JAMES was not without his share of curiosity, and he was strongly
desirous of seeing with his own eyes the pot of gold, and so learning
how rich the hermit was.

Prejudiced as he was against Mark, he did not really believe the boy
would appropriate money that did not belong to him, though it would have
been a satisfaction to him to find that his enemy was in a scrape.

“That boy, Mark, seems to be an artful young rascal,” Lyman Taylor
remarked, as they were walking along together.

“He is all of that,” said James, emphatically.

“My uncle is old, and his mind is weak. He is very likely to be
influenced by a sharp, unprincipled boy.”

“It’s lucky you came down here to watch him.”

“That depends on whether I am able to put a spoke in his wheel.”

“Do you know whether your uncle has much money?”

“I don’t know, positively, but I have heard he was very successful in

“If he is rich, I shouldn’t think he would live in such a tumble-down
cabin,” said Tom.

“Perhaps he has become a miser. His burying money looks like it.”

They entered the wood, and as the boys knew their way all over it, they
were able to go straight to the tree.

“It was from this tree that old Anthony measured,” said James.

“Can you tell in what direction?” inquired Lyman, anxiously.

“This way, I am sure.”

“Do you know how far?”

“Not exactly, but we can tell by seeing where the ground has been

Lyman Taylor took the spade and began to dig vigorously. Such hard work
was not generally to his taste, but now he was spurred by a powerful

He would not have been sorry, now that he had obtained the information
he required, if the boys had left him to work alone. But this they had
no intention of doing. They were very curious to see the treasure
unearthed, and ascertain how much there was.

At length, the spade struck the earthen pot.

“I’ve touched it!” exclaimed Lyman, triumphantly.

He worked with redoubled energy, and soon laid bare the buried vessel.

The boys drew near, eagerly, and looked into the hole.

Lyman threw himself down upon his knees, and removed the cover of the
jar. No sooner had he done so, when he uttered a fierce cry of

“Boys,” he said, looking up with haggard face, “there’s nothing there!”

“No gold in the jar?” asked James, with a blank look.

“Not a particle. Are you sure there was any left?”

“We couldn’t see, but it stands to reason that it would not have been so
carefully covered up unless there had been some left.”

“You are right there. Now, what has become of it?”

“Can Mark have taken it?” said James, turning to Tom.

“I don’t know,” answered Tom, doubtfully.

“That’s just what happened. I’d like to wring the young rascal’s neck,”
said Lyman, fiercely.

“What are you going to do about it?” asked James, curiously.

“I say, boys, it’s pretty hard luck,” complained Lyman, “to see yourself
robbed by an artful young scoundrel. He’s just taken in Uncle Anthony by
his artful ways, and is laying a trap for his money.”

“I see now,” said James, quickly. “That’s what he meant by not caring
about losing his place in my father’s shop.”

“I’ll go and warn my uncle against him,” said Lyman. “Boys, will you
show me the shortest way to the cabin?”

“Certainly, with pleasure.”

Pleased with the idea of getting Mark into a scrape, James guided the
disappointed nephew to the hermit’s dwelling.