In 1982, author Byron Preiss published a book called The Secret (A Treasure Hunt). Inside Preiss included twelve verses and twelve illustrations, masterfully painted by his friend and famous book cover artist John Jude Palencar. The goal was to match each verse to an illustration and solve the riddles to find the 12 ceramic casks buried across the US. In the casks were small keys that could be redeemed for precious jewels. Preiss thought the treasure hunt would take only a few months to solve, but since 1982, only two casks were ever found.
Now I challenge you to help me find one of the casks. Other treasure hunters seem to believe the tenth verse and the twelfth image point to a cask in NYC. Since I live closest to the city and have lived there before, this will be my focus. Here is the image and the verse:
In the shadow
Of the grey giant
Find the arm that
Extends over the slender path
You’ll often hear a whirring sound
Although the sign
Speaks of Indies native
The natives still speak
Of him of Hard word in 3 Vols.
Take twice as many east steps as the hour
From the middle of one branch
Of the v
And see simple roots
In rhapsodic man’s soil
Or gaze north
Toward the isle of B.
The first clue is perhaps the most misleading. The woman’s face closely resembles that of Lady Liberty’s, but the Statue of Liberty is green, not grey. Not to mention, the statue’s arm extends to the sky. Regardless, some believe the Statue of Liberty is still the statue in question, and the slender path she points to is the Narrows, a section of the Hudson River between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Others believe the grey giant is the statue of George Washington on Wall Street since he is a giant of American history. In this case, the slender path would be the skinny in size Wall Street.
Whirring could be helicopters. There are helicopter tours of Ellis Island, so perhaps that is a place of interest. Not to mention, the middle section of the island where boats dock looks very much like D4 in the illustration.
Cars abound? Well that could be absolutely anywhere. It’s New York City.
The native of Indies? Definitely Alexander Hamilton. If we assume Lady Liberty is our giant and she is pointing to the Narrows, the section of Brooklyn by the Narrows is called Fort Hamilton. Perhaps that is it.
The rest is quite confusing for me. Rhapsodic man? Is that NYC native George Gershwin, famous for his song Rhapsody in Blue? If so, I don’t see how that helps. But he is ethnically Russian and D5 shows a Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps a Russian Orthodox Church is representative of his simple roots.
As for the isle of B, that is Liberty Island. Before receiving its current name, the island was called Bedloe Island. That seems fairly certain. So I guess we can at least determine that the treasure is south of Liberty Island.
Any thoughts guys?