The Journal of Captain Roberts
Non Illustrated Version
Copyright © March 2016
By R. McCullough
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Contents of the small chest
Gold doubloons, pouch with11 rubies, 2 large emeralds, silver jewel hairpin, assorted jewelry
Large leather pouch containing a journal
Inside the leather cover: Silver Wing Captain Roberts, one over the other
A small beautifully carved wooden box.
Inside the box is a folding gold tipped pen, ink jar with stopper still in place and about an ounce of dried ink
Contents of the journal
Small book – about 6×9 inches
Written in very precise script as by an educated hand
Only about half the pages are left – others apparently torn out.
Pages missing – maybe torn out to provide means to start fire?,
other pages are found in filled in holes – apparently used as ‘wipes’
– partly burned pieces are also found in the fire remains
Pages are torn in a random manner so most of the story is lost
No blank pages left
Enough pages are found and cleaned to provide a brief narration of their last days. Including somewhat of a description where they buried two chests of gold and jewelry. Where they last lightened ship before continuing up river.
A leather pouch is clutched to the small skeletons chest
Within the pouch is a small diary (4×5 inches or so) and a smaller pouch with 2 rubies, 5 small uncut diamonds, double wing silver butterfly, small pearl hat pin (not rusted) and a small cloudy quartz crystal.
The small skeleton is wearing a necklace of 8 pearls and a tarnished 3 inch jeweled silver dagger hairpin – could this be a female?
Discovered fallen from her crossed hands::::
Pages torn from her father’s journal are also discovered within her clothing::
Barely legible, the last page of her diary tells of her last few hours:
Johnson, le cuisinier, a essayé de me toucher père l’arrêta par la menace de l’épée, mais le père est en train de s’affaiblir, comme il dégoûte plus nous avons de l’eau, mais pas plus de nourriture, l’air est difficile de respirer nous gardons le feu minuscule ou la fumée est très mauvais père a été délirante et garde marmonnant sa pierre talisman
père et cuisinier sont morts maintenant père est tombé dans un état de stupeur et une partie déchirée de cuisson de mes vêtements d’avoir son chemin avec moi mes cris ont réveillé père et ils se sont battus, ils sont morts d’autre choix maintenant je vais devoir creuser sûrement les hommes à l’extérieur n’ont laissé par maintenant creuser avec les pères Dirk a ouvert la chute assez de voir la lumière obtenir plus d’air mais ne peut pas déplacer les gros rochers que ce sera ma dernière écriture que l’encre devient trop sec même quand j’ajoute eau j’étais tellement faim, mais pas plus envie de dormir mettra pères choses end et sieste un peu plus si faible que je pense que je meurs ici mais je vais enfin voir Mère à nouveau
Johnson, the cook, has been trying to touch me father stopped him by threat of the sword but father is getting weaker as he sickens further we have water but no more food the air is hard to breath we keep the fire tiny or the smoke is very bad Father has been delirious and keeps muttering about his talisman stone.
father and cook are dead now father fell into a stupor and cook ripped part of my clothing to have his way with me my screams woke father and they fought they both died no choice now I will have to dig out surely the men outside have left by now digging with fathers dirk opened the fall enough to see more light get more air but cannot move the big rocks this will be my last write as the ink getting too dry even when I add water I was so very hungry but no more am sleepy will put Fathers things away and nap some more so weak I think I die here but will finally see Mother again
Search of the hole
Most have been removed from the journal – the blank pages in the back appear to have been used first.
Ideas: use bits n pieces
Some page remnants are found in the small fire remains, apparently used to start the fire.
More pager found in the covered holes used for bowel movements. At the further most point from the fire and stream
They again ran aground at one point but rains swell the river enough to go further upstream. Altho they first unloaded all the treasure chests and hid them in a small cave nearby beneath an large overhang. They were then carefully covered with dirt and rocks from the overhang, re-planting several uprooted bushes to cover the area. They also dumped ballast, the cannons, and their balls to lighten ship and because the ship was too short of powder to properly use them.
