“Over here! It’s over here! I’ve found it!” yelled James, pointing frantically at the area to his left. “Honestly, there’s gold over here!” The shout seemed to fall on deaf ears. After months of searching the island for the treasure, and getting nowhere except lost, no one got too excited about so-called finds anymore. They would wander over in their own time, and usually they would kick at the jewels lying on the ground, or in the hole, or under the tree roots and declare them to be fake.
James, as the youngest on the expedition, still held out hope, even if something was beginning to worm its way into his brain – suspicion. The map was real, hundreds of years old. He loved to imagine the man who had drawn it, how delicately he must have used his pen or quill or whatever it was. How good his memory would have had to have been to get it just right. He couldn’t believe that this same man would spend so much time on something that ultimately would prove to be a big practical joke. Plus there were the jewels. There were jewels all over this island. James found them, told the others, then never saw them again. Fake or not, they disappeared.
James was beginning to think he was being used.
James was beginning to think that he was doing all the drudge work and was being fobbed off with lies about the authenticity of the treasure.
James was beginning to think he’d be better of alone.
“Over here!” he shrieked, louder than ever. “Seriously, guys, you’ve got to see this!”
Now he saw them, casually strolling across the countryside towards him, laughing about something he was never to be let in on. James waved at them, then knelt down by the side of the hole he had dug. He squeezed the handle of his shovel and prayed that the hole was big enough to take them all.