The Pride of the Peacock Author:Victoria Holt She leaned across the table, and there it lay in all its fabulous glory, the most magnificent opal of all time, the stone which had shaped my destiny, the unlucky one, the most beautiful jewel I had ever seen or would ever see in my life. — It is impossible to put into words the qualities of that stone. I can say it was large... even larger than... more » I had expected it to be; even with my sparse knowledge. I knew that it was perfect in every way. I can say that there was the deep blue of a tropical sea and the lighter blue of a cloudless sky, and the glint of red was like shafts of sunlight breaking over the sea. But this does not convey the utter fascination, the aura, the living quality. It h ad life; it changed as one looked. I was feeling more and more dizzy and hazy, and it really seemed to me that I could lose myself in the scintillating color, drown in that deep, deep blue sea. It had a power, that stone; a subtle emanation came from it. It was magnetic and I could not stop myself reaching out to take it.
" Oh no, you don't... You think your're going to take it from me, don't you? You think you've found it at last. I tell you this... I'm only showing it to you, that's all. I thought you shold see it before you died. " What! " Before... I died.... ?"« less