THE DIAMOND THIEF
By H. M. Egbert
Vanderhuizen, the big Dutchman,
stepped aboard the down-country
train from Kimberleyifiouth Africa,
en route for Cape Town. He laid his
suit case carelessly upon the rack,
placed his hand upon his breast to
make sure that the package for which
he had risked many years of free
dom was there and sat down in a
seat, looking out at the desert land
scape. At Boshof a stranger came into -the
train, looked keenly about him. Van
derhuizen recognized him as a man
named James, from Kimberley also;
he had once been a mine guard but
had been dismissed for some dishon
esty. He had contrived in some way
to avoid the clutches of the law, al
ways severe on buyers of diamonds
from the "native quarrymen.
Vanderhuizen nodded surlily. James
was the last person in the world that
he wanted to see just then.
James smiled sardonically. "Come
into the smoker, Van,'' he said, "and
we can discuss business."
Vanderhuizen uttered an oath and
his hand stole In a betraying manned
to the package inside his coat. He
saw James' eyes follow the mdve
ment and realized that he was
trapped. Sullenly he arose and ac
"Well?" he growled, as they took
their places in the empty smoker.
"Halves," said James laconically.
"Curse you!" said Vanderhuizen.
"It's a lucky thing you met me," re
turned James quietly. "Do you know
Thompson of the Kimberley police?"
"What of him?"
"He's in the next compartment.
He's undoubtedly waiting to arrest
you as soon as you step off the train.
If he can get you to Cape Town with
out doing so he will save himself a lot
of trouble. That's why I came I got
wind of Jhe affair,"
The big Dutchman scowled fear
fully. Seven years on the breakwa
ter for illicit diamond buying was the
last thing in the world that he want
ed. And the stones in his breast pock
et were worth 12,000 pounds any
where. "What's the game?" he demanded.
"Halves?" questioned James.
"I suppose so."
'Tve telegraphed for two saddle
horses to-wait at Klipfontein station.
"Hand Over the Bag.
We'll get there at dark. We can make
away before Thompson spots us. The
saddle-bags are loaded with a week's
food. In three days we can cross
the desert to" Khama Land, where we
can pick up an ox wagon and make
our way into Johannesburg. Thomp
son will be clean off the scent. It will
take him a couple of hours ta find a
horse and then he won't know for
sure that we are going to Khama's
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