Copyright © April 2017 by Theo Fenraven
Note: Times were different then, and kids grew up fast. Our modern laws do not apply to this story.
Cager and Quill were sitting on the beach three days later, staring out to sea. They had indeed shipwrecked on an island and had made a good guess as to which one. It had no name on the map, and they’d run into no one else.
Wiley, arms full of twigs, stopped under the shade of a palm behind them and tilted his head to hear better. The breeze carried their words to him.
“You noted the location of the ship before it went down?”
“As best I could in the circumstances.” Quill idly scooped sand and let it fall through his fingers.
“When things are more settled, we’ll go there and reclaim our booty.”
“It will be difficult without a proper ship. Hunter might have drifted some, and the hull was breached. The treasure could be scattered over a wide area.”
“Or not.” Cager shaded his eyes. “What’s that?” He stood and leaned forward, still gazing earnestly.
Quill rose beside him and copied his stance. “Wreckage?”
Cager removed his boots and waded out into the water. Quill followed, and between them, they dragged something back to shore. Wiley dropped his twigs and joined them. They laboriously pulled a long, wide board onto the sand, then dropped it.
“From our ship?” Wiley asked, squatting beside it.
The captain said, “Flip it over.”
Letters were printed on the wood: S A N T A A N
Wiley duck-walked away from it, seeing Skunk and his one eye.
Cager rubbed his face wearily. “Well then. It’s a good board. We’ll find use for it somewhere. Wiley, pick up your kindling. The fire needs tending, and perhaps the men have managed to get a few birds for lunch.”
Wiley fell in behind them as they walked up the beach, noticing they briefly brushed fingers before coming into view of the fire. Warmth burst in his chest.
How could anything be wrong when the captain and quartermaster were together?
He smiled and moved faster to catch up with them.
They looked, but they never found their sunken treasure. It’s still out there. Somewhere.