So he’d found riches beyond his wildest dreams. What good did it do Lon Sum? He’d been a castaway for more than seventeen years, marooned on the South Sea Island without another human being in a thousand miles. White hair straggled over his shoulders.
Lon and his adventurous, churchman friend, Friar Dennis Day, an Irishman, were shipwrecked on the nameless rocky island. Their ancient yacht had sprung a leak and foundered in the bay. It sunk beneath the waters while they swam ashore. A map had led them to the treasure island, but they had no way to leave.
First they followed the instructions on the parchment map. It led them to a huge, old wooden chest, containing a cache of gold coins and jewels.
The two men celebrated drinking fermented coconut juice. When the high wore off, they realized they were stuck. Using wood that they found on the beaches, they built a makeshift raft. Then they drew lots to see which of them would try to get to civilization. The good Friar won. Lon bid him goodbye. Lon stayed to safeguard the treasure from possible intruders. Lon never saw as much as a sail.
Lon bid his friend goodbye on a Thursday morning more than five years ago.
Being alone so much had driven Lon a trifle nutty. Night after night he slept in the cavernous wooden treasure chest. He felt secure inside it. He was becoming an old chest-nut. Even he chortled at the thought.
Lon had secreted the treasure inside a cave nearby.
Was Lon going wackier? Was that a human voice? He couldn’t be sure. It had
been five years since Friar Day disappeared over the horizon on that faithful Thursday morning.
Lon squinted out to sea. He saw his friend standing on the beach. Beyond, a sailboat bobbed on the waves in the bay.
He dashed onto the beach. The two men hugged, in a manly way.
Not used to talking, Lon croaked. “Thank God it’s Friar Day.”