Easier for a camel

John Talbot

Easier for a camel
by John Talbot

Copyright © 2004

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Table of Contents
FOR............................................................................................................................ 1 PREFACE ................................................................................................................. 3 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 5 CHAPTER 1.............................................................................................................. 7 HILLARY’S MYSTERIOUS LOVER ............................................................................ 7 CHAPTER 2............................................................................................................ 12 ADVENTURE ON TOWN HILL ................................................................................. 12 CHAPTER 3............................................................................................................ 19 WORLD WIDE MOTORS ......................................................................................... 19 CHAPTER 4............................................................................................................ 25 AGNES HALFSHAFT ............................................................................................... 25 CHAPTER 5............................................................................................................ 30 LESLIE’S ENTERPRISE ........................................................................................... 30 CHAPTER 6............................................................................................................ 35 TALL STORY ......................................................................................................... 35 CHAPTER 7............................................................................................................ 39 DEADWOOD CASTLE ............................................................................................. 39 CHAPTER 8............................................................................................................ 45 PRINCE ANDREW ................................................................................................... 45 CHAPTER 9............................................................................................................ 51 ENCORE................................................................................................................. 51 CHAPTER 10.......................................................................................................... 54 LUCY MARGO ....................................................................................................... 54 CHAPTER 11.......................................................................................................... 61 A STAR PERFORMANCE ......................................................................................... 61 CHAPTER 12.......................................................................................................... 65 FURTHER STAR PERFORMANCES ........................................................................... 65 CHAPTER 13.......................................................................................................... 75 A FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE................................................................................. 75
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CHAPTER 14 .......................................................................................................... 82 TRAPPED ............................................................................................................... 82 CHAPTER 15 .......................................................................................................... 86 RACK THERAPY..................................................................................................... 86 CHAPTER 16 .......................................................................................................... 93 SOLITARY CONFINEMENT ...................................................................................... 93 CHAPTER 17 ........................................................................................................ 104 THINGS IMPOSSIBLE ............................................................................................ 104 CHAPTER 18 ........................................................................................................ 109 WHERE THE RED DISA GROWS ............................................................................ 109 CHAPTER 19 ........................................................................................................ 118 SALVATION AND MURDER .................................................................................. 118 CHAPTER 20 ........................................................................................................ 126 BODIES AND GHOSTS .......................................................................................... 126 CHAPTER 21 ........................................................................................................ 129 TO THE RESCUE................................................................................................... 129 CHAPTER 22 ........................................................................................................ 134 ENDLESS VACATION ........................................................................................... 134

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Preface
Easier for a camel is a story of the events that took place when a rich man decided to follow the Lord Jesus. It is a mystery novel and a thriller, much of it based on the author’s own experiences. Several biblical principles are illustrated, especially the confession that results in salvation, viz "Jesus is Lord," and "the measure you give is the measure you will get back." Inspiration for the writing of this novel came from the author’s wife who remarked, "You missed your vocation, you should have been a writer of fiction." After reading the original manuscript, she commented, "The trouble with it is it’s not fiction, it’s revenge." However, most of this fourth version is fiction. The reader may distinguish between what is fiction and what is "revenge" by the fact that "revenge" is stranger than fiction. It is hoped that at least some of the readers may emulate Stuart Tall in following the Lord Jesus and reaping the vast rewards, both temporal and eternal. .

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Introduction
Easier for a camel was written for Hillary during her matric year. Since then it has been rewritten three times. Each time it has got a little shorter. This is the first version to be published. The description of Loch Athlone and the Athlone Castle Restaurant was accurate at the time of the first writing. Sadly, it is no longer so. Few artifacts of the RMMV Athlone Castle remain. The restaurant is now called Athlone’s Beef Baron. The fare is excellent and it is worth a visit. The reader will surely want to see the venue of those epic events described in the book. Leslie Grainger, whose chance remarks to my son were repeated at the dinner table, inspired the Leslie Granger of the book. Unfortunately, Leslie met with a fatal accident on the N1 between Johannesburg and Pretoria between the first and second writings. His family and friends may take comfort from the fact that he is with the LORD and they will see him again. John Talbot Directed by The Lord Jesus Johannesburg 4th June 1998

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Chapter 1
Hillary’s Mysterious Lover
Hillary’s one ambition was to become a detective or private investigator. She had read many exciting books on the subject and longed to share in the danger and excitement. At school she had excelled at all sports and had been victrix ludorum. Having done courses in kung-fu she was skilled in the martial arts. Now it seemed she might have to accept an office job, something she found repulsive. Her mother was a widow and would not be able to support her much longer. She had just matriculated and had not been able to find a job as a detective. She was feeling despondent when something happened to change all that. The postman brought an envelope addressed to her. Inside was a card which read: Meet me at St. Helen’s at 1pm Tuesday 19th. It was signed, "The one who loves you." Hillary was mystified. St. Helen’s was a very exclusive restaurant. She had several admirers but none she knew of could afford that sort of fare. The invitation had come just in time. It was Tuesday 19th and only one hour to go to 1pm. She was sure this was the start of the kind of adventure she craved. Nothing would keep her from going. Dressed in her sexiest outfit she caught the bus into town. She had no idea how she would recognize her host. Presumably he would recognize her. She waited at the entrance. It was indeed a grand place. She felt a little awed. The head waiter caught sight of her. "Please, Miss Keating, come in . Your host will not be long." She was surprised that he knew her name. She had never been there before. He seated her at a table near the band. Giving her the menu, he told her that her host had said she could order whatever she wished. The prices were so high she wondered how anyone could afford them. She was afraid to order anything. What if her host did not arrive and she was left to pick up the tab? Could it be someone’s idea of a joke to embarrass her? The waiter asked if she was ready to order. She expressed her fears to him. He told her not to worry as her host was a regular client of the highest integrity. She ordered chateaubriand, her favourite dish, followed by strawberries and cream. She ate slowly, all the time expecting her host to arrive. He didn’t. She was terrified when she saw the waiter approach with a slip of paper on a plate. Surely this was the bill? To her relief she saw that it was not a bill but a cheque. It was made out to her and was for a very large sum. The signature was illegible but, since it was a bank draft, there was no way of knowing who her benefactor was. There was a note with the cheque. It read, "Please forgive my apparent
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absence. I am here but you cannot see me. You may do whatever you wish with the gift. Thank you for coming." It was signed "Towly." "So, my mystery lover is called Towly. That’s not much of a name. I wonder what he looks like? Anyway, he’s generous," Hillary said to herself. She read the amount of the cheque again to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. She could hardly believe her eyes. Towly must be an oil sheik or perhaps an owner of a gold mine. She had visions of an eastern potentate with a cloth tied around his head, not quite what she would choose as a lover for herself. Surely he must still be present. If she was quick she might catch him before he left. The waiter told her it was too late. He had already left. He had orders not to disclose anything about him. Another waiter said he had seen him depart.. "He left here in a blue Turbo Cornish, a convertible," he said. "He shot up that hill like a rocket. Even my brother’s Sporch can’t move like that." Hillary was thrilled. A Turbo Cornish was a very rare and expensive car and very sporting. Clearly, Towly must be very rich and adventurous. On her way back to the bus stop Hillary visited the bank that had issued the cheque. She opened an account and deposited it and was given a cheque book. Then she passed a motor show room. In the window was a smart looking roadster. It was called a Turbo Dream. The sight of it brought visions of James Bond’s Aston Martin. It was just the thing for a private investigator of her calibre. She bought it and drove home in it. As she entered the drive her younger sister, Odille, ran out to greet her. "Where did you get that thing?" she asked. "It’s not a thing, it’s my dream car," Hillary replied. "All right, then, where did you get that dream car?" "Wouldn’t you like to know!" Hillary responded. There was a lot of rivalry between the two sisters and Hillary had no intention of sharing her secret. That evening, Hillary’s mother, Lorraine, was due to entertain some guests. They were very special guests and Lorraine had gone to a lot of trouble to make it a special evening. John Tall was there from Johannesburg. He was known to them as "Uncle John." For some years he had been a father to the girls and had contributed to their support. Both girls were very fond of him. Then there was the pastor of their local church, Bert Richards. Richards was very straight laced. Lorraine regarded him as the ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. Whenever she had a problem she consulted him. John Tall was also very strong in his knowledge of the Word but most people thought he had the bible all upside down. Bert was a very conventional Christian. Lorraine had been brought up in a main line church and clung to the accepted doctrines. Bert brought along two visitors from a Pentecostal church in Roodepoort. It was the first time Lorraine had met them. One was the pastor of the church, Arthur Deadwood. The other was a deacon, Kenneth Roberts. Ken had the
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peculiar habit of calling his pastor "Boss." The subject of Hillary’s new car was raised over dinner. Lorraine expressed concern over it. She could not understand how Hillary could become the owner of such an expensive car so suddenly. "I hope you didn’t steal it,’ she said. She looked at Bert, hoping that he would be able to get at the truth. "No, Mom, I assure you I didn’t steal it," Hillary said. "Then where did you get it? Don’t tell me you bought it with your pocket money that Uncle John gave you." Turning to Uncle John, she asked, "Did you give it to her?" "No, I know nothing about it," he replied. "Come on, Child, you must tell your mother how you got it," Bert prompted. "I bought it with the money Towly gave me." "Towly? Who is Towly?" "I don’t know. He invited me to lunch at St. Helen’s and didn’t show up. When the waiter brought me the bill I saw that it had already been paid. There was this cheque made out to me and a note saying I could spend it on whatever I liked." "A likely story indeed. Go to your room and don’t come out until you can tell the truth." "It is the truth." Hillary insisted. She produced the note from Towly. It was passed from person to person. They were all mystified. Who was this mysterious person calling himself Towly and being so exceedingly generous. It was hard to believe but difficult to deny in the presence of the note. "Hillary always gets the presents. She’s spoilt. Make her give me half," Odille pleaded. "Yes, you give half to Odille," Lorraine commanded. "You know I’ve always taught you girls to share." "That will be the day," Hillary said in a rebellious tone. "Yes, do as Mom says. Give me half." "I won’t give you half. I’ll give you two — two black eyes," Hillary threatened. "Now, now, girls, don’t fight." Turning to Bert, Lorraine pleaded, "Please calm them down. I can’t afford to lose any more crockery. When these two fight the crockery gets smashed." "Take it easy, girls. This matter can be resolved amicably. The remaining money should be given to God. It will be enough to build us a new church. That way you will both be blessed. Then you can share the car." "I think not. I think a tithe to the church’s building fund would be fine. Haven’t you always taught us to tithe, Pastor?" For once Lorraine was questioning the advice of her pastor. She couldn’t see why the church should have the whole benefit.

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"I think it is entirely up to Hillary to decide what she wants to do with her money. Towly, who gave it to her, said she could use it any way she likes. I think we should leave it at that." This piece of advice came from the Reverend Arthur Deadwood. "That’s the way, Boss. That’s good advice." This support came from Ken Roberts. He was a handsome man in his early thirties. He showed great respect for his superior. The party decided that was the way to go. They would leave it to Hillary to decide what she would do with her money. "I’ll give a tithe to the church," Hillary conceded. She brandished her new cheque book and wrote the cheque and gave it to Bert. "That will pay for your new ablution block," Deadwood said to Bert. "What about my car?" Odille complained. Hillary wrote another cheque and gave it to Odille. Odille was not pleased. "This will only get me a second hand Cadenza while you get all the boys with that fancy sports car." "Too bad! A pity you weren’t born beautiful like me then you might also have found yourself a rich admirer." Hillary stuck out her tongue. Odille raised her dinner plate. Lorraine and Bert grabbed her arms just as she was about to smash it over her sister’s head. When the evening came to an end Lorraine was relieved that she had not lost any more crockery. She was also relieved that Hillary had come into that large sum lawfully. The pastors assured her she had done nothing wrong in accepting it. Next morning Hillary took Odille into town in her Turbo Dream. Odille was in a good mood. Even a second hand Cadenza was exciting as a first car. When she dropped her sister in the town Hillary told her that she was about to start her investigations into the identity of her secret admirer. "That’s exciting! As soon as I get my car I will help you in your search." Hillary was surprised at her sister’s enthusiasm. She drove out to Hilton on the N3. The waiter had seen Towly depart in that direction. That was the obvious place to start looking. She made inquiries at all the filling stations. None of the petrol attendants had seen a blue Turbo Cornish pass that way. She waited for hours at the roadside but no Turbo Cornish passed that way. At lunch time she returned home. There was an envelope in the letter box. Handwritten in pencil, it bore only the name "Hillary." The note inside read: STOP YOUR INVESTIGATIONS OR FACE A PAINFUL DEATH. It was signed, "The Red Disa."

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Chapter 2
Adventure on Town Hill
Hillary was pleased with the death threat. It made her a worthy P.I. Someone hiding behind the name of "The Red Disa" was afraid of what her investigations would turn up. She took a sheet of paper and wrote on it in large letters "Hillary Keating 007 — super sleuth." She pinned it to the door of her bedroom. She now had two mysteries to solve: the identities of Towly and the Red Disa. She would get her men and soon she would be as famous as James Bond. After lunch Hillary continued her search for the blue Cornish. Odille had not yet returned. Hillary was keen to see what kind of car she had bought. It was unlikely to be a fine Italian roadster like her Turbo Dream. This time she drove out on the Richmond road. She kept a sharp lookout and made several inquiries but her search was fruitless. Towards evening she returned to Pietermaritzburg. She decided to have dinner at Monty’s. Monty’s was a restaurant at the intersection of two main routes. From her table by the window she would be able to watch the passing traffic in the hope of seeing her quarry. Blue was a colour she associated with manly virtues. A Turbo Cornish was the type of car driven by princes and knights in shining armour. She pictured Towly as such. Now her imagination was running riot. She saw herself marrying Prince Towly and becoming a princess. The traffic fascinated her. She wondered about the travelers. Where were they all going? Were there others going in search of princes and knights in shining blue armour? Why was there so much activity? She was aroused from her reverie by a loud exhaust note. Soon the offending vehicle came into sight. It was an open two seater, rather old. It slowed down and parked in front of Monty’s. The occupants wore caps put on back to front and held in place by goggles. they parked next to her Turbo Dream. The driver removed his goggles and crawled under the car. He shouted something to the passenger who then rummaged in the back of the car. Finding some tools, he passed them to the man under the car. With some hammering and swearing the repair was completed. The two men entered the restaurant. They had removed their caps. Hillary noticed that one was extremely handsome. Except for the streak of grease on his face, he could easily have been the type she imagined Towly to be. She also noticed that they had seen her and made approving gestures to one another. She pretended not to have noticed and looked the other way. They seated themselves at the table next to hers. The handsome one glanced at her. "The scenery’s good," he remarked to his companion. The other concurred. She felt a thrill but pretended not to hear.
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"That’s the third time today we’ve had to put that baffle box back," the not so handsome one remarked. "One of the penalties of good road-holding. It’s a nuisance but it’s worth it. Look how she corners." "I wish you hadn’t lowered it so much. Austin-Healeys are so low to start with." "Look how she corners, look how she corners! We can take on anything and win." Their conversation was all about Austin-Healeys and their virtues. She wondered how they could be so enthusiastic about their ancient piece of iron work. Next to her shining new Turbo Dream it looked like a relic from the ox wagon era. "You’ll see, on the winding road out of this town we’ll clean up everything. Even those fancy Italian jobs with their skirts won’t stay with us," the handsome one said. Hillary was stung. Her Turbo Dream was Italian and had skirts. Besides the men fascinated her, especially the handsome one. She welcomed the opportunity to get better acquainted. "Want to bet on that?" she asked. She was convinced her car could walk away from that antique on any road. The handsome youth turned round sharply at the unexpected remark. "What do you drive?" he asked. "A Turbo Dream." "What! That rubbish! I should have known. Only a lady would drive a car like that. It’s a girl’s car. That’s why it ‘s got skirts. I’ll admit it’s got a lot of power but it corners like a drunken cow." She was incensed at the insult to her car. "Choose your route," she said, challenging him to a duel. "The Austin-Healey’s a little heavy to race up Town Hill," the youth admitted. "I’ll tell you what. Let’s drive up to Hilton and dice down on the old road. That will give us a good test of cornering ability. First one over the railway at the show grounds is the winner." Hillary agreed. The Healey looked distinctly tired. Clearly it had enjoyed a long hard life. She was confident she could beat it. The choice of route disturbed her. The old town Hill road was notorious for accidents. Racing down it would be sheer madness. Yet her pride got the better of her. They followed the motorway up the escarpment. At first Hillary was content to follow. When she heard the Healey change down she could not restrain herself. Her right foot hit the floorboard. Soon the Healey was out of sight. At the Hilton exit she waited at the roadside. After a few seconds the Healey arrived. It stopped alongside. What a contrast they made, the one car from the space age, the other a relic of the past.

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The passenger in the Healey stood up. "We’ll take it from here," he said. "I’ll count to three and then shout ‘Go!’" He lifted his right hand high above his head. "One, two, three, go!" he shouted, lowering his hand on the shout of go. Both cars rocketed forward, smoke coming from their spinning tyres. Hillary easily out-accelerated her competition. She braked hard into the left-hander and accelerated as she started the steep descent. She felt confident. She was in the lead. She had the better car. But what a road! Her right foot was alternately hitting the brake and the accelerator while she swung the steering wheel from side to side. They were on a sweeping left-hander when she heard the squeal of tyres alongside her. To her astonishment she saw the red form of the Healey in the beam of her headlights. It was right on the limit, the passenger leaning far out over the door, fighting the centrifugal force. On the straight she put her foot down and drew level. She was now on the wrong side of the road, over the solid white line. Both cars braked hard for the right-hander. She was on the inside, struggling to take the bend. The cat’s eyes glared at her. The Healey was getting ahead. A pair of headlights appeared, coming towards her at alarming speed. She considered going into the ditch on the right but that was impossible as her car was right at the limit of its adhesion. She would have to fall back behind her competition. She braked hard, locking up all four wheels. The tail came out and the car spun clockwise through 180 degrees. She missed the oncoming car by inches. Her car slid backwards on the verge on the left side of the road eventually coming to rest facing the direction from which it had come. Hillary was in a whirl, not knowing where she was. Her heart was beating fast. She wasn’t sure whether she had hit the other car or not. She fainted. When she came round her opponents were pouring water on her face. She sensed their relief as she recovered consciousness. They inquired whether she was injured. Hillary was more concerned about her car and the other driver. She was relieved to hear that she had missed the other car and that her car was undamaged. She told them she would never do anything like that again and she conceded that their car could out-corner all comers. "By the way, I’m Graham Grant,’ said the handsome youth. "This is Leslie Granger. The car’s name is Humphry. Would you like to meet us back at Monty’s? You look like you could do with a drink." Over coffee at Monty’s, Leslie said, "You’re a game chick. How would you like a job where you could earn two thousand a day?" "Doing what?" "Stripping at private parties." Hillary laughed. "Do I look the type?" "Leslie runs a theatrical and entertainment agency," Graham explained. "He’s always on the lookout for new talent. There’s no doubt you’ve got what he’s looking for."
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"Yes," Leslie confirmed. "You’ve got it all in the right places and sizes and shapes. You’d be a good investment." "It’s good money and it’s more exciting than a nine to five job. I might consider it if I can’t find something more suitable. Right now I’m on an assignment." Leslie gave her his card: LESLIE GRANGER MANAGING DIRECTOR ENTERTAINMENTS UNLIMITED "When you’re in Johannesburg come and see me. I’ll get you lots of work. You need never go hungry." "What’s this assignment you’re on?" Graham asked. "I’m a private detective." "You mean you spy on guys with mistresses and that sort of thing? Isn’t that very unsporting of you?" "I’m involved in more diplomatic matters, like princes and their activities. I’m on a case at present. It has to do with a prince’s car. Perhaps you could help me? Have either of you seen a blue Turbo Cornish in these parts?" "Is there such a thing? I was not aware that the Cornish was available with a turbocharger," Leslie said. "Yes, the convertible is available with twin turbochargers," Graham said. "It is made in small numbers, for royalty: princes and oil sheiks and the like. As a matter of fact I saw one only yesterday. It was at the Mount West service station. We stopped there to refuel." Hillary was excited at this news. "Tell me more about it. Please tell me all you know." "It was blue, driven by a youngish man, very handsome. In fact, I’m almost sure it is the one they had for sale at World Wide Motors. The salesman claimed it had been Prince Andrew’s but I have my doubts." "That’s the one I’m supposed to trace. Tell me more." "I don’t know any more. I can only suggest you talk to the salesman at World Wide Motors. He should know what happened to it." She got the directions from Graham. World Wide Motors was in Randburg. That is about five hundred kilometres from Pietermaritzburg. She planned to make the trip the following day. "What do you do for a living?" she asked Graham. "I’m reading architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth."

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"That sounds like an honest profession, one that will allow you to sleep with a clear conscience. I’m not so sure about Leslie’s. He might have problems with his conscience." " Ask Graham what he did before," Leslie suggested. "What did you do before?" "Can’t you guess?" "I haven’t a clue." "He’s given you quite a few clues already. I’m surprised you haven’t guessed," Leslie prompted. She wracked her brains. She couldn’t think of anything Graham had said that would give her a clue. "For a private detective you’re not doing too well," Leslie said. "Sherlock Holmes or Monsieur Poirot would have solved that one long ago. Come on, don’t tell me you’re a dumb brunette? We took you to be a brainy kid." Hillary couldn’t think of anything. "He was a racing driver — old stuff like C types and D types and AustinHealey’s." Hillary’s mouth dropped wide open. "No wonder you could drive like that. Now I remember, I once saw you drive at Roy Hesketh. You’re famous, and so is Humphry." "Actually, Roy Hesketh is my favourite circuit. It suits Humphry with its twists and turns." "Well, I had no idea I was taking on a professional racing driver. I’ve only had my licence two weeks." "You could have lost it if the cops had seen the way you drove tonight. I suggest you give up motor racing and enjoy life a little longer. A pretty girl like you would do much better working for Leslie. It would be a terrible waste if you were to be written off in a motor accident." "Yah, strip dancing’s a lot safer and it pays better," Leslie said. "She might have to contend with jealous wives. That could be more dangerous than motor racing. I think she should stick with what she is doing, or become a secretary, or something like that." "I couldn’t think of anything worse than being a secretary, except being a bank teller. I think I will stay with detective work. I’m all for an exciting outdoor life. I might work for Leslie on the side. I’m not afraid of jealous wives. I’ve got my brown belt."

