فصل 03

مجموعه: کتاب های ساده / کتاب: الماسی به بزرگی ریتزها / فصل 3

کتاب های ساده

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Kismine

In two weeks Fitz-Norman calculated that the diamond mountain was about equal in quantity to all the diamonds in the world. It was impossible to know its exact value. No one in the world had enough gold to buy it. And what could anyone do with such a huge diamond?

It was an amazing situation. In one sense, he was the richest man that ever lived; and yet, what was he worth? The discovery of such a diamond would create a disaster on the world market. The only thing he could do was to sell his discovery secretly.

Fitz-Norman started traveling to different parts of the world. With one hundred thousand dollars and two trunks filled with diamonds of all sizes he sailed to St Petersburg in Russia, where he stayed in a small hotel. He met with the court jeweler and announced that he had a diamond for the Czar. He remained in St Petersburg for two weeks, moving from one hotel to another because his life was in danger.

Fitz-Norman then moved on to leave for India. Before he left Russia he promised the Czar to return the next year with bigger and better diamonds. He then visited the capitals of twenty-two countries and talked with five emperors, eleven kings, three princes and a sultan. At that time he calculated his wealth to be one billion dollars.

From 1870 until his death in 1900, the history of Fitz-Norman Washington was a long story of immense wealth. He married a lady from Virginia, had a son, and murdered his brother because he often got drunk and nearly told people their secret. There were a few other murders during these happy years of progress.

Before his death, he converted his money into gold and deposited it in banks all over the world. His son, Braddock, transformed the gold into a very rare element, radium, so that a billion dollars in gold could fit in a little box.

Three years after Fitz-Norman’s death, his son decided that the business had gone far enough. His wealth was beyond calculation and could support all the Washingtons for generations, so he closed the diamond mine. But he knew that he had to protect his secret.

This was the family John T. Unger was staying with. This was the story he heard in his silver-walled sitting room that morning.

After breakfast John walked out of the great marble entrance and looked at the beautiful valley with its lakes, gardens and trees. He went down the marble steps and walked along some blue and white stones that seemed to go nowhere. He turned a corner and saw a girl coming towards him. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

She was wearing a little white dress that came to just below her knees. Her pink feet were bare.

She was younger than John - not more than sixteen.

“Hello,” she said softly. I’m Kismine.”

John could not believe his eyes.

“You didn’t meet me last night because I wasn’t feeling well. You met my sister, Jasmine.”

“Nice to meet you,” John said. “I hope you’re feeling better.”

She suggested that they sit down together.

John was critical about women. A single defect - a big ankle, a loud voice, a cold look - was enough to make him lose interest. For the first time in his life he was sitting next to a girl who seemed to be perfect.

“Are you from the East?” asked Kismine with interest.

“No,” answered John, “I’m from Hades.”

“I’m going to school in the East this fall,” she said. “Do you think I’ll like it? I’m going to New York to Miss Bulge’s. It’s very strict, but father said I must not worry.” Your father wants you to be proud,” observed John.

“We are proud,” she answered, her eyes shining with pride. “None of us has ever been punished. Father said we never should be.”

“Mother was - well, a little surprised,” I continued Kismine,” when she heard that you were from - where you are from, you know. But then, she’s Spanish and old-fashioned.”

“Do you spend much time out here?” asked John, trying to hide the fact that he was a bit hurt by this comment.

“Percy and Jasmine and I are here every summer.” She paused, and then said, “You know, I’m a very innocent girl. I never smoke or drink or read anything except poetry. I know hardly any mathematics or chemistry, and I dress very simply. I believe that girls should enjoy their youth in a good, healthy way.”

“I do, too,” said John enthusiastically.

“I like you,” she whispered. “Are you going to spend all your time with Percy while you’re here, or will you be nice to me? No boy has ever been in love with me in all my life. I’ve never even been allowed to see boys alone - except Percy. I came out here hoping to meet you, where the family wouldn’t be around.”

John bowed as he was taught at dancing school in Hades.

“We should go now,” said Kismine sweetly. “I have to be with mother at eleven. You haven’t asked me to kiss you once. I thought boys always did that nowadays.”

“Well,” John answered proudly, “some of them do, but not me. Girls don’t do that sort of thing - in Hades.”

They walked back to the house side by side.

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