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Scene 2.-Six thousand miles distant; and on his return found that a large mass a London ball-roon with all accessories of of earth had been carted over his cache. civilized splendor ; the stone reappears The diamond has remained unrecovered cut, and in the shape of a brilliant en up to the present day, and the 4-gun bathancing the charms of some young loveli- tery is invested with a halo in consequence ness, and prompting the instinct which of its latent treasure, quite irrespective of bids us worship and honor her beauty, as its value for annihilating an enemy's though it were something divine.
ships. Again, no one is allowed to deal Notwithstanding all the precautions I in the rough stones without a special lihave indicated, the blacks occasionally cense ; only cut jewels-which exist in succeed in besting the whites. Some very small numbers in Kimberley—are have the knack of stowing a diamond for open to free traffic. Were a casual waya few minutes a short distance down the farer to pick up a chance diamond on a throat, and when the search is over, waste piece of land, the retention of it or working it back into the mouth by a mus- any attempt to sell it would be penal. cular movement. I am shown several tin Yet, as I have already mentioned, the boxes used by the natives for holding the • I.D.B.," as it is called-illiclt diamondrag or two they may possess, and wherein buying—is carried on to a serious extent, stones bave been most ingeniously con- and I could quote one of the most promicealed behind the metal lining plate or nently prosperous individuals in South the handle. On one occasion a liberated Africa, who, as is generally admitted, Kaffir was passing the last outside sentry. amassed, in former days, a considerable swinging a small open flimsy basket, such sum by the nefarious traffic, and who is as children use in England when gathering now flourishing in several public capacicowslips. “Let me look at it," said the ties, though, according to the rules of jazwarder, without any real suspicion, and tice, he should be behind the bars of a in the mere vacuity of idleness. The jail. Some years back detectives lighted wicker handle was a little loose ; it was on a very hotbed of “ I.D.B.,” but were lightly tacked on to a small slip of wood unable to obtain legal proof. At dead of at the brim, and when pulled aside it was night some disguised members of the force discovered that a neatly concealed cavity betook themselves to the thieves' den, and had been scooped out, and a valuable offered for sale a certain number of the diamond deposited therein. Equally in- precious stones. Only a woman was forthgenious means have been devised for baf- coming, who handled them, admitted that fling the outside detectives, and for smug. they were genuine, but professing herself gling stones from Kimberley to a remote unable to do any business, restored them and safe locality. A diamond is wrapped to the fictitious sellers. The detectives in a piece of meat and given to a dog, withdrew haffled, but were considerably which is conveyed out of the district and more baffled the next morning on discoverslaughtered, when the stone is removed ing that the intended victim had so cleverly from the intestines. Sometimes carrier- exercised her sleight of hand as to have pigeons are utilized ; and for a long time substituted her own imitation diamonds the parcel-post was rendered an accom- for the valuable stones originally tendered. plice, by means of an ordinary book with Thus far I have endeavored to explain a hollow cut out of the central pages, the working of a diamond-mine in its perwherein the booty was ensconced. The fected organization, with all the appliances detective department is elaborately and of modern mechanical science ; but witheffectually organized, and breaches of the out following the sarcastic exhortation diamond laws are very properly punished “Commençons au déluge," I must admit with extreme severity, five years' penal the expediency of describing the nature of servitude on the Government works being its infancy some twenty-one years ago, a not infrequent sentence. A convict dig- when the entire district was a drear, ging at one of the Cape Town forts hid a scarcely inbabited wilderness. By a forvery valuable diamond, which had escaped tunate coincidence, at the very date I paid discovery when he was apprehended, in a my visit to Kimberley, a new adjacent corner of the parapet, as the surest place diamond-field, the Wesselton, had just of concealment. He was unexpectedly been discovered—an event which may not transferred temporarily to another work, occur once in a decade ; and I was a wit
