"It's a healthy life," said Mr. Van der Westhuizen, "and you don't look your age."
Mr. Bishop said, "Did you see that newspaper interview with Mr. Field?"
"I did," said Mr. Van der Westhuizen. They looked at each other.
he's ninety, so am I," said Mr. Bishop irritably and with what might
have been a touch of jealousy. "Two years ago he was seventy-eight.
That's all I know about it."
next excavation we visited was not far away; this digger, Mr. Van der
Westhuizen explained before we got out of the car, was a colored man
who had been working on the diggings for a good long time and had a
nice little outfit. He was a nice fellow altogether, I understood; the
sort of fellow who deserved a lucky break. We found him sorting gravel
at his table, with his partner looking on, but he willingly paused to
show us around his pit. He was working on a bigger scale than Mr.
Bishop, and I observed with considerable awe the rubble his boys'
industry had extracted from the claim. What held the work up, he said,
was the immense size of the boulders they had to pull out in order to collect
the material in between: the river must have been a raging torrent that
rolled this stuff into position in ages past. The boulders were piled
up outside the pit in quantity sufficient, I decided, to build at least
two cottages. They were really of various colors but they were red
from the dust—red like the diggers' clothes and boots: red as my
handkerchief with which I mopped my wet face. The dust got into my nose
and I sneezed.
"Like to try your hand at sorting?" asked the digger. "A new hand brings luck, they say."