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1* ont of the qu«*1100, and there is no Thus we have followed the stages of doubt that the Company is consequently mining, farning, washing, sifting, search- . uustoje te henvy loans, which some ex. ing, and finding, during which diamonds preits animate u bring as high as 10 per have been discovered in small pumbers, runt ,, £10 worth is molen out of but generally of exceptional size, in the avery (100 worth discovered. Numerous mine, a few more in the “ blue" exposed wurde forbid viniturn to handle the gravel. in the open fields, but by far the greater Pillow do you know," I inquire, that number in the sorting-houses. Next, the 1, # perfort

, stranger to you, have not al- scene reverts to the rooms in the De Beers vanily merieted two or three diamonds un- office, where all the stones are sent for der my tongue or up my sleeve ?" No sale. Considering the vast treasure it four,'' in the smiling roply; "unknown contains, the building is of a flimsy na10yourself, you are being carefully and ture, with little provision against fire or Incomeantly watched." And this startling thieves beyond one or two safes, and a


few loaded revolvers on the table, ready high as 60 per cent of their value, and to be snatched up for instant use. Mr. the loss of weight incurred thereby freJoseph, we may assume, is still arguing quently amounts to two-thirds of their the question of £26,000 or £26,400 be- original carats. Among the curiosities of fore one parcel ; but on another adjacent the collection are fancy stones of queer table are spread out other diamonds worth shapes and colors-deep yellow, dark about £80,000 in their rough state.

their rough state. purple, and prismatic shades. But all These are arranged in about eight rows, diamonds-good, bad, and indifferenteach containing seven or eight little heaps, are transmitted to Europe at the present and, moreover, so disposed as to be gradu- rate of 40,000 or 50,000 carats weekly, ated both according to color, from white and ultimately find their way into the to darkish yellow—and to size, from pin's hands of the Amsterdam cutters. * heads to nutmegs. A large proportion By degrees the De Beers Company has are characterized by a curious mathemati- bought up the four principal mines in the cal regularity of shape-perfect octahe- district, which are included in the limited drons being the most frequent, with occa- space of four square miles, and comprise sional dodecahedrons ; but it is out of the the Kimberley, area 31 acres ; Du Toits, question to muster up any admiration for 35 acres ; Bultfontein, 27 acres ; while them in their present condition. They the De Beers proper, the most valuable of have been cleaned by immersion in a solu- all, spreads over 184 acres. In addition, tion of boiling water and acid ; yet they it has a large proprietorship in Brazilian still resemble bits of common dull glass, mines. The directors therefore strenuand can only be rendered interesting by a ously insist, with every appearance of peremptory demand on prophetic imagina- sound reasoning, that the purchase of tion. Even a 400-carat diamond, found their shares should not be regarded as a the previous day, marking an era in the speculation like gold-mine property, but De Beers discoveries, and which is now a safe and permanent investment. produced out of an old tin box easily to They claim that, being the chief diamondbe prized open by a schoolboy with his producers in the world, they can so reguknife, cannot produce a vestige of enthu- late the issues of stones to the market that siasm among the Company, although it they can maintain a steadily uniform makes a stir among the outside public. price, and that their unworked " blue,'' It is a perfect octahedron of a distinctly even at the present level, will suffice for yellow color, about the size of a par- many years' harvest on the existing scale. tridge's egg, and even when cut will be of But as yet the bottom has not been a weight far in excess of the Koh-i-noor. plumbed, and the deeper the shaft the Though of very high value, it can never richer the produce. I may mention the become of world-wide repute, inasmuch theory, which, however crude, is not en. as it is not of the first water. Indeed tirely withont verisimilitude, that the dia. there is reason to surmise that only a mi- mondiferous material has been thrust up nority of the Kimberley findings are brill- by igneous agency from immense proiants, and that all such are absorbed into fundity through a superincumbent mass ; the Brazilian diainonds which constitute that the same agent had long ago crystalfamily jewelry handed down as heirlooms lized the diamonds ; and that if we could of great value. How can you distin- dig down to that crust we should find the guish true from false diamonds ?" I ask. precious stones sticking to the roof like

By common-sense,” is the contemptu- pieces of suet in a pudding. Nor is it ous reply of experts so trained by long argued—can there be the smallest doubt ? experience that they jump at accurate con. -after such long and extensive experience, clusions without being able to trace the as to the uniform average richness of the process thereof. It was pointed out, be- earth. For instance, the accepted estisides, that by crackling large stones to- mate that one De Beers truck-load will gether in the hand the noise produced is produce 1} carat is useful and true in the of a peculiar sharp grating sound. Ad- ory only, but that a thousand loads will mirable ! only unfortunately few of us possess enough large diamonds to enable us to

* The value of the diamonds produced from carry out the experiment. The expense the four principal Kimberley mines in 1887 of cutting and polishing is estimated as was £4,033,332.

