The money found on the pirates was sent to London. But the official court records of Quelch's trial in Boston show that the pirates took on the Spanish Main �50 in Portuguese currency, �50 in Portuguese gold and silver, gold dust valued at �60,000, �9,000 in coined gold and 200 pieces of eight. The receipt signed in London would indicate that less than half of this amount was delivered there. Some of course went into the pockets of the colonial authorities. But even allowing for considerable expenses and a reasonable amount of graft, nearly half of Quelch's loot, amounting to about a quarter of a million dollars, should still lie buried somewhere on Star Island. There is a good hotel on the island, too.
On the back side of Cape Cod (4), two miles south of the Wellfleet Life-saving Station, are the remains of the pirate ship Whydah. Her iron caboose was last seen during the Civil War; it has since been buried by the shifting sands. Samuel Bellamy was her captain. He had once joined forces with old Ben Hornigold, and he had done so well that the Whydah carried nearly $1 million worth of gold and silver when Bellamy ran into a storm on the Grand Banks in 1717.
His last prize turned out to be his downfall. He had, just before the storm, captured the wine pinkie Mary Ann, laden with Madeira. He and the crew sampled their haul so freely that more than 150 drunken pirates, in the pinkie and the Whydah, went crashing onto the beach. The members of the prize crew aboard the pinkie managed to save themselves. All but two of the men aboard the Whydah drowned. Bellamy was not one of the two.
Some of the $1 million has since been recovered but by no means all of it. Cape Cod being what it is, however, there have been some treasure hunters there ahead of you, including Henry David Thoreau.
Tarpaulin Cove (5), on Naushon, one of the Elizabeth Islands, off the south coast of Massachusetts, was the last stop for Captain William Kidd before he gave himself up to Lord Bellamont, the pirate-hunting colonial governor, in Boston. It is said that he buried some treasure here. Perhaps.
Block Island (6), at the end of Long Island, was a frequent stopping place for pirates. Certainly some of them hid some plunder here and on nearby islands. Probably most of them managed to get back and dig it up again. But Block Island is a fine place for exploring anyway.
Countless ancient coins and pirate implements have been dug up all along the shores of Long Island Sound (7). Newport, R.I., for example, was the home of Thomas Tew. There is little chance that he buried any treasure, so well protected was he by the authorities of the time, but some of his men probably did. The sound was a passageway into New York in the days before Lord Bellamont, when the city was an excellent pirate clearing house. But at the same time no pirate running down the sound could be sure of a safe welcome, so a great many of them may have buried their gold and silver while they went into town to market their other goods. Most of them dug the money up as they came back out the sound, but a few could have slipped up.
The most famous Long Island Sound treasures are credited to Captain Kidd. He may not have had much of his own prize money left when his voyaging was finally ended, but he did bury a chest on Gardiners Island, at the eastern end of the sound (it was dug up by Bellamont's men). Kidd was reunited with his wife somewhere in the sound. The exact spot is not known, but a likely place is the Thimble Islands, off New Haven, an easy place for Mrs. Kidd to find even in those days. So it is possible that Kidd put a little something aside there for himself and his wife while waiting for her to join him. In accordance with the legend one of the Thimbles is called Money Island. It looks the least likely of them all, partly because almost every square foot of the island is settled and must have been dug over, and partly because there would not be enough soil to bury a chest very deep.
Anyway, the Thimbles make a good hunting ground. Take along your fishing rod, by the way, and some green crabs for bait; the fishing is excellent.
There was also a pirate named Gil-Ian, who was reputed to have made a number of rich hauls and whom Bellamont's men chased all up and down Long Island Sound. With the pirate hunters hot on his heels, Gillan should have done some treasure burying in some of the sound's most hidden coves. The best of these would be along the north shore of Long Island; most of the Connecticut shore is too settled and dug over. On a hunch, try Conscience Bay, to starboard as you go into Port Jefferson harbor. And I wonder how much serious digging has been done in the famous Sand Hole on Lloyd Neck? Don't try it on a Saturday night, though, unless you like digging to the accompaniment of 100 radios.