was no peculiar luck in his favor. Thousands around him had equal
chances or better. He went to the front because he had the brains to
choose aright and the working powers to make his choice profitable. He
made mistakes as men of his sanguine temper must, but he did not make
many mistakes, and no fatal or even greatly damaging ones.
is no business without risks. The most prudent man cannot engage in
mining or in trading in mineral products without risks. If hot-headed
speculation has swamped fortunes in such a field, it is no less certain
that overstrained caution has failed to win anything memorable. There
is a happy and rare mean of sagacious judgment in mining
operations, and Barney Barnato proved his possession of such judgment
incontestably. His mind worked so quickly, and his mental calculations
were so exact and minute, that it was often supposed that he jumped at
conclusions. " Barnato's snap judgment," sneered a man whom he outbid
in competition; " Barnato's sheer luck," growled the man who saw his
judgment turn to gold.
young partners, Barnato and Cohen, worked hard, early and late.
Barnato's keen eye gained a valuable business connection in a way that
suggests his kinship to Sherlock Holmes.
of the most successful " kopje wallopers " (a name given to men who
visited the various miners' huts for the purpose of buying diamonds)
made regular rounds through the diamond fields on an old, lame, yellow
pony, calling on men who had the best bargains in diamonds to offer.
Barnato and Cohen tried repeatedly to follow him, but his track was
soon lost in the labyrinth of tents, huts, and sand heaps. However,
Barnato was able to see that the trader's pony had the habit of
stopping at places where choice bargains were made, and when the
broken-down beast was offered for sale one day by its owner, Barnato
snapped at the chance to buy him for £27 10s., an enormous
price for the old pony as a steed, but a great bargain for the keen
diamond broker, for the walloper's business went with his pony, as he
afterward saw to his chagrin.
Soon Barnato became known as a " walloping walloper,"