The Diamond of Kali (Henry)

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The Diamond of Kali
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man acquired a valuable diamond from a dangerous Indian tribe, who then pursued him around the world, attempting to reclaim their sacred treasure and exact revenge.

General Marcellus B. Ludlow, a wealthy globe-trotter and connoisseur of precious stones, discovered a rare blue diamond while exploring the jungles of North India. The diamond was the central eye of the three-eyed goddess Kali, worshipped by the Phansigars, a dangerous and fanatical tribe.

General Marcellus B. Ludlow — narrator; globe-trotter, gentleman, millionaire, and connoisseur of precious stones; tall, erect, with a nearly white moustache.

This stone is something more than a mere jewel. It once formed the central eye of the three-eyed goddess Kali, who is worshipped by one of the fiercest and most fanatical tribes of India.

Ludlow witnessed a secret ceremony where the diamond was stolen by a member of the tribe, but managed to knock the thief unconscious and take the diamond for himself. However, the Phansigars were determined to retrieve their sacred treasure and followed Ludlow around the world, attempting to assassinate him on several occasions. They even tracked him to New York City, where they continued to stalk him and plot his murder. Ludlow lived in constant fear for his life, knowing that the fanatical tribe would stop at nothing to reclaim their precious diamond.

My life is never safe. A month ago, while I was at a hotel in the Berkshires, three of them sprang upon me from the roadside weeds. I saved myself then by my knowledge of their customs.

One night, while being pursued by the Phansigars in New York, Ludlow and a reporter found refuge by a water pump. The Phansigars, who revered cows as sacred animals, seemed to view the pump as a similar symbol and did not attack the pair.

The Reporter — a curious and resourceful journalist; friendly, inquisitive.

Your old fancy guys or thugs, whatever you call 'em, are up to date. Dear General, this is a pump we've stranded upon—same as a cow in New York (hic!) see?

The two men were able to escape unharmed, but Ludlow remained in danger as long as he possessed the diamond. It was later rumored that a niece of General Ludlow would appear on stage the following season, wearing the valuable and historically significant diamonds.