This is a true story of a search for buried treasure. The only part that is not true is the name of the man with whom I searched for the treasure. Unless I keep his name out of it he will not let me write the story, and, as it was his expedition and as my share of the treasure is only what I can make by writing the story, I must write as he dictates. I think the story should be told, because our experience was unique, and might be of benefit to others. And, besides, I need the money.
There is, however, no agreement preventing me from describing him as I think he is, or reporting, as accurately as I can, what he said and did as he said and did it.
For purposes of identification I shall call him Edgar Powell. The last name has no significance; but the first name is not chosen at random. The leader of our expedition, the head and brains of it, was and is the sort of man one would address as Edgar. No one would think of calling him "Ed," or "Eddie," any more than he would consider slapping him on the back.
We were together at college; but, as six hundred other boys were there at the same time, that gives no clew to his identity. Since those days, until he came to see me about the treasure, we had not met. All I knew of him was that he had succeeded his father in manufacturing unshrinkable flannels. Of course, the reader understands that is not the article of commerce he manufactures; but it is near enough, and it suggests the line of business to which he gives his life's blood. It is not similar to my own line of work, and in consequence, when he wrote me, on the unshrinkable flannels official writing-paper, that he wished to see me in reference to a matter of business of "mutual benefit," I was considerably puzzled.
A few days later, at nine in the morning, an hour of his own