The Dutchman finally found the boy out on the gold diggings.
Being close to seven feet tall and as broad as an axe-handle at the shoulders, Cornelius Tesselaar was an instant curiosity in that place of mud and slap-shacks. His frock-coat and good boots spoke of a man more used to cobbled streets than a fossicker’s warren. He wore a top-hat, the good silk kind, and peered around him through a pair of expensive bifocals that by themselves would earn him a knifing if he stayed too long.
A quiet word and a handful of coins led Cornelius to the nearest opium den. He swept open the hessian sack that served as a doorway, and stood blinking at the thick cloud of smoke that drifted out.
“Toby Jangles,” the Dutchman boomed, striding inside. A dozen faces stared blankly at the man, even as he stepped over their sprawled bodies. One or two furtive shapes slinked away from the doorway, creeping into the furthest shadows of the clapboard shack.