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The young men were both from Johannesburg. Hillary looked forward to meeting them there. She had done ballet at one stage of her life and she thought dancing might suit her, at least as a side line. Taking off her clothes had no fears for her. Earlier they had lived at New Hanover, a pretty village in the country north of Pietermaritzburg. There she had often swum naked in the river. A farmer who lived on the other side used to watch her through his binoculars. Occasionally she would wave to him. He could do her no harm.

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Chapter 3
World Wide Motors
When Hillary arrived home it was quite late. In the drive was a large white car. On the boot lid were the words SILVER SMOKE II. She supposed they must have visitors and very important ones. That was the kind of car owned by kings and the super rich. Many people considered it to be the best car in the world. She was surprised to see only her mom and Odille in the lounge. "Where are the visitors?" she asked. "What visitors?" Lorraine seemed puzzled. "Those with the Silver Smoke." "Oh, that’s Odille’s car, the one she bought with the money you gave her." "Like Hell it is. The money I gave her was only enough for a second hand Cadenza. That Silver Smoke cost as much as twenty Cadenza’s. It’s brand new." "Is that true?" Lorraine asked Odille. "Trust you to give the game away. I suppose you think you’re the only one with a rich admirer. Well, I’ve got news for you. My sugar daddy is ten times as rich as your Towly. You think you’re beautiful. Everyone says I’m much prettier than you." Lorraine moved quickly to lock the middle door. "What are you doing that for?" Hillary asked. "I can’t afford to lose any more crockery." "You don’t have to worry. She’s not worth a fight. I’m going to bed." "She’s a coward." "By the way, I received a death threat today. If you still want to help me in my quest, you’re welcome. That is if you’re not put off by death threats." She showed Odille the note. Odille’s attitude changed. "So somebody’s threatening my sister with a painful death. What a cheek! When we catch whoever it is we’ll make boerewors of him and have him for braaivleis." At breakfast the next morning Lorraine said, "I’ve made an appointment for us to see Pastor Richards. These strange presents and talk of sugar daddies are making me uneasy. I really think we should see him again. Hillary had no objection to seeing Pastor Richards. She quite liked the old man. He was a fatherly type and she had lost her father when she was seven. Lorraine
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wanted them to go in Odille’s car since Hillary’s was a two seater. Hillary objected. "Odille doesn’t have a licence and she can’t get one as she is under age," she said. "It’s all right," Lorraine said, "She has friends in the police force and I’m friendly with the messenger of the court. He often comes in for tea on his rounds." Eventually Hillary consented to being driven by Odille. The Silver Smoke was very comfortable and luxurious. Lorraine explained to Pastor Richards that expensive new cars kept turning up and there was no logical explanation for this. There was talk of sugar daddies and this worried her. She feared for the future of her girls. Bert understood her concern. He asked Odille to explain how she had come to own so expensive a car. Odille refused. She said it was her business and hers alone. Bert pointed out that she was still a minor and that she owed it to her mother to tell her. Even this did not sway Odille. "I hope you’re not involved in prostitution or anything like that?" Bert asked. "What if I am? It’s my own life, I can do what I like with it." "You’re not your own. Jesus bought you with a price, with His life, in fact. You’re behaving very foolishly. This kind of behaviour can only get you into trouble." "Tell her to sell her car. With the money she can buy one like mine and you could build your new church with the balance," Hillary suggested. "Nobody asked you. Why don’t you sell your car and give money for a new church.?" "Perhaps you should both sell your cars and get honest jobs," the pastor suggested. "Okay, I was offered a good job last night. Perhaps I should sell my car and take it," Hillary said. Bert Richards brightened. "Let’s hear about it," he said. "It’s strip dancing. It pays well, two thousand rands a day. You’ll get rich on my tithes." Bert brightened some more. "Strip dancing, is that a new art form?" "It’s not all that new. There’s something about it in the bible. I think Herodias’ daughter did something like that for Herod and it got him into a lot of trouble." "Yes, I was never sure exactly how she danced. Herod certainly liked it. Tell me more about this art form."

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"It’s simple. You just dance some ballet steps and remove your clothes in the process. I think most men like it. Herod was no exception." Bert frowned. " I think you want to consider seriously what I have advised. I could arrange an honest job for you with the Natal Provincial Administration. I have contacts there." "How does the pay compare?" Hillary asked. Bert’s frown deepened. "I think you place too much importance on money. If you’re not careful it will corrupt you. Think deeply about what I have said." The meeting ended shortly after. The girls were determined to have their own ways. Bert was concerned. He told Lorraine she had her hands full and that he would pray for her and her girls. That afternoon the girls agreed to join forces. Odille said she would go after the Red Disa while Hillary continued her quest for Towly. She wanted to have lunch at St. Helen’s where she would make discreet inquiries. Meanwhile Hillary would make preparations for her trip to Johannesburg. She intended leaving early the following morning. Odille was out all afternoon. When she came in after returning home she had an envelope in her hand. On it was written in pencil the one word "Odille." Inside was a note: STOP YOUR INVESTIGATIONS OR FACE A PAINFUL DEATH. It was similar to the one Hillary had received the day before. Odille laughed as she read it. "This only makes me more determined," she said. She put a handwritten notice on the door of her bedroom: Odille Keating 008 — super sleuth. For once the sisters had common cause. Hillary drove the long distance to Johannesburg. She spent the night with Uncle John and his wife Joan. Uncle John knew World Wide Motors well. It was only half a kilometre from his home. The cars on the show room floor made Hillary’s mouth water. There were Aston Martins, Ferrari’s and Porsches. A striking convertible coupe caught her attention. On the boot lid were the words CORNISH TURBO II. Hillary was excited. Unfortunately it wasn’t blue. It was olivine with olive green trim. It was upholstered in cream Connolly hides with olive green trim. A salesman came over. "Beautiful, isn’t she?" he said. "It’s magnificent. How much do you want for it?" "Miss," he said, " If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it." "I’m sure I can’t but I’m curious to know how much you expect for a car of this quality." "There’s only one price for this car. Four hundred thousand — no offers. It’s the only one of its kind in the world. It used to belong to Prince Charles. It has many features they would only put on for the prince. Come and look at this."
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The salesman opened the driver’s side door and drew her attention to the fascia. "Digital displays for the bake circuit temperatures — both circuits! That’s something they would only do for the prince. And it’s got active suspension like the Turbo Z. See these seats; they’re a special leather, softer than silk. He held out his tie. "Feel my tie," he continued. "It’s real silk. Feel how soft it is. The seats on that car are softer than that." Hillary felt his tie. It was indeed soft. She wondered why he did not ask her to feel the leather seats. "It’s a lovely car," she said, "But actually I’m after the blue one, the one that was Prince Andrew’s." "Oh, the blue one. We sold that two weeks ago. This is a nicer colour and it has done a smaller mileage. If I were you I’d buy this one. The green trim matches your eyes." "It’s the blue one I’m interested in. Who did you sell it to?" "I can’t tell you. All our deals are confidential. I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you a special price: 370. The blue one went for 380 and this is a nicer car. You won’t do better than that." "I thought you said there was only one price for this car. Now you’re offering me another price?" "I would only do that for you. I can see you’re royalty. I want to keep this car in the family." He winked at her, "You know what I mean." "That’s very kind but I have a special interest in the blue one. Surely you’d like to keep that one in the family, too." She winked at him, "You know what I mean." "Sorry, Ma’am, that’s more than my job’s worth." "Aw, go on. Just this once." "Sorry, Ma’am." As Hillary was leaving she passed the receptionist at a desk near the door. "Going to buy that one?" she asked. "No, I want the blue one they sold two weeks ago but the salesman refuses to give me the name of the new owner. The lady slipped her a card. "Don’t read it here," she said. "Slip it into your pocket and read it after you leave here." It was an ordinary business card but on the back was written the name Agnes Halfshaft and an address in Constantia Kloof. Hillary found the address. It was a mansion perched on the edge of the escarpment. It had turrets and ramparts, just like a castle. On the gate was the name DEADWOOD CASTLE. The name seemed to be as incongruous as the castle. She rang the bell several times but there was no answer. A lady passing by asked who she wanted. She replied that she was looking for Agnes Halfshaft. "She does not live here any more," the lady said. She gave Hillary Mrs. Halfshaft’s new address. It was in Berlandina Street, Roodepoort. It did not take long to find the new address. It
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was an old house with a hedge around it. There was something strangely foreboding about it.

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Chapter 4
Agnes Halfshaft
Hillary entered through the narrow gate. She had the feeling that she was being watched. She felt uneasy, as though walking into a trap. The woman who answered the door was past middle age but was still quite handsome. She had a certain poise and dignity and was tastefully dressed. Hillary introduced herself and explained that she was trying to trace a blue Turbo Cornish that had been sold to a lady by the name of Agnes Halfshaft. "Yes," Agnes said, "It was a magnificent car. Unfortunately I don’t have it any more. The pastors made me donate it to the church. It was given to me by the Lord Jesus. It had a card reading, ‘From the Lord Jesus.’ The pastors said that anything from the Lord Jesus was for the common good and must be given to the church. They showed me I Corinthians 12:7 and Acts 4:29. So I was happy to give it to them. They gave me a Cadenza in exchange. At least the Cadenza is more economical." Seeing that Hillary had more questions, Agnes invited her in for tea. Hillary found her mission a little difficult to explain. She explained about the note and the cheque from Towly and her curiosity about his identity. The only clue she had was the blue Cornish and she was following that up. "As far as I know, Pastor Deadwood still has the car. If it was as recent as you say, it would almost certainly be him. However it is not like him. He makes people give things to the church rather than the other way round." Hillary asked whether it was possible that there was another blue Cornish in the country. Agnes assured her the car was unique. It had been a special for Prince Andrew. She had seen him in the car on TV. That was before he brought it in great secrecy to South Africa. The house in Constantia Kloof had also been a gift from the Lord Jesus and had suffered the same fate as the car. She asked Hillary not to mention these things to anyone. They had warned her to tell no one. She was receiving a small widow’s pension from the church and they had threatened to cut it off if she talked. For twenty years Agnes had been happily married to Harry Halfshaft, a motor mechanic. Then tragedy struck. A customer collected his car while Harry was still underneath working on a halfshaft. That had left her with four fatherless children. They were happy in spite of their poverty. Then they started to receive gifts from the Lord Jesus. First was the castle in Constantia Kloof, then a monthly income and finally the car. "Do you know the identity of your benefactor? I mean, apart from the Lord Jesus. He must have used someone as His instrument."

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Agnes did not know. She was sure it wasn’t one of the pastors from the church. They were indignant that the Lord had been so generous to her. That made it difficult to believe Deadwood could be Towly. It was so out of character. But who else could have left in the blue Cornish? Hillary was disappointed to think that her invisible lover might not be a prince but a seedy old pastor like Deadwood. But there were several things that did not fit. She couldn’t imagine Deadwood being secretly present at St. Helen’s and then making off up the hill at such speed that not even the waiter’s brother’s Sporch could move like that. Perhaps Prince Andrew had returned for his car. Yes she was sure that was it. Her secret lover was most likely Prince Andrew. Why had he brought his car into South Africa "in great secrecy?" She thanked Agnes for her help. As she passed out of the gate two men who had been hiding behind the hedge grabbed hold of her. One had a gun which he jabbed into her ribs. "Come with us," he said, "The boss wants to talk to you." They forced her into the back seat of a large car. The man with the gun sat beside her. He kept the muzzle of the revolver in close contact with her ribs. After a few kilometres they arrived at a large church complex. They led Hillary through a side entrance into the main building and stopped outside a door marked REV ARTHUR DEADWOOD: CHIEF PASTOR. The pastor’s secretary admitted them. She seemed most astonished that Hillary was being held at gun point. Apparently this was not an everyday occurrence. The secretary spoke to Deadwood on the phone telling him he had visitors whose business was very urgent. Within seconds his face appeared at the door. He hurried his visitors in and locked the door. "Are you mad?" he said to the men. "Didn’t I tell you not to show your faces here? And with a gun!" "This is an emergency," the man with the gun said. "She’s been to the castle and she’s been talking to Agnes Halfshaft. She’s dangerous." "I see what you mean," Deadwood said. "Let us give her a dose of cyanide. I know of an abandoned mine shaft where we could dispose of her body. They’ll never find it. No one will ever know." "Fools, did not God say, ‘Thou shalt not kill? Repent of your ways. Put that gun away and get out of here." The men left. Deadwood turned to Hillary. "It’s Hillary, isn’t it?" he said. "Why are you meddling in things that don’t concern you? I don’t know what Mrs. Halfshaft told you but the church acted correctly in this matter. The house and the car were given to her by a member of this church who was certified mad. There was no way we could let her keep the gifts. My advice to you, young lady, is to go back to Pietermaritzburg as fast as you can. Get yourself a steady job. Get married to a nice Christian boy, settle down and have children. That’ll keep you
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out of trouble. You’ve seen how unhealthy this city is for you. You’ve seen what might have been your fate if I had not intervened to save you. Go back to Pietermaritzburg and stay there. You owe it to your dear mother and sister." Hillary asked if someone could give her a lift back to her car. It was outside Agnes’ home and she was not familiar with Roodepoort. Deadwood took her to a room marked CHRIS MOODLEY: INDIAN PASTOR. She wondered if all the pastors were either chiefs or Indians. Chris drove her to her car. He was very polite and friendly and would not let her leave without the LORD’s blessing. She had no intention of going back to Pietermaritzburg. There were too many unanswered questions. Why was Deadwood so eager to get her out of Roodepoort? He was concerned for her safety but there was something he was hiding, something he didn’t want her to uncover. Why had those men taken her to him? They called him, "Boss." Did that mean they were working for him? Why would a pastor employ dangerous henchmen? Why were they so eager to have her out of the way? The idea of Deadwood being Towly did not make sense, even if he did still own the car. Towly had to be someone young, handsome and romantic. Prince Andrew might do. Why couldn’t it be Prince Andrew? As she drove past the Ranch Motel she noticed a large blue convertible parked in the hotel grounds. She made a U turn and went back and parked alongside it. On the boot lid were the words Turbo Cornish II. Hillary’s heart missed a beat. It had to be the car she was looking for. If it was Deadwood’s surely he could not have got there so soon. He had warned her. If he was there she would make sure he would not recognize her. She went to the ladies’ cloak room where she rearranged her hair and her face makeup. She changed her clothes. Then she went into the dining room. She was excited. Towly must be there somewhere. She knew she would recognize him when she saw him. Her eyes scanned the guests. She was hoping to see Prince Andrew. To her surprise she saw Leslie Granger at one of the tables. He was alone. He took a moment to recognize her as she joined him. That was good. Her disguise was working. "What on earth are you doing here?" he asked. "Tracing a blue Turbo Cornish. Incidentally, there’s one outside. I don’t suppose you would have seen who arrived in it?" "As a matter of fact, I did," he said. "Who?" she asked, blushing with excitement. She was afraid Leslie would think her childish. It seemed like ages before he answered, "The handsomest guy in this room." Hillary looked around again at the guests. "I don’t see anyone particularly handsome," she said. The guests were mostly middle aged business men. "Aren’t you overlooking someone?"

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She looked around again. "I can’t see any likely candidate." "And you’re supposed to be Sherlock Holmes? You should be saying, ‘Elementary, my dear Leslie.’" She pressed him for more clues. "I can’t believe this," he said, "Even my secretary could have solved that one by now." Over lunch she told Leslie about her meetings with Agnes and Deadwood and the death threat she had received in Pietermaritzburg. She was almost sure that Deadwood was the Red Disa. His henchmen had wanted to give her cyanide and then to drop her body down a disused mineshaft. Perhaps that was the ‘painful death’ the note referred to. Leslie was amused. "That’s not such a painful death. Cyanide is quick. After that you wouldn’t feel a thing. That’s quite an idea you’ve given me. There are a lot of disused mineshafts in these parts. I must remember that. How do you know I’m not the Red Disa?" "I can’t exclude anyone at this stage but I’m determined to find out. I don’t think you’re the type." "Don’t be so sure. You hardly know me. How do you know I’m not a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? But that name, Deadwood, I’m sure I’ve heard it before. Yes, he’s one of our customers — has a standing order for a stripper once a week." While they were having coffee Leslie said he would have to hurry. He felt in all his pockets, then said, "Would you mind paying? I seem to have left my wallet behind. Either that, or it has been lifted. I’ll square with you tomorrow. Phone me." The waiter was a long time bringing the bill. When it came she noticed it had been paid. She thought Leslie must have found his wallet. Then she saw there was a little card under the bill. It read, IT’S ON ME, TOWLY. Hillary raced out. The car was gone. What a fool she had been. She had overlooked present company. It was obvious now. Leslie was Towly.

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Chapter 5
Leslie’s Enterprise
She had solved one mystery. She knew the identity of her mysterious lover. That was cause for congratulating herself. She was a little disappointed that it wasn’t Prince Andrew but Leslie was a nice kind of guy, very friendly and sporting. Graham was handsomer, of that there was no doubt. Deadwood was probably the Red Disa but she had to be certain. She wanted to let Leslie know that she had found him out. It was no good phoning his office, he would not be there yet. She decided to drive there, hoping to find him there when she arrived. Leslie’s secretary told her that he had not yet arrived back from lunch but she expected he would not be long. She offered Hillary tea. When Leslie did arrive she stood up, greeting him with the words, "Hi, Towly." She wanted him to know that she had at least succeeded in solving that puzzle. She was afraid that Leslie might think her stupid. "What have you been drinking?" he asked. "Are you following me? Am I your latest suspect?" "I’ve solved one mystery. I know you’re Towly." "How did you work that out?" "Elementary, my dear Leslie. You are the one who arrived, and left, in the blue Cornish and you left this card for me." "This gets better and better, considering that I only bought the Cornish this morning. I was celebrating my purchase by having lunch at the Ranch Motel. About the card: this is the first time I’ve seen it. Sherlock Holmes would have been proud of you." She was disappointed. At least she had traced the car. Leslie confirmed that it was indeed the one that had been Prince Andrew’s. He had bought it that morning from Investment Autos in the main street of Roodepoort. "It’s a very queer thing," Leslie said, "the Turbo Cornish is a rare car. Derby Motors make only one hundred a year. I was under the impression that there were only three or four in South Africa. Yet Investment Autos had eight on their floor, all virtually new and being offered at ridiculously low prices. I got mine for two hundred thousand. That’s a fraction of what it’s worth. It’s a fantastic investment. Did you see the item in yesterday’s newspaper? The Cornish driven by Babe Bonhatto, which won the le Mans three times, changed hands for over ten million pounds. Any R series will fetch over a million pounds. My car is unique. That, together with its royal origin, will make it sought after. In a few years I’ll get a big price for it." "How can you be sure it
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was Prince Andrews car? Doesn’t it strike you as odd that such a valuable car should appear at a used car dealer’s in Roodepoort?" Leslie reached over and picked up a photo album from his desk. "Take a look at this," he said. She examined the album. It contained photos and press cuttings of the car and Prince Andrew and occasionally other members of the royal family. It seemed the claim was genuine. "I’m in the right business to exploit it," Leslie continued. "I’ve numerous rich clients who will hire the car for special occasions. Society women will pay big prices to be seen in it. Advertisers and film producers will want to hire it. It will provide an income as well as appreciate in value." Hillary felt an urge to visit Investment Autos to find out more about the car’s history. She realized the dangers she would face. The cyanide and mine shaft threat was still fresh in her memory. Those men might see her. She would have to be disguised. She asked Leslie about fixing her with a suitable disguise. That’s no doubt the real reason you’re here. I’ve got a job for you tomorrow. Deadwood has ordered a strip dancer for 12:30. If you’d like to take this one I’ll pay you R400. That’s what we start strippers on. If they ask for you again, I’ll increase it." She was pleased. That would not only give her extra pocket money but would give her a window on Deadwood and his activities. She would have to be very heavily disguised. Considering that she would be stripping that would not be easy. Leslie gave her an audition on the spot. He said she was a natural. He helped her to choose garments and gave her a few tips. For her disguise she would wear a wig and her face would be made up to make her look older. Leslie said not even her mother would recognize her. She asked if he could organize a disguise for her immediately. She wanted to go to Investment Autos that afternoon. "We’ll do that small thing for you. What will it be? A deerstalker, matching tweed suit and pipe. I understand that’s what your kind wear." Investment Autos was an upmarket used car dealer similar to World Wide Motors. The showroom floor was full of Turbo Cornishes. It appeared they specialized in that make. Hillary was attracted by one that was olive green over dove green. It was in pristine condition. Her interest in the car attracted the attention of a salesman. To her astonishment she saw that he was none other than the Ken Roberts who had joined them for dinner a few nights previously. He did not recognize her. From her dress and demeanour it was clear to him that here was a business woman of the first magnitude. Along with her handbag she carried a copy of that morning’s Business Day. It was open on the stock exchange page. She opened her handbag and took out a gold cigarette case. At

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the same time she dropped her newspaper. Taking out a cigarette she asked, "Do you have a light?" Ken Roberts first stooped to pick up her newspaper and then reached for his lighter. As he lit her cigarette he noticed there was a computer printout in the fold of her newspaper. It was headed, "Lady Emily de Rothschild — Portfolio Valuation." It carried the name of one of Johannesburg’s largest stockbroking firms. "I’m Emily," Hillary said in her best Oxford accent. She held out her hand. He bowed as he took her hand. "Dr. Kenneth Roberts, at your service, Ma’am," he said with deep respect. "Interested in this car, are you? It’s a beauty. It was Prince Andrew’s and it has many features they would put on only for the prince. For example, the seats are trimmed with a special leather, softer than silk. Feel my tie, it’s real silk. You can’t imagine anything softer than that, yet the leather on these seats is softer than silk. She felt his tie. It was real silk. "Do all Cornish salesman do that?" she asked fascinated. "Do what, Ma’am?" "Wear silk ties. I suppose they dish them out to you on a sales course?" "They did nothing of the sort. I bought this tie at Herrop’s. It cost me over R100. "I was told that Prince Andrew’s car was blue. Are you sure this is the car that was Prince Andrew’s?" "I won’t argue with you Ma’am, I’ll prove it to you," Dr. Roberts said obligingly. "How will you do that?" "I’ll get Prince Andrew to tell you himself. I’ll arrange for him to take you to lunch tomorrow and he can tell you himself. "Unfortunately I’ve got a previous engagement. Can’t you make it for dinner tomorrow night?" "I’ll phone him now. Where would you like him to meet you?" "At the Ranch Motel." Ken Roberts got through to the prince. He addressed him as "Your Royal Highness." He had no difficulty in making the arrangements. "Okay," he said to Hillary, "He’ll meet you at the Ranch Motel at seven tomorrow evening." "How is it you have so much influence with the prince?" "If I tell you, you must promise not to repeat it. It has to do with this car. You see Cornish make superb cars for very rich people. They can’t afford to have their customers having accidents at 300km /h. Therefore they put governors on
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their cars limiting them to 240km/h. Now, Andrew, little rascal that he is, removed the governor from his car. He was trapped on the M6 at 270km/h. The police hushed it up but the queen found out. She was furious. I mean the prince was supposed to be an example to British youth. The queen already had enough trouble of her own, what with Princess Di and all that. She ordered him to get rid of the car as quickly as possible before Cornish found out. It contravened the conditions of sale. So where better to send a tampered with Cornish than to South Africa? You Britishers know our people. They insist on the right to self determination so they can get their own way. ‘Every man his own general,’ as the saying goes. Tampering with a Cornish fits the image that overseas people have of us. So that’s where I came in. I offered him a quick sale for the car without disclosing any of the hoary details. That is why he is so grateful to me. At present he is in disgrace with the queen. That is why he is in South Africa in the greatest secrecy — a kind of part-time remittance man. That’s why he owes me one. Now I’m passing the benefit on to you." "That’s very kind. How much do you want for the car?" "Three hundred and fifty big ones. You’ll never regret it. In a few years when all this blows over you’ll get millions for it." "It sounds wonderful," Hillary said, "But I’ll wait until I’ve seen Prince Andrew. By the way, thanks for arranging the date." Dr. Roberts gave Hillary his card. It read, DR KENNETH ROBERTS, DOCTOR OF DIVINITY AND ECONOMICS. Contact me after your date with the prince," he said. "What is a doctor of divinity and economics doing selling used cars?" she asked. "I’m intrigued by the market for cars of this quality. As an economist the market intrigues me. Besides there’s money in it and I get to meet the rich and famous, like your ladyship here." "Just call me Emily," she said, shaking hands with him. As she turned to leave a shiver went down her spine. Two men had just entered. She recognized them immediately. They were Deadwood’s henchmen who had wanted to give her cyanide that morning. They stared at her. "Some chick, hey?" the one said to Ken Roberts. "Yes, she’s the daughter of England’s richest banker," Ken replied. Hillary left as fast as her new status would allow.

