Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 433
A gypsy has trained a monkey to sneak into the bedrooms of rich women and steal their jewelry. Without being instructed to do so by the gypsy, however, this “demon monkey” steals the “Diamond of Hope” necklace that was brought to Gibraltar for the princess of England to wear at a state function. The gypsy knows that the fabulous diamond is valueless to him because it is much too famous to be sold. He also knows that there is a curse on the necklace and that misfortune befalls whoever owns it, so he mails it back to the princess, warning her to take better care of it. However, the monkey steals the diamond two more times; the third time the animal is shot by a guard and dies at the gypsy’s feet.
When the gypsy receives the diamond the third time, it no longer seems like an accident. Fate is at work. Because he is a gypsy, he fully believes the curse, so he is pleased that fate has chosen him to remove the cursed necklace from the princess and the English throne. Being a good swimmer, he goes down to the shore of the Mediterranean, takes off his clothes, puts the necklace around his neck, and swims out one mile and drops it. As he begins to swim back, the necklace starts to drop a mile down. The necklace falls faster than the gypsy can swim; when it gets to within a hundred feet of the bottom, it alights on the dorsal fin of a shark.
The necklace awakens the shark, who swims up to investigate and begins to follow the gypsy. Proud of himself for extinguishing the power of the curse forever, the gypsy turns and sees the necklace glide past him, as if it is floating in the air. He decides that one of two things is true: Either he is witnessing a miracle—and the whole thing does indeed smack of the miraculous—or he is having a hallucination. Deciding to find out which is true, he swims after the necklace—which turns and begins swimming toward him. The story ends here, but the narrator adds a final comment. Although it appears at first glance that the shark will eat the gypsy, the narrator believes that there are three reasons for hope: First, no shark has ever been approached by a man wondering whether it is a miracle or a hallucination; such a man would smell different. Second, the man is a gypsy and an animal trainer. Third, the shark now possesses the necklace, so it is cursed.
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