In 1924, at the height of Prohibition, Charlie Hebert was the most infamous rum runner in the Thousand Islands. No one knew the river and its hidden coves the way he did. No one could slip through the American patrols as easily. No one else took as much pure joy in taunting the authorities while carrying out what he laughingly referred to as a public service, delivering contraband liquor to the poor thirsty Americans.
And no one else was foolish enough to fall for the daughter of one of those thirsty Yanks. Except Daisy Sheridan was anything but poor. And her father wasn’t nearly as easy to deceive as the authorities.
Charlie and Daisy’s courtship was mostly a thing of the night, of furtive trips to the dock followed by races across the dark waters of the Saint Lawrence to one of the many hidden places Charlie knew. He begged Daisy to elope with him but her grandmother was dying. Much as she wanted to be with Charlie, she could not ruin her grandmother’s last weeks of life. Their compromise was to have Charlie smuggle in a trusted friend, a pastor, who married them in secret one moonlit night. The plan was to spend as much time together as they could until her grandmother’s death and then run away together.
Then Daisy found out she was pregnant.
Dying grandma or not, they had to get away. But Charlie, who had never held back when it came to his own safety, knew that their escape route would take them directly through the American patrols. He never hesitated to play hide and seek when it was just him, but he refused to risk the welfare of Daisy and their unborn child. It was time to play his hidden ace.
During his many days spent exploring the islands in search of places to hide, Charlie had stumbled across something that took his breath away, something so out of his experience that at first he couldn’t even fathom what it was. It took many secret visits before he accepted that he had stumbled across a stash of items looted from the White House before it was burned in the War of 1812.
Charlie had no problem breaking laws he regarded as idiotic, but he had an appreciation of history and knew that the items he had uncovered should be returned to the Americans. When it became clear that he and Daisy would need to flee he sent one item from the trove to the Americans with a proposal: he would reveal the location of the rest of the items in return for safe passage for Daisy and himself.
His proposal was accepted.
On the designated night, Daisy kissed her grandmother goodbye, left a note for her parents, and joined Charlie. What happened next was never fully sorted out, but what no one disputes was that the darkness erupted with gunfire. Charlie pushed Daisy down, shielding her with his body as he raced their boat back across the waters. They eluded the gunmen but it was too late. Charlie had been hit.
Daisy got them to his family in Comeback Cove, but it was too late. Charlie died without ever regaining consciousness. He never got to tell his family that he and Daisy were married. Never saw his son.
Never told anyone where to find the treasure.