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Pink Gods and Blue Demons   By: (1883-1936)

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Pink Gods and Blue Demons By Cynthia Stockley Published by George H. Doran Company, New York. This edition dated 1920.

Pink Gods and Blue Demons, by Cynthia Stockley.



Kimberley was once the most famous diamond diggings in the world. Rhodes founded his fortunes there, and the friendships that backed him throughout his career. In the tented camps, hundreds of men became millionaires, and hundreds of others went to jail for the crime of I.D.B. (illicit diamond buying). Later, stately buildings and comfortable homes took the place of tent and tin hut, and later still, the town, like a good many other mining towns in South Africa, became G.I. A mine is G.I. (meaning "gone in") when there is no longer any output. This was hardly true of Kimberley. It continues until this day to put out diamonds, and still may be found there "the largest hole in the world." But Kimberley's day was over when gold was found in the Transvaal, and the adventuring crowd left it, never to return.

At the present time, it is chiefly remarkable for its scandals, dust, heat, and the best hotel in South Africa, which is not so much a hotel as a palatial country house started by the De Beers magnates for the entertainment of their friends or for their own use when they are bored with home life. Notabilities are often entertained there as guests of the famous company, but, even if not a guest of De Beers', a traveller may stay at the Belgrove for about a pound a day and be silent and cool as in an ice house while all the rest of Kimberley is a raging furnace. Mr Rhodes entertained General French at dinner here after the relief of Kimberley. There is a picture over the dining room mantelpiece of the two men meeting on the famous occasion of the relief of Kimberley.

Loree Temple, seated at a table just below it, looked often at this picture and then contemplatively at her own image in a mirror on the wall. It seemed a pity that Rhodes was dead, the Boer War over and all the mining adventurers gone away. She would have liked to live and love among such men instead of being married to Pat Temple. None but the brave deserve the fair, and she imagined her beauty adorning a scene of "triumph and roses and wine" when gallantry returned to white arms and the soft rewards of victory. She had often dreamed herself back in ancient Rome, seated in a chariot beside some blood stained general, with pearls strung in her hair and immense uncut rubies and emeralds against her dazzling whiteness. Or perhaps led into the banquet as a slave, with chains upon her wrists, part of the spoils of war, proud and sad and exquisite in her doom. At other hours, she remembered the words of Arthur, bitter and tender, to his queen:

With beauty such as never woman wore Until it came a kingdom's curse with thee.

No doubt she took an exaggerated view of her own case. At any rate, her women friends would have found much pleasure in telling her so. It was only natural she should think herself a great deal more beautiful than she was. All pretty women do. But there is no denying that the sight of her, as she sat there, would have spoiled many a woman's sleep and gladdened the heart of any man a girl with red hair and a redder rose in it, the milky skin such hair ensures, a sweet ensnaring mouth, eyes with a plaintive expression in them, a string of small but perfect pearls round her young throat, and a black georgette gown by Viola. Pat always liked her to wear black while he was away. The simple soul had an idea that in black she would not be looked at so much.

Needless to say, Pat Temple was neither a blood stained general nor a mining adventurer. He made his income honestly enough out of a cold storage plant, and though indirectly he dealt with corpses, they were legitimate corpses of beef and mutton... Continue reading book >>

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