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A Bride in the Diamond Fields.
Ladies' Home Journal. In the early days of the Afri can Diamond Fields there were hut few ladies resident, and when my chum, Frank Roberts, an nounced his intention of intro duced a bride to us, curiosity and fetation ran high; In due time she arrived, and her experi ences from her point of view are best told in her own words: We were married at Capetown, and for our bridal tour drove a team of eight horses, the six hundred miles to the Fields through a lovely country, camp ing every night in a way that was just too original and quaint for anything. I- will never for. get my first sight of Kimberly. A dense cloud of dust was my first glimpse, and a nauseous, hitter taste in my mouth my first sensation. As we progressed at full gallop, the cloud lifted and split, and the first house 1 saw was a chinamon's, the omni present John. It was made of a wooden frame, the walls being formed of pieces of tin neatly pailed on to the woodwork, pome of them covered with colored paper, on which I saw the famil iar legends of "Chicago Pressed Beef," "SugarCorn," "Tomatoes," etc. John had picked up the empty cane, flattened them out and built his house, He did not "washee-washee," hut he carted away the refuse from the edge of the mine, and sorted it for dia monds under his own vine and fig tree. Houses followed thick and fast, nearly all of galvaniz ed iron, hence the local title of "The City of Iron Pusthing," and at last we turned into a long street, Main street, and stopped at a hotel that looked like a barn. Everywhere were white men, copper-colored men, black men, clothed and half-clothed. I blush now to think of some of the toi lets that I remember yet, the first glance at. "Here's our house, Madge," said my hugband, as he left the team and walked to the edge of the town on the west, so that the east wind being a rarity, we es caped a great proportion of the dust, It was a neat, iron strum ture, and, as I opened the door, I saw a large goat in the parlor making himself very comfotable, "Is that our summer hoarder you spoke of, Frank?" I asked, laughing, "No, Harry is at the mine, Never leave your front door open unless you close the garden gate, for a dog is a possible visator, a goat a certainty." "That's terrible! Help me turn him out," and between us we cleared the house and then look ed through the rooms. My house ! And oh! how cute that dear fel low had fixed everything. The furniture was plain, hut useful ; a piano was in the parlor, and a book-case full of books; my bed room was lovely, and there was a kitchen with a real American Stove, and at the buck a stable for eight horses, "Now sit down and rest," said Frank, "and I'll go to the mine and get Harry and send in some dinner from the hotel." This was his brother, who I already knew, and who was to live with us. As soon as my husband was clear of the garden, I jumped up. "Rest!" "Keep still!" Well, no; not in the first house I ever owned. Besides, I ■ really must try that stove. 1 found coffee, butter, flour, cold meat, and sudden! ' I thought I would make those boys some real nice old-fashioned biscuits. Tucking up my sleeves 1 got a bowl, some flour; everything was was to hand but baking-poM'der. Where M'as it? Ah, there it M'as by the side of the faucet of the water barrel, "Borwick's English j Baking Powder.' Just as I fin- i ished tha -biscuits, in came my j fiat boys and two natives carrying ! the dinner. ! of "What have you been doing?" | said my lord and master, throw ing down a small hag on ft side table and emptying a handful of dirty pebbles on the green cloth, j ific ■ "Making down-east biscuits. I : in found the flour and everything, j Won't they he a treat for you? | What are you going to do with those stones?" Harry laughed and taking my hand, put them all into it, say ing, "What will you give me for them?" "Give you? Nothing!" and I pearly threw them out of the window, when he stopped me just in time, saying: "Little goose, those are dia monds." I gave a half grasp, and grip ped them tight. "Diamonds!" I remember now the revelation it was to me to see a whole hand ful of real diamonds handed around like hickory nuts. How those fellows laughed at me ! "I've been running the kitchen hifely," said Harry, "How did you find things, Madge? All ship-shape, eh?" "Yes! 1 found everything easi ly hut the baking-powder," I re plied, "Baking Powder? There wasn't any." "Why, see here," I said, fetch ing in the can, "Great Scott! That's my tooth I of a of of I powder," gaid Frank, and after looking blankly at each other for a minute, we screamed with laughter, for we had eaten the biscuits and they were good, "Come with me, Madge, and I'll show you the market ftpd how to buy things," said Harry the next morning; and we went down to the great square. It was about an hour after daybreak, for at the Fields it was too hot to stir around much after seven o'clock, until evening, and all business \yag transacted early, except at the mine, where the desire for gain overpowered the sensation of heat. Round the square were gathered the white-covered wagons of the Hutch Boer farmers, who brought in the produce, and down the centre long tables were placed, On these were