Tom did not sleep well the remainder of the night, for his fitful slumbers were disturbed by dreams of enormous caves, filled with diamonds, with dark, shadowy figures trying to put him into a red-hot steel box. Once he awakened with a start, and put his hand under his pillow to feel if the two stones Mr. Jenks had given him, were still there. They had not been disturbed.
As the powder was taken out, other men fashioned it into small balls, which were put on pan, and into a sort of oven, that was heated by a gasoline stove. "Is that how they make the diamonds?" asked Mr. Damon. "That is evidently the first step," said Mr. Jenks. "Those balls of powdered chemicals are partly baked, and then they are put into the steel box.
On one occasion he was doing chemistry with a certain Jenks, a very fiery little man, who really believed in the educational value of "stinks." So did Archie; it gave him scope to exercise his genius for playing the fool. But this day he overstepped the bounds. In the distance, he saw Blake, his pet aversion, carefully working out an experiment.
I think it is better not." "Well, I will try not to," said Evelyn, with a sigh. "He told Amy Jones I was the prettiest girl in school. Of course we couldn't be married for a long time, and I wouldn't be Mrs. Jenks. But, now you've come home, maybe I sha'n't want to think so much about him." Maria found new maids when she reached home. Ida did not keep her domestics very long.
"Let them see you plainly, but pull your hat well down over your eyes." She silently followed his instructions. Now that the very crisis of their fate had arrived she was nervous, shaken, conscious only of a desire to sink on her knees, and pray. One or two curious heads were craned round the corner of the rock. "Stop!" cried Jenks. "If those men do not instantly go away I will fire at them."
What an oppressive stillness pervaded that room! Jenks stood subdued and bewildered, his state of mental confusion scarcely enabling him to comprehend the full import of the scene. The stranger looked on wonderingly, yet deeply affected.
Jenks, that some of the greatest chemists have tried in vain to make diamonds; or, at best, they have made only tiny ones. To think that any man, or set of men, made real diamonds as large as the ones you have, doesn't seem well " and Tom hesitated. "You mean you can hardly believe me?" asked Mr. Jenks. "I guess that's it," assented Tom. "I don't blame you a bit!" exclaimed the odd man.
If you want to wash you will find the water over there. Don't wait. The ham will be frizzled to a cinder." Unlucky Jenks! Was ever man fated to incur such unmerited odium? He savagely laved his face and neck. The fresh cool water was delightful at first, but it caused his injured nail to throb dreadfully. When he drew near to the fire he experienced an unaccountable sensation of weakness.
Were it otherwise, the Dyaks would simply humbug him until he revealed the source of his wealth, and then murder him as an effective safeguard against foreign interference. Iris! Not once since she was hurled ashore in his arms had Jenks so long forgotten her existence. Should he tell her? They were partners in everything appertaining to the island why keep this marvelous intelligence from her?
"If it's dangerous for me, it'll be death for you uns. Better say your prayers, partner!" "Only four minutes left!" cried Jenks, resolutely, keeping an eye on the watch. The ferryman closed his eyes and resumed his smoking. The others watched him intently. Meanwhile George was thinking. Two minutes more passed.