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Chapter 6
Tall Story
On her way home Hillary checked into the Ranch Motel under the name Emily de Rothschild. That was where Prince Andrew would be calling for her and he knew her only by that name. Her belongings were at the home of Uncle John and she had to let him know that she would no longer be staying there. Uncle John did not at first recognize her. There was something familiar about the voice but it was some time before he realized that the woman rattling the gate was Hillary. "Why all the security?" she asked as she was taken through three locked gates and the back door. "It’s Aunt Joan’s way of welcoming my friends," he said. "What on earth have you done to yourself?" Aunt Joan asked when she saw Hillary. She explained that Leslie had provided her with a disguise to help in her investigations. Aunt Joan was reading the newspaper. "Can you beat that? The Summit University has opened a mental hospital in the town of Naboomspruit! Reverend Arthur Deadwood has been appointed an honorary professor of psychiatric medicine. He says the hospital will be run on Christian principles. Dr. Mary Shrink, formerly of the University of North Alaska, has been appointed professor and head of the department of Christian psychiatry. "What good do you think can come of that? The Summit University is in Roodepoort. They call Roodepoort the Summit City. Some kind of summit, that! If you ask yourself the question, ‘Can any good thing come out of Roodepoort?’ the answer is No! Never, not ever! If you want to see what trash comes out of Roodepoort just look at Uncle John. If ever there was an apology for a man it’s him." "What’s wrong with Uncle John?" Hillary asked. "He gives all his money to drunks, won’t works and prostitutes, and then he tries to bring them into my house." "He’s been like a father to me. I think he’s wonderful," Hillary said. "That’s just it. You’ve hit the nail right on the head. He wasn’t satisfied with the children I gave him, he had to go looking for other people’s children to be a father to. "If you want further examples of the scum that comes out of Roodepoort, you only have to look at his father. He only baths once a week. Bathing? That’s not bathing! Wallowing in the mud, I call it. He was about to be certified when
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Pastor Deadwood took pity on him and arranged for him to be admitted to his new psychiatric hospital. Don’t expect any good to come out of that place while he’s there. He’ll lead them all astray. He’s good at that." Hillary was astonished at Aunt Joan’s outburst. As much as she detested her husband, she had once admired him. He was a physicist and had been the sole owner of a company manufacturing electro-optical devices. Then one day the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a vision, saying to him, "One thing still you lack. If you would be perfect, sell up all you have and distribute the proceeds to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me." John Tall sold up everything and followed the Lord Jesus. When he started distributing the proceeds to the poor the news got around quickly. Soon they were besieged by the needy. Day and night they came, telling their tales of woe, receiving handouts. People who had been sleeping on park benches, in trees, storm water drains, public toilets and holes in the ground became guests in the Tall’s home. His guests sometimes helped themselves to anything they wanted. John didn’t mind but when they started taking Joan’s personal things it was a different matter. She chased them out of the house. Then she had bars installed on the doors and windows, chains and padlocks on the gates. She did everything she could to discourage visitors. Yet still they came. Often the household would be disturbed in the middle of the night by visitors rattling the chained gate. Twenty years later they were still coming. John continued ministering to the needy. Forbidden by Joan to do so on the property, he had to entertain his guests on the pavement. He heard that his former colleagues were saying of him, "What a tragedy! All that wealth and all that talent, and now he sits on the pavement and eats with blacks." All this had changed Joan’s attitude towards him. She rued the day she had prayed for his salvation. It seemed the LORD had played a dirty trick on her. All she had really wanted was a husband who would go with her to church and sit and listen quietly to the sermon. She regarded John’s continued ministry to the poor as weakness. He was not man enough to stand up to the beggars and chase them away. She despised him. John’s father lived in Roodepoort. He had lived in the same house for sixty years. He was extremely rich although no one would have guessed it from his lifestyle. At the age of forty-nine he had inherited a fortune which he added to his already substantial investments on the stock exchange. A shrewd long term investor, he had multiplied the value of his investments many times over. With a population of half a million, Roodepoort is the second largest city on the Witwatersrand. The latter is a north facing escarpment rising 150 metres above the plain. The name is Afrikaans and means "White Ridge of Waters." It is here that some of the world’s richest gold bearing reefs outcrop. It attains its highest elevation of 1719 metres above sea level in Roodepoort, hence its nickname, "The Summit City."
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With John’s history Hillary could be excused for thinking that he was Towly. He assured her he knew nothing about the matter. She knew she could trust his word. She explained her reason for moving to the Ranch Motel. It was because she had a date the next evening with Prince Andrew. She was known to him as Lady Emily de Rothschild, in which disguise she now appeared. It would enable her to get used to her new identity as she was registered there under that name. Joan thought it dishonest to deceive the prince with a false identity. She warned Hillary of the error of her ways and what might come of it.

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Chapter 7
Deadwood Castle
At eleven the next morning Hillary arrived at Leslie’s business premises. Leslie was expecting her and got a makeup artist busy on her. The girl did a good job. Hillary was looking forward to her strip dancing act. She loved adventure. This one should be unusually exciting. If she was recognized it might mean cyanide and a mine shaft for her. She had to admit she was more than a little scared. Leslie decided he would drive her there himself. He wanted to give her as much encouragement as he could. "Don’t worry if you’re caught," he said reassuringly, "Cyanide is quick. You will hardly feel a thing. And the mine shaft will save your folks the expense of a funeral." Hillary thought that very reassuring. She had read that secret agents often carried a cyanide pill in case of need. She was being spared even that inconvenience. Leslie parked a little distance from the entrance so as not to be conspicuous. He gave her a whistle which he told her to blow if she was in trouble. Then he would come and rescue her. After she had rung the bell a voice on the intercom asked her to identify herself. She was Debbie Delightful, the hired entertainer. The gate opened and a man in uniform met her. He took her to a large hall where a long table was set for lunch. On the north side glass doors led to a patio and beyond that a swimming pool. An iron security fence running the full length of the patio separated the latter from the pool. There was a gate in the fence. She noticed that it was locked. The man in uniform told her to make herself comfortable. He said the elders would be along shortly. She examined the premises carefully, working out a plan of escape should things get too uncomfortable. Deadwood arrived accompanied by several men. His face brightened when he saw Hillary. "You must be Debbie Delightful," he said. "Gentlemen, meet Miss Debbie Delightful, the delightful little dish whom God has so generously provided for our dessert. He introduced her to each of the men in turn. To her astonishment Deadwood’s two henchmen were among the elders present. The one who had pressed the gun into her ribs was introduced as Mr. Butcher. The other, who had driven the car, was Mr. Blackhench. Ken Roberts was there too. As she was introduced, she took the hand of each man in turn and curtseyed. She said nothing as she feared her voice might give her away. Deadwood seated her at his right hand. He thanked God for the meal they were about to have and especially for their "little dessert." She listened intently to their conversation. She hoped to learn something that would help in her investigations. She heard the name Stuart mentioned several

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times. He seemed to be giving them a lot of trouble. Deadwood said he had made provision for him in the usual way. "You mean Naboomspruit?" Butcher asked with a chuckle. "I mean Naboomspruit," Deadwood replied. "That was a good idea of yours, Boss, but I liked that one of Butcher’s too. He wanted to give that meddlesome girl a dose of cyanide and then throw her body down a mine shaft," Blackhench said. The men laughed at that. "You can’t be serious?" one of them asked. "It sounds terrible," Ken Roberts said, "But when you think of it, it’s really a good idea. If you treat a loony in a hospital he keeps coming back. He’s a nuisance to himself and everyone else. With cyanide it’s over in 30 seconds and it’s final. The abandoned mine shafts around here are 2 to 3 kilometres deep. Nobody will ever find the body. I remember when some boys from my school went looking for ferns in a shaft collar. One lost his balance and fell down the shaft. The mine management winched men down on ropes in an effort to recover the body. They tried for days but couldn’t get anywhere near." "But what if he’s not a Christian? Wouldn’t you be sending him to Hell?" was the shocked query of another elder. "Oh yes, you’d have to make sure first that he was saved. We wouldn’t like anyone to go to Hell. If they’re saved they go straight to heaven. They’re much more comfortable there — no more worries. They’re no longer a nuisance to themselves or anyone else. So it’s really a good deed." "Enough of that," Deadwood said, "You’re talking murder here. You’re elders of the church, you should know better. Did not God say, ‘Thou shalt not kill?" Let us leave things like that to God. We will do the best we can for them in our hospital. Ken, how are the car sales going?" "Excellent, Boss. I sold the blue one to a young man yesterday. He paid cash. And I’ve got a lady interested in the green one. Boy! Is she some lady! Lady Emily de Rothschild, no less. She’s the daughter of England’s richest banker. I offered it to her for 380. For her, that’s pocket money. I’ll have the deal sewn up tomorrow." "Good," said Deadwood, "We need the money. Perhaps you could persuade Lady de Rothschild to come to church. She might even join the church. Her tithes would be most welcome in our present circumstances." Then he announced that it was time for Miss Debbie Delightful to start her performance. He helped her on to the table. Apparently she was meant to dance in between the dishes and cutlery for they were still there. This did not deter her. She had done ballet from an early age and was highly skilled. The music started up. She began to dance. At first she confined her movements to normal ballet steps, pirouetting and the like. The elders whistled with delight as her
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skirts flared out. Leslie’s artist had provided her with some very lacy half slips and suspenders and garters. To the male eye the effect was very pretty. The elders were enjoying their "dessert." She overcame her initial nervousness and soon found herself enjoying it as much as her audience. The expressions on their faces told her she was doing well. She liked pleasing men in this way. Some unconventional steps brought applause. She felt she was getting a little warm. It was time to take something off. First came her scarf. She removed it with some elegant flourishes, then flashed it around a bit before throwing it into Deadwood’s lap. He held up his trophy and waved it with delight. The men cheered loudly. Next to come off was the jacket she was wearing over her lace blouse. She threw that to Ken Roberts, covering his face. Again there were howls of appreciation. Her bra was now visible under her blouse. This was an area in which she was gifted. She danced for a long time before removing a shoe. This she threw at butcher, hitting him on the forehead with some force. The other shoe she directed at Blackhench with a similar result. Now she was dancing in her black patterned stockings. They showed her legs off to perfection. She was gifted in that area too. Next to come off was her skirt. That required some intricate dancing steps. She did that with some delicacy, eventually draping it around the chandelier. It made a pretty sight with the lights shining through. Her outer slip was white satin trimmed with pink lace. Under that was a black slip trimmed with red lace and under that a white lace slip. These remained in place for a while. Her blouse was mauve lace. Under that was a white lacy bra. The blouse she draped over Deadwood’s head. The white lace slip, the innermost one, was next off. That went to the elder who had expressed shock at Butcher’s suggestion. Her black slip trimmed with red lace went to Ken Roberts. Removing her stockings while dancing required some novel footwork. She was good at improvising. She danced on one leg while removing the stocking from the other. That was as far as she intended to go. Dancing for some time after that, she was surprised to find how much she was enjoying it. Finally she somersaulted off the table and bowed to her audience. They cheered heartily. Some of the elders congratulated her and told her she must come again. To her dismay, she saw that Butcher and Blackhench were whispering to Ken Roberts. Had they recognized her? Dark thoughts of cyanide and mine shafts went through her mind. The glass doors leading to the patio were still open. If necessary she could easily scale the security fence. The elders were leaving. Blackhench, Butcher and Roberts remained. They came towards her. She felt instinctively that an ugly scene was about to develop. She decided to leave without saying goodbye.

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Clad in only a bra, bikini panties and a suspender belt, she made a dash for the security fence. In a trice she was over it. Butcher drew a revolver and fired a shot. It was only a warning shot. She dived into the pool. The men called to the servant to bring the keys for the gate. She swam under water. By the time the gate was open she was at the far end of the pool. she surfaced, stuck out her tongue and shouted, "So waa, bet you can’t catch me." To her surprise she was enjoying the chase. There was something strangely romantic about being chased by men with guns. Hopping out of the pool she found herself up against another tall wrought iron fence. Beyond that was a steep descent to the road up Allen’s Nek. The fence was no obstacle to her. She sped down the hill. The stones hurt her bare feet. A bullet ricocheted off a nearby rock. Immediately afterwards she heard the shot, reminding her that a bullet travels faster than sound. She heard Deadwood shout, "Don’t shoot her, save her for the cyanide." The men were closing in on her. Her feet were sore from the stones, otherwise she could have outpaced them easily. A car was coming up the hill. It was moving slowly on account of the steep slope. She ran into the road and waved both arms frantically. Her wig had come off in the pool and her long auburn hair was dripping water as were her bra, panties and suspender belt. Her elaborate makeup was running down her face and neck on to her chest. Seeing her appear suddenly in front of him in this condition, the driver screeched to a halt. He jumped out as fast as he could. He was a huge bulk of a man. He looked like a Springbok rugby player. "Please, Sir, these men are trying to rape me!" she shouted. "Is that so? Well, they’ll never try that again." Blackhench was first to arrive. One karate chop and he was prostrate on the ground. Butcher and Roberts turned around and started to run away. He overtook them with ease. Three men lay unconscious on the ground. She looked at him admiringly. Even she could not have done it that well. "Black belt?" she asked. "No, no," he replied, "Black Cat!" "Now I remember where I’ve seen you. In that TV ad for Black Cat peanut butter." "That’s me." "I must remember to get some." He was startled by her appearance. After all, it is not every day that one encounters a wet mermaid on a public road. She explained that she had dived into a swimming pool in order to escape from the men. He gave her a lift to her car.
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Leslie was standing in the road, revolver drawn. There was a quizzical look on his face. "That’s my chauffeur and that’s my car," she said. "You sure do it in style," he said. He asked for a date. "Some other time, I’ve got to rush. I’ve a date with Prince Andrew tonight." Leslie was relieved to see her. He had heard the shots and was anxious. "Where are your clothes?" he asked. "I didn’t have time to put them back on." "And all this water?" "Shut up! And put the air conditioner on hottest, I’m cold."

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Chapter 8
Prince Andrew
The Ranch Motel consisted of a number of separate chalets. Hillary insisted that Leslie drive her back to her chalet so that she could dry herself and put on dry clothes. He parked in front of the chalet and waited while she attended to her needs. She was surprised to find the door of the chalet open. There was an intruder. A woman was rummaging through her suitcase. She was not aware of Hillary’s presence. The room was dimly lit, the curtains being drawn. Silently she tiptoed up to the intruder and was about to deliver a fatal karate chop when she caught sight of the intruder’s face in the mirror. "Odille!" she cried in amazement, "How did you get here?" Odille was equally surprised. She had not heard her co-investigator come in and took fright when she heard her cry out so close to her. "I’m just checking your clothes. Mom insisted I come and bring you some clothes and that basket of food. She was afraid you would go cold and would forget to eat. She said it gets much colder in Johannesburg so you might need some warm clothing." Then, catching sight of Hillary, "By Gad, she was right! Where have you been like that?" "Swimming." "Like that?" "Yes, like this. I forgot to pack my swimsuit. I hope you’ve brought it." "I haven’t but I’ll buy you one. You can’t go swimming like that. What will people think? They’re fussy at this hotel. I’m surprised they allowed it. What’s all this red stuff? It’s stained your bra, hey?" "Fortunately, I’ve got a firm body. I don’t really need a bra." "Mom wants both of us to give up this Sherlock Holmes stuff and come home. I’ve had another death threat. Mom didn’t like that. She thinks this job is too dangerous. She’d rather we worked for the Provincial Administration or the Receiver of Revenue." "Tell me about your new death threat. Was it like the first one?" Odille showed Hillary the note she had received. It was identical to the earlier one. "I’m sure I’ve seen that handwriting before. I wish I could remember where. Let me get my magnifying glass." Her magnifying glass was missing. "I’m sure I packed it in my spare handbag. Now it’s not there," she said.

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"Well, I’m not giving up until I know who Towly is and who is the Red Disa." "I feel that way, too," Odille said. "How did you know I was here?" Hillary asked. "Mom phoned Uncle John last night. He told her." "How have your investigations been going? Have you found out anything about the Red Disa?" "No, but I did find out something about the blue Turbo Cornish. A petrol attendant at the Mount West service station remembered the car. He said it was definitely Prince Andrew who was driving it. He said he has often seen the prince on TV and he knows what he looks like. He was sure it was Prince Andrew." "Look outside while I shower," Hillary said. Odille looked out of the door. Leslie, not knowing that Odille had arrived, took her to be Hillary in another disguise. He presumed she was Lady de Rothschild ready for her date with Prince Andrew. "That won’t do," he said, "It’s too different. If Ken Roberts sees you like that he’ll know you’re not the real Emily." Odille drew back in . She recognized the car but she was sure the young blonde man was not Prince Andrew. And what was this about her not being the real Emily? She was bemused and asked her sister what was going on. Hillary told Odille that the car was indeed the one they had been looking for, that it now belonged to Leslie, and that she had a date with Prince Andrew that evening. Prince Andrew knew her as Lady Emily de Rothschild. Odille was envious. "So you’ve found your lover boy at last. I’d better phone Mummy and tell her that her precious little daughter is safe and is dating a royal prince." Lorraine tried to persuade Hillary to come home. She thought Odille was joking about her date with Prince Andrew. When Hillary persuaded her that it was really so, Lorraine persuaded her to stay on. "Now be careful not to mess it up," she said, "If you play your cards right you might be the next queen of England." Leslie took Hillary back to his office to be made up as Lady de Rothschild on her evening out with the prince and to collect her car. While she was being made up Leslie came into the makeup room. "Congratulations," he said, "You’re a big success. Deadwood said you were magnificent, the best he has ever seen. He wants you again for a private performance. He’s willing to pay R10 000 and he guarantees your safety. He apologizes for the behaviour of some of the elders. They won’t be present when you go again." Leslie was pleased. He had a winner and he intended to make the most of her. Hillary had other ideas. Pressed, she said she would think about it. She had other things on her mind at that time. It might depend on how successful she was with Prince Andrew. She didn’t want to jeopardize her chances of
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becoming a royal princess or perhaps even a queen. Her mother had expressed such ambitions for her. She wasn’t sure that was what she wanted. She had often thought Prince Andrew a wimp. Tonight she would get to know the real Prince Andrew. At seven o’clock Hillary sat nervously twitching her fingers. Would Prince Andrew really come for her? "Is he really coming?" she kept asking herself. Odille kept peeping through a crack in the curtain to see if he was coming. She hoped to catch a glimpse of him. The phone rang. Surely it must be him? It was. He was in the main foyer. She asked him to wait there, she would come to him. Odille followed at a little distance. She hoped to see him but it was too much to expect him to believe that she was the sister of Lady de Rothschild. Hillary had attended an elite school and was able to affect an upper class English accent. But Odille was pure South African. He was much handsomer than his TV appearances suggested. And he was so polite and charming. Hillary curtsied and called him, "Your Royal Highness." He said, "Just call me Andy and I’ll call you Emily." And so the two became acquainted. Odille witnessed these proceedings from behind her newspaper on the far side of the foyer. Prince Andrew was driving the green Turbo Cornish that Ken Roberts had tried to sell her the day before. It was a lovely evening. He had the top down. She was exhilarated by the wind in her hair and the stars shining down so brightly. He took her to a night club on the top floor of a very tall building in Hillbrow. He mentioned to the waiter that he had booked a table in the name of Rowe. He explained to her that he was traveling incognito. He warned her against any practice that might give him away. He asked her not to use his title. "To you I’m just plain Andy," he said. She did not tell him that her mother and her sister already knew that he was dating her. Much less did she tell him that her mother had expressed hopes that she would be a royal princess or even queen of England. She asked about the blue Cornish that Leslie had bought. "Yes," he said, "It was my car but I gave it to Charles because he likes blue so much. Green is more my colour." He looked into her eyes. "Like your eyes," he said. "You’ve got beautiful green eyes. They sparkle like green diamonds. I love green diamonds." She felt a special thrill as he looked into her eyes and made those remarks. Perhaps she would be a princess after all. She had visions of a large green diamond engagement ring. She looked at her finger. Already she could see it sparkling there, great flashes of green light. He was so friendly and much handsomer than his photographs. She wondered if he could possibly be her Towly, the one who loved her. Could he have been the driver of the blue Cornish on that fateful day? She asked him if he had been to Pietermaritzburg.
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"Not yet," he said. "It’s one of the places I really must visit. I hear it’s called ‘The Last Outpost of the British Empire.’ The citizens of Pietermaritzburg are reputed to be more British than the native British. I should feel at home there. "Then there’s that battle that took place at Isandl something or other. I never can remember the name, or pronounce it — the place of Chelmsford’s disgrace. We princes are expected to know the whole history of the British Empire." Hillary’s expectations grew. Eventually she would have to tell him the truth, that she was plain Hillary Keating from Pietermaritzburg. If he was in fact her Towly he would already be in love with her. She wondered if he loved the Hillary Keating, that he had been so generous to, more than Lady Emily. What a strange set of circumstances to be in. Any way it was reassuring to hear him talk that way about Pietermaritzburg. Perhaps he would marry her and settle there and make it the capital of the Commonwealth. "What is it that makes Pietermaritzburg so British, do you think?" she asked. "It was undoubtedly that fellow Colenso. When a distinguished Cambridge mathematician turns cleric and becomes bishop of a British colony, you must expect trouble. In English terms what makes a city a city is its cathedral or university. Some cities have both. Pietermaritzburg is unique in that it was the only city in the British Empire that had a university and two Anglican cathedrals. That kind of outdid the English at being English. That was Colenso’s doing." "I thought it had something to do with cricket. You know, Jonty Rhodes diving onto the stumps, for example. That’s beating the English at their own game." She was disappointed that he had not been in Pietermaritzburg on the day that Towly had invited her to lunch. That meant he couldn’t be Towly. However she was pleased that he regarded her kind as so British. That might improve her chances of becoming a princess. Andy asked her what she was doing in South Africa. She said her father had sent her there to study the "kaffirs market." He had a large share holding in "kaffirs" and wanted to know more about their prospects. Leslie had told her to say that. He told her that "kaffirs" was the name used on the London Stock Exchange for South African gold shares. That was all she knew about the subject. Fortunately he did not ask her to elaborate. She told him it was more of a holiday for her. To change the subject she suggested they study the menu. They spent a long time eating and drinking. The prince ordered champagne. He toasted their friendship. It gave her a feeling of wellbeing. She had to keep reminding herself that she was Lady de Rothschild. She had to be careful not to lapse into her native accent. With the champagne loosening her tongue that was becoming a bit tricky.

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He asked her to dance. That reminded her of her adventure earlier in the day. She wondered how he would react if he knew about it. Perhaps he would like her to strip for him. She had on some very glamorous undies. She wondered what he would think if she suddenly jumped on to the table and started her act all over again. Would he be pleased and love her all the more? Or should she be looking for an escape route? Would she have to swim for it again? Then she remembered they were on top of a tall building. Should she be looking for a parachute? It was wonderful to be held like that in his arms. She wished he would kiss her. He must have been reading her mind for that is what he did. She felt she was in the seventh heaven. To be held in the arms of this handsome prince, to dance with him, to be kissed by him! This was the most wonderful night of her life. Perhaps he would propose before the night was over. He began to sing in her ear, a beautiful love song. How well he sang! She had been all wrong about her assessment of him from the media. He was anything but a wimp. Food was served all night long. It was delicious and, far more, so was the company. They left the night club in the early hours. On the ground floor of the building was a shopping centre. There they found an upmarket jewellery shop. In the window was a ring with a large green diamond. She admired it. Andy said he would get her one much better, perhaps something from his mother’s collection. She wondered if she should regard this as a proposal. Her dreams were shattered when he said it would be a friendship ring. He asked her if he could date her in England, after their return. She said he could. After that they drove to the Ranch Motel, again with the top down so that they could see the stars. They parked outside the chalet. He held her. They kissed again and again. What a night it was!

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Chapter 9
Encore
When Hillary awoke, Odille told her that Leslie had phoned and wanted her to call him back. It was mid-morning. She had been dreaming that she was dancing in Prince Andrew’s arms high up among the stars. He had married her and made her Queen of the Commonwealth. Their palace was on World’s View, at the top of Town Hill, and Pietermaritzburg was the new capital of the Commonwealth. Her mother, Lorraine, was so pleased to be the mother of the queen and she was so proud of her daughter and her son in law. After being awakened, she wondered if her night out with the prince had been nothing more than a dream. Odille assured her that she had, in fact, gone out with Prince Andrew and had been out the whole night. Leslie wanted her to come in as soon as she could. He had arranged with Deadwood for Hillary to give him a private performance at 12:30 that day. She was reluctant to go but Leslie insisted and offered to split the R10 000 down the middle with her. In the end she agreed. When she met Leslie at his office he told her that Deadwood was paying a lot for her performance and would probably expect a lot. She replied that if he expected too much he might get more than he had bargained for. A few kung fu movements made her meaning clear. Leslie asked her to be considerate. Deadwood was now their best client. He would be glad if she did not offend him. He drove her there in the blue Cornish. She thought of what Prince Andrew had told her about the car. Why had Prince Charles disposed of it? Had Andy removed the governor from this car also? She thought better of asking Leslie to see if it could exceed 240km/h. As it was he was driving fast enough. Deadwood met them at the gate. He invited them in and had a short chat with Leslie. He assured Leslie that she would be perfectly safe with him. Leslie said he would wait in the car. She gave Deadwood a performance similar to the first one. After somersaulting off the table she somersaulted back and started recovering her items of clothing and put them on as she danced. She gave him a double feature, like a film being shown forwards and then backwards. He showed his appreciation by cheering and clapping. She ended her performance fully dressed. Deadwood invited her to come upstairs with him to the master bedroom. There was a mirror there. That would help her tidy her clothing and her makeup. He said it would give him pleasure to watch her do that. While she was busy he locked the door. He said, "I am paying a lot of good money for this. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind giving me a little extra."
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"With the greatest of pleasure," she said. "What would you like? Some monkey dancing, perhaps?" He was sitting on the double bed. She somersaulted over the bed, straightened herself, jumped on the bed and swung on the light fitting above it. Round and round she swung, her legs rotating around his head. She dropped into his lap and gave him a lightning peck on his cheek. He tried to embrace her but before his arms closed she was off again, dancing around the room. Secretly she removed the key from the door and slipped it into her bra. Every now and again she would give him a kiss on his forehead, his cheek, even his lips. He tried to grab her but she was too quick. Like lightning she would dart away. He went after her but always she was too quick for him. She pursed her lips. When he tried to kiss her she was no longer there. Then she stood by the window. She said, "I hope you enjoyed the extra; hope you got your money’s worth. Please invite me back." She dropped her shoes on to the patio, stood on the window sill, blew him a kiss, and dived into the pool. As she surfaced she saw him at the window. "Hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did," she shouted. She left the key on the patio table. Leslie saw her dripping water in the road. "Don’t tell me you had to swim for it again?" he said. "Not really, I just felt like cooling off after all the exercise. You had better let Deadwood out. He’s locked himself in the master bedroom. The key is on the patio table. She had collected her clothes from the previous performance. Deadwood had put them ready for her. She got into the back of the car, took off her wet clothes and put on the dry. When Leslie returned he said that Deadwood was very impressed with her second performance. It was even better than the first. He hoped to see a lot more of her.

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Chapter 10
Lucy Margo
That same afternoon Leslie had another visitor. Lucy Margo, daughter of a wealthy mining magnate, had hopes of becoming an actress. A mutual friend had put her in touch with Leslie’s agency. She had just finished her schooling and was grateful for the opportunity to discuss her future career with Leslie. He gave her a few tests and was favourably impressed. He told her she was a natural. "You either have it or you don’t," Leslie said, "If you don’t it’s a waste of time attending a drama school. But you have it. I could get you any number of parts right now." Lucy was pleased. She gladly accepted Leslie’s invitation to dinner that evening. He took her to an exclusive restaurant. On returning to the car after their meal, he put the top down. They went for a drive to see the lights. Linksfield Ridge is a noted vantage point for viewing the lights and the stars. Here they came to rest. Lucy suggested they might be more comfortable on the back seat with the top up. She was excited about her chances of becoming a star and wanted to make sure they did not go awry. They were getting comfortable when Lucy remarked, "There’s something wet here." She held the offending object up to the light. "A bra!" she exclaimed, "And soaking wet." Then she pulled out another object. "Gee, what a fancy suspender belt!" Still more objects were brought to light, all dripping water. "Oh, Leslie, you are a romantic," she squealed with delight. "You took your last date swimming in her clothes and she’s left them in your car to remind you of the occasion. I suppose you took her home in her birthday suit. You must take me swimming too. Then you can have my wet things instead of hers." She threw the wet things out of the car. "You mustn’t do that," Leslie said, "Those things belong to my firm. They were expensive. They were used by an actress in a scene where she had to swim for her life. And she wasn’t my date." He got out of the car, picked up the wet clothes and put them in the boot. "No need to be bashful," Lucy said, "I understand about these things. My undies are just as pretty. She lifted her skirt to display some fine satin and lace. "Come, we’ve a pool at home. We can swim there." Leslie was pleased that Lucy had such a free and easy attitude. He had forgotten about the wet clothes. With any other girl they might have been an embarrassment.

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Lucy’s home was on several hectares in Morningside. The pool was close to the house but secluded. Lucy removed her shoes and dived in. Leslie joined her, wearing only his underpants. When Lucy surfaced she said, "It’s terrible swimming in so much clothing." She removed her skirt and blouse and threw them on the paving. A man came out of the house and walked towards the pool. It was Lucy’s father, Sir George Margo. He was surprised to see his daughter in the pool in that condition. Lucy thought quickly. She remembered what Leslie had told her about the wet clothes in the car. She said to her father, "Dad, this is Leslie. He is a film producer and he has given me a part in a film where I have to swim for my life at night in my clothes. Leslie is teaching me the part." Sir George took Lucy’s explanation to be an excuse for her errant behaviour. He told her to get inside, he would deal with her later. He warned Leslie to remove himself. Leslie told him that his daughter had told him the truth. He showed him his card to prove that he was a theatrical agent and film producer. Sir George, now convinced that his daughter had told him the truth, invited Leslie in for a drink. Leslie told Sir George that Lucy had a great future as an actress. That had been her ambition and her father was pleased that it would now be realized. He asked Leslie if he had enough capital and offered to lend him money if he needed it. Leslie said he would bear that in mind but he thought it would not be necessary. Asked for the name of the film, Leslie told him it was "Easier for a Camel." It was based on a book of that name by John Tall. "That’s a very interesting title," Sir George commented. "What is easier for a camel?" "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. If you don’t believe me try it." "I wouldn’t know how." It was obvious to Leslie that Sir George Margo was not a reader of the Bible. "Sell up all that you have and distribute the proceeds to the poor. Then take up your cross and follow the Lord Jesus," he said. "No wonder it’s easier for a camel!" The next morning, Leslie, still exhilarated by his moonlight swim, phoned Hillary at her motel. He was eager to see her and his driver was already on his way to fetch her. She was ushered into the back seat of the Cornish. There was hardly a dry place for her to sit. She was surprised that the wet clothes were not hers. "Had the night shift also had to swim for it?" she wondered. She was impressed by the quality of the clothing.

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Leslie was glad to see Hillary. Deadwood had raised his offer for her services to R15 000 and Leslie was insisting that she accept. "He says he wants to see a lot of you. This is your big opportunity. We’ll split the proceeds 50-50." "He has already seen a lot of me and what he hasn’t seen I don’t mean to show him. He can keep his money." "Now wait a minute! You may not need the money but I do. Through my rash actions last night I’ve committed myself to making a film about a camel." "Get someone else." "He wants you. He won’t pay R15 000 for any other girl. The most he has paid for another is R1 000. We’d be fools to turn down an offer like this. Just think, You’ll get R7 500 and a free lunch and an hour’s fun. Most girls would give their back teeth for a chance like that." "I don’t trust him. If he is offering that kind of money you can bet your bottom dollar he will want something for it. I wonder if the members of his church know what he is doing with their sacrifices?" "That’s a thought," Leslie said, "I wonder where he gets all the money? If he’s getting that kind of money in his collection plates, I’ll be going back into the ministry." "You? In the ministry?" "I was ordained a pastor by the Spoken Word Church. I spent two years at their Bible Training Centre." "Perhaps Deadwood will give you a job. Think of all the perks: free strip shows, a castle at Allen’s Nek. I wonder what else?" "I’ll keep it in mind. I might be glad of it if you won’t change your mind." "You’re wasting your time. Who did you send there last night? She also had to swim for it by the look of things. You certainly gave her quality undies — Lily of Engedi — that’s the most expensive brand you can get." "What do you mean?" "Those frilly undies and things in the back of your car, all wet. I could hardly find a place to sit." "Oh heck, did she put them in my car?" Hillary was surprised at herself. She didn’t think she had any feeling for Leslie but now she was feeling a little jealous. "Who is ‘she’?" she asked. Lucy Margo. We went swimming last night. She saw what you had left in the back of my car and presumed I take all my dates swimming in their clothes. She insisted I do the same for her." "She must be terribly rich. Lily of Engedi are the kind of undies worn by princesses and film stars."
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"She is. Her father is chairman of Anglo-Witwatersrand." "What did she go home in?" "Same as you." "At this rate you will be able to stay in business by selling ladies’ undies. You won’t need Deadwood’s job." "What’s she like?" "She’s a lot like you, only more blonde." "Are you in love with her?" "No, I’m her agent. It’s a business relationship, like my relationship with you." "Why don’t you give her the Deadwood job?" "That’s brilliant. You’re on form today, Miss Hillary Sherlock Holmes. We’ll get her up to look like you and do your act. How well did Deadwood get to know you?" "Hardly at all. He knows I can dance and do acrobatics and move as fast as light. He knows my figure but apart from those things he doesn’t know anything about me." "She’s very keen on an acting job. I could tell her I’m sending her to Deadwood for an audition. That way I wouldn’t have to pay her. She’s ambitious enough to fall for it." "You cheat. Is that what they taught you at bible school?" Leslie ignored her question. The more he thought about it the more he liked it. It wasn’t long before he had her sharing his enthusiasm. It appealed to her sense of adventure and it let her off the Deadwood hook. He telephoned Lucy and told her he had arranged an audition for her. It was for a leading role in a movie. She would need a little preparation first. He was sending his driver for her. Lucy was excited and looked very pretty. The news, and perhaps the midnight swim, had added colour to her cheeks. Leslie introduced Hillary as the actress she would be understudying. Lucy spent the rest of the day learning her part. She was a born actress, as supple and quick in her movements as Hillary. Leslie took the girls to lunch at the Sunnydale Hotel. There was a swimming pool in the grounds. He suggested they go for a swim in their clothes while he called Deadwood to tell him it was on. They laughed and pretended they were diving in. When Leslie returned to their table he was smiling. He said Deadwood was delighted. "Your audition has been arranged for 9:30 tomorrow," he told Lucy. "Your stage name is Debbie Delightful. No one must know your real name. From now on you are Debbie Delightful."

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The afternoon was spent giving Lucy further training for her new role and identity. While Lucy was on her way home, Hillary suggested to Leslie that they do something to provide Lucy with protection in case things turned sour. They agreed that Hillary would hide in the bushes behind the wrought iron fence she had scaled. From there she would watch the proceedings with a pair of binoculars. Leslie would stay with the car. They would be in radio communication. She was thrilled with the arrangements. They had all the ingredients of danger and excitement that she enjoyed so much. The next morning Leslie drove Lucy to Deadwood Castle. Hillary followed in her car. She took a slightly different route and parked near the top of Allen’s Nek Pass. Lucy identified herself as Debbie Delightful and was admitted. From her position outside the wrought iron fence Hillary could see the table she had performed on. The glass doors leading to the patio were open. The curtains were drawn back giving her a clear view. She made herself comfortable as she waited for the action to begin. It did not take long. Deadwood helped Lucy onto the table and seated himself in his chair. Lucy started dancing. Her style was a little different. Would he realize she was a counterfeit? Or would he think that Hillary was unusually versatile? "Driver to Big Eyes, Driver to Big Eyes. Are you receiving me?" They had decided on the call signs "Driver" for Leslie and "Big Eyes" for Hillary. "Big Eyes to Driver. Receiving you loud and clear. How do you read me?" He asked if she had anything to report. She told him she had a good view and that so far all had gone smoothly. There was no sign that Deadwood had noticed the deception. She continued to report in detail as Lucy danced away. Deadwood was clapping and cheering. He was enjoying it greatly. Lucy stripped down to her tanga, danced for a while longer on the table and then somersaulted off it. She did a series of somersaults. Out through the glass doors, over the patio, and into the pool. She continued dancing in the pool. She lost her tanga and then retrieved it. She danced over to the far end. Deadwood helped her out of the pool. "That was wonderful, my dear, you get better and better." She reclaimed her clothing and put it on. She kissed Deadwood on the cheek and rejoined Leslie in the car. Leslie told her to wait in the car while he had a talk with Deadwood. When Leslie returned he was smiling. "He says you were magnificent. You’ve got the part. Congratulations." Lucy was thrilled. All the way back she talked of being a great actress like Marilyn Monroe. When they arrived at Leslie’s office, Hillary was already there. She pretended to Lucy that she had been there all along. She asked how it had gone.

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"Congratulate her. She’s got the part. Deadwood says she will be a great star. He should know. He’s our leading producer." Then Leslie broke the big news. The film was going to be shot over four days in Bethlehem of the Orange Free State. Lucy was to be paid R50 000 for her part. Leslie was to do the filming. Hillary could not help feeling a little jealous. Perhaps she had some regrets.

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Chapter 11
A Star Performance
After Lucy had left, Leslie spoke earnestly to Hillary, "I’m a little worried," he said, "Deadwood is paying us R100 000 for this. That’s a lot of money. I’m not sure what he expects for it. Lucy thinks she is going to star in a film. Deadwood has asked for four days of private performances. He thinks Lucy is you and his henchmen have threatened to give you cyanide. Perhaps he regards this as a opportunity to get rid of you. Lucy may be in danger. I would like you to keep tabs on them and make sure she doesn’t come to any harm. I’ll engage you as a private eye and body guard. You’ll get R1000 for your services. You must go secretly. Don’t let Deadwood know you’re spying on him. Use a disguise. I’ve told Lucy that I will be doing the photography. So I’ll have to go too and try and photograph the scenes with Lucy being aware of my presence and Deadwood not. That might be difficult." Hillary was glad. She was making headway in her profession. The excitement and danger were to her liking. She was curious to know more about Deadwood. What was he up to? Nothing made sense. Why did Ken Roberts and the two henchmen call him "Boss?" That suggested they were in his pay. Gangsters usually called their leader "Boss." Why were they so eager to have her out of the way? Why was Deadwood so free with his money? Where did he get all the money? Surely it could not all come from the church members’ tithes? Clearly they were involved in some criminal activity. Deadwood asked for Debbie Delightful to be brought to his castle early on the Monday morning. He wanted her to perform in Bethlehem for four nights. They would return on the Friday. When Odille heard about Hillary’s assignment she was keen to go along. After all, was she not her sister’s co-investigator 008? Hillary was glad of her sister’s help. Deadwood was unaware that Hillary and Odille were following at a discreet distance. He was driving a white Silver Smoke II, a very expensive and luxurious car. The traffic was light and Hillary had no difficulty in keeping the white car in sight. It was Hillary’s first visit to Bethlehem. She was not familiar with the town and its surroundings. A surprise came when they headed out of the town on the road to Fouriesburg. Little did she know what was in store for her. The reader must realize that these events took place before the advent of the "New" South Africa. Bethlehem was then still a conservative town reserved for occupation by "whites." It was said that the Lord Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem of Judea because the LORD GOD could not find even three wise
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men in Bethlehem of the Orange Free State. That was before the advent of the "New" South Africa. Today things have changed to the extent that the events described here would not even raise an eyebrow. Then it was different. Three kilometres from Bethlehem, on the road to Fouriesburg, is a lake called Loch Athlone. It is on the Jordan River and is the centre of a substantial holiday resort. There is a caravan park, a number of bungalows and rondavels and a very unusual restaurant. The last is built into the hull of a dummy ship in the lake. Here the great culinary traditions of the Union Castle Line are continued to the present day. The dummy vessel is painted in the colours of that line and bears the name Athlone Castle. When the RMS Athlone Castle was scrapped, its dining room, complete with furniture and fittings, was transferred to the dummy vessel. Access to the restaurant is by gangway from the shore. It was here at Loch Athlone that their journey ended. Deadwood hired a bungalow. Hillary and Odille hired one nearby. Shortly after their arrival, Deadwood and Lucy proceeded to the restaurant for lunch. Hillary and Odille followed, both heavily disguised. Hillary wore a hat, dark glasses, a yellow costume and yellow shoes. That was a colour she did not normally wear. The hat, also yellow, had a veil which made it difficult to discern her features. Her long hair was done up in a bun on top of her head. Odille wore a mauve hat with a veil, an orange blouse with green skirt and blue shoes. This was so different from her normal attire that even her closest friends would not have recognized her. At the end of the gangway they found themselves in a vestibule. In front of them were two polished wooden doors with a sign which read THIS IS THE DINING ROOM. Hillary turned the door handle. The door flew open and a bell rang. A man came towards them. He was wearing a white shirt, white trousers and a navy blue jacket with brass buttons. His tie had red and navy blue diagonal stripes. He wore spectacles and his longish hair was greying. He gave them an amiable welcome and led them to a table set for two. The restaurant was dimly lit with oil lamps and candles. They could see Deadwood and Lucy at a table further along. The waiter was taking their order. Lucy was beautifully attired in a mauve skirt, frilly white blouse and a mauve and white scarf. In the centre of the room was a long narrow table on which various dishes were laid. Deadwood ordered champagne and they drank a toast to Lucy’s success in her new career. He ordered a second bottle. They talked and laughed as they ate. They appeared to enjoy each other’s company. Suddenly, to Hillary’s amazement, Lucy jumped on to the table in the middle of the room and started to dance. Deadwood’s mouth dropped open. It seemed to Hillary that he was even more amazed than she was. Clearly it was not part of his plan. The restaurant was nearly full. For the most part the guests seemed to be business men. they applauded enthusiastically. Lucy danced between the dishes without disturbing them. She threw an ostrich feather in the direction of an admirer. It
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floated gently down coming to rest short of its target. There was a scramble to get at it. It drew great applause. She blew kisses to several of the men. The only person who did not seem to be enjoying Lucy’s act was Deadwood. He sat with his hands over his face. With a flourish Lucy parted with her scarf. It was caught by a middle aged man whose wife gave him a dirty look. Then off came her blouse. It landed in someone’s soup. He was delighted and held up the wet trophy for all to see. It was a splendid article, full of frills and lace. Her bra was now visible. Like her skirt it was mauve. It had a pink bow in the middle and was edged with black lace. Her skirt was next. That landed over a man’s head. It was confiscated by his wife. As if to compensate him, Lucy sent a stocking in his direction. That too was confiscated. Odille was about to start eating her double decker Wiener schnitzel when a black and cerise suspender belt sent a splash of lemon juice into her eye. When she could see again she cleaned the anchovy off her veil and extracted the suspender from her schnitzel. "I really must ask Lucy where she buys her things," Hillary said to Odille as she admired the item. The men in the audience were applauding enthusiastically. A few of the women were sitting up very straight, their faces showing no sign of a smile. Two left, leaving their meals unfinished. Lucy somersaulted off the table and ran out of the restaurant. Hillary noticed that Deadwood made some signs to two men in dark suits. They walked out after her. A shiver went down Hillary’s spine as she recognized them. They were Blackhench and Butcher. She pointed them out to Odille. Odille said, "You can be sure Deadwood is up to no good if he’s brought his henchmen with him. You had better go and make sure they don’t harm Lucy. I’ll stay here and keep tabs on Deadwood." Hillary reluctantly left her meal and followed the men. They were standing outside looking all around. Lucy was nowhere to be seen. Hillary walked past the men. She greeted them with, "It’s a nice day to be out in the fresh air." "Indeed it is, Ma’am," they replied. She was pleased they had not recognized her. Her disguise made her look much older. She walked over to the rose garden and smelt the roses. She saw Lucy come out of her bungalow fully dressed. She walked past her without recognizing her and reentered the restaurant. Hillary waited a few minutes and then returned to her table. Deadwood was ashen. Lucy asked him what he thought of her act. He said nothing. The man in the striped tie, their host, came up to their table. "That was a star performance," he said. "We’d like you to come as often as you can. You’re our guests. There’s no charge for you, ever."

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Chapter 12
Further Star Performances
After lunch Leslie arrived with his cameras and two assistants. They were there to make a film of Lucy’s performances. It was to be an X rated film to be called "The Fairy Dancer." They were planning to do the filming secretly. Hillary spotted Leslie and told him he had missed Lucy’s star performance. She didn’t tell him it was an unscheduled act. Deadwood had dreaded the outcome of Lucy’s unforeseen act. He was relieved that it had turned out so well. Now they would at least get their meals free. He supposed that Lucy would still have to perform on the table in the dining room but he was determined to get the private performances for which he was paying so much. He would encourage her to practice in front of him. Leslie spoke to the owner of the restaurant, a Mr. Prinsloo. He was delighted that a film was to be made there. It would be good for business. Leslie assured him that people who saw the film would come from far and near to see the venue. He told Mr. Prinsloo that such a novel venture as his deserved to be better known. Meanwhile Hillary and Odille took stock of the situation. Odille was sure that Deadwood was the Red Disa who had sent death threats to both of them. She said he was almost certainly a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As Dr. Jekyll he pastored a church and as Mr. Hyde he headed a gang of murderers. He paid large sums of money for Hillary to strip dance for him and then he hired murderers to try and get rid of her. It was clear he had a split personality. He had both a passionate love and a passionate hate for her. That was typical of a person with a split personality. He wanted a film of her dancing so that he could indulge his passion for her after he had destroyed her. It would give him pleasure to think he had destroyed something so beautiful. Hillary was amazed. It was unlike her sister to think of her or her dancing as "something so beautiful." Usually Odille used adjectives of a very different kind to describe anything to do with her. She wondered what had happened to change Odille’s opinion . It was probably their working together as 007 and 008. Having a common cause was helping Odille to mature. "If Deadwood is the Red Disa, who is Towly, do you think?" "It’s Uncle John. We both know he is the most generous man on God’s earth. Look what he did for you while you were at school. He even wrote a book called ‘Easier for a Camel’ for you. He always said he would give you a car." "But he denies it. I’ve never known him tell a lie."

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"You know that he says when it comes to giving your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing. He doesn’t want you to give him the credit." "Well then, the case is solved. We know who the Red Disa is and we know who Towly is. Is there anything else we need to know?" "We need to know why. We’ve got to find out what is driving Deadwood to do these things. We’ve got to get him put away. Otherwise our lives will always be in danger." Odille suggested that Hillary survey their surroundings so that they would know the area. That might be useful should a situation develop in which they would have to rescue Lucy. Hillary went out in her disguise. She saw Blackhench and Butcher by the rose garden. They were smelling the roses like she had done earlier. Deadwood and Lucy came out of their bungalow. The two men who had been smelling the roses turned around and hastened into a nearby wood. That was strange. Were the henchmen out of favour with their boss? Or didn’t they want him to know they were there? Leslie had set up a camera near the restaurant. He was filming the surroundings. When he saw Deadwood approaching he put a black cloth over his head so that he would not be recognized. Hillary made a mental note of hiding places among the rose bushes and the trees. The grounds were well wooded and there were numerous small gardens. There were many places a person could hide, especially at night. At dinner time Hillary and Odille went to the restaurant. Again they were heavily disguised. Deadwood and Lucy were already there. Lucy looked very lacy and fairy like. They were eating. Leslie was there filing the interior. He wore a mask so as not to be recognized. Lucy noticed him and took him to be one of Leslie’s cameramen. Deadwood noticed him and took it he was from one of the media. Soon the restaurant was full. Mr. Prinsloo spoke to Lucy. Then he announced over the loudspeakers that they had a special guest who would entertain them, Miss Debbie Delightful, the Fairy Dancer. The music started and Lucy jumped on to the table and began to dance among the dishes. Hillary thought how beautifully attired she was. She had more accessories than usual. Her audience applauded heartily as she danced through her act. When she reached the end she somersaulted off the table. Her audience called for an encore. She said that if those who had the items of her clothing would hold them out she would do a dance in which she would retrieve the items. This she did beautifully, even putting on makeup as she danced. During all of this Leslie and his assistants were busy with their cameras. They filmed from various angles. The audience kept calling for more. Lucy obliged with numerous variations. Hillary was envious of her talent. She hoped she would get her chance. Little did she realize the extent to which her hopes would be fulfilled.
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When Lucy had tired of dancing she was invited to join a group of men at their table. They ordered champagne and one man gave her a bunch of red roses. Mr. Prinsloo joined Deadwood at his table and had a long chat with him. While they were still busy Lucy left her group and walked out. Odille prompted Hillary to follow her to ensure her safe return to her bungalow. As Hillary was passing the rose garden she saw the two men were there smelling the roses. As a cover for their activities that was wearing a bit thin. She wondered what they were up to. "A lovely perfume those roses have," she said as she passed them. "Especially at night," one of the men replied. He was holding something in his hand. She thought it looked like a gun. There was another smell that mingled with the perfume of the roses. It was the smell of bitter almonds. She had once read that potassium cyanide smells like bitter almonds. The man raised his hand above his head. In the moonlight she saw that the object in his hand was a syringe. He was about to bring it down on her. Quick as lightning she kicked it out of his hand. She landed a kick in his groin and a chop on his neck. He fell motionless to the ground. The other man drew a pistol. It went the same way as the syringe. He fell to the ground dazed. She put the pistol in her handbag. The syringe she deposited in a dustbin covering it with rubbish. She wondered why they had attacked her. Had they recognized her? Or were they simply out to murder anyone? She would have to use another disguise. She was concerned about Lucy. Deadwood was under the impression that Lucy was her. She knew that Deadwood and his two men had planned the cyanide attack for her. In that case they may also have attacked Lucy. The light went on in Lucy’s bungalow. She ran over and peeped in the window. Lucy was undressing. Thank God she was all right. But the mystery remained. Why had the men not attacked Lucy? Were they aware of the subterfuge? Hillary tried the front door of the bungalow. It was locked but the key was in the lock. She obtained a sheet of newspaper from a nearby dustbin and pushed it through under the door. Using a toothpick she manipulated the key until it fell onto the newspaper. She opened the door without making a sound. There was a briefcase on the table. She opened it. Inside was a towel, a syringe and several glass tubes. The last were sealed and contained a white substance. She was sure these were ampoules of cyanide. Taking the glass tubes and the syringe, she left as quietly as she had entered. She deposited her finds in yet another dustbin. Then she returned to Lucy’s bungalow. Lucy was in bed. At first she did not recognize Hillary. She was about to scream. Hillary identified herself just in time. Lucy was surprised to see her, especially in those strange clothes and makeup. Hillary told Lucy that her life might be in danger. She asked Lucy to change places and clothes with her. Hillary, in Lucy’s nightdress, escorted Lucy, in her disguise, to Odille’s bungalow.

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Odille had not yet returned from dinner. As was her habit she was enjoying a few drinks. Lucy got into Hillary’s bed wearing the latter’s nightdress. Hillary went back to Lucy’s bed. Some time later Deadwood came in. Hillary, disguised as Lucy pretended to be asleep. Deadwood said, "Are you asleep already?" She did not answer. He said, "Just my luck! The darned girl has gone to sleep just when I need her company most. Oh, well, she did have a busy day." He got into the other bed in the same room. Hillary fell asleep. In the early hours she woke up. Deadwood noticed that she was awake. "Thank God you’re awake! I need to have you dance for me. Your dancing does something to me. I’m hooked on it." "What! In the middle of the night?" "I’d get up at any hour to watch you dance." She asked him to excuse her while she got dressed. He went to the front room. She was pleased to be wearing Lucy’s Lily of Engedi underwear. Normally only the super rich could afford it. She went through her routine with him. After she somersaulted off the table he asked her to come to bed with him. She asked to be excused. He pleaded with her, saying that Mrs. Deadwood was past it. As she got into bed with him she kicked him in the groin. He doubled up in pain. "Oh, I’m sorry," she said, pretending it was an accident. Then she bruised his eye with her elbow. She apologized again. "How clumsy of me. It must be because I’m tired from all that dancing. I think I really need a good night’s sleep." She got up and went to her own bed. This time he did not protest. In the morning Hillary got dressed in Lucy’s clothes and went to her own bungalow. Odille was amazed when she opened the door and saw Hillary. Lucy had been asleep when Odille came in the previous evening. She was unaware that the two girls had exchanged roles. Hillary said she wanted to go into town to buy some clothes. She needed a new disguise. In town she bought various items of clothing that would have suited a much older lady. Then she returned to Loch Athlone. At lunch time the restaurant was full. Some would-be guests were turned away. These included Hillary and Odille. Lucy performed for an appreciative audience. When evening came there were so many guests that Mr. Prinsloo held two sessions. Lucy had a long evening. When it was over, Deadwood and Lucy went back to their bungalow. Hillary spied on them through a chink in the curtains. He was clearing the table. Could this mean that Lucy was going to give him a private midnight performance? She wasn’t left wondering for long. Lucy jumped on the table and began to dance. Stripping down to her tanga she left

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items of clothing scattered about the room. To Hillary’s amazement, she opened a trapdoor in the ceiling and hoisted herself through it. He climbed on the table and appealed to Lucy to come down but she refused. Deadwood threatened her with breach of contract if she did not come down and complete her act. She trod on his fingers when he took hold of the jamb and tried to lift himself up. Hillary decided it was time for her to intervene. Using the window sill and a down pipe she got on to the roof. She removed a tile. "Psst," she whispered to Lucy. Lucy heard her and came over to the hole. "He wants to rape me," she said. Hillary understood Lucy’s predicament. She thought quickly. "Listen," she said, "Change clothes with me." She pulled out some more tiles until there was a hole big enough for her to get through. She explained to Lucy that there was a meter box built into the wall of the bungalow. In it was a main switch which would enable her to put out the lights. With the place in darkness Deadwood would think she was Lucy. Lucy left through the hole and lowered herself to the ground. She found the meter box and cut the power. All went dark inside the bungalow. He swore. "What’s the matter?" she asked. "Must be a power failure," he replied. She dropped down from the ceiling. She had on only Lucy’s tanga but she soon collected her exquisite clothing and dressed herself in it. Looking out of the window, she said, "It seems to be only our bungalow. You wait here while I go for an electrician." He agreed to let her go but threatened serious consequences if she did not return. He gave her the keys of the Silver Smoke. It was the first time she had driven such a large car but she managed it well. In the town she found what she was looking for: a prostitute and a bottle of cherry brandy. The prostitute was eager to make the kind of money Hillary offered. The cherry brandy was an illicit brew known locally by the Afrikaans name "mampoer." On Arriving back at the bungalow, Hillary instructed the prostitute to wait outside for a few minutes and then to switch on the lights. After that she was to wait until she was called in. "Where is the electrician?" Deadwood asked as Hillary entered. "He’s working on the fuse box outside," she replied. "As soon as the lights come on I’ll do my act for you again. Then we’ll go to bed together. I’m sorry I gave you uphill earlier. Meanwhile I’ll get us some champagne. That’ll get us in the mood." She opened a bottle of champagne. Deadwood’s glass she laced with cherry brandy. When he had drunk half she topped it up with neat brandy. His senses had become numbed and he did not notice the difference. The lights came on and Hillary started her act. She was wearing Lucy’s clothes. Deadwood, now quite drunk, did not notice that they were now on a different

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girl. Every few minutes she would jump off the table and top up his glass. Her act completed, she had to help him to the bedroom. He flopped onto the bed. It was clear he would not be able to get up unaided. She went to the door and beckoned to the prostitute to come in. She told her to get into bed with him and make passionate love to him all night. She made up a bed for herself in the front room. Early in the morning, while Deadwood was still asleep, she took the substitute back to town. The newspaper vendors were out. She could hardly believe her eyes. SEX BOMB HITS BETHLEHEM, read one headline. STRIP DANCER STUNS FREE STATE, read another. there was only one subject on the front pages of all the newspapers. Colour photographs showed men holding up various items of Lucy’s expensive underwear. One had a colour photo of Lucy in her tanga. She bought copies of all the newspapers. There were eyewitness accounts of Lucy’s performance. An Afrikaans newspaper described it as out of character for the conservative Free State town and warned that it could hasten the return of the Lord Jesus. The items of clothing were described as being scented with erotic perfumes and flavoured with wild cherry and almond. She wondered what had made the journalist taste Lucy’s clothes. She hoped the almond flavour wasn’t bitter. Back at the bungalow Deadwood was still in dreamland. She hoped she had not overdone the brandy. To her relief he was still breathing. She made a brief call at her own bungalow to see how Lucy was. Seeing the newspapers, Lucy was a little dismayed by the publicity her act had attracted. "I could be run out of town for this. You now how conservative the Free State is." "Fortunately, they don’t know your real name," Hillary said. "According to the report, the owner of the restaurant was as surprised as the guests. No previous arrangement had been mad with him. I wonder what Deadwood hopes to achieve by such unorthodox methods?" "It was all a misunderstanding," Lucy explained. "I asked him where I was to perform. He said, ‘Here.’ I thought he intended me to go on there and then but he intended it for a private party later on. At first he was livid but when Mr. Prinsloo expressed his thanks he changed his tune." When Deadwood awoke, Hillary gave him breakfast in bed. He wasn’t feeling too well. The previous night’s entertainment had been a bit much for him. "But you were wonderful — the very best!" he told Hillary. "So were you!" "We should do this more often," he suggested. She pretended to agree. After breakfast Deadwood said he was feeling exhausted. He wanted to spend the morning in bed. He suggested she take the Silver Smoke and see a bit of the country. "See if you can get me some cherries," he said, "I’ve got a craving for cherries."
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Hillary collected Lucy and took her for a drive in the country. They bought some cherries at a farm stall. When they returned to Loch Athlone they found there were cars parked all over the grounds. They were unable to get the Silver Smoke anywhere near the bungalow. Hillary parked some distance away. As she got out of the car she heard a voice say, "Come this way, Miss. If you’re quiet and do as we say you won’t get hurt." She was dismayed. She knew that voice only too well. Butcher showed her the gun he had concealed under his coat. She went along meekly. The men ignored Lucy. They led Hillary in the direction of the restaurant. The place was jam-packed with people and cars. There were cars with registrations from all four provinces. A queue stretched down the gangway and for a long distance along the road. The men led her up the gangway into the crowded restaurant. Mr. Prinsloo looked relieved to see her. "Thank God you’ve come!" he said. "The guests are demanding to see your performance. Some have flown up from Cape Town. We’ll pay you a thousand rand per performance." She was relieved to find that she was only required to do strip dancing. She had expected to be given cyanide and have her body thrown down a mine shaft. She was still wearing the clothes that Lucy had used for her act the previous evening. That was surely the reason they had brought her there rather than Lucy. She agreed to the terms, provided her clothes were returned to her. She could not afford to replace Lucy’s expensive clothing. Blackhench and Butcher were appointed to guard her clothes. She was to go on immediately as the guests had paid a cover charge of R25 each and were becoming impatient. As Lucy was walking towards the bungalow she was met by Deadwood. He looked agitated. "Thank God you’ve come," he said, "Something terrible has happened." Lucy was surprised that he recognized her as she was wearing Hillary’s clothes. He seemed not to notice. "You’ll have to help me, my dear," he said. "I’ve received a telegram from my wife. She read something in the newspaper. As a result she will be arriving this afternoon with a friend. They are coming to hear me preach tonight. She believes I came here to hold a series of revival meetings." He led her to the bungalow where he opened his briefcase. He rummaged in it, then he said, "Did you take anything from my briefcase?" "No. Is something missing?" she asked. "Just my medicine." From a pocket in the lid he removed a thick wad of bank notes. "Take these," he said, "Hire any hall you can. Then go around town and find as many layabouts as you can. Tell them that everyone who comes to the meeting will be paid R5 after the service. There will also be free drinks. Buy a couple of cases of wine and a few loaves of bread. We’ll make it a communion service. Starting time will be 7pm. Report back to me as soon as you return. "Before you go get your things out of here. You won’t be able to stay. Find another place. Use some of the money to pay the bill."

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She was only too glad to move out. She moved her things to Hillary’s bungalow and then drove the Silver Smoke into town. That make was standard transport in the Margo household. She called at the municipal offices and hired the town hall. Then she bought two cases of red wine and six loaves of bread. Finding a congregation was easy. There were many out-of -works who were pleased to accept her invitation to join her for a drink in the town hall that evening. When she returned, the Loch Athlone grounds were still packed with visitors’ cars. The queue for the restaurant was a long as ever. As she approached the bungalow on foot she heard voices inside. She knew then that Mrs. Deadwood and her friend had arrived. Deadwood introduced her as Debbie, a helper from a local church. Mrs. Deadwood was an uninspiring woman, much overweight. Her friend Susan Sweet was more interesting. She was slim with a lively smile and a pleasant voice. Deadwood asked for him and Debbie to be excused while he gave her the musical instruments he had brought for her to play at the meeting. They were in the car. Once outside, Lucy informed him that she had hired the town hall and that he had an assured congregation of at least eighty. "Splendid, you’ve saved my bacon!" When they returned to the bungalow, Mrs. Deadwood produced a copy of that morning’s paper. "You’ve come to Bethlehem just in time," she said to her husband. "See what degradation has set in here." She passed round the front page with colour photographs of men holding up their trophies. Deadwood hadn’t seen it before. Mrs. Deadwood read the report aloud to her audience. It contained a paragraph to the effect that the strip dancer had been seen in the company of a man who was apparently responsible for bringing her there. It was believed he was living off the proceeds of her prostitution. "Absolutely disgusting!" Deadwood commented. "And in the Free State of all places! You’re right. I have come just in time. But things are going well as you will see tonight. We have got the town hall. We’ve saved some of these Free State sinners already. We’ll save more tonight." "You must preach a strong sermon about the dangers of lust," insisted Mrs. Deadwood. "That I will certainly do." Turning to Lucy, Mrs. Deadwood said, "My husband’s a man of very sound morals. He’s not afraid to preach out against things of the devil. Everybody will tell you he takes a very strong stand in these matters. It was he who started the anti-pornography campaign. I do so admire a man who takes a strong stand against these things."

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"Yes, I can see he’s a man of strong moral character. You are so lucky to have such a fine husband," Lucy agreed. She turned away to conceal her smile. "He’s such a wonderful example to the young men of the church. I wish all men were like him," Mrs. Deadwood continued. "Well, now that you’ve got your instruments, I guess you’ll want to go home and practice," Deadwood suggested to Lucy. He saw her out. At the door she asked if he would like any table top performances that evening. "Good heavens, no! Not a word about that, do you hear!" Lucy left with a clarinet and a tambourine, the instruments he had got out of his car for her. She had never played either and did not know how. She decided to leave them behind when the time came for her to join the Deadwoods for the trip to the town hall.

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Chapter 13
A Five Star Performance
Before leaving for the town hall Mrs. Deadwood made her husband bath. "You smell like a cherry, only more so," she said, "And brush your teeth, your breath smells terrible. People will think you have been drinking." "I’ve been eating cherries all day. It’s strange, I’ve had a craving for cherries." "It must be something lacking in your diet. I must remember to get you more cherries in future." As they were leaving in the Silver Smoke they saw a procession coming towards them. They were mainly women. They held placards, some in English and some in Afrikaans. HANG THE MAN WHO BROUGHT THE STRIPPER HERE and AWAY WITH THE STRIPPER were typical of the messages they bore. "Thank God we can rely on our Free State women to keep the province clean," Mrs. Deadwood said. "I’ll go along with that, ‘Hang the man who brought the stripper here.’ I really like that one." Deadwood had to stop the car to allow the procession to pass. He opened the window and shouted, "Bravo, girls! You’ll get rid of this filth, won’t you?" The leader of the procession came up to him. "We’re petitioning the State President to hang the man who brought the stripper here. Will you sign?" "He certainly will, and so will I," Mrs. Deadwood replied from the passenger’s seat. They all signed except Lucy. She pleaded for mercy for the man. "Shouldn’t we rather get him to come to our meetings and get saved?" she asked. "Men like that are beyond salvation. There is only one thing to do with a man like that and that is to hang him. In fact, hanging is too good for him. Otherwise they will seduce decent men like my husband and Susan’s," commented Mrs. Deadwood. "May I remind you that I’m not married," Susan said. "But you will be one day when the right man comes along. You’ll marry one of the fine men from the church, perhaps Mr. Butcher even. What is it you said Mr. Butcher does?" "He works for the Durban Roodepoort Mine where he extracts gold from the ore using cyanide," Deadwood replied. "There you are, isn’t that a fine thing to do? He takes that dusty old rock and turns it into beautiful gold. I love gold, it speaks to me of God." Mrs.
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Deadwood stroked her 24 carat gold necklace and pendant affectionately. "That must be a wonderful God-given substance, that cyanide. Think how useful it is turning that dusty old rock into beautiful gold." "It is indeed useful," Deadwood agreed. When they arrived at the town hall the congregation was already singing choruses. They were in a happy mood. Deadwood went into an anteroom to pray. Mrs. Deadwood organized some helpers to bring in some chorus books from the car. Susan Sweet tuned her guitar and invited Lucy to accompany her with her clarinet and tambourine. Lucy said she had left them at home as her practicing had not gone well and she believed she was out of form. At starting time the hall was nearly full. Mrs. Deadwood welcomed the congregation in the Name of the Lord Jesus. She led the chorus singing while Susan played the guitar. The singing livened up when a man started singing loudly, with yea’s and Amen’s between the lines. The singing continued for half an hour. Then Deadwood appeared at the rostrum. He prayed a long prayer in which he mentioned the terrible evil that had come to Bethlehem. He asked the LORD for help in stamping it out. When he had finished praying he asked the congregation to open their bibles at Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 27. He read: You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into Hell. He continued, "I am sure I do not need to tell you of the terrible evil that came into your town last night. You have seen all the newspapers. Last night, in this very town, a strip dancer appeared at a well-known restaurant. She had the effrontery to dance on a table so all the men could see her legs. As if that wasn’t evil enough, she then started to strip off her clothes. "This is the work of the devil. He knew I would be having a campaign here. He brought this evil woman here to tempt the men with lust and keep them away from my meetings. He also brought your town into disrepute. "Now, do as the bible says. If this woman causes you to sin, pluck her out and throw her away. Even worse is the man who brought her here. He is said to be living off her earnings. That is like living off the proceeds of prostitution. I am sure you will all agree that hanging is too good for this man. The good people of this town have got up a petition to the State President to have this man hanged. I urge you all to sign it. I’ve said hanging is too good for this man but our law doesn’t provide for anything more appropriate.

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"If you don’t do as I say this evil will continue to grow. The minds of your men will be corrupted. It will affect all of their lives, even their rugby — especially their rugby. I don’t have to remind you how important rugby is to the Free State and to South Africa. If this continues the Free State will never see the Currie Cup. The Springboks will be beaten by the Lions and the All Blacks. Worse than that, it could precipitate the second coming of our Lord. If He sees the way we’re going, if we don’t put a stop to this evil, He will put a stop to it Himself. Therefore I beseech you, root out this evil from your town before it is too late. "Now I am glad to tell you that that there is One Who came to save you from all this evil. His Name is the Lord Jesus. He gave His life for you, two thousand years ago. He went in your place to pay the price. The wages of sin are death. He took your death upon Himself that you might go free and have eternal life. Now, if there is anyone who would like to be delivered from this evil, please put up your hand and I will pray for you. Is there one tonight?" Virtually all of the congregation put up their hands. Deadwood also put up his hands while praying for them, telling the Lord they were sorry for their sins and asking for His forgiveness. Then he gave thanks for the harvest. After that he announced that they would go to the Lord’s table. "The blood of the Lamb will cleanse you from all unrighteousness," he said. "We are now going to serve you with the body and the blood of the Lamb. The blood will wash you inside. It is an internal cleansing." He then read from Mark, Chapter 14, verses 22 to 24: And as they were eating, He took bread, and blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many." Then he ordered the bread and the wine to be brought and put on the table. He took the loaves and broke them and gave them to the helpers to give to the congregation. Then he ordered the wine to be served. After that they began to sing again in tune with Susan’s inspired guitar playing. The singing continued for a long time as many were reluctant to leave. Deadwood asked his wife to close in prayer. She thanked the LORD for saving the town of Bethlehem from the terrible evil and asked the LORD’s help in apprehending the culprit and hanging him. Stewards at the doors gave R5 notes to those who claimed them. They both received donations and paid those who wanted to be paid. As they were leaving, a man came to Deadwood. Speaking with an Afrikaans accent he asked, "But, Dominee, how can this be? When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He said, ‘He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ Why are you urging these people to throw stones? Shouldn’t they rather forgive?"
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"You have a point there," Deadwood said, "Some people believe that passage about the woman caught in adultery should not be in the bible. If you look in your bible, you will see it says that this passage is not found in some ancient manuscripts. I’ll ask my wife what she thinks?" He spoke to his wife. She came over to the man who asked the question. "That passage is definitely not in the bible," she said. "How could it be? It would encourage people to commit adultery." The man seemed unconvinced. He left without asking any more questions. On the way back to Loch Athlone Susan commented on what a wonderful sermon Deadwood had preached. Mrs. Deadwood agreed. "I do so admire him for the stand he has taken. He is such an example to the young men of the church. I wish all men would follow his example." The next morning Deadwood took his wife and Susan into Bethlehem to have breakfast. Mrs. Deadwood’s sharp eye caught the headline: MIXED GATHERING: BETHLEHEM IN UPROAR. Other papers had similar headlines in Afrikaans. She bought a paper. The front page article was about their meeting. According to the article, the town hall had been declared an amenity for the exclusive use of whites. (This was in the days of apartheid shortly before the Separate Amenities Act was repealed.) The article described how an unidentified preacher had held an illegal meeting there the previous night. It was alleged that he had paid people of all races to attend and that he had given them free liquor until they were drunk. There had been drunken singing throughout the night. Complaints had been made to the police who were trying to establish the identity and whereabouts of the preacher. "What nonsense! That’s the devil again, trying to put you off. That proves how big a blow you dealt him last night," commented Mrs. Deadwood. Fearing the police, Deadwood suggested they beat a hasty retreat. Mrs. Deadwood would hear nothing of it. "You’ve come to drive the devil out of Bethlehem and you’re not going home until you’ve done that," she insisted. After breakfast they returned to Loch Athlone. As they were getting out of the car a woman approached them. She was leading a small band of young men. She pointed at Deadwood. "There’s the man who was with her," she said. "He’s the one who brought her here." The men looked at Deadwood. "No, it can’t be. He’s the dominee who told us to pluck her out and throw her away," said their spokesman. "I’m sure he’s the one," the woman insisted. "He’s the evil one who is living off the proceeds of prostitution. He’s the one you want to hang." Mrs. Deadwood intervened. "What’s this?" she asked. "He’s the man who brought the stripper here. He’s the one we should hang," the woman persisted.

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"Don’t be mad. He’s God’s man of the hour, the one God has sent to save Bethlehem." The spokesman for the men said, "Yes, she’s right. He’s the dominee who told us to pluck her out and throw her away and to hang the man who brought her here. I see you practice what you preach, Dominee. You’ve also come to pluck her out and to help us hang the man who brought her here. That’s good, we can work together." "Yes," Deadwood said, "We’ll work together." "That’s what I like to see. You go with them and find the man to hang," Mrs. Deadwood urged. This was a turn that Deadwood had not expected. The men had been at the meeting the previous evening and were practicing what he had taught them. He felt uncomfortable but he had no option but to go with them to help them in their mission. Mrs. Deadwood urged her husband to go with the men and help them in their search for the man. She suggested that she and Susan should have an early lunch at the Athlone Castle Restaurant in order to identify the girl for further attention. She said the men should not eat there in case they should be tempted. The restaurant was closed but was due to open earlier than usual in view of its newly found popularity. The grounds were swarming with would-be guests. Mrs. Deadwood and Susan stood in the queue for a long time. They were determined to get the best seats in the restaurant to have a good view of the dancer so that they could be sure to identify her later for plucking out and throwing away. The atmosphere in the restaurant was jovial and the food good. The two women were enjoying themselves. Half way through their meal the dancer entered and was introduced to the diners as Miss Debbie Delightful. Then she mounted the table and began to dance among the dishes. Hillary was wearing Lucy’s pink skirt trimmed with pale blue lace and a frilly white blouse. Mrs. Deadwood was envious of her youth and beauty and her splendid attire as well as her dancing skills. She was not slow to express her disgust of the girl’s lack of modesty. Hillary was enjoying herself but she was feeling tired after so many performances. She was feeling nostalgic towards Prince Andrew. She regretted not having provided him with a means of contacting her. He had promised her a friendship ring and they were supposed to be dating. She wished he could be there to enjoy her dancing. Mrs. Deadwood continued to express her disgust to Susan. She said she was glad she had not allowed him to attend. Even a man of such strong moral fibre might be tempted by such immodesty. She had spared him that.

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Susan remarked, "She’s a lot like the girl who came with us last night. I wonder if they aren’t sisters?" "I doubt it," Mrs. Deadwood said, "That girl last night was from a good family. You could see by her clothes." "If clothes are a factor, I would say this one is also from a good family." "But they are not her own clothes. Obviously, they were just lent to her for the performance." The dancer stripped down to her two-piece swimsuit. It was one of Lucy’s and of the highest quality. Then she jumped off the table and ran out. The two women left, happy in the knowledge that they would be able to identify the evil girl. As they came down the gangway they noticed a commotion nearby. They saw that a gallows had been erected, making use of a large tree. There was a man on the gallows. The mob were about to lynch him. "Oh, good," Mrs. Deadwood said to Susan, "They’ve found the man and they are about to give him what he deserves." She shouted encouragement to the mob. The man was blindfold and they had his head in a noose. He was bound hand and foot and was standing on a box. One of the men pushed the box from under him. There was a scream. The man’s body hung limp. Mrs. Deadwood was pleased. She shouted, "Good! Now we’ve shown the devil a thing or two." One of the young men who had been at the revival meeting came up to Mrs. Deadwood and said, "We’ve got the girl." He looked at the body hanging from the tree. Then he called to his friends in Afrikaans, "Jislaaik! Kom kyk hier. Hulle het die dominee opgehang!" ‘Jislaaik’ is an Afrikaans expression of astonishment that has no adequate English equivalent. The rest may be translated, "Come and look here. They‘ve hanged the parson!" The other two youths came over. They had the girl between them, her hands tied behind her back. They stared incredulously at the body hanging from the tree. Suddenly Mrs. Deadwood’s expression changed. She went pale as a ghost. "You fools," she shouted, "You’ve got the wrong man." She became hysterical. The crowd was silent. She rushed into the restaurant and came out brandishing a carving knife. She cut the rope. The body fell to the ground. She cut the noose and administered mouth to mouth. It was no good. Deadwood lay there, dead as a piece of dead wood, his petition granted even before it reached the State President. His and Mrs. Deadwood’s prayer request had been granted. Mrs. Deadwood cried out, "You fools. You’ve killed God’s man, the only man who could have saved Bethlehem and the Orange Free State. Now they are doomed for ever."

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Chapter 14
Trapped
"All is not lost, my dear. Have faith in God. Did not Jesus command us to raise the dead?" this was the reassuring voice of Susan. "He told us to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and to raise the dead. You can read that in Matthew 10, verses 7 and 8." Turning to the onlookers, she said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand. You will now see that this is so." She knelt beside Deadwood’s body. Stretching it out on its back, she laid her hands on its chest and said, "In the Name of the Lord Jesus, rise up." To the amazement of the onlookers, Deadwood opened his eyes and sat up. His wife couldn’t believe her eyes. "Arthur, is it really you?" she asked. "Yes, it’s really me, Arthur Deadwood, back from the dead." "Are you all right?" she asked, incredulously. "I’m fine, except my neck’s a bit stiff." "Jislaaik! In my life I’ve never seen anything like this!" the youth said in Afrikaans. Deadwood stood up, rubbing his neck. The two youths who were holding the girl approached Deadwood. "Dominee, we’ve got the girl. How must we pluck her out and throw her away?" one asked. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," Deadwood replied. The youths looked at one another, uncertain what to do. "You fools," Mrs. Deadwood said, "You’ve got the wrong girl. That’s the one who came with us to the meeting last night. She got saved. I saw her get saved." The youths untied her hands and let Lucy go. "Come on, you’re sick. We must go home before anything worse happens to you," Mrs. Deadwood said to her husband. When Lucy was caught by the youths she was on her way to relieve Hillary who had danced eight sessions in a row. She was identified by a woman who had seen one of her performances. Hillary appeared on the scene shortly after Lucy was released. Some women recognized her as the stripper and tried to arouse the crowd against her. The onlookers were so dazed by what they had seen that they were not keen to make trouble. Lucy explained to Hillary what had happened. They decided to quit before things got nasty.

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As the girls arrived at their bungalow they saw the Deadwood party leaving. Mrs. Deadwood was driving her own car with her husband beside her. Susan drove Deadwood’s car. Since Hillary’s Turbo Dream was a two seater, Odille and Lucy had to share the passenger seat. They headed out on the main road to Johannesburg, the R26. Hillary drove fast, about 20km/h over the speed limit, which on that road is 100km/h. After they had gone some distance, she saw in her rear view mirror a car approaching from behind. It was traveling very fast. It had the distinctive radiator shutters and headlights of a Cornish. Hardly had she seen it than it had overtaken and passed them. It nearly blew her car off the road. She heard the whine of its twin turbochargers as it shot past. It was the one Prince Andrew had used the night he had taken her out. She was sure of it. It had passed too quickly for her to recognize the driver. Surely it must be him. She hit the throttle. There was a satisfying whine as the turbocharger came to life. Its pitch rose with the speed of the car. She had a rush of blood to the head. The Cornish was soon out of sight. She continued at full speed, hoping to meet up with Prince Andrew somewhere. Perhaps he would stop or slow down. Too late! She was over the gatsometer lines before she could lift her foot off the accelerator. The traffic officer ahead was waving his arms, signaling her to stop. In spite of hard braking, the Dream came to rest far beyond the man. A second traffic officer on a motor cycle drew level with her and stopped. Her gave her a computer printout showing her measured speed as 197km/h. "That’s nearly 100km/h over the limit," he said, "I’m afraid I’ve no option but to arrest you." As he was putting the handcuffs on her, Hillary’s attention was attracted by a large car driving slowly past. It was a convertible in two shades of green and was going in the same direction as she had been. It was indeed the same car that Prince Andrew had taken her out in. The driver raised his thumb in salute and smiled broadly. It was Ken Roberts. He parked the Cornish in front of her car, got out, and walked up to the traffic officer. "Good work," he said, handing him a fat envelope. Parked at the side of the road was a caravan. It belonged to the Department of Justice. The magistrate asked her how she pleaded. "Guilty," she said. "Have you anything to say in mitigation?" he asked. "No," she replied. "I’ll give you a light sentence," the magistrate said, "One month’s correctional psychiatric medicine." As they were taking her out, she saw out of the corner of her eye that Ken Roberts shook hands with the magistrate and gave him a fat envelope similar to the one he had given the traffic officer. He had set a trap for her. Knowing that she would give chase, he had shot past her. Once out of sight he had turned into a side road and waited for her to go past. It was obvious he had set up the whole thing. The handshakes and fat envelopes confirmed that. As Hillary was
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getting into the police van, Odille handed her an envelope. "I nearly forgot to give you this. It came for you at Loch Athlone," she said. Being handcuffed, Hillary was not able to open the envelope. She asked Odille to open it for her. Inside was a card YOUR DAYS ARE OVER, it read. It was signed "The Red Disa." It seemed like forever that she had been in the police van when they entered through a stately entrance where a sign read: SUMMIT UNIVERSITY — CENTRE FOR CHRISTIAN PSYCHIATRY. She wondered what fate awaited her there.

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Chapter 15
Rack Therapy
The handcuffs were removed after Hillary got out of the police van. Two orderlies were waiting for her with an operating table. They strapped her to it then wheeled her into the foyer. A pleasant woman with a badge that said MATRON took down her particulars. Her cell was at the end of a long corridor. They locked her in. She was all alone. After a few hours a hatch opened in one of the walls. A tray of food was passed to her. The food was good and the bed comfortable. For a prison it was not bad. In the morning breakfast was served in the same way. Shortly after breakfast the hatch opened again. A woman’s face appeared. "Good morning, I am Professor Mary Shrink, your therapist." the woman said, "I’ll soon have you back to health and strength again. Your therapy will start in a few minutes. They will be coming for you now." She was surprised to hear that they thought she needed nursing back to health and strength. She was a particularly strong and healthy girl. Hillary was taken to a large office. On the door was the name DR E. DE VILLIERS. Dr. de Villiers was very tall and thin. He had a pleasant face with a smile from ear to ear. He greeted her amicably as he opened her file. "Dr. Shrink has prescribed some rather drastic treatment for you," he said. "In the old days psychiatrists used electro-convulsive treatment. Now that has been banned and so they have introduced alternative methods of torture. Dr. Shrink is very keen on the rack. She has a saying that stretching the back shrinks the head. She must think you have a very large head. She has prescribed 2000 newtons for you. That’s near fatal. I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll program the computer to give false tension readings. When it reads 2000 newtons you’ll only be getting 200. That won’t hurt you. Two thousand might be fatal. I don’t want to be an accomplice to a murder." "Gee, thanks," said Hillary. "Two thousand is sheer madness. The only sane people here are the patients. Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. As soon as you leave this room you will forget I said it. Don’t worry, I’ll see to it that you get only a token stretching. Play along. As soon as you feel anything give a few groans. When you feel appreciable tension scream as though in great pain." Hillary was escorted along a corridor to a room marked RACK THERAPY. Inside were a number of cubicles. In one of these she was fastened to a rack. It had stocks to which her shoulders and ankles were fastened. Professor Shrink appeared with an open file in her hands. She took a tape measure and measured Hillary’s length from head to foot. She wrote the measurement in the file. Then
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she gave some instructions to an operator who sat at a computer console. Hillary felt a slight movement of the stocks. Then it stopped. "Do you still think you’re Napoleon?" Dr. Shrink asked. Hillary laughed. "Why on earth would I want to be Napoleon?" "What is your name?" Dr. Shrink asked. "Hillary Keating." "That’s much worse. Take the tension up to 500." Hillary felt a further movement of the stocks. She was still comfortable. "Ouch! That hurts," she played along. Dr. Shrink laughed gleefully. "It’s starting to work," she said. "Who do you think you are now?" Hillary thought she’d have some fun. "Prince Andrew," she replied. "That’s a slight improvement. Take it up to 600." Hillary felt her body being pulled a little tauter. "Who do you think you are now?" "Adolph Hitler." She was starting to enjoy her therapy. Dr. Shrink looked bewildered. "This is not working. Something must be wrong." "Are you sure you’ve got the right file?" the computer operator asked. "Oh, that’s what it is. I’ve got the wrong patient." Dr. Shrink left and returned shortly after with another file. "I’m sure this one is correct. How much tension have we got?" "Six hundred," replied the computer operator. "Okay, keep it there." Then to Hillary, "Do you still think you’re Ayrton Senna?" "Yes, I’m Ayrton Senna, what of it?" "Make it seven hundred," Dr. Shrink said to the operator. A little tauter, Hillary thought she had better not push her luck too far. She pretended to scream with pain. "I’m Hillary Keating," she screamed. "And what speed does Hillary Keating drive at in a 100km/h zone?" "One hundred and ninety seven." Dr. Shrink ordered the tension to be increased. Hillary screamed. She pretended to be in great pain. "At what speed should Hillary Keating drive at in a 100km/h zone?"
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"One hundred and thirty, like everyone else." Dr. Shrink ordered the tension to be increased further. Hillary screamed. "Mercy! Mercy! I’ll keep below 100, really I will." Dr. Shrink ordered the tension to be removed. "How can the Americans say this doesn’t work?" she asked the operator. "We get results with it every time." Then to Hillary she said, "Cheer up, Girl, we’ll get you right. We haven’t yet had a failure with this invention of mine." Hillary was taken back to her cell and given a meal. The staff were all pleased that she was making such good progress. They said what a wizard Dr. Shrink was. Hillary was left undisturbed in her cell for several hours. She pondered over the events of the past few days. She hoped that Lucy and Odille were safe. She wondered about the identity of the Red Disa and why he thought her days were over. Odille was convinced that Deadwood was the Red Disa. She wasn’t so sure. How had Butcher and Blackhench known who she was the night they had attacked her with syringe and revolver? Deadwood was clearly under the impression that Lucy was her. If Deadwood was, in fact, the Red Disa, why had he not instructed them to attack Lucy? It didn’t make sense. Then there was Towly. Odille was convinced that Towly was Uncle John. Her argument was unconvincing. Uncle John never told lies, not even to cover up his activities. Perhaps Prince Andrew was Towly. In that case he probably lied about not being in Pietermaritzburg on the day she was invited to lunch at St. Helen’s. Surely it was Prince Andrew? He had been intoxicated by Lady de Rothschild. Perhaps if he had known her real identity he would have proposed, especially as she was so very British. She wished he would come and rescue her from her present weird situation. Surely he would come if he knew? He would probably have Dr. Shrink locked up in the Tower of London. What a pity Naboomspruit was not a part of the British Empire like Pietermaritzburg. If it was, he would have the power to confine Dr. Shrink in the tower. Shortly after the dinner things had been collected, the hatch opened again to reveal the smiling face of the matron, Glenda Turnbull. She told Hillary to be dressed and ready to leave at midnight. When midnight came, Glenda opened the door of Hillary’s cell and led her out through a side door into the courtyard. The door had been locked but Glenda had a key. She was careful to lock the door behind her. A large car was waiting, its engine running. Glenda hustled Hillary into the rear seat and then got in beside the driver. She introduced the driver as Stuart. Hillary remembered what had been said about a man called Stuart and of how he had been "taken care of" at Naboomspruit. Was this the same man, she wondered? It was too dark to

