Stones are difficult to hear. Some covering or substance has made them a great equalizer: diamonds, though compressed perhaps millions of years, speak no louder than a pile of coal. Listening for the thunderclouds was the first primitive method of diamond mining. When the mountains appear out of the blue atmospheric haze, confronting each step with an incline, any more than a sprinkle of will erode riverbeds of soil. The water cuts valleys within the valley, only to dry out after several days and leave behind the precious stones, several per square foot.

The dry gorges are also infested with serpents.

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