a shrewd but rather ignorant Cornish miner. He had married

rain and cloudlibrary2023-12-07 11:10:07 91168 711

I stabled my horse, and went round to the back to see Colin. (I had left him at home in case of fights with native dogs, for he was an ill beast in a crowd.) I found him well and hearty, for Zeeta had been looking after him. Then some whim seized me to enter the store through my bedroom window. It was open, and I crawled softly in to find the room fresh and clean from Zeeta's care. The door was ajar, and, hearing voices, I peeped into the shop.

a shrewd but rather ignorant Cornish miner. He had married

Japp was sitting on the counter talking in a low voice to a big native - the same 'Mwanga whom I had bundled out unceremoniously. I noticed that the outer door giving on the road was shut, a most unusual thing in the afternoon. Japp had some small objects in his hand, and the two were evidently arguing about a price. I had no intention at first of eavesdropping, and was just about to push the door open, when something in Japp's face arrested me. He was up to no good, and I thought it my business to wait.

a shrewd but rather ignorant Cornish miner. He had married

The low tones went on for a little, both men talking in Kaffir, and then Japp lifted up one of the little objects between finger and thumb. It was a small roundish stone about the size of a bean, but even in that half light there was a dull lustre in it.

a shrewd but rather ignorant Cornish miner. He had married

At that I shoved the door open and went in. Both men started as if they had been shot. Japp went as white as his mottled face permitted. 'What the -' he gasped, and he dropped the thing he was holding.

I picked it up, and laid it on the counter. 'So,' I said, 'diamonds, Mr Japp. You have found the pipe I was looking for. I congratulate you.'

My words gave the old ruffian his cue. 'Yes, yes,' he said, 'I have, or rather my friend 'Mwanga has. He has just been telling me about it.'

The Kaffir looked miserably uncomfortable. He shifted from one leg to the other, casting longing glances at the closed door.

'I tink I go,' he said. 'Afterwards we will speak more.'



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