Another mile up river the rain had stopped and the river dropping, putting then aground on the east side of the river and this time piercing the hull. No choice but to abandon the Silver Wing to her fate.
Only 8 crew members were left, two of them wounded.
They now had only half of a small barrel of gun powder plus what was left in their powder horns.
Enough food for 5 days
The two wounded fell behind and had to be left.
Shortly after leaving the wounded men, they heard war cries of the Indians and then the faint screams of the men left behind.
Following the edge of the river, they managed to hide their tracks and lose the Indians.
The Captain thinks they are 2 to 3 miles upriver of the Silver Wing.
The next day, about noon, they see a lot of smoke – the Silver Wing is burning.
Three of the crew prefer to cross the river and try to head back south to the coast.
Knowing a fight with gunfire will attract notice, the Captain agrees.
He gives each a horn of powder and a share of what food is left.
Two manage to cross the river safely and, with a wave, disappear into the forest.
Now down to him, the cook named Johnson, and the cabin boy, Renée, they decide to head north, the river having turned west, and opposite the direction that the other three are going.
Captain Roberts was able to hit a rabbit with his dirk as evening approached. The cook, Johnson, skins the rabbit while Renée finds some dry kindling to make a small fire. The rabbit is quickly sheared and eaten. They put out the fire and move some distance further north from the fire. Hopefully there was not enough smoke made in the short time to give away their position. As darkness approaches Renée, following a small stream hoping to find crayfish, sees an opening between two stone cliffs. Venturing closer he sees a small cave entrance and the small stream flowing out of it.
Captain Roberts thinks this is an excellent place to spend the night and rest secure. Inside, using quickly made torches, a nest of rabbits is seen with two grown rabbits and 6 little ones, food for two days. They decide to stay there for an extra day. Late the second day they hear the sounds outside of several men speaking in a foreign language. Then a figure enters, blocking out the light from the small entrance. The Captain fires his musket, hitting the figure. Yells outside are heard as the figure is dragged from the entrance. The next day digging noise is heard and a rock slide covers the entrance. The water starts to back up but shortly seems to break thru some as a bit of light is seen and the water is no longer rising.
Flight of the Silver Wing
The pages of the first few years and are torn out.
First pages still in the journal are from the 3rd year to time of death.
Not a great deal was written by Captain Roberts about the ships he plundered, certainly no ships mentioned by name.
Build Renée an abbreviated diary of from about 1818 or so while she was living with her mother in to the end of 1820 when her mother finally died the week before Christmas from a 3 month sickness. They lived in Lorient, France. Her father had arrived from sea a month before in mid November. Deciding to leave the life of a privateer her father decides to move to New Orleans in the new world.
1818 – 1821
During the years he was Captain of the ship they were able to catch and plunder three treasure ships plus 4 others for their food and provisions.
The crew felt Captain was very lucky finding treasure ships and contributed this to his lucky stone which was never far from him. A crew member once stole the stone during a two week overlay in Jamaal. Several of the crew, after searching for two days, found him dying. First wrapping the stone in silk, they then returned the stone to Captain Roberts.
During this layover, Captain Robert’s found his wife, Jacqueline, very ill and dying. He had enough treasure own for him and his daughter Renée to live comfortably. But he knew the Royal Navy was doing an intense search for the Silver Wing and especially him. After his wife died, and his stone being found and returned, he called a meeting of the crew. Having always been upfront with his crew he explained that all had enough plunder to live well on.
Therefore he intended to sail to the new world and settle with his daughter in New Orleans. He would then, should they prefer to continue sailing the seas in search of plunder, give up his Captaincy to one of the crew. Otherwise to sell the ship and split the money evenly. However, to the cheers of his crew, he does intend to take ships along the way should they happen to come across any. A third of the crew had families and decided to take passage back to France to live.
