Somewhere in Scotland, a £10,000 gold and diamond mouse is buried, a love token seemingly hidden by Robbie Burns for his lover, ‘Clarinda’. Letters and a painting that give clues as to its whereabouts are published on a web site. The race is on to solve the bard’s cryptic billet doux and unearth the precious jewel!
According to the creators of Bequest, Robbie Burns was given the keepsake by an unnamed Scottish Earl. During a journey around Scotland he hid it for the benefit of Agnes McLehose, the subject of his unconsummated love - the ‘Clarinda’ he wrote to as her ‘Sylvander’. The letters, giving the clues as to where it was buried, were intercepted by Burns’ wife Jean, and hidden. They have recently emerged from her armoire, bought at a furniture sale.
Whether the story is fact or fantasy, the mouse is a reality. In order to find it, treasure seekers must log on to BurnsBequest.co.uk, pay a nominal £10 fee and make their deductions from the letters published on the site. Alongside the letters on the web site is a painting by Ross-shire pop artist Michael Forbes. The painting also contains clues which come and go during the life of the website.
Bequest has been put together by Joe Gibbs, co-promoter of Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (7 - 8 August 2009), a whacky, independent festival of music and performing arts in the Highlands (Beauly, Inverness-shire), now in its sixth year. This year’s festival goers will get an advantage over other Bequest treasure hunters, as the final clues and version of the painting will be unveiled at the festival 72 hours before they appear on the website.
The gold and diamond mouse was designed and created by Susan Plowman - please click here to visit her website.