This is a romance book. It consisted of a few hundred new American eagles and a few times as many Spanish doubloons; for pirates like good broad pieces, fit to skim flat-spun across the waves, or play pitch-and-toss with for men's lives or women's loves; they give five-dollar pieces or thin British guineas to the boy who brings them drink, and silver to their bootblacks, priests, or beggars. It was contained—the gold—in an old canvas bag, a little rotten and very brown and mouldy, but tied at the neck by a piece of stout and tarnished braid of gold. It had no name or card upon it nor letters on its side, and it lay for nearly thirty years high on a shelf, in an old chest, behind three tiers of tins of papers, in the deepest corner of the vault of the old building of the Old Colony Bank. Yet this money was passed to no one's credit on the bank's books, nor was it carried as part of the bank's reserve. When the old concern took out its national charter, in 1863, it did not venture or did not remember to claim this specie as part of the reality behind its greenback circulation. It was never merged in other funds, nor converted, nor put at interest. The bag lay there intact, with one brown stain of blood upon it, where Romolo de Soto had grasped it while a cutlass gash was fresh across his hand. And so it was carried, in specie, in its original package: 'Four hundred and twenty-three American eagles, and fifteen hundred and fifty-six Spanish doubloons; deposited by —— De Soto, June twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine; for the benefit of whom it may concern'. And it concerned very much two people with whom our narration has to do, —one, James McMurtagh, our hero; the other, Mr. James Bowdoin, then called Mr. James, member of the firm of James Bowdoin's Sons. For De Soto, having escaped with his neck, took good pains never to call for his money.