Run Away with the Money
It was a blustery day in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1800's. A rowdy looking sailor
stepped out of his cabin, walked across the deck of his boat, and jumped onto the dock. He had just
found out that some people from China would pay quite a nice sum for ginger and ginseng. His only
problem was that he needed more money to be able to finance his trip to the West Indies. He
wandered through the town until he tripped on someone's cane.
"Oh my! I'm so sorry about that," stated Asa Richards. "I didn't think anyone would trip over
my cane while I was resting my poor little feet. I'm Asa Richards. Is there anything I can do to make
it up to you?"
"Well, you could help me in a business expenditure. I'm John Stevens. I own one of the small
boats in the harbor. I have found out that I can make a lot of money if only I had a little more to be able
to finance my trip to the West Indies. You see, this involves buying ginger and ginseng and then
selling it to a Chinaman here in the Boston harbor. If you help me, I'll split the profit with you," John
"That sounds like a good idea. I wish I had a boat myself so I could steal the deal from you,
but since I don't, I'll help. Partners?"
"Partners it is."
"How about we walk to my home and sign a contract?"
"Okay, that way you'll feel better about me taking your money."
"Follow me." They walked down the boulevard to a mansion.
"I think we should plot it out. So you are going to take your ship down to the West Indies and
buy the stuff, right?"
"That's right, except my son John is also coming along," John replied.
"Okay. Then you will come back to Boston where the Chinaman is docked, right?"
"Yes, then you can help us unload from my ship and load onto theirs."
"We should then come back here to split the profit."
"Agreed." Both of them signed the contract and John returned to his ship.
The next morning was perfect to begin the journey. There was a strong wind that would help
to carry the ship down to the Indies. John stood at the wheel and gazed at the open sea. His son came
up to him at this moment.
"Isn't this a perfect opportunity, John?" John asked to his son.
"Yeah it is, but I think it could be even better."
"How's that, Son?"
"Instead of docking we could just tie our ship to the Chinaman's ship and load the items onto it.
This way we could get all of the profit. We could then go somewhere else, perhaps Canada. This is
only if you're not afraid of getting caught, Father."
"I'll have to think about that. You do have a good brain to come up with something like that."
They continued sailing to the West Indies with the wind in their hair. When they arrived, John, Jr.
jumped off the ship into the water. It felt good to be off of the ship. His father docked the boat and
then jumped onto the dock. They strolled over to the market where they bought fifty pounds of both
ginseng and ginger.
"Father, this stuff is heavy! I guess I'll just build more muscles by doing this."
"That's silly, Son. You're already strong enough to lift these boxes. Let's go load them onto
the ship." When they were finished with this, they started back to Boston harbor.
"Son, I think I will take your idea. I think that is exactly what we should do. After we get the
money, we can head up to Canada. Then sale the boat and head across by the railroad as far as we can.
After that we might have to walk to the Pacific Ocean. I've been planning on moving to that coast for a
couple years now; I just never had enough money to make the trek. Now we will have plenty!"
explained John. As they came into the Boston harbor, they pulled right up to the Chinaman's ship.
They tossed them ropes to keep their ships tied together, then put a plank across to transport the goods.
"Well, I think that's all of it. Now for our payment, kind Sir," prompted John.
"I think this is what we agreed on. You can be on your way. Thank you very much for this,"
the captain of the Chinaman's ship replied.
At this very moment Asa was watching from the dock. He had heard news of them coming
that day. Asa was very concerned about his money when they didn't dock the ship. He noticed that
they were transferring the goods without him which meant that he probably wasn't going to get his
money. Asa turned around slowly and headed for his home. He knew that he would never trust people
to be honest again.
John and his son took off, headed for Canada. No one knows what happened to them after this
incident. After this Asa took off across the plains with his family to settle in California.
Information About This Story
Asa Richards is the grandfather of LeGrande Richards. I am related to him through my
grandmother on my dad's side. I am probably also related to John Stevens through my grandfather on
my dad's side. My dad wasn't quite sure if I was related to John, but he knew I was related to Asa.