Summary: The Cuban attorney Montilla arrives on the river bank to announce that Link Lambert’s long-lost mother has died, and that Link has inherited a sugar plantation in Cuba. Doc Waters, Mr. Lambert, Hawkins, and Link travel to Cuba to claim the inheritance, called Villa Cazanova. Link’s step-uncle, Rafael Peralta, has other plans, however. He has been seeking what is known as “The Cazanova Treasure”, pirate treasure hidden long ago on the extensive property of the Villa. The treasure consisted of a chest of jewels (which Rafael did manage to locate, only to discover that it had already been plundered) and casks of gold coins that are hidden somewhere else. Peralta is seeking the whereabouts of the gold, information known only to Mrs. Lambert. She is not dead, but has been kidnapped and held in a dungeon by Peralta. Peralta sneaks into the Villa library at night, through a tunnel he had dug to a secret chamber behind a large painting in the Villa. He is seeking a book in the library that tells where the gold is hidden. Link finds the book hidden elsewhere in the Villa. Peralta and his gang are busted by the police, and Mrs. Lambert is reunited with her husband and son. They locate the gold coins, but the loot is stolen by Elam, a mysterious character in the story who had been seeking his own revenge on Peralta. Elam escapes with the gold in a ship, but it sinks in a storm. The Lamberts, however, have all they need with the legitimate wealth of the sugar plantation.
First book published, (Stoner's Boy is first story),
forward in time in an effort to better explain the club and initiate the series. The
boys are about 9 years old.
The Appleton Cuba DJ reads - "Seckatary Hawkins, the genial fat boy, is a favorite character with everyone who enjoys the deeds of a very real boy who manages to discover that adventure and mystery are not so very far off for one who looks for them. In Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba, he is embarked on that greatest of adventures, the search for hidden treasure. It is the hoard of old Cazanova in Cuba upon the quest for which young Hawkins is intent, and there are thrills and surprises and laughs aplenty in his narrative of the events encountered. Hawkins accompanies his friend Link, the Skinny Guy" , into the romantic West Indian island to obtain possession of an inheritance. They find themselves in a nest of mystery and experience ghastly happenings in the Cuban villa where they stay. Ghostly chains rattle, a figure in a portrait moves, a strange old man is caught robbing the house. The treasure map is discovered and the young fellows find that pirate gold may be found but that it is another matter to safely retain it. The climax comes when "Skinny" finds his mother, whom he thought was no longer living."
A Cuban lawyer, Montilla, comes to the clubhouse to find Link (The Skinny Guy) and take him to Cuba to accept his inheritance, the fabulous Cazanova plantations, willed to him by his mother. Link, Seck, and Doc accompany Montilla to Cuba to secure Link’s heritage. On the train and on the ship to Cuba, a mysterious bearded stranger appears to be watching them.
In Havana they go to the lawyers office where they find that the place had been ransacked. The lawyer tried to tell them that the will was stolen and that Link would be out of luck. Doc rejected this as unacceptable and insisted on Link’s rights.
They went to the beautiful Cazanova plantation to meet some relatives of Link’s mother. The most dangerous was his Uncle Rafael Peralta.
Late one night in the Villa Cazanova house, when he is looking for something to eat, Hawkins thinks that he sees the figure of a woman moving in a huge painting. The next day they check and the painting frame appears to be solidly built into the wall.
In their first trip out into the area around the plantation, the boys meet Will Standish and some unfriendly Cuban boys. One of the boys is the son of Uncle Rafael Peralta,
Uncle Lucio, half brother of Rafael, leads them on the Plantation’s big river launch on their first trip to the Casanova Rocks. On the trip, Link’s father turns up. He was the mysterious disguised stranger on the train and on the boat. On the Rocks they visit the little cabin to see where Link’s father is hiding. He is staying there because Uncle Rafael hates him and might do him harm if he knew that he was there. They remain overnight and during the night they furtively follow two of the crew to the rock known as “Cazanova’s Doom”. A "ghost" hurls one of the men over the rock into the sea where the sharks are waiting.
While Hawkins, Link, and Will Standish are attacked by some Cuban boys, a poisoned dart, (probably meant for Link), kills his pet goat. To replace the goat, Links father brings Link a dog that Link names "Tell Me".
Elam, the lame man, appears, and they learn of the pirate Cazanova and his treasure. Elam meets with Hawkins and tells him the story.
Link and Hawkins are in the big living room at the villa when Hawkins hears what he thinks are bells. Later Link remembers it as a chain rattling. Like a bolt on a chain. On another night, Hawkins sees someone prowling in the library looking though books in search of something. Hawkins and the others go back to the Rocks seeking the treasure and find the old pirate ship “Jonah”, anchored in a little cove. They locate a hidden cave and enter it. They get lost in a maze of tunnels that eventually leads back to the Cazanova Villa though an opening in the wall behind the painting of the lady. That explains how Hawkins apparently saw the figure of the lady move in the painting.
Back on the Rocks, Link is kidnapped from the big boat and Links father and Will Standish bring the news back to the Villa. Hawkins and Uncle Lucio and the others use Will Standish’s motor boat to go back to the Rocks and meet the others still waiting on the big boat.
The dog “Tell Me” appears and leads them to the other side of the bay where they find another cavern. They find the meeting place of Rafael Peralta and his men, who it seems are revolutionaries who are planning on taking over Cuba and setting up their own rule.
They are captured by Rafael Peralta; but Seck escapes and finds Link confined in a prison cave. The little girl Otillie had been bringing Link food and water; but Peralta and his men capture her and place her in another cell next to Link. Peralta puts Hawkins in the same cell with Link.
After the water starts to flood their execution cells, Will Standish, his father, Doc and Uncle Lucio along with the Standish’s handyman, Abner Green, come to their rescue. They are reunited with Doc and Link’s father who are both still unconscious from their beating when they were captured by the revolutionaries. While they are sleeping, Otillie brings the mysterious lady of the picture to see them. She apparently recognizes Link’s Father.
When they awake they look for the little girl, find her, and rescue the lady prisoner from her prison cave. It is Link’s Mother, Lucille. Link’s parents are reunited.
The Revolutionaries are captured by the police and Uncle Rafael dies when Elam and the pirate drop a huge rock on his boat as he is rowing under the Cazanova Doom rock. Montilla escapes from the police and comes through the Painting door into the Villa to beg for mercy. They decide to allow him to leave Cuba.
In another trip back to the rocks, they find the Cazanova gold treasure in another cave and leave it there overnight. During the night, Elam and the old pirate escape with the pirate treasure in the "Jonah" and are lost in a storm at sea.
With all of their problems solved, Uncle Lucio is going to take over and operate the plantation for them. They return to Florida on Link’s big steam yacht. Will Standish and his man, Abner accompany them. Link and his parents are going to stay at a big house they bought in Kentucky and Hawkins and Doc head for home.
DID YOU KNOW?
It is reported that sometime around 1926, RFS was convinced to drop the phrase, "Which We Did", because it seemed to dampen the suspense endings. He did not follow this suggestion permanently as we can see, but, The Cazanova Treasure does not use the phrase at all.