ness of the feverish excitement, the rush measures for safety. Up comes one of to, and the initiatory working of, a fresh the foremen with a conple of largish diamine. In company with the Government monds, unquestionably genuine, and of inspector, Captain Erskine, I drove four the approximate value of £70, which he and a half miles, through a country re- alleges have just been found in the washsembling Aldershot Heath in 1855, to the ings, and which, in language worthy of site in the open slightly undulating veldt. Billingsgate, he declares are the mere Radiating from a central area where the harbingers of other priceless findings. ground was being actually turned up, were “ Look at those black villains eyeing me,' innumerable" claims,” 30 feet square, he adds, indicating the repulsively coretons each marked out by four pegs bearing the glances of some native bystanders who name of the claimant. They had been had heard his story—“I must be off to stuck in in a manifestly hasty higgledy- stop their thieving ;" and away he rushes piggledy manner, one plot frequently over- in an apparent frenzy of excitement, to lapping another, and some day will con- continue his quest of " delved stones, the stitute a useful accumulation for firewood, wailer's heap." since there seems little doubt that the Before disinissing the mines, justice ground is already vested property. The demands I should allude to the Beaconscrazy rushers, however, who a few days field Institute three miles distant, and to ago were streaming across the veldt like which access will shortly be provided by files of ants, apparently consider that “ le cheap conveyances, established for the propriété c'est le vol," and in its turn benefit of the numerous Europeans who should be “vole'd” accordingly, and have taken up their abode in these wild have petitioned the Government that the regions. The extensive grounds have field should be handed over to public dig- been planted with an immense number of ging, with about the same right which ornamental trees, and laid out in a manwould justify the deprivation of a house ner which in two or three years' time will proprietor's kitchen-garden for the benefit result in delightful gardens. The handof street scavengers. The rushers had re- some, large, red brick buildings are divided turned to their usual avocations in Kim- into dwellings for families, and into a club berley, but in attempted substantiation of and boarding house for hoth married and their claims, had left a guard of Euro- single. Here every provision has been peans, who profitably employed their time made for supplying meals, for washing, snoozing in an adjacent tent, with a daily and for reading, writing, and recreation, pay of seven shillings each for doing noth- on a complete scale of civilized comfort. ing. That part, however, which I may Granted that the Institute more than pays call the nucleus spot, was being worked by its own expenses, its establishment reflects the lawful owners, and was the scene of high credit on those who designed and feverish activity. Digging, washing, sift- carried out the scheme, and notably on ing, and searching were carried on in an one of the chief mining shareholders, Mr. amusingly primitive fashion, with the help Cecil Rhodes, the present Premier of Cape of a few small wheezy engines, with mules Colony. and donkeys turning windlasses, and with Another admirable adjunct of KimberKaffirs working with wheelbarrows, ley is its town hospital. I speak advisedly shovels, and watering-pots. I estimated in declaring my opinion that in no other the total number of blacks and whites part of the world have I seen a similar inpresent at 300 ; and the requirements of stitution so attractive to a non-professional this wild rabble of delvers for wealth were visitor, from its kindly administration, its represented by some rickety tin struc- graceful comforts, and its pitying efforts tures, a few rags of tents, and an accu- to relieve all sufferers—so that it has unmulation of liquor-barrels and bottles, doubtedly won the confidence and affec"Blue" had as yet been barely reached, tion of all classes, both inside and beyond and efforts were restricted to washing the the district. The expense of its mainyellow soil ; but already the cuttings and tenance is high ; but Kimberley is the piercings were in a condition imminently headquarters of numerous speculators and perilous to the workmen, and until the financial magnates, and probably a genermine had been proclaimed, the Govern- ous superstition prompts many a large inent inspector had no authority to enforce contribution in tacit recognition of fortu
nate coups. Some of the wards are en- tical hospital training ; and so high is tirely self-supporting, and are made up of their repute, that their services are not inprivate rooms for patients who are willing frequently telegraphed for from feverto pay a higher price-an indescribable stricken, drain-soaked Cape Town, 600 blessing for those who have endured the miles distant. That scrupulous cleanliness bitter evil of illness in a strange country, and order should prevail throughout was a far separated from relations. Some wards matter of course, but I was not prepared are partly self-supporting, and still more for the aspect of decorative comfort, of are entirely free. A careful classification luxurious brightness, of the almost smilof races is naturally most essential ; and ing spirits of the adults, and of the ecstaas I pass through the corridors, I observe sies of inerriment among the children. that the inmates comprise all classes and To those who have contributed to infuse all ages, from the infant to the old man, such happiness in the midst of wonted and from the wealthy European gentleman pain and sorrow, I venture to think we
to the semi-animal Bushman ; while the may fitly apply that quotation whereof - variety of the diseases ranges from the the first words are, “ Inasmuch as ye have
