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King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard


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    To come to business, Good and I took the diamonds to Streeter's to
    be valued, as we arranged, and really I am afraid to tell you what
    they put them at, it seems so enormous. They say that of course it
    is more or less guess-work, as such stones have never to their
    knowledge been put on the market in anything like such quantities.
    It appears that (with the exception of one or two of the largest)
    they are of the finest water, and equal in every way to the best
    Brazilian stones. I asked them if they would buy them, but they
    said that it was beyond their power to do so, and recommended us
    to sell by degrees, over a period of years indeed, for fear lest
    we should flood the market. They offer, however, a hundred and
    eighty thousand for a very small portion of them.

    You must come home, Quatermain, and see about these things,
    especially if you insist upon making the magnificent present of
    the third share, which does not belong to me, to my brother
    George. As for Good, he is no good. His time is too much
    occupied in shaving, and other matters connected with the vain
    adorning of the body. But I think he is still down on his luck
    about Foulata. He told me that since he had been home he hadn't
    seen a woman to touch her, either as regards her figure or the
    sweetness of her expression.

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    I want you to come home, my dear old comrade, and to buy a house
    near here. You have done your day's work, and have lots of money
    now, and there is a place for sale quite close which would suit
    you admirably. Do come; the sooner the better; you can finish
    writing the story of our adventures on board ship. We have refused
    to tell the tale till it is written by you, for fear lest we shall
    not be believed. If you start on receipt of this you will reach
    here by Christmas, and I book you to stay with me for that. Good
    is coming, and George; and so, by the way, is your boy Harry
    (there's a bribe for you). I have had him down for a week's
    shooting, and like him. He is a cool young hand; he shot me in the
    leg, cut out the pellets, and then remarked upon the advantages of
    having a medical student with every shooting party!

    Good-bye, old boy; I can't say any more, but I know that you will
    come, if it is only to oblige

Your sincere friend,
Henry Curtis.

    P.S.--The tusks of the great bull that killed poor Khiva have now
    been put up in the hall here, over the pair of buffalo horns you
    gave me, and look magnificent; and the axe with which I chopped
    off Twala's head is fixed above my writing-table. I wish that we
    could have managed to bring away the coats of chain armour. Don't
    lose poor Foulata's basket in which you brought away the diamonds.

To-day is Tuesday. There is a steamer going on Friday, and I really

think that I must take Quatermain at his word, and sail by her for England, if it is only to see you, Harry, my boy, and to look after the printing of this history, which is a task that I do not like to trust to anybody else.

-- Allan Quatermain.

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King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard

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