Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View This Issue
THE SUNDAY OKKUUMAX. jVOKTLAKD. OCTOBER '41, - 1907.
THE DIAMOND LINKS
(Copyright. 1907. by W. G. Chapman.)
ETT US take a trip ot Swltzer
I land." said Lady Vandrift. And
any one who knows Amelia will
not be surprised to' learn that we did
take a trip to Switzerland, accordingly.
Nobody can drive Sir Charles, except hla
wife. And nobody at all can drive Amelia.
There were difficulties at the outset, be
cause we had not ordered rooms at the
hotels beforehand, and It was well on in
the season. But they were overcome at
last by the usual application of a golden
key; and we found ourselves In due time
pleasantly quartered in Lucerne, at that
most comfortable of European hostelries,
We were a square party of four Sir
Charles and Amelia, mypelf and Isabel.
We had nice big rooms on the first floor,
overlooking the- lake; and as none of us
was possessed with the faintest symptom
of that incipient mania which shows it
self in the form of an insane desire to
climb mountain heights of disagreeable
steepness and unnecessary snowlness, I
will venture to assert we all enjoyed our
selves. We spent most of our time sensi
bly in lounging about the lake on the Jolly
little steamers; and when we did a moun
tain climb, it was on the Rigi or Pilatus
where an engine undertook all the mus
cular work for us.
As usual, at the hotel, a great many
mlcsellaneous people showed a burning
desire to be specially nice to us. If you
wish to see how friendly and charming
humanity is. Just try being: a well-known
millionaire for a week, and you'll learn a
thing or two. Wherever Sir Charles
goes he is surrounded by charming and
disinterested people, all eager to make his
distinguished acquaintance, and all fa
miliar with several excellent Investments
or several deserving objects of Christian
charity. It Is my business in life, as his
brother-in-law and secretary, to decline
with thanks the excellent investments
and to throw Judicious cold water on the
objects of charity. Even I myself, as the
great man's almoner, am very much
fought after, .'eople casually allude be
fore me to artless stories of "poor curates
In Cumberland, you know, Mr. Went
worth," or widows In Cornwall, penniless
poets with epics in their desks, and young
painters who need but the breath of a
patron to open to them the doors of an
admiring academy. I smile and look wise,
while I administer cold water In minute
doses; but I never report one of these
cases to Sir Charles, except In the rare or
almost unheard-of event where I think
there is really something in them.
Ever since our little adventure with the
Seer at Nice. Sir Charles, who Is consti
tutionally cautious, had been even more
careful than usual about possible sharp
ers. And, as chance would have It, there
sat Jurt opposite us at table d'hote at
the Schweltzerhof 'tis a fad of Amelia's
to dine at table d'hote; she says she can't
bear to.be boxed up all day In private
rooms with "too much family" a sinister-looking
man with dark hair and eyes,
conspicuous by his bushy, overhanging
eyebrows. My attention was first called
to the eyebrows in question by a nice
little parson who sat at our side, and who
observed that they were made up of cer
tain large and bristly hairs, which (he told
us) had been traced by Darwin to our
monkey ancestors. Very pleasant little
fellow, this fresh-faced young parson, on
his honeymoon tour with a nice wee wife,
a bonnle Scotch lassie with a charming
I looked at the eyebrows closely. Then
a sudden thought struck me. "Do you
believe they're his own?" I asked of the
curate: "or are they only stuck on a
make-up disguise? . They, really almost
look like it."
"You don't suppose " Charles began,
and checked himself suddenly.
"Yes. I do." I answered: "the Seer!"
Then I recollected my blunder, and looked
down sheepishly. For, to say the truth,
Vandrift had etraightly enjoined on me
long before to say nothing of our pain
ful little episode at Nice to Amelia; he
was afraid If she once heard of it he
would hear of It forever after.
"What Seer?" the little parson inquired,
with parsonlcal curiosity.
I noticed the man with the overhanging
eyebrows give a queer sort ,of start.
Charles' glance was fixed upon me. I
hardly knew what to answer.