rickety Koranna baby to the appalling done it ..." leper adult.* Probably some of the cases In truth, Englishmen have every reason would prove of interest to the greatest to be proud of this South African town as scientists of the leading London hospitals. worthily representing our nation. Free A Busbman boy of fourteen, walking from much of the rowdyism and sharp about with a conspicuous cicatrice in his practice of many gold-mining districts, throat, is pointed out as the subject of from the surly loutishness and savage treatsuccessful tracheotomy for malignant ment of natives which render odious cergrowth. I am assured that the extraor- tain Boer settlements, and from the bardinary number of 80 per cent of these and-billiard propensities of a very considfearful operations are successful in this erable section of torpid Cape Town man“ Carnarvon Hospital.” The chief medi- hood, the law-abiding characteristics of cal officer, Dr. Smith, to whom a large Kimberley are unimpeachable, its energy share of credit for the efficiency of the and enterprise are incontestable, and the hospital must be awarded, stated that the gentleman-like highly educated tone of its natives poseess a recuperative power, when society is unsurpassed throughout this subjected to corporeal wounds, which is part of the world. If I must needs qualify characteristic of animals rather than of by some cynical detraction a description human beings; and he instanced the re- which otherwise might appear a mere cent case of a native suffering from an in- eulogistic rhapsody, I can only refer to cised wound in the abdomen, seven inches the prime motive power of all Kimberley's long, and so deep that the viscera were expenditure of toil, money, and ingenuity exposed though not injured. No means the collection of small shining white were available for antiseptic or any special stones, almost valueless except for the treatment; cold water and common ban- capricious adornment of youthful beauty dages were the sole expedients ; but the which requires no such adventitious aids, wound healed by first intention, and in or for the illustration of the ugliness of seven days the patient was walking about aged hags. The irony of the consideraas sound as though he had never received tion can scarcely be exceeded by the a pin-prick in his life. The nurses, who matchless sarcasm of Captain Lemuel possess advantages beyond the common Gulliver when he parodies our craze for of attractive appearance and ladylike de- alphabetical titular distinctions, by repremeanor, undergo a strictly orthodox, prac. senting the best and wisest of the Lillipu
tians as crouching and crawling, hopping,
bounding, and grovelling, for the award * In the veldt districts leprosy is by no of a piece of blue thread. --Blackwood's means uncommon among the natives.
A DELIGHTFUL BOOK.
carry a "tackey," however, find themselves
sometimes in a dilemma. Mrs. Martin tells HOME LIFE ON AN OSTRICH FARM. By Annie
us of a new-comer who scoffed at being afraid Martin. New York : D. Appleton & Co,
of a bird, and strolled away by himself to a It is pleasant to find a book so fresh and camp, where the ostriches were specially ugly. attractive in its presentation of a bit of out His continued absence for many hours caused of-the-way life as the volume before us. We alarm, and on being traced, he was found on have been made so wearisomely familiar with the top of a huge ironstone boulder, with an nearly everything which could be written 'enraged ostrich walking " sentry go" around about to advantage in America, Europe, Asia, it. Here the poor fellow had squatted for half Africa, and Australia, and the hunger of the a day on & seat as hot as a griddle, with the travelling person for seeing himself in print rays of a torrid African sun beating down on is so great, that the book of travel or descrip- his head, afraid to descend. The finest male tion almost assures itself in advance, unless ostricbes are also the most fierce and intracthe name of the author gives a fillip to antici. table, and they often have to be killed, to the pation, weary, stale, flat, and unprofit. great loss of the farmer. Sometimes, too, a valu. able.” One who is obliged to read much ap- able bird, on being suddeny alarmed, will dash proaches such a production with reluctance, away in an aimless race so swiftly as to distance yet is sometimes refreshed with a shock of the fleetest horse, and run till it falls dead or surprise and pleasure. Such a stimulating breaks its legs. These are little difficulties douche the blasé reader finds in Mrs. Martin's which the ostrich raiser must be prepared for. sketches of life on an African ostrich farm. In fact, the bird is so capricious that its action The cattle ranch of the American West is full can never be anticipated. Though a remark. of interest in the wild and strange conditions ably long lived bird, it is singular that it will of the experiences incident to it. But in mope and refuse food if it receives any injary ostrich farming, as set forth in our present till it dies, apparently with a deliberate par. author's breezy and piquant fashion, there is pose of committing suicide. In an ostrich still greater fascination, at least to one who is camp there are certain invisible lines separatto know it vicariously.