Unknown to Roberts one of the sailors, dismissed for stealing from shipmates, plans to betray the captain to the British for the reward on Roberts head. The British will now know the Captain’s intentions and his New Orleans destination.
Ten days later, with 13 year old Renée now disguised as the cabin boy, supplies bought, loaded and treasure divided the Silver Wing set off. Thirty two days out one ship was caught and plundered tho it had little except supplies. However, it did have sailors with information about the disgruntled sailor’s treacherous final act. The sailor had been paid his great bounty and then was hung. Much laughter broke out when a crewman said, “But he died rich!” Captain Roberts decided the prudent thing was head for Galveston rather than New Orleans.
Several days later the tips of five sails were spotted and which turned out to be the Royal Navy. Two of the navy’s faster ships gave chase, closing on and opening fire on the Silver Wing. The British ships were damaged enough so Captain Roberts was able to break away from the fight and sail away. The other British ships, being capital ships and much slower, stopped to render aid giving the Silver Wing several days lead. Once the two ships are repaired the navy head after Roberts.
Unknown to Roberts the British had a very fast schooner scout ship along which now shadows, unseen at a distance.
Arriving at Galveston Island they swing around to the north side and anchor. Roberts sends three crew members ashore to gather information. Finding no apparent trouble most of the crew elects to go ashore while the captain sells the ship. A week later, several potential buyers have been found and are on board inspecting the Silver Wing prior to placing an offer.
Alarm bells onshore starts ringing as several large British ships are spotted approaching the island. Although shorthanded, with only 22 sailors still aboard, Captain Roberts knows he must flee. Setting sail he attempts to outrun the British Navy by heading southwest only to see two British frigates coming around the south end of the island. Fleeing north up bay and up the river may be their only chance. But first he must get past the two fast ships he fought previously. He maneuvers as if to go between the ships and then goes hard over going down the side of only one ship. Opening fire before the surprised ship can ready the disengaged side. Two full broadsides disable the enemy and a lucky shot breaks the other ship’s mainmast.
Knowing they have no chance against the larger British ships seen at both ends of the island Roberts heads up the bay. Captain Roberts now sees, at a distance, the fast schooner scout and knows how he was found. Their only chance is going as far as possible upriver and abandoning ship. Noting the fast schooner is following he thinks about coming about and sinking it. Then realizing that could be a bad mistake continues on.
It is slow going up the river and, once some miles upstream, Rodgers decides to stop for the night as it is too dangerous to continue in the dark so he sends several men ashore to hunt fresh meat. About an hour later, they return with a deer and bad news. They were spotted by a native and were unable to catch him. Sentries were posted and rotated but everyone spent a restless night. As dawn breaks one sentry sees a native watching from shore. Roberts tries to get the native to come aboard to talk but the native refuses and shoots several arrows, hitting one sailor. Before he can stop them several of the crew return fire hitting the native. Roberts, knowing many more natives will now be after them, orders anchors pulled and the ship heads upriver once again.
Some distance behind the smaller schooner can be seen still following. Knowing their only chance is to stop the schooner Roberts pauses long enough to offload two small cannons and enough men to man the gun. Leaving them a small boat where they can follow he has the men set the cannon where the schooner will have to pass very close ashore. Then the Silver Wing continues on up river, pausing after a short distance. A short time later they hear the cannons fire and then again a second time later. Shortly the rowboat is seen coming up behind when suddenly a flurry of arrows strike the men. Then arrows begin hitting the Silver Wing. The natives are driven off using grapeshot in the cannons.
Recently I have several curious readers ask questions about the ship Silver Wing and her captain's encounter with the British and Indians. The following are the general notes I made at the time of writing the first book. The questions have also given me the idea about adding a person that develops the ability for actual remote viewing. He -or she- begins first by having read articles/books about lost… items and loves the idea of finding treasure. Over a period of weeks, the person has a series of dreams seeing more and more clearly a vision of where the item is located. Let me know if anyone wants to work with me on a spinoff about it. I have not, nor had these, edited so expect to see (numerous?) errors…