"Oh, a man who was at Nice with us
last year," I stammered out, trying hard
to look unconcerned. "A fellow they
talked about, that's all." And I turned
But the curate, like a donkey, wouldn't
let me turn it.
"Had he eyebrows like that?" he In
quired In an undertone. I was really an
gry. If this was Colonel Clay, the curate
was obviously giving him the cue and
making it much more difficult for us to
catch him, now we might possibly have
lighted on the chance of doing so.
"No, he hadn't," I answered testily;
"It was a passing expression. But this
1 not the man. I was mistaken, no
dfjubt." And I nudged him gently.
T"he little curate was too innocent for
anything. "Oh, I see," he replied, nod
ding hard and looking wise. Then he
turned t4 his wife and-made an obvious
face, which the man with the eyebrows
couldn't fall to notice.
Fortuantely, a political discussion going
on a few places farther down the table
spread up to us and diverted attention
for a moment. The magical name of'
Gladstone saved us. Sir Charles flar i
up. I was truly pleased, for I could see
Amelia was boiling over with imrloslty
by this time.
After dinner, In the billiard-room,
however, the man with the big eye
brows sidled up and began to talk to
me. If he was Colonel Clay It was
evident he bore us no grudge at all
for the 5,0)0 he had done us out of.
On the contrary, he seemed quite pre
pared to do us out of 5,000 more when
opportunity offered, for he introduced
himself at once as Dr. Hector Macpher
son. the exclusive grantee of extensive
concessions from the Brazilian Govern
ment Tn the Upper Amasons. He dived
Into conversation with me at once as
to tho splendid mineral resources of
his Brazilian estate the ' silver, the
platinum, the actual rubles, the possible
diamonds. 1 listened and smiled; I
knew what was coming. All he needed
to develop this magnificent concession
was a little, capital. It was sad to
see thousands of pounds worth ot plati
num and carloads of rubles just crum
bling In the soli or carried away by
the river for want 01 few hundred
to work them with properly. If he
knew of anybody now. with money to
Invest, he could recommend him nay,
offer him a unique opportunity of
earning, say 43 per cent on his capital,
on unimpeachable security.
"I wouldn't do It for every man,".
Dr. ' Hector Macpherson remarked,
drawing himself up: "but If I took a
fancy to a fellow who had command
of ready cash, . I might choose to put
htm In the way of feathering his nest
with unexampled rapidity."
'Exceedingly disinterested of you,"
I answered dryly, fixing my eyes on
his eve brows.
The little curate, meanwhile, was
playing billiards with Sir Charles. His
glance followed mine as It rested for a
'moment on the monkey-like hairs.
"False, obviously false," he remarked
with his lips; and I'm bound to confess
I ne'er , saw any man speakso well by
movement alone; you could follow
every word though not a sound es
During the rest of that evening Dr.
Hector Macpherson stuck to me as
close as a mustard plaster. And he
wai almost as irritating. I got heart
ily sick of the Upper Amazons. I have
positively waded In my time through
ruby mines (in prospectuses, I mean) till
the mere sight of a ruby absolutely
sickens me. When Charles, in an un
wonted fit of generosity, once gave his
sister Isabel (whom I had the honor to
marry) a ruby necklet ' (inferior
stones), I made Isabel change it for
sapphires and amethysts, on the Judi
cious plea that they suited her com
plexion better. (I scored once, inci
dentally, for having considered Isabel's
complexion.) By the time I went to
bed I was prepared to sink the Up-
per Amazons in the sea and to stab,
shoot, poison or otherwise seriously
damage the man with the concessions
and the false eyebrows.
For the next three days, at Intervals,
he returned to the charge. He bored
me to death with his platinum, and his
rubles. He didn't want a capitalist who
would personally exploit the thing;
he would prefer to do it all on his own
account, -jiving the capitalist prefer
ence debentures of his bogus company
and a lien on the concession. I list
ened and smiled; I listened and yawned;'
I listened and was rude; I ceased to
listen at 'all; but still he droned on
with it. I fell asleep on the steamer
one day, and woke up in ten minutes
to hear him droning yet: "And -the
yield of platinum per ton was certi
fied to be " I forget how many
pounds or ounces, or pennyweights.
