Oh, my young aspirant — if ever such a one should read these pages — be sure that no one can tell you! To do so it would be necessary not only to know what there is now within you, but also to foresee what time will produce there. This, however, I think may be said to you, without any doubt as to the wisdom of the counsel given, that if it be necessary for you to live by your work, do not begin by trusting to literature. Take the stool in the office as recommended to you by the hard man; and then, in such leisure hours as may belong to you, let the praise which has come from the lips of that soft man induce you to persevere in your literary attempts. Should you fail, then your failure will not be fatal — and what better could you have done with the leisure hours had you not so failed? Such double toil, you will say, is severe. Yes, but if you want this thing, you must submit to severe toil.
Once again it should be noted, that when in her letters she writes home enthusiastically about all her comforts and luxuries, these descriptions must be taken cum grano salis. She had not the slightest intention of misleading anybody; but she was very anxious to put a brave face on the matter; moreover, she was a Missionary Miss Sahiba, and she might not grumble. Everything was for her right just as it was. But another side to the question did exist.
鈥業f such doubts did occur to us, they were soon dispelled by a closer acquaintance with the object of them. The letters received during the following months by her future fellow-Missionaries showed with what whole-heartedness she was coming forth, prepared from thenceforth to make her home in the land of her adoption, and to devote all she was and all she had to the grand work of winning the people of India to Christ....
"A week ago," said M, "one of the high-ups in the Treasury came to see me. Brought with him the Permanent Secretary to the Board of Trade. It had to do with diamonds. Seems that most of what they call 'gem' diamonds in the world are mined on British territory and that ninety per cent of all diamond sales are carried out in London. By the Diamond Corporation." M shrugged his shoulders. "Don't ask me why. The British got hold of the business at the beginning of the century and we've managed to hang on to it. Now it's a huge trade. Fifty million pounds a year. The biggest dollar-earner we've got. So when something goes wrong with it, the Government gets worried. And that's what's happened." M looked mildly across at Bond. "At least two million pounds worth of diamonds are being smuggled out of Africa every year."
'I'd rather take a little rest before breakfast,' he said. 'It's been quite a day and I expect Paris will want me to do a bit of mopping-up tomorrow. There are several loose ends you won't have to worry about. I shall. I'll walk over to the hotel with you. Might as well convoy the treasure ship right into port.'