your romantic would allow. I was in sore straits for money. It seemed
to me then that I needed it more than any man in England. True, I had
frozen assets representing the savings of; Several years activity as a
gem merchant. My three morocco leather wallets were bulging with an
assortment of aquamarines tourmalines, peridots, moonstones and
cat's-eyes. Nine thousand dollars' worth—if anyone wanted them. But no
one did. That was the trouble.
came along one Baer, who cunningly valued my stock at treble its cost
and assured me that he could sell and get the cash for me all right. I
was as blind as a bat. He got the stock and twelve years passed before
I saw him again.
it was, however, who was the cause of my seeing the world in a way I
had never expected. I was sure in my mind that he had gone beyond the
seas. But whether to Malaya, Java, China, India or South America I
could not even venture to guess.
All I knew was that I should meet him again and have it out with him some time. And so I did, but not as I expected.
a few weeks of my visit to the London Docks I met in Paris a German Jew
who had made his pile in the Argentine, but was still greedy for more
money. He it was whom I interested in my dreams. But it was some time
before I could get him warmed up to my pearl buying and pearl fishing
proposition. Finally, however, he consented to back me on a
profit-sharing basis, provided all my purchases were shipped to him for
disposal. And so at last I found myself on the high seas bound for the
pearl fisheries of Western Australia.
Fortunately for me the R.M.S. Ortona carried
no fourth-class passengers; thus I was privileged to bunk third. I had
booked to Fremantle in Western Australia, where I was to tranship into
a steamer bound for the "Never Never Land," 1,500 miles up the nor'west
I had not the faintest misgivings, and was positive I would return with a fortune, and, what was more, I had high hopes