These details of assays have ceased to
interest me; like the man who "didn't
believe in ghosts," I have seen too
many of them,
Tne fresh-faced little curate and his
wife, however, were quite different peoi
pie. .He was a cricketing Oxford man:
he was a breezy Sco-ccn lass, with a
wholesome breath of the Highlands
about her. I called her "White Heath
er." Their name was Brabazon. Mill
ionaires are so accustomed to being
beset by harpies of every description
that- when they come across a young
couple who are simple and natural they
delight in the purely human relation.
We picknicked and went on excursions
a great deal with the honeymooners.
They were so frank In their young
love, and so proof against chaff that
we all really liked them. But when
ever I called the pretty girl "White
Heather" she looked so shocked, and
cried: "Oh. Mr. Went worth!" Still, we
were the best of frienas. The curate
offered to row us In a boat on the lake
one day, while the Scotch lassie as
sured us she could take an oar almost
as well as he did. However, we did
not accept their offer, as rowboats ex
ert an unfavorable . Influence upon
Amelia's digestive organs.
"Nice young fellow, that man Barba
xon," Sir Charles said to me one day,
as we lounged together along the quay;
"never tal- advowsons or next pre
sentations. Says he's quite content In
his country curacy; enough to live
upon and needs no more; and his wife
has a little, very little, money. I
asked him , about his poor today, on
purpose to' test him. These parsons
are always trying to swrew something
out of one for their poor; men in my
position know the truth of the saying
that we have that class of the popula
tion always with us. Would you be
lieve it. he says he hasn't any poor at
all in his parish? They're all well-to-do1
farmers or else able-bodied la-
borers, and his one terror Is that some
body will come and ' try to pauperize
them. "If a philanthropist were to give
me 50 today for use at Empingham,
he said, .'I assure you. Sir Charles, I
shouldn't know what to do with it. I
think I should buy new dresses for
Jessie, who wants them about as much
as anybody else In the village that
Is to say, not at all.' There's a par
son for you, Sey, my boy. Only wish
we had one of his' sort at Seldon."
"He certainly doesn't want to get
anything out of you," I answered.
That evening at dinner a queer little epi
sode happened. The man with the eye
brows began talking to me across the
table in his usual fashion, full of Ills'
wearisome concession on the Upper Ama
zons. I was trying to squash him as po
litely as possible, when I caught Amelia's
eye. Her look amused me. She was en
gaged in making signals to Charles at
her side to observe the little curate's
curious sleeve links. I glanced at them,
and saw at once they were a singular pos
session for so unobtrusive a person. They
t consisted each of a short gold bar for
one arm of the link, fastened by a tiny
.chain of the same material to what
seemed to my tolerably experienced eye
a first-rate diamond. . Pretty big dia
monds, too, and of remarkable shape,
brilliancy and cutting. In a moment I
knew what Amelia meant." She owned a
diamond riviere, said to be of Indian
origin, but short by two stones for the
circumstance .of her "tolerably ample
neck. Now. she had long been wanting
two diamonds like these - to match the
set; but, owing to the unusual shape and
antiquated cutting of her own gems, she
bad never been able to complete the
necklace, at least without removing an
extravagant amount from a much larger
stone of the first water.
The Scotch lassie's eyes caught Amelia's
at the same time, and she broke into a
pretty smile of good-humored amusement.
"Taken in another person, Dick, dear!"
she exclaimed, in her breezy way, turn
ing to her husband. "Lady Vandrift is
observing your diamond sleeve links."
' "They're very fine gems," Amelia ob
served Incautiously. (A most unwise ad
mission if she desired to buy them.)