ing the families, there being often two hens to The story of the habits of the ostrich, the one cock. They never encroach on each most stupid, ungainly, and vicious of birds, other's domains, and the intruder has to deal and the difficulties of managing a herd of them with only one at a time. But instantly he (for it seems as reasonable to apply such a term crosses the line he finds a fresh assailant to to these huge birds as to cattle), is set against meet with his “tackey." The comical stupida background of life and scenery so strange ity of these creatures is as amusing as it is that all of it seems like a romance in spite of dangerous. No amount of familiarity will disthe homely realism which is the substance of arm their treacherous ferocity. However say. it. The ostrich is the most timid and the age a male ostrich may be, let the object of its fiercest of creatures, unintelligent and yet attack get between the bird and its nest, and capricious ; and the herdsman or visitor is its pugnacity gives way to the greatest alarm compelled, however well the birds may be ac- and humility, the former attitude being customed to his presence, to be on the alert promptly resumed when the creature no longer against attack. Though the leg of the bird is fears for its mate and nestlings. There was a so brittle that in running it frequently snaps time when a fine cock would fetch £500, but it like glass, it can yet fracture the skull by a now one may be had for a fiftieth of the single blow of the formidable weapon, this sum ; yet the price of ostrich feathers seems being the favorite mode of attack. Yet the not to have seriously declined. The beauty aggressor is easily baffled. Every one ap- of the feathers will probably continue to make proaching an ostrich yard carries a "tackey,” them in the future as in the past an indisa branch of mimosa left with the untrimmed pensable help to the feminine toilet ; and the thorns. This the bearer thrusts into the face increasing demand keeps pace with the grow. of the charging ostrich and instantly brings ing supply. The feathers are always cut be. the brute to a standstill. The defence is very fore the quills are fully ripe. If the latter are simple but certain. Those who neglect to plucked too soon the succeeding feathers seem
to deteriorate. The process occurs once a and knows how to spend his wealth for the year; and this period of plucking, preparing, gratification of your senses, & man may break sorting, and packing for the market is the the Christian decalogue—ay, and even the busiest time of the ostrich farmer. The owner eleventh commandment, 'Thou shalt not be of ostriches expects to lose fully ten per cent found out,' and command yoar company and of his birds each year through their own in. approval. The fault is not in the code of corrigible pugnacity and stupidity. Yet, on morality you profess. That is austerely beau. the whole, it is a very profitable branch of tiful enough in all conscience. The fault is farming, and there seems to be no good rea not even in your own lives. Many of you are son why the business could not be acclima better in a dual conduct than you profess to tized in the United States—perhaps in south. be. The fact is, that you will not enforce western Texas and Arizona and southern Cali. against the rich and fashionable even the lowfornia. It might be an experiment worth the est of moral codes ; that you fathers will in. trying, if indeed it has not already been tried troduce your sons to men whom you know to in the latter named section. There is much in be dishonest and immoral ; that you mothers Mrs. Martin's book besides that which relates to throw your daughters into the society of wom. ostriches : vivid sketches of South African life en as shameless and mercenary (and with less and scenery ; of the characteristic pleasures excuse) as the wretched outcasts wbo earn a and hardships of the region, and of its various precarious livelihood on the streets of our birds and animals. The author is enthusiastic great towns. And yet you wonder at the about the value of tbe climate as a consump- cynical, pessimistic sentiments which fall from tion cure, and does much to awaken a keen in the lips of your son, who not long since was a terest in a region the conditions of which vary frank, enthusiastic schoolboy; and your 80 widely from our own.
daughter, who till she came out was as pure
minded and optimistic as a young girl should A NEW NOVEL.
be." All this is anent the career of a vile,
crawling Hebrew, who had risen by unsavory A MERCIFUL DIVORCE. A Story of Society. Practices to great wealth, and was received Town and Country Library. By F. W.
and caressed by people of the smart set, Maude. New York : D. Appleton & Co.
because he lavished his ill-won guineas in The Appleton series of novels entitled the catering to their needs and their pleasures. “ Town and Country Library” sustains its Why is it, by the way, that the novelist always standard of excellence. The latest issue, “A selects a Jew to represent persons of this type ? Merciful Divorce," offers a bright and sharp There are disreputable parvenues who are not picture of English life, with mingled currents descendants of Jacob. This is a question not of noble aspiration and sordid materialism to be discussed now, however, for it sounds running side by side. The burden of the au. the y-note of a very intricate problem, with thor's criticism of society, standing out clearly a Rothschild at one end of it and the filthy fron the body of the story, though it is not outcast of Russian tyranny at the other. precisely protruded as a moral, is the growing The novel before us deals with the fates of plutocracy and Philistinism of life ; the hard, Sir Arthur Gerrardine and Lady Edith Carselfish devotion to money and what money thage. The two had loved each other with brings ; the disposition to measure everything devoted tenderness ; but Edith sacrifices her by a financial test. This necessarily carries love to marry a rich and kind nonentity, that in its train the whole vile crew of sensual pas- she might save her wretched father from the sions and vices, for money can only buy grati. consequences of his own criminal folly ; and fication of these-never one single boon of Arthur in turn weds a frivolous and heartless pure happiness, except so far as it can relieve woman, who finally betrays him. How the the possessor from those sordid cares and wor. old love springs into powerful flame after ries which are only less degrading than exces. these ill-assorted marriages bave made both sive indulgence. The writer, in a strain bit. their victims wretchedly unhappy, and how terly just, says in the opening chapter : “ You nearly they are betrayed into gratifying this give life service to the beautiful Christian irresistible feeling, åt the expense of honor and code of ethics ; you profess yourself scandal. duty, are narrated in the story with a freshness ized that those who do not acquiesce in the and grace of treatment which redeem a very dogmas of your religion should be allowed to threadbare motive. The host of subordinate legislate for you ; and yet if he be rich enough, people in is social drama are sketched with