I know now that it was a mistake, for a single letter might well have
saved me, as it turned out, years of drudgery, heartache and futile
groping for that first rung of the ladder which is most elusive of all.
in Paris, the legitimate gem trade was a closed circle jealously
guarded, but there was in London then no Diamond Club such as I had
known on the Continent, where the dealers in gems could forgather daily
and govern the trade for the good of them all. True, there was a
meeting-place of sorts for traders in -gems in Hatton Garden which
occupied the site facing the present sub post office in that
thoroughfare. But this place was frequented by many shady characters
and was as much visited by Scotland Yard men as by the "merchants"
I visited the "African Café" perhaps once or twice out