But the pleasant little curate was too
transparently simple a soul to take ad
vantage of her slip of Judgment. "They
are good stones.'1 he replied; "very good
stonas considering. They're not dia
monds at all, to tell you the truth. They
are best old-fashioned paste. My great
grandfather bought them, after the siege
of Seringapatam, for a few rupees, from
a Sepoy who had looted them from Tip
poo Sultan's palace.- He thought, like
you, he had got a good thing. But It
turned out, when they came to be ex
amined by experts, they were only paste
very wonderful paste; it is supposed
they had even Imposed upon Tippoo him
self, so fine Is the imitation. But they
are worth well, say, 50 shillings at the
While he spoke, Charles looked at
Amelia and Amelia looked at Charles.
Their eyes spoke volumes. The riviere
was also supposed to have come from
Tlppoo's collection. Both drew at once
an identical conclusion. There were two
of the same stones, very likely torn apart
and disengaged from the rest in the melea
at the capture of the Indian palace.
"Can you take them oft?"' Sir Charles
asked blandly. He spoke In the tone that
"Certainly,'" the little curate answered.
BEJjNG BPI30DB5 IN 'THE: I1F&
OTA m5TDU ROGUE?
smiling. "I'u accustomed to taking them
off. They're always noticed. Th've
been kept In the family ever since the
siege as a soft of valueless heirloom, for
the sake of the ptcturesqueness of the
story, you know; and nobody ever sees
them without asking, as you do, to ex
amine them closely. They deceive even
experts at first. But they are paste, all
the same; unmitigated Oriental paste, for
He took them both off and handed them
to Charles. No man in England is a finer
Judge of gems than my brother-in-iaw.
I watched him narrowly. He examined
them closely, first with the naked eye. then
with the little pocket lens which he al
ways carries. "Admirable Imitations."
he muttered, passing them on to Amelia.
"I'm not surprised they should impose
upon inexperienced observers." '
But from the tone In which he said It I
could see at once he had satisfied himself
they were gems of unusual value. I knew
Charles' way of doing business so well.
His glance to Amelia meant, "These are
the' very, stones you have so long, been in
The Scotch lassie laughed a merry
laugh. "He sees through them now.
Dick," she cried. " I felt sure Sir Charles
would be a judge of diamonds."
Amelia turned them ovfer. I know
Amelia, too; and I knew from the way
Amelia looked at them that she meant to
have them. And when Amelia meant to
have anything people who stand in the
way may just as well spare themselves
the trouble of opposing her.
They were beautiful diamonds. We
found out afterward the little curate's
account was quite correct; these stones
had come from the same necklace as
Amelia's riviere, made for a favorite wife
of .Tlppoo's who had presumably as ex
pansive personal charms as our beloved
sister-in-law's. . More perfect diamonds
have seldom been seen. They have ex
cited the universal admiration of thieves
and connoisseurs. Amelia told me after
ward that, according to legend, a Sepoy
stole a necklet at the sack of the palace,
and then fought with another for it. It
was believed that two stones got split in
the scuffle and were picked up and sold
be a third person a looker-on who had
no idea of the value of the booty. Amelia
had been hunting for them for several
years to complete her necklet.
"Tlitey are excellent paste," Sir Charles
observed, handing them back. "It takes
a first-class judge to detect them from
the reality. Lady Vandrift has a necklet
much the same character, but composed
of genuine stones: and, as these are so
much like them, and would complete her
set. to all outer appearance, I wouldn't
mind giving you, say 10 for the pair of
Mrs. Brallazon looked delighted. "Oh,
sell to him, Dick," she cried, "and buy
me a brooch with the money! A pair of
common links would do for you Just as
well. Ten pounds'for two paste stones!
It's quite a lot of money."
She said It so sweetly, with her pretty
Scotch accent, that I couldn't imagine
how Dick had the heart to refuse her.
But he did, all the same.
"No, .Jess, darling," he. answered.
