Thomas Beale Treasure...Message reads as follows:
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"I have deposited in the County of Bedford about four miles from Buford's in anWin 1,000,000.00 Dollars Free and Instantly excavation or vault six, feet below the surface of the ground the following articles belonging jointly to the parties whose names are given in number three herewith.

The first deposit consisted of ten hundred and fourteen pounds of gold and thirty eight hundred and twelve pounds of silver deposited Nov. eighteen nineteen.

Carl Hammer, right, joins treasure hunters as they go over a map.

The second was made Dec. eighteen twenty one and consisted of nineteen hundred and seven pounds of gold and twelve hundred and eighty eight of silver, also jewels obtained in St. Louis in exchange to save transportation and valued at thirteen thousand dollars.

The above is securely packed in iron pots with iron covers. The vault is roughly lined with stone and the vessels rest on solid stone and are covered with others, Paper number one describes the exact locality of the vault so that no difficulty will be had in finding it,"

Ward struggled with Ciphers One and Three till his determination and his family fortune ran out.

In 1885 he gave up and published "The Beale Papers" which included copies of Beale's letters to Morriss and Morriss' testimony, as well as an account of his own efforts to break the ciphers.

To future treasure hunters, however, he issued a warning: ". ..devote only such time as can be spared from your legitimate business to the task, and if you can spare no time, let the matter alone,"

Sound advice, but not the kind taken by cipher addicts or those like William Legrand, the hero of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, who are smitten by the Gold Bug.

Deeply ingrained in the American psyche are a couple of optimistic beliefs: every problem has a solution and millionaires happen overnight,

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