The Treasure Hunter of Santiago

 

By Peter Missler

 

In August of 1838, in the middle of a devastating civil war, a grotesque figure arrived at Santiago de Compostela, the ancient pilgrimage town in the North-West of Spain. He was a former Swiss mercenary, who thirty years previously had heard a rumour about a massive hoard of church plate buried by the soldiers of Marshal Ney. A fantasy? A daydream? Just one of the many hollow legends of hidden gold that abound in Spain? Perhaps so. But, astonishingly, the Swiss vagrant did not come on his own errand. He came sponsored by Spain’s savvy Minister of Finance, Don Alejandro Mon, who for some shadowy reason of his own lent credence to the tale.

 

Like an historical sleuth, Peter Missler traces the tale of Benedict Mol the treasure hunter through the mists of time and a smoke-screen of cover-stories. It is a fascinating saga which takes us to Portugal with looting French soldiers, into the wild mountains of Northern Spain with the brilliant polyglot George Borrow, and – by the hand of Mol - into the darkest nooks and corners of a hospital for syphilitics. The first attempt to find the treasure toppled the government, the second ended with the murder of two peasants. But was the hoard secured? Or does it still lie waiting somewhere in a Santiago park…?

 

Durrant Publishing, Norfolk 2010, pp. x + 225, 3 maps, 29 illustrations. Available in hardcover (₤20 + postage), paperback (₤10 + postage) and eText (₤0.75). For sample chapters see http://www.durrantpublishing.co.uk.

 

 

How to order

 

The Treasure Hunter of Santiago may be ordered from Amazon (enter ‘Missler Treasure Hunter’ into the search machine of any Amazon site).

 

Those who prefer to acquire the book from a bookshop may contact Graham York Rare Books, 225 High Street, Honiton, Devon, EX14 1LB England. Tel: 01 404 41727; email books@gyork.co.uk; 3; website www.gyork.co.uk.