My father wasn’t the first to have information about the treasure, and in fact, according to my dad’s diary, that original map we have was my grandfather’s.”

“How come you didn’t tell me about this before?”

“Not relevant.  The map has always been in my family’s possession.  My grandfather had made several attempts to find the treasure, and, one day, in a moment of forgetfulness, he told Ormiston about it.  Well, you know how the thought of finding treasure can turn heads, Ormiston persuaded my grandfather to provide him with a copy of the map, and in return, he would fund a proper search party to see if they could find it.  After all, he said, fifty percent of a trove was better than zero percent of nothing.  By that time my grandfather was getting old, and the idea of finding the treasure was slipping through his fingers, so he agreed.  Worst days work he ever did.”

“But Ormiston never found the treasure, did he?”

“That’s not the point.  He did as he promised in the first instance, and they found nothing.  It was a lot of money in pursuit of what could be compared to the holy grail.  When my grandfather died, Ormiston decided he was no longer bound to any agreement, and mounted several more treasure hunts, and when my father tried to get him to adhere to the original agreement, Ormiston just brushed him off.”

“He still didn’t find anything.  In the end, he lost his fortune and had to sell the land, hence the Naval Base.  Do you know who got the rest?”

“Ormiston died on the last treasure hunt, and left massive debts behind, and a widow.  They had several kids but no one knows where they went, and it was a long time ago.  They had to sell the property to repay the debts.  It went to property developers and then the Cossatino’s bought it.  They moved in after Ormiston moved out.  It’s why Patterson’s Reach is basically a no-go zone.”

I’d often wondered how the Cossatino’s came to town, and why it was they camped in Patterson’s Reach, away from the Benderby’s.

“Alex’s mate was talking about looking for relatives, though I’m not sure why.”

“There are no relatives, not according to my mother, but there were rumors that Ormiston had made extensive notes on all of his hunts, so from that perspective, if the documents existed, it would be useful to align what he knew with what my father says in his journal.”

A good point, and it might be still a possibility if the documents held at the library were to contain any journals.  It also made sense, in my mind, why the Cossatino’s decided to run a map scam; had they come across Ormiston’s journals, and maps, and got Boggs father to base his fakes around those?  It was starting to throw a giant cold shadow over the whole of this project, and that Boggs was simply missing the point.

If Ormiston couldn’t find anything, and he had money to burn when he mounted the searches, perhaps it was just a myth.  And who’s to say that Boggs's grandfather didn’t make the whole thing up himself?

Just the same, until I was certain, I was going to keep the existence of the papers in the library to myself for the time being.

But, something else just occurred to me.  “Do you have anything from your grandfather, in particular about the searches he made, with or without Ormiston?”

“Only that one with Ormiston.  In the end, he concluded that it was his belief that Ormiston had deliberately set the wrong course, which was why they never found anything.  He had used two different river heads as his basis, to which my grandfather tried to convince him otherwise.  Of course, there were considerable differences of opinion, and after they returned, never spoke to each other again.”

Not surprising.

“Well, that adds some more background to the quest.  Are you sure you have the right rivers as markers?  I mean there are quite a few rivers and streams as well as a few lakes up and down the coastline?”

“My father was certain, and his father was before him.  As am I.  Let me know when you free next so we can continue the quest.”

I should not have doubted him, but the more he talked about Ormiston, the darker he was looking.  It was probably for the best I left him alone for the afternoon if only to calm down.

He didn’t even say goodbye.

I went inside and got ready for work.

© Charles Heath 2020-2021



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