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11. thor forbi11.450.16-1.2. buen The receipt of high wages powerfäily de*** 1,024,011, B2,6,52 an area of 15 2.10, velope the craze for gaming, as innate in * .ft'e 111 124sa-ira abent, b'acks as in whites. A groap is collected not", o, 1 fast boozts and very decisio in a shady corner absorbed in a game of 6,1541"loremant watch and ward, iron childish simplicity with cards, which a fotote**, Brits and bare, are safeguards Kaffir deals with the deatness and rapidity quis,et the wape of insiders, and all of a professed prestidigitator. The stakes 69 702,4361* are subject.od, like ourselves, to are 5d. per deal-as ruinously high as un*w.piing of our apprarance, and an ex- limited loo would be to Englishmen-and *'n hat1993 of our pannes, ere admitted the winners clutch at their gains with a Wilbut the precincts of that anomaly – a frenzy quite at variance with the ideal im

PF fi 101 free men, One working shift parsiveness of the savage. Elsewhere, in is turi atually employed in the mines ; the open, cooks are preparing food in bout the remainder, 1500 or 1500 in num- large caldrons for their respective tribes. bur, coalituusa strange collection of nu- A hasts inspection of some of the nauseous meron tribes, collected from cvery quar- seething messes conveys to me the inter of mouth Africa, which would engrous pression that the chief constituents are the interest of an enthumiantic ethnologist. heads and entrails. Tribes are kept apart Nor in the night altogether dinpleasing: in separate huts ; for were there an indislaughing and talking, banking and sleep- criminate mixture, one half would quickly inge, outing, smoking, and playing, are in be at the throats of the other half. The full swing; but the concourse of so many interiors of the dwellings mark curiously the gradations of savagedom. In some- acteristic distinction between monkey and for example, among the Zulus - compara- man is the power possessed by the latter tive neatness, order, and cleanliness pre- of opposability between the forefinger and vail ; their blankets and rugs are brightly thumb. This power is lacking in the striped, their rags are brilliant, their sleep- Bushinen. Pinch my finger," I said to ing-places have some semblance of being one of them ; “pinch much harder." human resorts, and even faint traces of at- In vain ; the pressure would scarcely have tempted decoration can be detected. In injured a fly. Now, an anthropoidal ape others, notably among the Baralongs and possesses many human characteristics, but Batlapins, the interiors are like nothing is essentially a monkey ; a Bushman poselse than the lairs of grovelling beasts of sesses many apish characteristics, but is the field. One habit, however, seems essentially a man. A miserable, dwarfed, common to all. Whatever the heat of decrepit, repulsive man. One whom I the weather or warmth of the spot, the measured was only four feet three inches sleeping savage is careful to envelop com- in height, with a skinny feeble body to pletely in his blanket not only his body correspond, a screwed-up chest, drum. but his head, leaving not the smallest stick legs and arms, very small cerebelchink for breathing, so that it is marvel- lum, prognathous jaws, high cheek-bones, Jous he is not asphyxiated. The higher acute facial angle, and lack-lustre eyes. tribes of Kaffirs are, however, clean in His features were totally devoid of extheir habits, and delight in wallowing in pression ; his demeanor, when examined the large compound tank provided for and handled, was more stolid than that of them, and are remarkably free from a sheep; his language could barely be bouquet de native ; whereas a single whiff called coherent ; and in fact, it was diffiof a Chinaman is sickening, and proximity cult and painful to realize that this poor even to a bath-loving Japanese elicits an brutish animal must be classified in a involuntary “phew.”

genus which comprises a Newton, a MilMy conductor assures me that although ton, and a Shakespeare. The only inthe number of Europeans is a mere frac- stance I witnessed of Bushman intelligence tion of the total of black residents, not the was in a tiny infant in Kimberley hospislightest difficulty is experienced in main- tal. The creature was about the size of a taining order. This is due partly to the puppy, and equally bright and vivacious, multiplicity of tribes, each one of which illustrating the theory that in a race of regards with distrust the others, and de- low intellect intelligence is in an inverse clines to combine ; partly to the constant ratio to age. influx of fresh arrivals and departure of To supply the incarcerated Kaffirs with old hands ; partly to the entire absence of any means of intellectual occupation—to women and children ; and finally, to the give them books, paper, writing materials, fact that all are healthy adults, whose time etc.—would be like presenting ruffles to a is pretty well taken up in working, eating, man wanting a shirt. I inspected the and sleeping. Moreover, a certain num- small nominal school ; it was a mere farce. ber of tribal princelets, who receive wages I espied two or three Methodist hymnbut never do a stroke of work, materially books in possession of so-called converts ; contribute to suppress quarrels. My but alas ! here, as elsewhere in South guide appeared to be on excellent terms Africa, the expression “pative convert" with his charges, rousing numerous sleep- is, in cases which are sadly numerous, ers whom I wished to question, by gently synonymous with “ outward show and inpulling their ears, and eliciting from them ward deceit.” To put the matter crudely, willing if not intelligent replies. Among yet I believe not inaccurately, between the representatives of races, taking them Christianity and the Kafir faith intervenes roughly in order of superiority, were a wide and debased gap. It is not diffiZalus, Basutos, Delagoa Bay men, Fin- cult for missionaries to drag the savage goes, Hottentots, Baralongs, Batlapins, down from the elevation, however slight, Korannas, and Bushmen. These latter of his own creed ; but instead of endeavgive rise to a sombre repugnance, almost oring forthwith to raise him to the pinamounting to a shuddering aversion, in nacle indicated by Christ's teaching, they that they are examples of the lowest are too frequently content to acquiesce in depths of a degraded humanity. A char- a small measure of individual success, and

