True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 200
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200 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
Some rather pathetic and other rather amusing things have
been connected with that buried treasure. One or two men became
so fascinated by it that they devoted their lives to searching
for it. I met one of them in 1873 and spent a night with
him at his camp on Cypress Creek. I think his name was Shook
or Schukes. Louis Hillendahl, who lives at Spring Branch,
knew him well and told me the old man did nothing but search
for that Mexican money. He was so certain that it was located
in Harris County on Cypress Creek that he would search nowhere
else for it.
Sometime about 1878 or 1879, Charley Fingerman, who was a
great musician in Houston, and who is well remembered in
Houston, heard of the treasure and determined to find it scientifically.
Charley had married a lady who was a spirit medium
and had the power of calling up the dead. 'He was about half
way a convert, though only half way, but he was enough so to
lay all the facts before his wife and consult her. "A sitting"
was had and the spirits promptly told them where the treasure
was and how to go about finding it. They were told to take a
table with them and place it out on the prairie about a hundred
yards from a certain island on Cypress and then to await developments.
They did as directed. Charley told me the story
himself. He said the day was very hot, for it was summer and
that he had slipped a few bottles of beer in a basket to prevent
sunstroke. When they got to the creek he slipped off, took a
good drink of whiskey and washed it down with a bottle of beer.
He said it was so hot he needed something to strengthen his
faith. There were five or six people in the party, all women
except Charley. After he had his drink they took the table out
on the prairie as directed. They gathered about it and put
their hands on it. Charley said his faith increased by leaps
and bounds when the table at once began jumping up and
down and started off hopping in the direction of the "island."
The table led them into the little grove, and going to a large
tree, halted and began jumping up and down. Charley was so
excited that he nearly forgot to drink another bottle of beer
when he went down to the creek to get his digging tools. The
table was set aside and Charley went to work with his spade
and for two hours labored faithfully. He found nothing. The
ladies consulted over the situation while Charley slipped off to
Finally it was agreed to try it over, so the table was taken
out on the prairie again where it cut up exactly as it had done
before. When it led them back to the "island" it took them in
at one of the sides and stopped at another tree. Charley went
to the creek, took another big drink of whiskey and a bottle
of beer and returned to his work again. This time he dug and
dug, not only at the place indicated by the table, but for yards
all around it in every direction. Finally his patience was exhausted
and rising in his wrath he kicked the table over, cursing
both it and the spirits. That settled it right there, for the indig-
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/200/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .