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An African Millionaire Episodes In The Life Of The Illustrious Colonel Clay by Grant Allen

CONTENTS


1.  The Episode of the Mexican Seer

2.  The Episode of the Diamond Links

3.  The Episode of the Old Master

4.  The Episode of the Tyrolean Castle

5.  The Episode of the Drawn Game

6.  The Episode of the German Professor

7.  The Episode of the Arrest of the Colonel

8.  The Episode of the Seldon Gold-Mine

9.  The Episode of the Japanned Dispatch-Box

10.  The Episode of the Game of Poker

11.  The Episode of the Bertillon Method

12.  The Episode of the Old Bailey




I

THE EPISODE OF THE MEXICAN SEER


My name is Seymour Wilbraham Wentworth. I am brother-in-law and
secretary to Sir Charles Vandrift, the South African millionaire and
famous financier. Many years ago, when Charlie Vandrift was a small
lawyer in Cape Town, I had the (qualified) good fortune to marry his
sister. Much later, when the Vandrift estate and farm near Kimberley
developed by degrees into the Cloetedorp Golcondas, Limited, my
brother-in-law offered me the not unremunerative post of secretary;
in which capacity I have ever since been his constant and attached
companion.

He is not a man whom any common sharper can take in, is Charles
Vandrift. Middle height, square build, firm mouth, keen eyes--the
very picture of a sharp and successful business genius. I have only
known one rogue impose upon Sir Charles, and that one rogue, as the
Commissary of Police at Nice remarked, would doubtless have imposed
upon a syndicate of Vidocq, Robert Houdin, and Cagliostro.

We had run across to the Riviera for a few weeks in the season. Our
object being strictly rest and recreation from the arduous duties
of financial combination, we did not think it necessary to take our
wives out with us. Indeed, Lady Vandrift is absolutely wedded to the
joys of London, and does not appreciate the rural delights of the
Mediterranean littoral. But Sir Charles and I, though immersed in
affairs when at home, both thoroughly enjoy the complete change from
the City to the charming vegetation and pellucid air on the terrace
at Monte Carlo. We _are_ so fond of scenery. That delicious view
over the rocks of Monaco, with the Maritime Alps in the rear, and
the blue sea in front, not to mention the imposing Casino in the
foreground, appeals to me as one of the most beautiful prospects in
all Europe. Sir Charles has a sentimental attachment for the place.
He finds it restores and freshens him, after the turmoil of London,
to win a few hundreds at roulette in the course of an afternoon
among the palms and cactuses and pure breezes of Monte Carlo. The
country, say I, for a jaded intellect! However, we never on any
account actually stop in the Principality itself. Sir Charles thinks
Monte Carlo is not a sound address for a financier's letters. He
prefers a comfortable hotel on the Promenade des Anglais at Nice,
where he recovers health and renovates his nervous system by taking
daily excursions along the coast to the Casino.

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 No. 427
 Posted on 9 June, 2006
 
 
 
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