“I’ll give it a try,” Steve said. “I remember reading something about it being named after a man named Cyrus Bellamy. He was believed to be one of the first settlers here who organized the island into a community. There’s not a lot known about him.”
“However, he was not the first Bellamy to visit the island,” Niles said. “Legend or otherwise has it, his father, Samuel Bellamy and mother, Mehitable Hallet, were. Samuel Bellamy was the famous pirate, Black Sam. They thought he drowned in a shipwreck off Cape Cod in the early 1700s. However, his body was never recovered and some speculated he actually survived and brought his mistress, Mehitable, from Cape Code to this Island. Of course, there is no real proof of this, it’s only legend – or otherwise.”
“How do you know this?” Dave said.
“That comes later,” Niles said. “They built a mansion on the Island. It was to serve as the capital of a pirates kingdom. It is not known who burned the mansion, the British, the French, or Indians. No one knows where the mansion stood. The dreams and plans of such a kingdom faded into the Maine backwoods. During the American Revolution, a young man named Samuel Brewster comes to Bellamy Island. He begins building ships. He builds only a couple. He’s too far away from the market and buyers. He started building fishing boats. Samuel Brewster, believed to be the grandson of Samuel Bellamy, had no male offspring and thus the name died out.”
“I’ve never heard that one,” Steve said, “and between Dave and I, we’ve heard it all.”
Charley smiled broadly and shook his head like a dog drying off. “Chief, I think Dave and Steve have met their match.”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Niles said, “My knowledge is not nearly as broad as those two. That information was given to me.”
“I’d venture to say only one person could have given you that information, Mildred,” Steve said.
“That information got her killed,” Niles said.
“And you have it,” Jessica said. “That may mean your life could be in danger.”
“All the information has been sent to a lawyer,” Niles said. “In the event of my death, it will be given to the FBI and the state.”
“You must think somebody in this room has an interest in the information you have,” Lute said, “otherwise, why tell us?”
“Either that or I’m sure the information will get to that person,” Niles said.
“If it’s any comfort to you,” Charley said, “it can’t be me, because I’m lost.”
Niles smiled as if he held a secret.“That storm sure is a doozy.” He stepped to the window and watched the snow streak past the deck. The wind howled like a mournful dog. Silence dominated the room.
“Everyone in this room may have a motive to kill,” Niles said turning to everyone seated at the table.
“What would the motive be?” Steve said.
“Money,” Niles said.
“I don’t think there’s enough money for me to kill,” Shelly said.
“Perhaps,” Niles said. “A drop of cyanide in a coffee for a million dollars. Squeeze a trigger for another million. How many people do you think would do it? A million dollars, not as much as it used to be, but what about one hundred million. Now, even a logical person might ever reason that; they’ll die anyway or if they had the chance they’d take my life.”
“Did you say one hundred million?” Shelly said.
“Sam Bellamy’s ship was believed to have silver and gold on it,” Niles said. “Several years ago his sunken ship, the Waydah, was found; the silver recovered, but no gold.”
“Thus, one hundred million dollars in gold,” Lute said.
“It was said the Waydah had 180 bags of gold,” Niles said. “It’s someplace or otherwise.”
“On Bellamy Island?” Shelly said.
“I don’t know,” Niles said. “For all I know it could be a pipe dream, but people buy lottery tickets on far less.”
“So you think one of us has the treasure bug and willing to kill for it,” Dave said.