I've always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt - Part 66
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 instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
Where is Boggs
It was getting to the point where I couldn’t remember the last time I saw Boggs.
I’d dropped by his place and found his mother having a cup of coffee before heading off to her day job. Boggs, she said, had gone off somewhere, these days he didn’t tell her what he was doing, and wouldn’t be back for an hour or so.
But, seeing me, she stopped cleaning and invited me in for coffee, and a chat. I knew it was going to be about what Boggs was doing, rather than what he was supposed to be doing, getting a job.
“Ever since he found his father’s papers in a box in the attic, he’s become obsessed with the treasure. There is no treasure, there never was, only in his father’s imagination. Anything to keep him from having a proper job. It was always about easy money, him and that layabout brother of his Rico.”
“What’s happened to Rico?”
I had meant to ask the sheriff, but he hadn’t dropped by to see my mother lately, and there’s been no news in the paper.
“He’s being indicted for murder. He didn’t do it, or so he says. I knew he was a criminal, but I didn’t think he was capable of murdering anyone. Seems I was wrong. We can’t afford a lawyer and the person the court has appointed to represent him is not very good.”
“For what it’s worth, I don’t think Rico killed him either.”
“Who was he, this man on his boat?”
“An archaeologist. Someone who knew about treasure, though I’m not sure it’s the treasure Boggs’s is looking for, more about some coins that were found in the ocean off the coast. I think that discovery put a fire under the other treasure story, you know, coins falling out of the chests as they were being brought ashore.”
“You should tell Benny this.”
“He won’t believe me. Do you know anything that his father might have known and told you about?”
“It’s all he ever went on about, especially when he had too much to drink, how it was going to make us rich and we’d live in a large house with servants. Look where it got us?”
Not in a large house with servants.
“He drew them himself. Told me he had a commission from old man Cossatino to create treasure maps for the fools who believed there was treasure buried somewhere on the coast. They were all different.”
“Was there an original map that he based all the others on?”
She shook her head. “No. Though he did say one time that he’d seen a map out at the Cossatino’s place in Patterson’s Reach, up on the wall that looked old. Probably just a piece of artwork because they had a lot of paintings and artwork on the walls. Knowing the Cossatino’s, they probably invested the first map themselves.”
“Boggs said he had an original, found it in his father’s stuff.”
“A copy of a copy most likely. I don’t think Al knew what was real and what was not in the end. He stopped talking to me about it because, by that time, I’d had enough of his obsession and told him to get a real job.”
“What happened to him, do you know?”
“The last I remember was that he told me this time he’d worked out where the treasure was buried, what he called the ‘X marks the spot’ moment. I ignored him, because there had been dozens before that with no results, and by that time we were defaulting on everything, I was working two jobs, and just too tired to care. We argued, he stormed out and that was the last I saw of him.”
“Lenny reckoned he went down the hotel and started bragging about having found where the treasure was.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time. As far as the investigation into his disappearance went, he was seen leaving with two men in suits who had arrived in town earlier that day, asking for him. They said they were reporters doing a story on the possibility pirates from the Caribbean had buried treasure along the Florida coastline, and that he was something of an expert. He would have fallen for that flattery hook line and sinker. After that, nothing. Because he’s not officially dead, I can’t even get a death payout from the insurance company, so here we are.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s not your fault. I’m just glad you have a friend like you that cares. He’s never really gotten over his father’s disappearance, not the idea that cursed treasure exists. But he doesn’t listen to me, nor you I guess, so all I can do is hope he finally comes to his senses eventually. Now, I have to go to work. If you find him, tell him to come home.”
© Charles Heath 2023
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