Moral Stories in English - The Diamond That Came Back

 The Diamond That Came Back

In a certain city lived a diamond merchant. He was a cheat. He did not dare to deceive the people of his own city, but he never forgot to swindle a traveler from a faraway place who happened to come to him. One day an old man entered his shop. The merchant, as usual, welcomed him with a false smile. "My granddaughter is to get married. I am very fond of her. I would very much like to present a diamond for her. But I can spare only five hundred pieces of silver for it. Is there any diamond with you for this price? The ship by which I came is leaving in another hour. I have no time to go to other shops," said the old man. "Nowhere can you find a diamond for only five hundred pieces of silver. But I appreciate your love for your granddaughter. I will give you an excellent diamond for your money," said the merchant. What he handed over to the old man was a piece of glittering glass. The old man left for the ship happily.

Five years later a young man met the merchant. "You see, my ancestors were great aristocrats in our town. Even my grandfather was as rich as duke. But times changed. We lost everything. I have been obliged to sell all our valuables. Only one thing I had preserved until today because it was my grandmother's favorite diamond. But I must sell it now. Will you please buy it? I will give it cheap," the stranger said. The diamond merchant's eyes glowed. From experience, he knew that heirs of aristocratic families give away gold at the price of copper. "Let me see the diamond," he said. The young man brought out a small packet from his bag and opened it with great care. Inside it was a bright object. The merchant picked it up with great curiosity. But only a glance at it was enough for him to understand that the object was only a piece of glass. "My young friend! You are under an illusion. This is no diamond, but glass!" said the merchant. "You are joking! This is a priceless heirloom. If you cannot appreciate its value, someone else would do!" asserted the young man. "Maybe. Better you take it to somebody else," said the merchant. "That means you don't believe it to be a diamond! I can of course take it to some true connoisseur of diamond and sell it at a reasonable price. But if I do so, you will never know that it is a precious diamond. I better leave it with you. I don't want you to buy it. Just keep it in your shop. Pay me only when you have sold it!" said the young man.

The merchant felt that he was wasting time with the stranger. In order to get rid of the young man he agreed to the condition and asked, "At what price should I sell it?" "One thousand silver coins," said the young man. He left, saying that he will come after five or six months to see whether it had been sold or not. The merchant heaved a sigh of relief. He threw the glass into one corner of his showcase and forgot about it. Five months passed. One day a gentleman who looked like a member of some royal family came into the merchant's shop. "My cousin, the princess of Srimarg, is to get married. I am looking for some special diamonds," he said. The merchant showed him all the best pieces of the diamond he had. But the gentleman rejected them all, saying that he had already bought similar things. Suddenly his eyes fell on the piece of glass left by the young man. His face brightened up. "I was looking for this rare kind of diamond. At last, I found one! Why were you not showing this one?" he demanded feigning annoyance. "Well, I think I have promised this to some other customer!" the merchant tried to be clever. He was very surprised. Either the gentleman did not know anything about diamonds, or he was himself ignorant of certain kinds of diamonds! "How much has the other customer promised to pay?" asked the gentleman. The merchant decided to take advantage of the situation. "Two thousand silver coins," he said.

"Very well. I will pay you three thousand silver coins," said the gentleman. "Take it then." "Not immediately. I reserve it with a payment of a hundred coins. I shall be back with the rest in one week. If I don't come back, I forfeit the amount. You can sell it to your other customer," said the gentleman. The merchant's joy knew no bounds. He can pay the young man a thousand pieces of silver and keep the surplus for himself. What a fine deal! He agreed to the condition gladly. The very next day the young man met him. "If you have not sold my diamond already, please return it to me. I understand that the nephew of the king of Srimarg is in the town. He is looking for rare varieties of diamonds. I am sure, I can sell it to him for a thousand coins!" he said. "Here is your thousand coins," said the merchant and he handed over the money to the young man. The young man went away. The merchant waited for the king's nephew to come to collect the diamond. A week passed and then a fortnight and then a month. The king's nephew did not turn up, but the merchant received a letter from the young man through a traveler, "The diamond I sold you is the same my grandfather had bought from you five years ago. He is no more. But I am happy that I could sell it to you for a profit. You must be happy to get your precious thing back! for sure."  The merchant slapped himself.

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