I AM A PEARL DIVER
I am a pearl diver.
Encased in my grotesque “suit” of rubber and canvas with its heavy metal headpiece, I go down to the bottom of the sea and ﬁsh for fortunes that are hidden in oyster shells.
I risk my life every time I descend, for may be attacked by a shark, or ﬁnd myself suddenly gripped by the strangling tentacles of a gaint [giant] octopus. And there is always the chance that something may go wrong with my diving-gear. Modren [Modern] equipment is magniﬁcently made, but there is always the human element and great strain, and no one however experienced, can quite forget the risks.
No dought [doubt] you have often looked in a jeweller’s window and admired a ﬁne necklace of pearls, or watched your mother’s pearl brooch gleaming in the ﬁrelight, but have you ever thought of the perils which I, and men like me, have to face to bring such treasures up from the watery underworld?
Not many white men become pearl-ﬁshers, and those who do are mostly of the roving, adventure-loving sort to whom danger the spice of life. Perhaps I am one of these. Anyway, there’s something to be said for living dangerously in exciting countries.
At any rate, when I was a boy I vowed that, come what might, I would not do any kind of dull work when I grew up. I read every book about the sea and ships that I could ﬁnd, and secretly I promised myself that one day I would sail away and see the world.
That day came soon after I left school.
I had the good fortune to make friends with the captain of a tramp steamer. I made a practice of going to the docks and meeting him whenever his ship came home, and he would invite me on. board. What a thrill that was, never quite equalled by later adventures.
In this way I became rapidly familiar with everything about the vessel; I was as much at home. down in the engine-room as on the bridge.
There was something even in the smell of tarred rope that sent my blood racing and made me long for the open sea, and strange distant places on the other side of the world.
Imagine my joy when one ﬁne day my skipper friend said casually: “Why not come with me on my next trip?”
That trip was to Australia!
My mother had died when I was very young, so there was only my father’s permission to obtain. His answer was short and quick: ‘Go It’ll make a man of you”
[To be continued]
WHAT has been the worst disaster in sporting history?
This occurred at Le Mans, France, in the annual 24-hour motor race on June 11, 1955, when one of the racing cars collided with another when travelling at an approximate speed of 160 miles per hour. It leaped the barrier and exploded among the crowd, killing 82 people. What is believed to be the worst disaster in connection with a sporting event in Britain took place on March 9, 1946, at a football match at Bolton, Lancashire. Sections of the stand collapsed and 33 people were killed.