incongruous heaps of vegetables, fruit, meat, ostrich feathers, game, ivory, karosses (fur cloaks of leopard skin, gold and silver lynx, etc.,) and these the market-master sold in bulk. I soon found that the buyers of the heaps sorted the contents, and then sold them again. It was so funny, every ope was laughing and talking; nearly all were men doing their own marketing, hut so polite and considerate to the few ladies who were present—-for there were on ly twenty-six ladies in the ten thousand people then at Kimber ly. I bought a lot of things myself, but when I saw the prices I nearly fainted. Fancy giving $(>,00 for 12 pounds of potatoes; cabbage $2.50 each, small onions 50 cents each, butter $1.00 to $1.50 per pound, eggs $1,00 per dozen, while they refused to cut me a leg of lamb, and sold me the whole animal for $2.00. "That's nothing," said Frank, "these are regular prices. Wait until the heavy rain sets in and fills the 'kloops - or watercourses that intersect the veldt, and un til the floods go down, and the fords are passable, prices will go I a up to four amount." times the present And so I afterwards found it, and liefere 1 left the Fields 1 had to give $1.50 for a half-pint hot tie of English soda-water to wash my face in, during a long drought. Water frequently was sold at $2.00 per pail, or, as the market terms were, 50 cents the half arm, meaning that a hand was placed fiat in the bottom of the pail, and water poured in to the height of the half arm. For weeks many of the men never washed their faces, and looked like inha bitants of a lower region. We managed tes get through at a ter ific cost, as it now appears, hut j in those days money and dia- j monds lay around broadcast, to ! such an extent that a servant finding a sovereign in a hut would lock up his master at the nune, or canteen, and saying, 'Here boss,' get a quarter for finding it, or if it were a diamond, fifty cents. Money was of little value in a way of speaking, and I grew tired of the yery name of diamonds, and regarded them | only as a piece of dirty, yellow glass, which they looked like, i One day after a week's hard rain, Frank came in and said, "Come up to the nodule banks; you will see something of interest. The nodules were large pieces of hard, gray-blue, tufaceous limestone, the soil in which dia monds are found, and so plenti ful were the stones that the min ers would not trouble to break up a hard nodule, hut tossed it out of the way ; and at that time a bank of them ran on either side of the road from the mine to the outskirts of the town, Dried and baked under the burning pun, a heavy rain crumbled them to pieces, and turned them into a thick, black slush that flowed over the road, "Dick Whittington dreamed of London streets paved with gold, but here are Kimberly streets paved with diamonds," said my husband, This was true in one sense, for there in the slime, on tlieir hands and knees, M as every camp loafer and tramp, every Boer child within walking distance, sieving the mud through coarse wire-net- j ting, looking for diamonds, and | finding enough to pay them M'cll fpr their work, It was a curious j sight, and I felt half inclined to j them, it seemed so foolish to ! Stand by and see diamonds pick- j ed up from beneath the feet, I without trying to get one's share, ; I had one very curious experi* j ence. I was in a store one day j when a loafer from Klipdrift came j in with a chocolate-colored peb* J hie, rough and nearly round in shape, seemingly with transpar ent matter under the film, as it had glittering points about it. I [ wanted to buy it, but he wanted ! $5,00 for it, so I refused. Later j in the day he met me and offered it for $1.00, but I was annoyed j and would not have had it at any | price, and finally he tried to trade it for a bottle of beer, Well, a week after it Mas sold, and eventually sent to England, for $3,000. It M'as one of the first diamonds found in a matrix or envelop at the Kimberly mines, where all the stones had previously been found "naked." The Indian and Brazilian mines had nearly all the stones envel oped with a matrix, 1 M'as so vexed I did not knoM' hoM r to abuse myself sufficiently. Servants? Ah, that was a ten der point! Native women were the only ones M-e could get, and it M'as a choice between tM'o evils an ignorant one M'ho was liable to strip all her clothes off at any minute to dp the M'ork in her own unsophisticated M'ay, or the more civilized contingent, who Mould demand permission to promenade daily from 2 p. m. to 4 p. m., hours M'hen no M'hite woman could stand the glare of the sun. Then they would rig themselves up in all the finery they owned, or any they could lay hands on ! belonging to their mistress, and march up and down Main street, ridiculous, as only an African woman in European clothes can look. They M'ere honest and fairly clean, hut such a u-orry. We M'ould go to bed about nine p. m., and those dusky damsels would sit on the stoop with their beaux until nearly daylight, singing and drumming, and no power on earth would stop it. (To be continued in our next.) - m real estate A.i<nD SURVEYING. -^Cottonwood Townsite Agents^ FIRE, LIFE, and ACCIDENT INSURANCE. FARMS For Bale in the Great Camas Prairie. Correspondence Solicited. Cottonwood, Idaho.