He remembered his excitement when he first heard about the latest diamond strike in South Africa. The biggest diamond in the world had been found there, lying loose in the sand, and the whole area was rumored to be a great treasure chest waiting to be opened.
He had broken the news to his family after dinner on a Saturday night. They were seated around an uncleared table in the rude, timbered kitchen when Jamie spoke, his voice shy and at the same time proud. “I’m going to South Africa to find diamonds. I’ll be on my way next week.”
Five pairs of eyes stared at him as though he were crazy.
“You’re goin’ chasing after diamonds?” his father asked. “You must be daft, lad. That’s all a fairy tale—a temptation of the devil to keep men from doin’ an honest day’s work.”
“Why do you nae tell us where you’re gettin’ the money to go?” his brother Ian asked. “It’s halfway ’round the world. You hae no money.”
“If I had money,” Jamie retorted, “I wouldn’t have to go looking for diamonds, would I? Nobody there has money. I’ll be an equal with all of them. I’ve got brains and a strong back. I’ll not fail.”
His sister, Mary, said, “Annie Cord will be disappointed. She expects to be your bride one day, Jamie.”
Jamie adored his sister. She was older than he. Twenty-four, and she looked forty. She had never owned a beautiful thing in her life. I’ll change that, Jamie promised himself.
His mother silently picked up the platter that held the remains of the steaming haggis and walked over to the
Novel Book: MASTER OF THE GAME
Copyright © 1982 by Sheldon Literary Trust