Sitting at his desk in the Texas Petroleum building, Chuck Henderson received a phone call informing him of the expedition led by a group of divers who were trying to locate the treasure from the Spanish galleons sunk in 1588.’
“Get me a team together and meet me in my private hanger in one hour.’
Chuck Henderson was a multi millionaire he had made his money in the early twenties when he bought two hundred acres of farmland from an old man knowing that there was oil to be had on it. He promised the old man that as long as he was alive he would keep the farm going. In 1926 Earl Pettigrew died of pneumonia and straight after his funeral Chuck began drilling for oil. Three months later Chuck hit the jackpot and the well was producing one million barrels of oil a week. He made several million dollars from it.
Chuck Henderson the big Texan stood six feet three and weight three hundred pounds.
A very shrewd man Chuck was never a one to miss out on an opportunity. His parents sent him to Harvard University to do business law. It was whilst he was in the library one afternoon that he overheard a conversation going on about the Spanish galleons that had sunk over the coast of Ireland. He began reading and researching every article that there was to be had on the subject. In fact he could have graduated as a history student quite easily. Instead he just kept on gathering information.’
In 1938 he formed a ten man team and set off to Ireland in search of the lost treasure.’
He had the team diving day and night around the Irish coastline but had only come up with a few cannon balls and a rusty old anchor. The team were inexperienced as far as archaeology was concerned. They had done some salvage work but nothing like this before. When WW2 broke out Chuck returned to the United States. He was rejected from the forces because of a heart murmur when the Japanese bombed pearl harbour on December 7th 1941 and America entered into the war.’
In 1947 he ran for governor of Texas winning by a landslide victory.’
“Now he had everybody in his pocket, politicians, the police, Judiciary, everybody.’
He was buying up more farmland and drilling for oil in the hope that he would make it big again.’ It wasn’t as if he needed the money he had fifty million riding in the bank. He played on the stock markets making him even more. Chuck however wanted to find the big one; the treasure from the Amada which he figured was worth over two hundred million dollars. Chuck picked up the phone and rang his wife to tell her of his plans and told her he would be away about three months.’
Evelyn Stewart had married Chuck for his money not for love. He had pursued her for some years until finally she relented they were married on June 2nd 1940.
“Chuck gave her everything she wanted except one thing. He was sterile and could not give her a child that she so wanted. Chuck left her alone most of the time and there was only Macy her house keeper and George her chauffeur for company. Then an old College friend called one afternoon. Bobby Hathaway the handsome blonde haired American quarter back for the Texas Bulls; she saw him when she was clothes shopping one day and invited him over. She never expected him to show up but there he was on her front porch. They spent the afternoon talking about their days at college and that evening Bobby asked her out to dinner.
Evelyn got George to take them to a restaurant Bobby had chosen in Galveston called Gaido’s on Seawall Blvd.’
Bobby and Evelyn spent the whole evening together, they drank champagne, and they danced together. Evelyn felt alive for the first time in her life, not trapped in some cocoon that Chuck had her in. Over the course of a week Bobby and Evelyn saw each other every night, Bobby asked her to come to his hotel and stay the night.’