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Charles loses his father when he is quite young. They had both watched the ships sail in and out of the harbor and dreamed of the adventure of sailing off to far away, exotic places.
At the harbor inn, Charles overhears a conversation among a group of sailors off the finest ship he has ever seen enter the harbor. They are speaking of a well-known pirate dying, without revealing where his treasure lies buried. Captain Henry Morgan and his band of pirates had sacked Panama City of its riches, but Captain Morgan had all the most precious treasure loaded aboard his ship. While anchored for the night, Captain Morgan’s crew quietly weighed anchor and sailed away. Charles had dreamed of one day leaving his small farm home and sailing off to see the world, but this talk of treasure completely hypnotizes him. He has found a new dream!
He hires on the ship as a cabin boy, believing it is a ship of His Majesty. Only days out to sea, he discovers it is a stolen ship bent on piracy. When an old sailor warns him of the dangers of being such a young lad and becoming a pirate, Charles is determined to escape this ship. Pirating involved killing and all sorts of cruel, criminal acts. He wants no part of it!
Frederick, the pirate he befriends, devises a plan for them to escape the ship. Then, Charles tells him of wanting to seek out the treasure that wily old Captain Henry Morgan, the meanest of the pirates, hid somewhere in the Caribbean. Of course, Frederick believes the boy is daft. Many’s the man who searched for the treasure and came up empty handed.
When they leave the ship to fire a signal cannon to alert the crew that Spanish treasure ships are approaching, Charles and Frederick sail away in the longboat, with a homemade sail attached. They are caught in a ferocious storm and both nearly die. But the Gods that rule the sea aren’t yet ready for them.
Finally, they reach Jamaica and find some of Frederick’s old pirate pals. Frederick convinces them they should go in search of Henry Morgan’s hidden treasure.
So, they set sail in a leaky old bucket of a ship, but don’t tell Charles what bad condition the ship is in. They are to search the coast of Barbados, but sail along the coast of South America to their destination out of fear the leaky old ship might sink.
When their search on Barbados proves fruitless, they sail for the small, uninhabited islands, but are caught in a monster storm that rips their ship to kindling. Charles survives, but many of his mates die in the sinking of the ship. Marooned on an island, they build a small boat to go from island to island, their ultimate goal to return to Jamaica even though empty-handed.
As they reach each island, Charles and Frederick scour it for some sign that Captain Morgan might have buried his treasure there. Charles is convinced one of the small islands would have been the most likely hiding place for the wily old captain. Their boat is not large enough to carry everyone, so they must sail half the people to an island, then two men sail the boat back for the balance of their crew. When half the crew leaves Charles behind with some others to sail to the next island, but never return, they decide to build a huge raft to sail to a location where they might procure a ship with some of the jewels from the treasure Charles has found on the island. If they can escape back to civilization, every man among them will be fabulously wealthy.
Their trip to Saint Eustatius is not only successful in buying a ship, but they also rescue some hundred black slaves to help them sail the ship. Once back to the Treasure Island, they load the treasure aboard and sail off to find their missing companions. They discover they are being held by ferocious cannibalistic Caribbe Indians. Charles has discovered