Tuesday, July 16, 2013
A Pirate's Treasure in the Bay of Chaleurs
The ship was sinking. They had left Ireland over a month before, heading for New York City. The captain had died on board leaving the ship without direction. They knew they were in trouble when their food supplies and water was running out.
Annie was twenty years old and had been full of hope when she said good bye to her Aunt Edna. Without any other relatives, she decided to leave her small town and go to a place that promised to be more exciting. One evening a storm set in and the ship was no match for the mighty waves that crashed against it. Everyone on board took shelter below deck and in the darkness prayed for their survival. The winds lasted for two days. When it had calmed down, Annie noticed the water slowly seeping in around their feet. Everyone now went up on deck in a panic. The ship was sinking and they were going to have to swim if they wanted to survive. They could see land ahead but it was still too far for most people to make it. Mr. Anderson, a carpenter took over and made sure they were all fed with the remaining supplies. With the help of the other men, they tore apart pieces of the ship's wooden structure to make floating devices that would help them reach the shore.
When they left Ireland, there had been sixty two people on board. Now there were only thirty nine passengers left. Many had perished during the storm. They would not be able to bring much with them because they would have to use all their strength to hold on to the floating pieces of wooden debris to get to shore. Annie went back to the lower deck to pick up her leather satchel that contained a small amount of money that her aunt had given her before she left. As she walked along the darkened corridor, she passed the captain's office. A small amount of light was streaming in from where they had ripped boards apart to make the floating devices. The water was seeping in and was now up around her knees. How sad she thought, Captain Moore had been such a kind man and he had been so protective of her when she first came on board. He had told her stories of his life at sea and some of the interesting people he had met. Turning around to leave, she seen a small wooden box with a silver clasp floating in the water beside his desk. She picked it up and put it into her leather satchel which she tied across her back. Up on deck, Mr. Anderson gave them instructions on how to swim their way to shore by holding on to the pieces of floating lumber.
Within two hours, they had all made it to dry land. Exhausted but thankful that they were alive, they gathered together in a prayer of thanksgiving as they watch their ship slowly sink into the Bay of Chaleurs.
Annie opened the first general store in the area and became a rich young woman. She sold everything from tea cups to gun powder. She married Thomas Leblanc and had six children. She sent money to her Aunt Edna and had her move to Canada to live with her. Annie often told the story of the wooden box that she had found on the sinking ship. Inside she found a few gold coins and a bank note that led her to New York to claim a long lost treasure that had once belonged to a rich man without a family, except for her, his new wife. Yes Captain Moore had told her many stories about a young pirate named Peter that he used to know well. Peter Moore had died on that sunken ship that she had watched go down in the Bay of Chaleurs. He had not always been the respectable captain of a ship and she was sure that he would have been happy that his stolen fortune had been used to give a poor Irish girl a new start in life.