"They're worthless. I know; but they
have for me a certain sentimental
value, as I've often told you. My dear
! I III Flt.1 fTT- ".T I
iTrr 1 them It
mother wore them, while she lived, as
ear-rings, and as soon as she died I
had them set as links In order that I
might keep them about me. Besides,
they have historical and family Inter
est. Even a worthless heirloom, after
all, is an- heirloom."
Dr. Hector Macpherson looked across
and Intervened. "There is a part of my
concession." he said, "where we have
reason to believe a perfect new Klm
berley will goon be discovered. If at
any time you would care. Sir Charles,
to look at my diamonds when I get
irould afford me the greatest
pleasure In life to submit them to your
. Sir Charles could stand it no longer.
"Sir," he said, gazing; across at him
with his sternest air, "if your conces
sions were as lull of diamonds as Sin
bad the Sailor's valley I wolud not
care to turn my head to look at them.
I am acquainted with the nature and
practice of salting." And he glared at
the man with the overhanging eye
brows as if he would devour him raw.
Poor Dr. Hector Macpherson subsided
instantly. We learned a little later
that he was a harmless lunatic, who
went about the world with successive
concessions for ruby mines and plati
num reefs, because he had been ruined
and driven mad by speculations in the
two, and now recouped himself by im
aginary grants in Burmah and Brazil,
or anywhere else that turned up handy.
And his eyebrows, after all, were of
Nature's handicraft. We were sorry
for the incident, but a man in Sir
Charles' position is such a mark for
rogues that. If he did not take means
to protect himself promptly he would
be forever overrun by them.
When we went up to our salon that
evening Amelia flung herself on the
sofa. "Charles." she broke out In a
voice or a tragedy queen, "those are
Teal diamonds, and I shal never be
happy again until I get them."
"They are real diamonds," Charles
echoed, "and you shall have them,
Amelia. They're worth not less than
3000 pounds. But I shall bid them up
So next day Charles set to work to
higgle with the curate. Brabazon,
however, didn't care to part with them.
He was no money-grubber, he said. He
cared more for his mother's gift and a
family tradition than for a hundred
pounds, if Sir Charles were to offer
It. . Charles' eyes gleamed. "But if I
give you two hundred!" he said Insin
uatingly. "What opportunities for
good! You could build a new wing
to your village schoolhouse!"
"We have ample accommodations,"
the curate answered. "No, I don't think
I'll sell them."
Still his voice faltered somewhat, and
he looked down at them Inquiringly.
Charles was too precipitate.
"A hundred pounds more loss mat
ters little to me," he said, "and my
wife has set her heart on them. It's
every man's duty to please his wife
isn't it. Mrs. Brabazon? I offer you
. The little Scotch girl clasped her
"Three .hundred pounds! Oh, Dick,
just think what fun we could have, and
what good we could do with It! Do
let hUn have them!"
Her accent was irresistible. But the
curate shook his head. "Impossible!"
he answered. "My dear mother's ear
rings! Uncle Aubrey would be so an
gry If he knew I'd sold them. I
daren't face Uncle Aubrey!"
"Has he expectations from Uncle
Aubrey?" Sir Charles asked of "White
Mrs. Brabazon laughed. "Uncle Au
brey! Oh. dear, no. Poor, dear old
Uncle Aubrey. Why. the darling old
soul hasn't a penny to bless himself
with, except his pension. He's a re
tired post captain." And she laughed
melodiously. She was a charming
"Then I should disregard Uncle Au
brey's feelings," Sir Charles said de
cisively. "No, no." the curate answered.
"Poor, dear old Uncle - Aubrey! I
wouldn't do anything for the world to
annoy him. And he'd be sure to no
We went back to Amelia. "Well,
have you got them?" she asked.
"No," Sir Charles answered; "not yet,
but he's coming round, I think. He's
hesitating now. Would rather like to
sell them himself, but is afraid whit
"Uncle Aubrey' would say about the
matter. His wife will talk him out
of his Heedless consideration for Uncle
Aubrey's feelings, and tomorrow we'll
flnallly . clinch the bargain."