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to leave him wallowing in the aforesaid During their incarceration they are at all gap. I refer the reader to Mr. Bodley's times liable, and are sometimes subjected, admirable “Ride in Kaftir Land” * for to sudden search, but the thorough and the further consideration of Sonth African crucial investigation is carried out during missionary undertakings, so imperatively their last seven days' residence. On required of us as a duty, so noble in their reaching this margin they are separated conception, and, alas ! sometimes so fee- from the mass of their fellows, closely ble in their execution.

contined in a large hut set aside for the The compound hospital is admirable ; purpose, and watched day and night like the percentage of sick among sturdy la- felons under sentence of death. Admitted borers in the prime of life, and leading a within its precincts, I see about forty model healthy existence, is naturally small

. naked fellows either lying on the ground Every comfort and every essential require- comfortably dozing or squatting, in the ment of modern medical science is here contented vacuity of do-nothingness so forthcoming ; and albeit the Kaffirs are charming to all torpid intellects. Each somewhat puzzled at a gratuitous compas. Kaffir wears a pair of thick leather gloves, sion for suffering, they rejoice and believe padlocked round the wrist and never for a in their English doctors.

moment removed. Being fingerless and Almost every traveller has encountered resembling boxing-gloves without padding, certain marvellous experiences which, if they render the hands almost useless for he be prudent, he will forbear detailing, purposes of hiding or picking and stealunder the penalty of being considered a ing. Their sole custodiau is one sturdy bold-faced liar ; and I only venture to al- Englishman, the picture of boredom, and lude to the following circumstance because who unassisted is perfectly competent to it can be corroborated by many indepen- maintain order, stop squabbling, and to dent witnesses. The Kimberley Kafsirs some extent baffle schemes for thieving. are extremely fond of cigars, but they At my request he gives me an example of smoke with the lighted end in their the way in which his captives are searched mouths. When this peculiarity was first before being set free in addition to cermentioned to me, I supposed that my in- tain other effectual measures. Awakening formant was cracking a somewhat vacuous a sleeper by a friendly pull of the ear, joke ; but to my amazement I saw nu- Jigger” is his first injunction, and forthmerous instances of the reality in the com- with the naked savage gravely begins to pound. The native first lighted his cigar hop, skip, and jump, as though executing by the ordinary method, then turning it a horn-pipe. These movements would round, he deftly arranged the hotly glow- cause stones ensconced about the person ing end in his mouth, and tucking away to fall on the ground. Next the custodian his tongue in his cheek, proceeded to in minutely searches the hair, ears, toes, and spire and expire the fumes, very gradually every part of his charge's body ; then he consuming the whole of the cigar. The thrusts bis fingers into the native's mouth smokers assured me that the process was and rummages about the teeth and inside warm, comforting, delicious, and far su- the cheeks, and finally, the suspect is reperior to the usual mode. On subsequent quired to waggle his tongue in case any trial I found that the knack is less diffi- stone shall have been secreted about the cult to acquire than might be supposed. root. Were “ The History of a Dia

The Kaffirs, when bired, enter into mond written, like that of its cousin agreements for minimum periods of three carbon, “The History of a Lump of months, and during these terms they are Coal,” it might furnish us with two scenes never suffered to quit the mining enclo- in such strange contrast as to leave to us sure on any pretext whatever. They do

the alternative of a smile or a sneer. not appear to find this restraint irksome ; Scene 1.-A squalid African but ; a some, indeed, voluntarily thus pass three white overseer is compelling a naked Kaffir or four years in unbroken captivity, while prisoner to go through grotesquely deothers at the end of their contract sally grading antics ; a dirty little white stone, forth for a week's swinieh orgies, and only useful to be strung like an ornamentthen return to renew their engagements. al bead, drops from the poor black car

cass ; overseer triumphantly pounces on * Blackwood's Magazine, February 1891. the discovery.

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