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make out his features. He had sleek black hair and seemed to be in the prime of life. The car sped towards Johannesburg on the N1. She wondered where they were going and what they were about. On the seat beside her was a carton full of large brown envelopes. When they stopped to pay toll there was enough light for her to see that each envelope bore an address. One had Agnes Halfshaft’s name on it. Hillary told Stuart and Glenda about the trap that Ken Roberts had set for her and how the magistrate had sentenced her. She also told them of the hanging of Deadwood at Loch Athlone. She wondered if he was still alive. Stuart and Glenda expressed their concern and hope that he was still alive. She gathered they were friends of Deadwood’s. Stuart asked Hillary if they could drop her off at Sir George Margo’s home in Sandton. She would probably find Lucy there and be able to recover her car. He suggested she get out of Johannesburg as soon as possible. He said the people who were after her were dangerous. They might even follow her to Pietermaritzburg. He advised her to go to Durban and not let anyone know where she was. If Pietermaritzburg is the last outpost of the British Empire then surely Sandton is a piece of upper class England that got lost in Africa. Its citizens are described by their neighbours as being more English than the native English. The nostalgia for their native land is reflected in the suburb and street names. Hyde Park, Sandhurst, Bryanston, Sandown, Hurlingham, St. James’s Crescent, Cumberland Road, West Hertford Road, Dover Road and Shrewsbury Road are all to be found here. To live in Sandton is to show the world that you’re superEnglish and that you have made it. Sir George Margo was one such. He was chairman of Anglo-Witwatersrand, one of the "Big Six" mining houses. His magnificent home was on several hectares in Morningside. It was two o’clock in the morning when Stuart and his passengers arrived, hardly a good time to make a social call on the Margo’s. The entrance was guarded by security gates and a sentry. The sentry confirmed that Lucy was at home but he was loathe to phone her at that hour. He said Hillary was welcome to sleep in one of the guest rooms in the gatehouse. When it came to a respectable hour Hillary was allowed to visit Lucy. Lucy was pleased to see her. She said that after Hillary had been taken away by the police she and Odille returned to Loch Athlone. There they had resumed the table top dancing acts. They took it in turns to entertain the audiences. She had arrived home the previous night. Odille had gone back to the Ranch Motel with the Turbo Dream. While at Loch Athlone they had met up with the youths who had captured Lucy. They were rugby players who had been at the meeting in the town hall. They believed what Deadwood had said about the effects on their
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rugby. They wanted Lucy and Odille to stop their performances at Loch Athlone and to go to Cape Town. That way the Free State would be able to take the Currie Cup from Western Province. Free State rugby officials had spoken to Leslie about this and he had got them a fixture at The Moonscape, a wellknown night club in Cape Town. Lucy was thrilled. As Debbie Delightful she was the star of Leslie’s movie "The Fairy Dancer." That, and all the publicity as the notorious strip dancer of Loch Athlone, had made it easy for Leslie to place her. Promoters from all over the country had made Leslie offers for her services. He could have placed her anywhere. She invited Hillary to go with her to Cape Town to share the dancing. Hillary was tempted but in the end she decided that her life as a private eye held more excitement and danger. She had no intention of leaving Johannesburg before all the mysteries had been solved. Why were so many people eager to get her out of that city? She intended to find out. Hillary told Lucy about the treatment she had received at Naboomspruit and of how she had been released and brought there by Glenda and the mysterious Stuart. She mentioned the brown envelopes. Lucy was sure these were letter bombs. Stuart and Glenda, being so concerned for Deadwood’s well-being, were obviously in cahoots with him. They were obviously all mad. Had not Dr. de Villiers himself said so. She urged Hillary to report the matter to the police as soon as possible. Otherwise poor Agnes Halfshaft and others like her might be killed or maimed. Lucy took Hillary to the Sandton Police Station. The constable insisted on taking her name and address before he would listen to her. She insisted that the matter was urgent and that people’s lives might be at stake. He made her sign a written statement which he showed to his superior. The latter read it and said, "Hillary Keating, isn’t she the one who escaped from the loony bin?" He took some papers out of the basket on his desk and compared the details. "Yes," he said, "She’s the one all right. She’s described as dangerous. She has an identity crisis. She thinks she’s Ayrton Senna. Under no circumstances must she be allowed to drive a motor vehicle. She must be sent back to Naboomspruit immediately. Make sure they put handcuffs on her." Poor Hillary was handcuffed and taken back to Naboomspruit. Glenda was surprised to see her brought in by the police. She asked why she had not gone to Durban as Stuart had advised. Hillary told her what had taken place. "You silly girl," she said, "Those were gifts of money. Stuart loves to help widows and their fatherless children." Hillary was taken to her cell and locked in. Soon after, two orderlies took her to Dr. de Villiers’ office. He was in a good mood and was singing the well-known chorus "Love lifted me." He stopped singing when he saw her. "Well, well, who have we here? Mr. Houdini himself? Naughty, naughty of you to have run away, my dear. Don’t you like us? I’ve done my best to accommodate you. How did you enjoy your rack therapy?’
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"Yes, that was fun. Thank you for taking care of me like that." "Dr. Shrink says you are the toughest patient yet. You only grew one centimetre in length after having 1000 newtons for five minutes. She’s never seen anything like it. She says it’s no wonder you are such a good athlete. but she’s still worried about the size of your head." Hillary couldn’t help liking Dr. de Villiers. He had such a pleasant disposition and was so helpful. She probably owed her life to him. Dr. Shrink seemed to get a sadistic pleasure out of torturing people. That was one person she felt she couldn’t trust. "The board has sentenced you to three days solitary confinement without rations, not even water. You will be given a meal this evening and that will be the last for three days. During that time no one will be allowed to open the door or hatch to your cell. You will be locked in and the key put in safe custody at the bank." Hillary’s face fell. "No, cheer up. It’s all right, you’ll enjoy it. You’ll see." She felt a little reassured. She wondered why Dr. de Villiers was so sure she would enjoy it. She supposed he had done something to ease her burden as he had with the rack therapy. She was taken to her cell and given dinner. While she was eating she noticed a tiny envelope sticking out from under the saucer on her tray. Inside was a note which read, "Make sure you are awake and dressed at midnight." It was unsigned.

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Chapter 16
Solitary confinement
At midnight the door of Hillary’s cell opened. A woman in a pale green nurse’s uniform entered. Hurriedly she closed the door. She held another pale green nurse’s uniform over her arm. "Quick," she said, "Change into this." Hillary was wearing a bright red track suit which was the uniform of inmates guilty of misbehaviour, such as trying to escape. She changed into the nurse’s uniform. The woman in pale green who had brought her the uniform was none other than Odille. Hillary was very surprised to see her. "How on earth did you manage this?" she asked. "Friends in high places." "Dr. de Villiers?" Hillary queried. Odille nodded. They locked the cell door and left through the same side door that she had used the night before. Odille’s car stood outside. Odille drove her to a house not far away. Glenda was there to receive them. She took them to a bedroom where they spent the night. Next morning Glenda brought them breakfast in bed. She told them to waste no time as the bus would soon be there. When the bus arrived it had only one passenger, Stuart. The girls boarded and the bus proceeded to a hotel in the town where fifteen additional women boarded. It then headed out on the N1 towards Pietersburg. Hillary was still wearing her nurse’s uniform. She felt a bit spare as the other women were all so well dressed. They bypassed Pietersburg, stopped at Haenertsburg to admire the view, and had tea in Tzaneen. In Tzaneen Stuart took Hillary shopping. He insisted she have the best and paid all the bills. He bought her an elephant leather handbag and a suitcase and let her have all the clothes she wanted. After changing, she was as well dressed as any of her companions. They arrived at a privately owned game reserve in time for lunch. There they were treated to many mouthwatering dishes. After lunch they were shown to their quarters. These comprised a number of luxury tents, each on top of a bathroom. They were on a river bank where the wild animals came to drink. As they were leaving the dining room Hillary felt someone poke her in the ribs. She looked round to see a middle aged woman. She was dressed in a leopard skin safari outfit. "Don’t get any ideas, Kid," she said to Hillary, "Just because he bought you all that stuff doesn’t mean he’s in love with you. He’s mine! He’s in love with me. If I see you near him I’ll plant you one between the eyes,"
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Hillary felt an inclination to lay the woman out with a kung fu chop but she restrained herself. Her solitary confinement promised to be more interesting than she had expected. As they left the dining room, some of the women were jockeying for position to get Stuart’s attention. An older woman was saying to a younger one, apparently her daughter, "Don’t let him out of your sight. We must be sure to get the tent next to his. I have it on good authority that he is richer than Oppenheimer." Stuart was still very much an enigma to Hillary. He was clearly very rich and generous. Where did he get all that money that he gave away so freely? That he was a hit with the women was probably as much due to his generosity as to his good looks and gracious manner. He seemed to enjoy the attentions of all the women and was mildly amused by the rivalry among them. Stuart’s tent was the last in the row. The older woman and her daughter succeeded in getting the tent next to his. Hillary had to share the next tent with the woman in the leopard skin outfit. She continued to make it clear to Hillary that Stuart was hers and she should not have any ideas about getting him for herself. Hillary had no ambitions concerning Stuart but she thought it might be fun to pretend that she had. There was a risk of getting into a fight. She had no fears about the outcome should that happen. As she was already in "solitary confinement" she thought better of letting it go that far. It might be safer to play the leopard skin off against the other contenders. In the course of the afternoon each couple was issued with a pair of binoculars. Later they had tea in the dining room, when they were told they would be taken game viewing later that afternoon. After that they would be taken directly to the dining room for dinner. With the tent flap rolled up, the guests could observe the animals at the riverside while lying on their beds. The binoculars gave them an outstanding view. Shortly after tea, Helia Hotspur, Hillary’s tent mate, decided to go to the bathroom to prepare herself for the tour and dinner. Hillary continued to observe the animals. As she was planning a simple turnout, her preparations would not take long. When Helia returned Hillary had difficulty restraining her laughter. She was wearing a skin-tight leopard skin with large areas of her own skin exposed. She had acquired an instant suntan and was heavily made up with various cosmetics. She wore a wide-brimmed felt hat trimmed with leopard skin. As Stuart helped Helia into the Land Rover she implanted a dense coating of lipstick on his cheek. She said, "My darling, how sweet of you." Then came the mother and daughter team. They were to share the Land Rover with Stuart and Hillary and Helia. The mother was tastefully dressed in a manner becoming an older woman. She wore a straw hat liberally decorated with flowers, a blue cotton frock and high heeled shoes. The daughter wore a dress with a very low
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neckline and a short skirt with slits. They were introduced as Mrs. Felicity Warburton and her daughter Heather. Mrs. Warburton and Heather shared the bench seat on one side, Hillary and Helia the bench seat on the other. As Stuart got in Mrs. Warburton made room for him between herself and Heather. He was about to sit down when Helia, taking him by the arm, made him sit down next to her. Mrs. Warburton looked at Helia with distaste. "These synthetic leopard skins really are vulgar," she remarked to Heather but loud enough to be heard by the other members of the party. Helia glared at her. "Synthetic, my hat! This is a genuine Herrop’s leopard skin direct from Herrop’s of Harare." "It suits you, it looks so regal," Hillary commented. Stuart looked amused but said nothing. He was in a good position to observe the scenic delights of Motswari. Heather looked slightly uncomfortable but there was not much she could do about it. She wished her mother had not insisted she wear her most revealing skirt. That she had a superb pair of legs no one could deny, not even Helia who was visibly jealous of the attention they were getting. That was her own fault. For Stuart the scenery was compelling. He loved this wild country and the wild creatures it produced. The driver was a young, handsome game ranger. He stopped the Land Rover and then backed it up a little. He had spotted a lioness with her cubs and was positioning it for the best view. Through her binoculars Hillary saw that the lioness was a brilliant gold in the light of the setting sun. Helia’s hair was that colour. How alike they looked, Helia and the lioness. Hillary thought that a lion skin would be more appropriate for her. "That lioness’s coat looks magnificent. Have you ever thought of wearing a lion skin?" she asked Helia. "No, but I shall in future." "You’ll look great. You’ve the right colouring for it. You’ll be irresistible to Stuart. It’s obvious he’s very fond of lionesses. That one’s getting even more attention than Heather’s legs." They arrived at a water hole just as the sun was setting. From their vantage point they watched as the animals came to drink. The animals approached cautiously, sniffing the air, on guard against predators. Hillary felt relaxed and happy. It was an atmosphere that only Africa could provide. There were giraffe, kudu, impala, waterbuck and many other species. As it became dark they were driven back to the dining room which was tastefully decorated with Africana. It retained that wild bush atmosphere that Hillary liked so much. Africa was casting its spell over the party. The food also was in keeping with the bushveld tradition. There was grilled boerewors, chops, sosaties and steaks. Delectable salads tempted the appetites of the guests and
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every kind of fruit and wine was on offer. While they were enjoying their predinner drinks in the lounge, Stuart came and spoke to Hillary. He asked if she was enjoying her solitary confinement. "These women are members of the Naboomspruit Widows’ Club," he said. "They’re all widows except Mrs. Warburton’s daughter and your sister. Some of them have not had a holiday for decades. That’s why I have brought them here. The LORD has a special concern for orphans and widows and there is a special blessing in ministering to their needs." She realized that Stuart must be a committed Christian. He was obviously very different from the mad letter bomber she had at first taken him to be. That there was a special blessing in ministering to widows she could believe. They were all lavishing their attention on him. "I’m sorry," Stuart continued, "I neglected you on the game viewing tour. I got absorbed in the sights." "Yes, they were rather absorbing. They seemed to be absorbed in you, too." Stuart laughed good-humouredly. He enjoyed a joke and it was clear to him that Hillary had a sense of humour. Helia joined them. "Don’t get any ideas," she whispered in Hillary’s ear. "No need to worry," Hillary whispered back. "I’m on your side. I’ll help you catch him." To Stuart she said, "Excuse me." Then she turned on her heel, leaving Helia alone with Stuart.. As she passed the Warburtons, she heard Felicity say, "You’d better go and talk to Stuart. That snake in leopard’s clothing is busy trying to seduce him again." Heather went over to Stuart to practice her charm on him. Helia turned away and came to Hillary. "Be a dear," she said, "I told him you don’t like sharing. I asked if he would mind swopping with you. He’s got a tent all to himself. He’s agreed to let you have his tent and he will move in with me. Be a dear and don’t ruin my chances," she pleaded. Hillary would not have expected this of Stuart but she was glad of the opportunity to get away from Helia. She readily agreed. An idea came to her. It was something she thought would please Helia and provide the others with a few laughs. There was a shop in the foyer that sold African curio’s. On her way in she had noticed in the shop window a magnificent lion skin complete with mane. Her belongings were in Naboomspruit in safe custody and so she had no money with her. She borrowed some from Odille and bought the lion skin. After dinner Helia and Hillary went to their tent. Hillary had to collect her things. She told Helia that she had a plan that would make her sure of Stuart’s affections for ever. Stuart was very fond of lions. They had both seen his interest in the lioness that evening. What could be more romantic, and in keeping with the atmosphere of Motswari, than a woman in a lion skin? She could wait for him at the entrance of the tent and spring on him as he entered,
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smother him with kisses and then be led by her instincts, or his. Helia thought it a good idea and was pleased with the gift. Hillary left and Helia prepared to welcome Stuart. Stuart and some of the widows remained on in the lounge. As host Stuart was obliged to remain there until last. As Hillary was climbing the steps up to Stuart’s tent, two black figures came out of the shadows and pounced on her. They looked like black panthers. For one moment she thought it was a joke but the violence with which she was pulled off the steps made her realize it was no joke. She landed on her back in some kind of box. One panther jumped on top of her and tore open her blouse. the other panther yelled, "Make sure you get the main artery. That’s right, there!." There was a smell of bitter almonds as the figure lunged towards her with a syringe in his hand. For one moment she thought it was all over. Quick as lightning she grabbed the hand with the syringe. With superhuman strength she was able to arrest it just as the point touched her skin. It remained there for what seemed a lifetime as she struggled with her opponent. Her screaming brought the security guard over. He came running, brandishing his baton. The two figures disappeared into the shadows as suddenly as they had arrived. The security man helped her out of the box. She saw that it was wide in the middle tapering towards the ends. It was a coffin. As the security man shone his flashlight over it she saw there was a card in it. It was the size of a playing card. There was a picture on it. It was a picture of a red disa, that rare orchid that grows only on Table Mountain. She was shaking all over, the adrenalin still pumping. The security guard helped her to the main complex. He called the manager. The manager called a doctor who gave her a thorough examination. He was glad to report there was no injury. They believed it was a rape attempt. She did not tell them about the syringe and the smell of bitter almonds. She did not want them to call the police, being afraid they would discover that she had escaped from the "loony bin." She was enjoying her solitary confinement. She did not want to go back to the real thing. She made light of the attack. Odille came to comfort her. She warned her sister not to walk around alone at night. She was to keep her co-investigator informed of her movements. The manager appointed a special guard to stand outside Hillary’s tent all night. Stuart collected his things and went to Helia’s tent. A great reception awaited him. Considerations of etiquette require that a veil be drawn over it and subsequent events. Hillary could not sleep. She was puzzled by the evening’s event. How had her attackers known she was there? The card indicated they were working for the Red Disa. She was supposed to be in the "loony bin" in solitary confinement. Only one or two people knew of her whereabouts. Dr. de Villiers probably knew. Could he be the Red Disa? Had he planned her outing so that she could be murdered secretly in a remote part of the bushveld? It seemed unlikely. The
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"black panthers" were almost certainly Butcher and Blackhench. That was their style. Perhaps they had trailed Odille knowing that she would lead them to her. That seemed the most likely explanation. But who are they working for? Who is the Red Disa? While she was still trying to solve this puzzle her guard lifted the tent flap to tell her she had a visitor. Her name was Heather Warburton. He asked if he could admit her. She gave permission. Heather was surprised to see Hillary. "Where’s Stuart?" she asked. "I’m hiding him here under the blanket," Hillary replied. "I didn’t really want to come," Heather explained in a plaintive voice, "But Mama insisted. She said if I did not make my move now we might have to live in Naboomspruit for the rest of our lives." "Well, what are you waiting for? Come in and make your move now," Hillary invited her. Heather decided she would rather go back to her own tent and left without further ado. Hillary was alone again but only for a little while. Her guard admitted another visitor. There, in the moonlight, she saw a woman in a scanty nightdress, her hair and face beautifully made up. She smelt like a perfume shop. On seeing Hillary she beat a hasty retreat. At last Hillary fell asleep. She dreamt she was being racked by Mary Shrink. But why was she wearing a lion skin? "Are you still getting ideas?" she asked. Hillary tried to reply that she wasn’t but the words would not come. "Take the tension up to ten thousand," the lion-skinned Dr. Shrink commanded. Next morning the guests were awakened before sunrise by servants bringing coffee. they were advised that it was the best time to see the game. Hillary lay on her comfortable bed sipping coffee in between watching game with the binoculars. She was happy, It was so peaceful. At breakfast Hillary recognized the woman who had come in the scanty nightdress. Seeing Hillary, she asked, "What’s he like to sleep with?" "Better than anything you could imagine," she replied. Mrs. Warburton had arrived on the scene and heard what was said. "Filthy harlot," she commented. Helia wanted to know why her friend was being called such a rude name. "She seduced Stuart last night," Mrs. Warburton explained. "Oh, Hillary, you didn’t?" said Helia amused. "I slept in his tent." "You’d better be out of there before tonight if you want to be alive tomorrow," Mrs. Warburton warned. Hillary laughed. A newcomer on the scene wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

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"She slept with him last night," Mrs. Warburton explained. "I warned her; we don’t want any unprincipled behaviour on this tour." "Bully for her," commented the newcomer. After breakfast the group departed on a hiking trail. The handsome game ranger who had driven the Land Rover the day before led the way. Heather walked alongside him. It was clear to everyone, and especially her mother, that she enjoyed his company. Mrs.. Warburton caught up with her daughter. "Leave him alone, Stuart’s your man. This game ranger will never be able to support us on his miserable wages. My child, you must learn to be more discerning. Go and walk with Stuart." Heather ignored her mother and continued to exercise her charms on the game ranger. Her mother tried again to persuade her. "Don’t make a fool of me, Mother," she said. Felicity was upset by her daughter’s rebellion. It was not every day that a man of Stuart’s enormous wealth came along. In her charming and beautiful daughter she believed she had the perfect bait. Now Heather was spoiling it by going after this penniless game ranger. It was a pleasant day, if a little warm. Their route lay along the river bank for most of the way. The dense vegetation provided shade. Hippopotami, crocodiles and bush pigs were the main animals to be seen. After some distance Felicity complained that she was feeling tired. Stuart decided they would picnic in a nearby shady nook. The surrounding country was completely wild and its atmosphere totally African. This atmosphere has been known to do strange things to people. It arouses primitive instincts long dormant in the city dweller. There is a feeling of remoteness, of having left civilization and civilized norms far behind, of being in the jungle where the law of the jungle prevails. Africa is romantic. It casts its spell over those who dare to enter into its secret parts. Normally staid married women have been known to make sudden passionate, even violent, romantic advances on unsuspecting game rangers. Women approaching middle age are particularly vulnerable. Rhodesian women even more so. This is part of the very special charm that ex-Rhodesian girls are noted for. Game rangers are a particular target but any man could be attacked in this way. The more manly and handsome he is the more likely he is to become a target. Stuart’s party consisted of himself, a handsome game ranger, two porters, and seventeen attractive women. While lunch was being prepared, Africa was casting its spell. The men were accustomed to this life. It was the women who were becoming intoxicated by it. Unwisely, champagne was being served. Experienced travelers in the wilds of Africa know how dangerous this is. It enhances the spell. Then anything can happen.