Next morning we stayed late In our
salon, where we always breakfasted,
and did not come down to the public
rooms till Just before dejeuner. Sir
Charles being busy with me over ar
rears of correspondence. When we did
come down the concierge stepped for
ward with a twisted little feminine
note for- Amelia. She took it and read
it. Her countenance fell.
"There, Chorles!" she cried, handing
It to him. "You've let the chance slip.
I shall never be happy now! They've
gone off with the diamonds."
Charles seized the note and read it.
Then he passed is on to me. It was
short, but final:
"Thursday, 8 A. M. -Dear Lady Van
drift: Will you kindly excuse our
having gone off hurriedly, without bid
ding you good-bye? We have Just had
a horrid telegram to say that Dick's
favorite sister is dangerously' III of
fever In Paris. I wanted to shake
hands with you' before we left you
have all been so sweet to us but we
go by the morning train, absurdly early,
and I wouldn't for worlds disturb you.'
Perhaps some day we may meet again;
though, burled, as we are, In a north
country village, it isn't likely; but in
any case you have secured the grate
ful recollection of yours very cordially
"P- S. Kindest regards to Sir Charles
and those dear Wentworths and a kiss
for yourself, if I may venture to send you
"She doesn't even mention where
they've gone," Amelia exclaimed, in a
very bad humor.
"The concierge may know," Isabel sug
gested, looking over my shoulder.
.We asked at his office. . Yes; the gentle
man's address was the Rev. Richard Pep
loe Brabazon, Holme Bush Cottage, Emp
Any address where letters might be
sent at once in Paris? For the next 10
days, or till further notice. "Hotel des
Deux Mondes, Avenue de l'Opera."
Amelia's' mind, was made up at once.
"Strike while the iron's hot." she cried.
"This sudden illness, coming at the end
of the honeymoon, and Involving 10 days
more stay at an expensive hotel,, will
probably upset the curate's budget. He'll
be glad la sell now. You'll get them for
three hundred. It was absurd of Charles
to offer so much at first: but, offered
once, of course, we must stick to it."
"Whit do you propose to do?" Charles
asked. "Write or telegraph?"
"Oh. how silly men are!" Amelia cried.
"Is this the sort of business to be ar
ranged by letter still less by telegram?
No; Seymour must start off at once,
taking the night train to Paris; and the
moment he gets there he must interview
the curate or Mrs. Brabazon. Mrs.
Brabazon's the best. She has none of this
stupid, sentimental nonsense' about Uncle
It is no part of a secretary's duties to
act as a (jiamond broker; but when
Amelia puts her foot down, she puts her
foot down a fact which she Is unneces
sarily fond of emphasizing in that iden
tical proposition. So the selfsame even
ing saw me safe in the train, on my way
to Paris, and next morning I turned out
of my comfortable sleeping car at the
Gare de Strasbourg. -My orders were to
bring back those diamonds, alive or dead,
so to speak. In my pocket to Lucerne. 'and
to offer any needful sum up to 2ojO
for their Immediate purchase.
When I arrived at the Deux Mondes, I
found the poor little curate and his wife
both greatly agitated. They had sat up
all night, they said, with their invalid
sister; and the sleeplessness and sus
pense had certainly told upon them after
their long railway journey. They were
pale and tired, Mrs. Brabazon, in par
ticular, looking ill and worried too much
like "White Heather." I was more than
half ashamed of bothering them about
the diamonds at such a moment, but It
occurred to me that Amelia was probably
right they would now "have reached the
end of the sum set apart for their con
tinental trip, and a little ready cash
might be far from unwelcome.
I broached the subject delicately. It
was a fad of Lady Vandrlft's, I said.
She had set her heart upon those useless .
trinkets. And she wouldn't go without
them. She must and would have them.
But tho curate as obdurate. He threw
Uncle Aubrey still in my teeth. Three
hundred? no. never! A mother's present:
Impossible, dear Jessie! Jessie begged
and prayed; she had grown really at
tached to Lady Vandrift, she said: but
the curate wouldn't hear of it. I went
up tentatively to 400. He shook his
head gloomily. It wasn't a question ot
money, he said It was a question of af
fection. I saw it was no use trying that
tack any longer. I struck out a new line.
