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THE TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR NOTE: Strange But True Stories of Notes Found in Seagoing Bottles by Robert Kraske

THE TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR NOTE: Strange But True Stories of Notes Found in Seagoing Bottles

By Robert Kraske

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Nelson

Baited with an unverifiable tale of a thousand-dollar promissory note in a bottle washed up in the Azores ""a few years ago,"" this assemblage of curiosa is as haphazard as the fate of message-bearing bottles altogether. Kraske appears to have collected clippings--many, of the column-filler 'sort--without necessarily checking them out. The titular story, for instance, tells of a San Francisco dishwasher whose lucky bottle bore a will naming the finder heir to the signatory's estate And she, one ""Daisy Alexander,"" was--his friend tells him--""the only child of Isaac Singer, the American sewing-machine millionaire."" Now it happens that Singer had a notorious score of children and none of them was named Daisy. No wonder ""at last report"" in 1955 the twelve-million-dollar claim was still pending--where Kraske is content to leave it. Also left unidentified are the Lusitania bottle-messages, hardly even historical footnotes without attribution But then few of the ""true"" tales are more than snippets--the bottle-engendered correspondence that doesn't bloom into romance is a big story--and, by the same token, the factual information on charting currents and other uses of message-bearing bottles is fragmentary too. As an antidote to the $$$ lure, however, there's much to be said for the bottlefinders who twit the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for its fifty cents reward. Small pickings, then, the best-answered question being why indeed so few of the messages come to light (Jr. Lit. Gld.)