I accepted, and took my place at the sack-covered table. As I had seen
the others do I cut out a wedge-shaped slice from the heap and scraped
it toward me. Immediately something exciting came into view—a tiny
drop of light, light with edges, as clear as a bit of ice, coldly
"There!" said the digger in gratified tones as I grabbed it. "What did I tell you?"
time it wasn't quartz. The digger held it up to the light. "Nice little
stone," he said, and his partner took it and rolled it around in the
palm of his hand and said, "More than a carat." Two or three boys came
over to look, and then it was popped into its Benzedrine-inhaler case.
Glowing with pride, I went back to scraping and searching, but it was
soon obvious that I had brought all the luck I was going to bring that
spent the rest of a long morning on the fields. I remembered best a
very tall old man with one of the most expensive English public-school
accents I had ever heard. He said, "The last lady who came out to look
at the diggings, as I remember, was the Honorable Mrs. Cuffe. That
would have been back around 1925."
"How long's he been at it?" I asked as we drove away through the barbed-wire opening.
"All his life, one way or another," said Mr. Van der Westhuizen. "Mr. Anthony must be close to seventy-five. It's a-----"
"Oh, it's obviously a healthy life, but not, on the whole, a profitable one, is it?" I said.
Van der Westhuizen was a romantic type, and this hurt his feelings.
"That old man has made a packet in his day," he said defensively. "The
trouble with all of them is just one