The ghostly cloven hoof which guards Spanish treasure

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I am constantly searching for tales which may be of interest and felt that this one may suit.

I am sure that we are all aware of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and also that a number of the Spanish ships fled up the Scottish coast in an effort to evade the English fleet. The Spanish warship reported to have sunk in Tobermory Bay has been well documented but it is the vessel sunk off Lady Isle just south of Troon in a violent storm is the one that interests me.

It was a very large ship reputed to be that of Vice-Admiral Alcarede which was not only full of treasure but was reputed to have on board a golden throne on which King Phillip of Spain’s viceroy would sit should the armada be victorious.

The ship also carried a lot of rich merchants who were intent on stripping England of her wealth, but of course they all foundered with the vessel. The Troon merchants on hearing of this wealthy treasure in their locality promptly employed two very experienced divers to try and recover as much as was possible.

At first they busied themselves with the macabre task of stripping the jewellery from the bodies of the dead merchants but when one of the divers approached the after cabin he heard an unearthly sound which so unnerved him so that he surfaced and refused to go back down. The other diver who professed himself to be of much sterner stuff, was bribed into diving down to the after cabin with the promise of rich lands in Troon if he could recover the throne.

He entered the cabin by a hatch to be assailed by ghostly apparitions which he ignored but as he approached the golden throne he was surprised to find that it seated a rather amiable elderly gentleman who held out his hand in a gesture of welcome. However when he attempted to shake hands he found that he was holding a cloven hoof which shook him so much that he beat a hasty retreat to the surface and so ended the expedition.

The nub of this tale is that at the bottom of the Firth of Clyde there still lies a valuable Spanish treasure slowly sinking into the mud, just waiting for it to be retrieved by the intrepid diver who is able to ignore the supernatural tales that guard this treasure. He/she would most probably find that these old ships carried cows on board to provide fresh milk and realise that to find one in the after cabin after a storm was perhaps not that unreal. This combined with the imagination of the diver, who had no diving apparatus and had to hold his breath, did the rest.