An adventurous trader, it is said, hearing the legend of a great treasure buried a party of Portuguese hundreds of years before, as a last resource attempted its discovery by the help of a mesmerist. A child was put into a trance, and gave his mesmerist details of the adventures and death of the unhappy Portuguese men and women. With much other detail, the boy described the burial of the great treasure and its exact situation so accurately that the white man and the mesmerist were able to dig for and find the place “where it had been” — for the bags were gone, swept out by the floods of the river. In another trance, the boy revealed where the sacks still lay; but before the white trader could renew his search for them, the party was hunted out of the country by natives whose superstitious fears were aroused, barely escaping with their lives. . . .
Stephen Coan is an assistant editor of The Natal Witness.