The Crafty Guide to Cheyne Heath (Pt. 3)
The Annual Gold Bullion Hunt
One of the most delightful and whimsical annual events in Cheyne Heath is the Spanish Gold Bullion Hunt that happens every summer solstice on the heath. In the late 1800s, Robert Louis Stevenson made reference in a letter to an acquaintance of a substantial sum in gold bullion stolen from the Spanish king by pirates that had made its way to London. Whether or not this little morsel of adventurous fabulation was true, the acquaintance spread the notion around town to the delight of many a guest at fashionable dinner parties.
The notion sparked the imagination of one Augustus Renfrew, a name likely to be familiar to so many hard-working women for his extensive series of lurid and alarmingly accurate pulp novels about witches. His most famous novel, “The Gargoyle,” featured the gold bullion heavily. Since its publication, readers have taken the book to be a puzzle, the true location of the bullion supposedly encoded into the text. The story takes place on the summer solstice, and many clues hinge on the particular angle of the sun on that day. Thus the summer solstice has seen droves of adventurers of many ages, male and female, scouring the heath in search of treasure every year for the past century and more in search of the treasure.
What should be of interest to the visiting witch is not the bullion, but the hunt itself. It has become a much-beloved and anticipated past-time for the local witches to spend joyous hours watching the mundane folk search frantically for gold that, if it ever existed, is long gone.
Visit the many fine mundane stalls of Morel Market in the morning and pack yourself a hamper to join the many local witches who assemble on the heath for a picnic in time for the festivities which begin promptly at noon.