`If you cannot make gold by the end of the century, the King said to Spinifex, `you're finished'. Gold! For as long as the castle had stood, alchemists had struggled to make gold from the simple elements of the earth. And for as long as the castle stood they had failed. Then comes the greedy, ambitious Spinifex, who promises the king riches and glory beyond his wildest dreams. Arthur, the alchemist's young apprentice, cannot see the point - after all gold cannot make you happy, heal the sick, or make people love you - and he watches in amazement as the experiments grow more elaborate and fantastic. As time ticks on Spinifex becomes a man obsessed, plundering the country for more gold to aid his experiments, even tearing the rings from people's fingers. Then, as the Millennium approaches, Spinifex constructs his last great experiment - a monstrous machine stretching up from the cellar through the castle to the roof. But the great gold-making machine only suceeds in destroying its creator, leaving just one tiny nugget of gold. However, gold of another kind floods the castle - glorious sunlight rains down on the kingdom, dispelling darkness and gloom forever. As for Arthur, he takes the tiny nugget and fashions a sunflower pendant for the king. One day the king loses it while out swimming, but he doesn't even notice, it is forgotten.Vom Verlag:
"If you cannot make gold by the end of the century," the King said to Spinifex, "you're finished". And so Spinifex is thrown into the 19th-century's obsession to make gold.
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