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He was never found.
I think he is at the bottom of Round Pond.
He is the Abenaki Indian Sabael Benedict. The “History of Hamilton County” indicates that he was involved in the Battle of Quebec. . Father said he would have been well over 100 years old.
My father also told me he saw Benedict in 1855 near Benedict’s hunting camp The local rumors were that Benedict had a cache of gold hidden away. Therefore, foul play seems to be the reason for Benedict’s disappearance. His body should have been found by people who knew his route. If not, then by guides or lumbermen.
Ah yes, – – – the lumbermen – – – where did they come in to the picture?
Did Benedict have such an effect on the lumbermen of the Adirondacks? Most people would say no. However, I knew something that they did not.
I was just a young buck when I wandered into something that I should not have. I had been scouting around for ginseng that day. It had been drizzling on and off all morning and the woods were quiet. My sack was almost full when I realized I had lost my knife. I backtracked very slowly so as not to accidentally kick some leaves over the knife thereby making it harder to find. The knife finally showed itself. I cleaned it, put it in its sheave, and tied the rawhide strap around the handle so that I would not lose it again. It was then that I heard voices somewhere nearby.
Now there was no reason for any one person to be out in these woods, other than me. But there must have been two people. Espying the area I finally saw them. There were four men and a young lad a little older than myself. I listened intently to hear why such a large group of men would be having a get-together way out in the forest.
One of the older men said “You know what you have to do to earn the money.” He was speaking to the young lad who held an expensive rifle under his arm.
The young fellow answered “I do, and it will be done before the week is out.”
I never saw the young lad before that day and never saw him after that day.
Of the four older men I knew two of them by sight but not by name. They were land-men who purchased large parcels of property for the lumber companies. These two had reputations for talking farmers out of their land holdings.
One of the other men, who I did not know, said to the young lad “When the job is done, meet us at Round Pond and we will clean up the finished business. You will get paid then.”
The older men shook hands with the younger one and the four departed in a group. The young man went in his own direction.
I waited for them to get far enough away so that they would not hear me walking. I followed them for some distance and could hear them talking and laughing about something or other. That is when I saw a piece of folded paper that one of them must have dropped. I picked it up and flicked off the wet leaves. I then backtracked to the main trail and went home.
Once there, I removed the paper from my jacket and read it.
I still did not realize what the note meant. There were land-men all over the Adirondacks trying to buy property for the lumber companies and lodge builders. Many of the people who had been in the Adirondacks their whole lives had no reason to move, no need for the money, and no desire to ever leave their land. I imagine that Sabael Benedict was one of them.
My father and I discussed the note. My father told me that he was aware that Benedict had been buying up property over the years. Everyone thought that Benedict had a stash of gold and silver somewhere in the mountains. My father told me that it was not true. He said that Benedict had told him he had somehow obtained a fortune in the Battle of Quebec. However, Benedict had spent the last dime of that fortune on property.
My father and I decided that the note was instructions for the land-men and was nothing more. I crumpled it up and threw it in the fireplace.
We never did see Sabael Benedict after that. He was getting old and everyone assumed that he had passed on. The strange thing was that his body was never found in the woods. There were guides and lumbermen tramping all over Benedicts property once he was gone. Therefore someone should have discovered his remains.
I have been told that eerie sounds come from Round Pond at night. Most people attribute it to an old loon.
I know better.