Dart Valley Writers U3A




Steve Smith


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A Bold Venture



First I must thank you for your prompt reply.  I am surprised indeed at how quickly you have come to a decision upon what I had thought would require some longer cogitation, some weighing up.  Further I have to express my disappointment that your decision, hasty or otherwise, runs so counter to my wishes and it is on this subject that I again put quill to velum.

Could I not prevail upon you to reconsider?  The sum mentioned represents only a fourth part of my anticipated fortune, and at the age of two and twenty years I had thought you might, Dear Father, have considered me of an age when decisions concerning the thoughtful investment of such a sum were within my powers and prerogative.

Considering the strongly phrased objections of your initial response it is, I think, incumbent upon me to clarify some details:

The Gentleman who is making this financial opportunity available to me is a man local to Brixham.  He is a seafarer of some fifty years, and though his accents indicated a man of rough and ready means he is by no means a fool. He had in his possession a map or chart, which he has vouchsafed to show me in due time, upon which in clearest terms is indicated an isle 'pon which in boldest red is scribed an 'X' with the legend "Here is buried the Chest of Tresser".  The Gentleman concerned assures me that through his learning of matters nautical during his active and exciting life, he can "with no doubt at all" locate this very isle, and with no more than two men and a spade find this treasure and return to Brixham with it.  As I mentioned in my first letter all that is required is that I lend this man the one thousand ducats needed to put together a decent vessel and crew.  I would not be expected to travel myself, for my wont of experience, so my part would simply lie in providing the investment, upon which half of the treasure will be mine upon the barque's return.

I fail to understand why this simple transaction should raise in you such doubts about the morality of mankind in general, as I do take it amiss that you express such doubts concerning my sanity. 

I can assure you that Captain Black, for all his coarse language and seafaring songs is as honest a man as I have seen, and his friend, Jake, does make a similar assurance to me daily. Why, the Good Captain has already shown his good nature by granting me an extra week to repay a small wager that I lost to him last Wednesday.

I do hope you can see the goodness of this project and release to me the sum mentioned from my Trust, that I may prosper in this venture.  Captain Black has made earnest of his wish to name the vessel with our family name, which I feel sure will make you proud.

I am in hopeful expectation of a more favourable response now that you are informed of the details of the enterprise.

I remain, Sir,
Your most obedient Son and Servant,




©SteveSmith May 2014