The Jewel of Seven Stars eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about The Jewel of Seven Stars.
and Amsterdam; and some few to the private houses of rich collectors.  At last, in the shop of an old watchmaker and jeweller at Hoorn, I found what he considered his chiefest treasure; a great ruby, carven like a scarab, with seven stars, and engraven with hieroglyphics.  The old man did not know hieroglyphic character, and in his old-world, sleepy life, the philological discoveries of recent years had not reached him.  He did not know anything of Van Huyn, except that such a person had been, and that his name was, during two centuries, venerated in the town as a great traveller.  He valued the jewel as only a rare stone, spoiled in part by the cutting; and though he was at first loth to part with such an unique gem, he became amenable ultimately to commercial reason.  I had a full purse, since I bought for Mr. Trelawny, who is, as I suppose you know, immensely wealthy.  I was shortly on my way back to London, with the Star Ruby safe in my pocket-book; and in my heart a joy and exultation which knew no bounds.

“For here we were with proof of Van Huyn’s wonderful story.  The jewel was put in security in Mr. Trelawny’s great safe; and we started out on our journey of exploration in full hope.

“Mr. Trelawny was, at the last, loth to leave his young wife whom he dearly loved; but she, who loved him equally, knew his longing to prosecute the search.  So keeping to herself, as all good women do, all her anxieties—­which in her case were special—­she bade him follow out his bent.”

Chapter XI A Queen’s Tomb

“Mr. Trelawny’s hope was at least as great as my own.  He is not so volatile a man as I am, prone to ups and downs of hope and despair; but he has a fixed purpose which crystallises hope into belief.  At times I had feared that there might have been two such stones, or that the adventures of Van Huyn were traveller’s fictions, based on some ordinary acquisition of the curio in Alexandria or Cairo, or London or Amsterdam.  But Mr. Trelawny never faltered in his belief.  We had many things to distract our minds from belief or disbelief.  This was soon after Arabi Pasha, and Egypt was so safe place for travellers, especially if they were English.  But Mr. Trelawny is a fearless man; and I almost come to think at times that I am not a coward myself.  We got together a band of Arabs whom one or other of us had known in former trips to the desert, and whom we could trust; that is, we did not distrust them as much as others.  We were numerous enough to protect ourselves from chance marauding bands, and we took with us large impedimenta.  We had secured the consent and passive co-operation of the officials still friendly to Britain; in the acquiring of which consent I need hardly say that Mr. Trelawny’s riches were of chief importance.  We found our way in dhahabiyehs to Aswan; whence, having got some Arabs from the Sheik and having given our usual backsheesh, we set out on our journey through the desert.

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The Jewel of Seven Stars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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