Passengers on the Sargasso Sunshine seldom pause to consider their breakfast too closely, but far below decks lurks a junior employee of the Cruise Line whose job it is to remove the stones from tinned prunes. His work is lonely and ill-rewarded but he is sustained in his daily drudge by a fable handed down through generations. The story says that if a prune-slitter is humble and hard-working, if he does not let his mind dwell on idle fancies, nor temptation lead him astray and if the object of his affections is a moral girl of virtue, then one day, if he is very lucky, he might find inside a prune, not a vegetable seed, but a flawless pink diamond of great size. His girl will wear it upon her brow and they will be happy.
And so it happened on Christmas Eve, as he laboured while the ship pulled into port and home, he heard a soft ‘tink’ from the tip of his knife and glimpsed a blushing fire. He had found the PruneStone. He raised his eyes to visualise the future and met the gaze of the Customs Officer. Sadly, he put down his knife.