Legend of Money Cove

The Legend of Money Cove was related to me by a man of eighty, an inhabitant of the island of Grand Manan, which lies in the Bay of Fundy, about twelve miles from Eastport, Me. He said that his mother used to tell him the story when he was a boy. It is well known in the island. 

Whale Cove, Grand Manan NB

A widow who lived on the island of Campobello had a peculiar dream one night. A headless Negro appeared to her, and said, “In a certain spot on Grand Manan there lies, in a hogshead, the buried treasure of Captain Kidd. I was killed by Captain Kidd’s pirates that I might guard the buried treasure. I am weary of my task. I wish to tell you where this treasure is, and then rest in peace. I will show you the place.”

Then there appeared to her the exact picture of the rocky slope, on the island of Grand Manan, which is now called Money Cove. Campobello and Grand Manan are sister islands in the Bay of Fundy.

Although the dream was vivid, she dismissed it from her mind. On the next night, however, the Negro boy appeared again. This time he said,

“Because you may doubt me, I shall prove to you that the things I am saying to you are true, Your husband once lost a chisel. You can find it twenty yards from the house in the brook. Take this chisel with you, and
go to the place on Grand Manan which I showed you last night in a vision. You must go alone at midnight up the mountain and through the woods. You will hear strange noises of conflict. Do not turn back, but keep steadily on. Nothing will harm you. Presently you will see the top of a hogshead that is by this time at the surface of the earth. Throw the chisel on its top, and the enchantment will be broken. You may then have any one to assist you.”

As the widow found the chisel in the brook, she was encouraged to proceed further. She hired two fishermen to row her in their dory to Grand Manan. They skirted its shores until she recognized the part that was seen in her vision. It was most solitary. The waves were beating on the rocky shore, and the trees grew thick and high up the steep incline. An eagle soared between the tree-tops and the blue sky.

Whale Cove, Grand Manan NB

They waited until midnight. Then the men were left on the beach, and the timid widow began the ascent alone. She heard strange noises, muffled sounds, and the clash of steel in conflict. AIthough very fearful, she trudged upwards. Ahead of her she saw the top of a hogshead. On it sat the headless Negro boy. She was about to throw the chisel on the hogshead and break the enchantment, when a mighty wind swept through the forest and bent the trees nearly double. The wind twisted the trees and whirled their branches about until the woods moaned with the agony of it, and lent their mournful wails to the sounds of the unseen but fiercely-raging battle. At this point two Spaniards with drawn swords appeared. They were engaged in a deadly duel between her and the treasure. She became so terrified that she dropped her chisel, and screamed loudly for help.

The enchantment was broken all too soon. The treasured hogshead and fighting Spaniards disappeared. The trees still swayed, but not so violently as they had a few minutes before. The trembling widow stood waiting. The fishermen, hearing her screams, went hurriedly up to her assistance. They found her almost insane.

Although many have since gone to that lonely spot in search of the hidden treasure, none have found it. But always in that forest, when anyone ascends the slope, the winds bend and twist the trees as in a fierce gale. Since the adventure of the widow in search of Captain Kidd’s treasure, that particular stretch of rocky beach and steep incline of forest is known all over the island as Money Cove.

LAURA M. SUPLEE. From Journal of American Folk-Lore, 1928