The Treasure by Julien Ayotte

The Treasure
Sebastian Reynolds, a noted columnist with a prominent newspaper in Nova Scotia, receives a letter from an elderly retired Army colonel seeking a meeting to discuss a possible story for Reynolds’ column. The eighty-two-year-old veteran, Colonel Jerome Woodrow, has received two boxes from his closest friend, Captain Brad Cunningham, also retired and age eighty-two, living on an island in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. The boxes contain no note from Cunningham, but include a cloth map describing an unidentified island with three initials…EIP. The boxes also contain maps and charts, and a small leather pouch containing gold and silver Spanish coins from the 1800s.

Colonel Woodrow doesn’t know what to make of the contents, and Reynolds offers to help him uncover more information about the validity of the find, and attempts to enlist an expert in treasure hunting and map reading. The expert is the son of a college history professor, Ruth Thomas, who Reynolds had done a column on a few years earlier. Bill Thomas now lives in Florida, and operates a salvage company and treasure seeking vessel named Voyager, an eighty-two foot motor yacht equipped with all the latest technological equipment befitting searches in deep water and on islands where old pirate treasures were buried.
What makes this story believable is that Woodrow’s old military buddy had a relationship in 1989 with Emma Brown, the daughter of a sea captain who had accompanied Henry Smith, the son of a suspected pirate, Jonathan Smith, on a voyage to re-bury a lost treasure to an island in the South Pacific. According to a tale printed in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1913, a Captain James Brown stated that he aided Captain Henry Smith re-bury a treasure in 1850 originally pilfered by his father, Captain Jonathan Smith, in 1820 off the coast of Peru. Henry Smith died in 1856 and had never retrieved the buried treasure, and the cloth map was handed down to Emma Brown following the death of her father. Emma never told her lover, Brad Cunningham, about the two boxes, and he did not find them until years after her untimely death in 1990, while living with Brad on his villa in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
Brad is soon murdered by an intruder at his villa, reaffirming Woodrow’s belief, and that of his new friends, Sebastian and Ruth, that his murder was directly related to the treasure map. Bill Thomas and his geography expert and girlfriend, Candace Springfield, identify the island in question, and prepare to seek out the treasure, but not before the murderer of Brad Cunningham is apprehended. Woodrow teams up with Reynolds to find the killer and unearth a treasure from the past.
Take the journey with them to an uninhabited island in the Pacific, where the old sea treasure might still exist. From the Nova Scotia peninsula in Canada, to a South Sea island, to a villa on Turks and Caicos, and to the rolling hills of Virginia, the quest for pirated riches from long ago leads to murder, intrigue, and an unexpected romance along the way.


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