Ch. 5: And Son (Oppenheimer)

Ch. 5: And Son (Oppenheimer) Page of 303 Ch. 5: And Son (Oppenheimer) Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
dealers were dumping their output on the market, the price of diamonds would fall disastrously. The thousands of employ­ees in the industry—miners, assayers, cutters and so on—would suffer as much as the financiers, if not more, from such a sud­den dislocation, Oppenheimer pointed out, and in the end no one would profit. The death of the industry had to come some­day, but he felt that everything possible should be done to fore­stall it. And monopoly was the only answer.
Oppenheimer lives in Parktown, a residential section on the outskirts of Johannesburg. His house, Brenthurst, sits well back in a forty-acre plot of ground. It is a white house with the big-roomed and high-ceilinged architecture that people living in warm climates usually develop. Sir Ernest's first wife, Mary, died about twenty years ago: he is now married to the widow of his nephew, who was the son of his brother Bernard. The nephew was named Sir Michael Oppenheimer, so Sir Ernest's wife, who was Miss Caroline Harvey, has been Lady Oppen-heimer twice. The fact that her son by her first husband is in his turn Sir Michael Oppenheimer, and that his wife is thus also Lady Oppenheimer, doesn't make matters any easier for a newcomer to the Oppenheimer family circle.
Sir Ernest's days in Johannesburg follow a set routine. He goes to his office at nine and deals with business, spending much of the time in conference with his son Harry. He has never been one of those great minds for little things. He likes the theory of affairs, but the executive details don't fascinate him and he delegates them to a number of helpers. They say he is a good man to work for: he doesn't interfere. A little past twelve he knocks off and has a whisky and soda, and then he
Ch. 5: And Son (Oppenheimer) Page of 303 Ch. 5: And Son (Oppenheimer)
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