'These stones," I said, "I think I ought
to Inform you, are really diamonds. Sir
Charles is certain of. It. Now. is it right
for a man of your profession and position
to be wearing a pair of big gems like
those worth several hundred pounds, as
ordinary sleeve links? A woman? yes,
I grant you. But for a man, is it
manly? And you a pricketer!"
He looked at me and laughed. "Will
nothing convince you?" he cried. "They
have been examined and tested by half a
dozen Jewelers, and we know them to be
paste. It wouldn't be right of me to sell
them to you under false pretenses,' how
ever unwilling on my side. I couldn't
"Well, then." I said, going up a bit in
my bids to meet him. "I'll put it like
this. These gems are paste. But Laxly
Vandrift has an unconquerable desire to
possess them. Money doesn't matter to
her. She is a friend of your wife's. As
a personal favor, won't you sell them to
her for a thousand?"
He shook his head. "It would be
wrong," - he said "I might even add,
"But we take all risk," I cried.
He was absolute adamant. "As s
clergyman." he answered, "I feel I can
not do it."
"Will you try, Mrs. Brabazon?" I
The pretty little Scotchwoman leant
over and whispered. She coaxed and ca
joled him. Her ways were winsome. I
couldn't hear what she said, but he
seemed to give way at last. "I should
love ' Lady Vandrift to have them." she
murmured, turning to me. "She is such
a dear!" And she took out the links from
her husband's cuffs and handed them
across to me.
"How much?" I asked.
"Two thousand?" she answered, inter
rogatively. It was a big rise, all at once;
but such are the ways of women.
"Done!" I replied. "Do you consent?"
The curate looked up as if ashamed ot
"I consent," he said slowly, "since
Jessie wishes It. But as a clergyman,
and to prevent any further misunder
standing, I should like you to give ma
a statement in writing that you buy them
on my distinct and positive declaration
that they are made of paste old Oriental
paste not genuine stones, and that I do
not claim any other qualities for them."
I popped the gems into my purse, well
"Certainly." I said, pulling out a paper.
Charles, with his unerring business in
stinct, had anticipated the request, and
given me a signed agreement to that
"You will take a check?" I Inquired.
He hesitated.- "Notes of the Bank of
France- would suit me better," he ans
wered. "Very well." I replied. "I will go out
and get them."
How very unsuspicious some people are!
He allowed me to go off with the stones
in my pocket!
Sir Charles had given me a blank check,
not exceeding 2500. I took it to our
agents and cashed It for notes of the
Bank of France. The curate clasped
them with pleasure. And right glad I
was to go back to Lucerne that night,
feeling that I had got those diamonds
into my hands for about 1000 under their
At Lucerne railway station Amelia met
me. She was positively agitated. "Havi
you bought them, Seymour?" she asked.
"Yes," I answered, producing my spoil! ,
. "Oh, how dreadful!" she cried, drawing
back. "Do you think they're real? Ar
you sure he hasn't cheated you?"
"Certain of it," I rertied, ejaminlng
them. "No one can take me In In th
matter of diamonds. Why on eartb
should you doubt them?"
"Because I've been talking to Mrs.
O'Hagan at the hotel and she says there'!
a well-known trick Just like that she's
read of It In a book. A swindler has two
sets one real, one false, and lie makes
you buy the false ones by showlna- yi
the real and pretending he sells them as
a special favor."
"You needn't be alarmed," I answered,
"I am a judge of diamonds."
"I shan't be satisfied.;' Amelia mur
mured, "till Charles has seen them."
We went up to the hotel. For the first
time In her life I saw Amelia really
nervous as I handed the stones to Charles
to examine. Her doubt was contagious.
I half feared, myself, he might break out .
into a deep monosyllabic Interjection,
losing his temper In haste, as he often
does when things go wrong. But he'
(Concluded on Page 11.)