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Helia was wearing a leopard skin leotard which left her substantial thighs exposed. Soft leather hiking boots and a felt hat with a leopard skin band completed her outfit. She looked regal, primitive, savage. She had gained an advantage over her rivals and she was determined to maintain it. The night before, like a lioness, she had pounced and made her kill. Her unsuspecting victim had been unable to offer any resistance. She was determined to protect her prize. Felicity was also coming under the spell of Africa. Deprived of her daughter’s attack, she was weighing up her own chances. Was she not a handsome and desirable woman? She was still young enough to be attractive to Stuart. Does not old wine taste the best? The thought of spending the rest of her life in a poky little flat in Naboomspruit was unbearable. In Rhodesia they had been much better off. That was when her husband had been alive and the Smith government in power. This was probably her last chance of a better life. She had to make a move. Besides, under the influence of the spell and the champagne, Stuart was becoming irresistibly attractive to her sexually. This was her last chance of a romantic attachment to a man she could fall in love with. While lunch was being prepared, Felicity saw Stuart disappear into the bushes. She decided to follow him. He went a little way and then stopped to examine something on the ground. "Leopard spoor," he said as Felicity caught up with him. "That’s not surprising, that leopard has been following you round all day," she said. "How about something more refined? Like the special charm that only Rhodesian girls have." "Oh, yes?" "Yes, we Rhodesian girls have got it — like no others. And I’m the best to come out of Rhodesia. You’ll have the time of your life — unforgettable! You’ll never regret it." She drew Stuart closer to her. She compressed him against her bosom. She drew him into a dense clump of undergrowth. The fragrance was pleasant. It mingled well with Felicity’s perfume. She felt a compulsion to do this. Her love for Stuart had become overpowering. She wanted him. Even more, she wanted him to have her. She wanted him to have her now, right here in the bush, under the African sun. Her instincts were overwhelming. She had to give herself to him. She had to be his. What a fool she had been to try and push Heather on to him. She herself was meant to be his. She pressed her wet lips against his. She was afraid he might reject her, but he didn’t. His arms were around her caressing her. His embrace was tightening. How strong those arms were. She was his. His embrace proved it. Surely he would never let her go. She pulled him towards her with all her strength. She could feel his thighs against hers. What ecstasy! The undergrowth hid them.

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Lunch was served in their absence. They all wondered where Stuart was. Felicity’s absence was not noticed, not even by Heather who was now totally absorbed in the yarns of the game ranger. Helia was ranging round the group like a leopard on the prowl. Stuart suggested to Felicity that she return to the group by the way she had come. He would arrive later and from a different direction. Felicity’s arrival went unnoticed except by Helia who looked at her suspiciously but said nothing. Stuart arrived fifteen minutes later from the opposite direction. He said he had found a leopard spoor and had followed it to a leopard in a tree. He wanted to take the group to see it but Helia insisted he have lunch first. Stuart led the way to the leopard followed by the game ranger who was armed with a rifle. They found the leopard and watched it from various vantage points. As they were leaving the leopard site, the girl who had gone visiting in a scanty nightdress asked Stuart to lag behind the group as she wanted to give him "a little something." It proved to be very passionate and not so little. That night, after dinner, they had a bible study. Stuart read to them from James, Chapter 1, verse 27: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. He said that when he had first read that he had nearly torn the treads off his tyres in his zeal to practice it. He drew their attention to the fact that they were all widows except Heather and Hillary and Odille who were fatherless girls. In visiting them he was practicing the pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father. He then made a startling revelation. From I Corinthians, Chapter 7, verse 39, he read: The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. It is entirely up to the widow. She is at liberty to be married to whom she will. There is only one restriction, the man to whom she is to be married must be in the Lord. Stuart mentioned that he was in the Lord. Any widow who so willed was at liberty to be married to him. Those widows who had not already done so now proposed to Stuart. Thus the word was confirmed in accordance with Mark, Chapter 16, verse 20. Stuart accepted them all. Stephen, the handsome game ranger, proposed to Heather. Stuart and Felicity announced the engagement of their daughter, Heather, to Stephen. They celebrated with tea and cake. For once, Stuart was alone. He sat on a couch, drinking tea. Having realized their ambition, those who had been rivals for his attention no longer sought him out. Hillary, after hearing what he said that evening, thought it most likely that he was Towly. He made a point of being generous to widows and

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fatherless children. It was logical to think that he was her benefactor. He had probably become aware of her and her sister through Uncle John, who also was concerned for widows and orphans. Indeed he had done a lot for her and Odille. She decided to find out more about him.

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Chapter 17
Things Impossible
"You’re a very puzzling person," she began, "Most Christians believe they can only have one wife but here you are with many. How do you account for that?" "There is a lot that our churches teach that is not from the bible but, instead, is man made tradition. The Lord Jesus warned us about this. He said to the Pharisees that they make the word of God of no avail in order to honour their tradition. Things haven’t changed that much. We still have Pharisees in our midst. There are a lot of things that people think are in the bible but in fact are not. "As an example, how many wise men came from the East to worship the newborn Saviour and to bring Him their gifts? Come on, you must know the joke about Bethlehem of the Orange Free State." "Three," she replied. "That’s what most people believe. In fact, nowhere in the bible is the number given. Where do you find the marriage vows in the bible?" "I don’t know. Where do you find them?" "Nowhere, they’re not in the bible. And so it goes on. Often Africans come to me asking for money for the funeral of a relative. They tell me that the bible says we must give our relatives the best funeral we can afford. I ask them for chapter and verse. No one has yet been able to give them to me. That is a tradition of the black man that many take for scripture. They are trying to get me to give their relatives the best funeral I can afford. One thing they do believe in is the resurrection from the dead. Some come regularly once a month for funds to bury the same relative, over and over again. "Now about my polygamy, the Lord Jesus says in Luke 18:29-30 that there is no man who has left a wife for the sake of the kingdom of God who shall not receive manifold more in this present age. I left a wife for the sake of the kingdom. Now I am receiving manifold more wives. This scripture is confirmed in Matthew 19:29 where the Lord Jesus says that everyone who has forsaken a wife for His name’s sake shall receive a hundred fold. It follows that where a wife is forsaken for both the Lord’s name’s sake and the sake of the kingdom of God that he will receive manifold more hundreds of wives." Hillary went on to question him about himself. Where did he get all this money that he gave away so freely?

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He was an accountant by profession. His surplus earnings he invested in industrial blue chips. When he was forty-nine his father died leaving him a fortune which he added to his investments on the stock exchange. A shrewd long term investor, he multiplied the value of his investments many times over. Eventually their worth was nearly a billion rands. Many people, including his wife, had tried to make a Christian of him. He had resisted that. To him Christians had seemed mad. His eldest son had become a Christian and had sold up all and given the proceeds to the poor and had followed the Lord Jesus. In Stuart’s eyes he had gone mad. He had believed that people who read the bible a lot went mad. He refused to read the bible. He would not allow the bible to be read in his presence. Something inside him kept saying, "One thing still you lack. If you would be perfect, sell up all that you have …" He had no peace. The thought of selling up all his shares that had taken him so long to accumulate seemed like madness. He couldn’t sleep. He had to take sleeping pills. The irony of it was that his son, who had sold everything he had and given the proceeds to the poor, and now had nothing, was as happy as the day is long. He had no difficulty sleeping and, although he had nothing, he never lacked anything. Stuart, by contrast, had no peace. He contemplated suicide. The voice inside him became more persistent, "One thing still you lack ..." Eventually he could stand it no longer. He grabbed his wife’s bible. He read Luke 18, the account of the rich young ruler. He saw that the rewards promised were very great. He rushed to sell up all he had and to distribute the proceeds to the poor. He read that passage in James, Chapter 1, verse 27 about the pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father. He was overcome with zeal. All the widows in the church were given new houses and new cars. He gave them the best. He imported many Silver Smokes and Cornishes, generally regarded as the best cars in the world. He concealed his part in this so that the Lord Jesus could have all the glory. The gifts were stated to be from the Lord Jesus. His wife was horrified. She had prayed for his salvation for sixty years. All she had really wanted was a husband who would go quietly to church with her and listen to the sermon. She rued the days she had prayed for his salvation. It seemed the LORD had done her a shot in the eye. "So that’s where Agnes Halfshaft got her house and car," Hillary interrupted. "Your wife prayed for you for sixty years? But you only look about half that! How can that be?" "My youth has been renewed in accordance with Psalm 103, verse 5." "How old are you?" "I’m eighty-nine." "Good heavens. I took you to be thirty-five."

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Stuart continued to explain. The news of his generosity got round very quickly. Every needy person in the surrounding districts came to his house for handouts. He gave freely to everyone. They were besieged twenty four hours a day. Some came through the windows, some down the chimney, like Father Christmas. His wife complained to the elders of her church. The elders declared Stuart to be ill. They tried to get him to seek medical advice. Instead, he called for the elders to pray the prayer of faith over him in accordance with James, Chapter 5, verses 14 and 15. A person doing that is raised up, restored, and, if he has committed sins, forgiven. As the elders prayed the prayer of faith over him he was restored to the prime of life. When they had started praying he was a wrinkled old man with grey hair. When they finished he looked like a man in the prime of life with sleek black hair just as he had in his youth. The elders couldn’t believe their eyes. They had prayed with their eyes closed. When they opened them there was this younger man before them. They were visibly disturbed and were quick to take their leave. Even his wife could not believe he was her husband. He looked like the day she married him, sixty years before. The elders tried to convince her that he was an impostor bent on doing her out of her wealth. She asked him to leave. He went to the Transkei as a missionary. The actions of his wife and the elders resulted in his being sent to a mental institution for observation. He was certified mad. They thought he was a young man who thought he was eighty nine. They would not believe he was who he said he was. They tried to make him tell them who he really was. Deadwood had him transferred to Naboomspruit. He was being racked by Mary Shrink. She kept asking him if he still thought he was Stuart Tall. When he answered that he did, she would increase the tension. He was getting taller as a result. "Stuart Tall? Is that your name? I know a John Tall." "He’s my son." "Incredible! He looks more like your father." Glenda Turnbull, the matron, believed his story and had become one of his manifold more wives. She had secretly given him a key to his cell. He often made secret excursions late at night, sometimes in the company of Glenda, as on the night they had taken her to Lucy’s home. Like Hillary, he was now in solitary confinement. At this point Odille joined them. "You must hate me," she said to Stuart. "What makes you say that?" "Look at all the stuff you bought my sister. And me, what did you buy me?" "We’ll stop in Tzaneen and I’ll buy you all you want," Stuart offered. "No, it’s too late now. I don’t want it. It’s not the same. You should have given it to me without my asking. Now I know you hate me."
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Next day they had a leisurely trip back to Naboomspruit. The other women were dropped at the hotel but Hillary and Odille were taken to Glenda’s home. There they stayed until midnight. Then, donning their pale green nurse’s uniforms, they went to the hospital. Odille unlocked Hillary’s cell. A minute later she locked it again, leaving with her sister’s uniform over her arm. The next morning Dr. Shrink ordered the paramedics to be ready with the life support systems. Hillary had been without food or water for three days. Would she be in urgent need of resuscitation? Would she still be alive? They all stood wondering what they would find when they opened her cell. A messenger arrived from the bank with the key. This was the moment everyone had been waiting for. Hillary emerged looking like she had just returned from a holiday at the coast. She was smiling. Her cheeks were a deeper pink. Her suntan had darkened. She looked the picture of health. The onlookers were amazed. Dr. Shrink was disappointed that she did not have to use the life support systems. She put Hillary on the scale. As she was about to enter 54kg in Hillary’s file, she noticed that she had been only 52.5 at the start of her confinement. "That’s impossible," she said to herself. "I’ll have to get Dr. de Villiers to check the scale." She entered 51kg.

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Chapter 18
Where the Red Disa grows
After tea Hillary was taken to the rack room for further rack therapy. She was fastened in the stocks by one of the orderlies. Dr. Shrink was busy with another patient in the cubicle alongside. "Give me his file," she heard her say. Then, "Suffers from delusions of grandeur. Thinks he is a ninety year old multimillionaire. At other times claims he is the Lord Jesus." Hillary realized that the patient was Stuart. "He is an extreme case," she heard Dr. Shrink say, "He will need very severe treatment. Start at 1000 newtons." A little later she heard Dr. Shrink call out, "What is your name?" "Stuart Tall," came the reply. "That is not your name. What is your real name?" "That is my real name." "Take the tension up to twelve hundred. So it went on. The tension was taken up to two thousand four hundred newtons but they could not break the patient. Hillary felt compassion for him. She resolved to help him as soon as she could. Clearly Stuart and Towly were one and the same. At the time he left the card and the cheque for her he could have been in "solitary." That would explain how he came to be in Pietermaritzburg. That was why he left her the cheque, so that she could track down the Red Disa and set him free. Her therapy was much as before. She was quick to declare that she would drive within the speed limit in future. That shortened her treatment. Early the next morning she was awakened by someone coming into her cell. It was Mary Shrink. She was unable to sleep and asked if Hillary would sit with her in the garden for a while. She agreed. They sat on a bench overlooking the pool. Dawn was about to break. There was a wall beyond the pool. Suddenly a man’s hands appeared on the top of the wall. Then the whole man appeared. For a moment he sat on the wall. Then he jumped down and started walking towards them. He was singing, "I’m walking on the water, I’m walking on the sea, I’m walking with Jesus, He’s walking with me." The man was Stuart. He was obviously in a hurry. Instead of walking around the pool, he walked over it. He walked on the water. As he passed them he greeted them cheerily. He really was in a hurry for instead of going through the door he took a short cut through the wall of his cell. For some time Mary sat openmouthed with astonishment. When she recovered her ability to speak, she said, "Did you see that?" Hillary decided she would have some fun. "See what?" she asked. "Did you see a man walk across the pool on the water and then walk through that wall?"

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"No," Hillary said, "I saw no man." "Then I must be going mad." she rubbed her eyes. "I must stop drinking that cheap sherry." "Perhaps a little rack therapy would help?" Hillary suggested. "Look what it has done for me." "You’re right, but please don’t tell anyone. Promise you won’t tell anyone." Hillary promised. They went to the rack therapy room. Hillary fastened Mary’s feet and shoulders in the stocks. She sat at the computer console. "Start at two hundred," Mary said. Hillary took it up to four hundred. "Two hundred it is," she said. Mary winced. "What is your name?" Hillary asked. "I’m Mary Shrink, Doctor of psychiatric medicine, graduate of the University of North Alaska." "Did you have an hallucination about a man walking on the water?" "Yes." "I’m taking the tension up to four hundred," Hillary said. She took it up to eight hundred. Dr. Shrink screamed. She tried to hold back the tears in her eyes. "Did you see a man walk on water?" "No, I did not see any man walk on water." "End of treatment," Hillary said. "Like you said, it works every time. How silly, those Americans who say it doesn’t work." She took the tension back to zero and released the stocks. Dr. Shrink was crying. She said her back was very sore. She excused herself and had two glasses of cheap sherry before going back to bed. When it came to the time for Hillary’s treatment, Dr. Shrink told her that her treatment had been successful and that she had recommended to the board that she be released immediately. Then she added that all the patients had recovered sufficiently not to need further rack treatment. She had recommended that they all be released. Then she started crying and said her back was sore. Hillary massaged it for her with liniment. When they served her lunch, Glenda told her that the board had agreed to her immediate release and that she was free to go as soon as she had eaten. The door of her cell was left unlocked. There was a card under her saucer. It read: LOOK FOR THE RED DISA WHERE THE RED DISA GROWS. It was signed, "Towly." Now she was sure that Stuart was Towly. She had at last succeeded in getting him released. That was obviously why he had set her on the trail of the Red Disa. That was one mystery solved. Now for the Red Disa.
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She was sure he was Deadwood but she had to prove it and have him apprehended, together with his two henchmen. It was all clear to her now. Deadwood was robbing the widows of the things Stuart had given them. They did not want this made known so they had to get rid of Stuart and her. Now that they were being released, they would have to be on guard against the cyanide men who would now be more determined than ever. Odille arived just as she finished her lunch. "I’ve come to take you to Lucy’s. Your car is there," she said. Hillary showed her the note from Towly. "Good," she said, "It grows only on Table Mountain, so you will have to come to Cape Town with me. Leslie has fixed me up at the ‘Moonscape’ where I’ll be taking turns with Lucy as ‘The Fairy Dancer.’" Odille had to see Leslie to get a copy of her contract. Leslie was surprised to see Hillary with her. He asked if she did not also want a contract. She declined. She told Leslie of the card she had received from Towly. He confirmed that the Red Disa grew only on Table Mountain. She asked after Deadwood. Leslie had not seen or heard of him since the day he was hanged at Loch Athlone. He hoped he was still alive as he did not want to lose his best customer. Hillary phoned the Ranch Motel to find out if Prince Andrew had left any messages for her. He hadn’t. She was disappointed but she was looking forward to her visit to Cape Town. She had not been there before. She would have the company of Odille and Lucy and might get an opportunity to dance at the Moonscape and earn some money. When they joined the queue to check in for the flight, Hillary noticed a man a few places ahead of them. There was something familiar about him. He was wearing a neck brace which made it more difficult to recognize him. As he turned to leave the check-in counter she saw his face. It was Deadwood. He did not see her. That confirmed that he was the Red Disa. Obviously Towly must have had foreknowledge that he would be going to Cape Town and that was why he had alerted her. Odille agreed that her suspicions were well founded. In walking to their seats on the Airbus they passed Deadwood. A very attractive girl in the seat next to his was receiving his full attention. Hillary wondered if he was on another revival campaign similar to the one he had conducted at Loch Athlone. Hillary had a window seat. As they approached Cape Town she had a splendid view of the du Toit’s Kloof Mountains. It was the first time she had seen fold mountains. They were completely different from the block mountains of Natal. The scenery exhilarated her. The Cape was exciting. She sensed adventure. Deadwood hired a car. The two girls did the same. Their mission was to track down the Red Disa. Deadwood was their prime suspect. They decided to follow him. He left the airport with the attractive girl beside him. They booked in at the Cape Moon Hotel. That suited Odille as the Moonscape was part of that
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hotel. They waited until Deadwood and his companion had been shown to their room before they entered the foyer. They did not want Deadwood to know that he was being followed. The Moonscape had provided special quarters for Odille. Hillary was pleased to book her own room. Odille would be performing until late at night and might disturb her if they shared a room. Looking out of her window, Hillary saw that the hotel was built in the form of a rectangle with a large courtyard in the middle. She ordered a meal in her room and then went to bed. It had been a busy day. Hillary was up early the next morning. She had breakfast and then decided to explore Cape Town on foot. Cape Town was different. It had an atmosphere all its own. She was fascinated by the quaint narrow streets with their romantic sounding Dutch names. It was in one of these streets that she came across a small but elite motor showroom. It contained a few Silver Smokes and a Cornish in two shades of green. She was sure that was the car Prince Andrew had used to take her out. She entered to have a closer look. A smartly dressed young lady appeared and asked if she was interested in the car. Hillary said she had seen one like it in a showroom in Roodepoort and she wondered if this was the same car. The salesman there had assured her that it had been Prince Andrew’s. It was apparently unique. The lady said she would have to call the manager. When he appeared she recognized him immediately. He recognized her too. His expression changed to one of dismay and unbelief but he quickly recovered his composure. "Yes, it is the one that was Prince Andrew’s and it is unique," he said, pretending not to recognize her. He offered her a ride but she declined. She did not trust him. She thanked him and left as quickly as she could. She had a premonition that something unpleasant was about to take place. She slipped into an alleyway and looked to see if she was being followed. Two men emerged from the showroom and started running in her direction. They passed her hiding place without seeing her. At the intersection they stopped and looked all around. Then they turned round and started running back. They must have realized she had turned into the alleyway. She darted up the alley only to find that it was a blind alley. She would have to fight her way past the men. They each had a knife. They lunged at her, knives flashing. She dodged the one, grabbed the other by the wrist that held the knife and helped him on his way. He collided with the wall. The other lunged again. He obviously had no idea of the speed with which Hillary could move. In a trice she was behind him. A terrific kick in the pants added to the momentum of his lunge. He ended up against the wall. They came at her again. This time they were on the blind side of the alley. She dodged their knives again and landed on each in turn a tremendous kung fu chop. Their knives went flying. This time they did not get up. She was about to attack them

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again. They lay on the ground, pleading for mercy. She left them and ran out of the alley. After that she felt she needed some refreshment. She went to a restaurant in the Golden Acre. She ordered coffee and a Black Cat peanut butter sandwich. While she was waiting she saw Deadwood come in. He was still wearing the neck brace. On his arm was the same attractive girl. She had light gold hair down to her shoulders. Her features were unusual but very handsome. Her complexion was olive and her eyes dark brown. She wore an elegant beige dress with matching shoes and ostrich leather handbag. Hillary held the menu up in front of her face so that he would not recognize her. When the waiter came she asked him to add a newspaper to her order. Behind the newspaper she was safe. Deadwood chose a table on the other side of the restaurant. He and the girl seemed to be having an argument. They both looked unhappy. She could not hear what they were saying. She waited until they had gone. Then she went window shopping in the Golden Acre. There were many elegant shops. She bought some items of clothing. There was an adult shop. Amongst its strange wares were some life size inflatable dolls. She wondered who would buy those. Another shop sold binoculars and cameras and many interesting devices. She looked to see if there was anything she could use in her profession. She bought a tiny pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass and a minute spy camera. Then she saw something that really interested her. It was an infrared listening device. The picture on the box showed a beam being reflected from a window and the reflected beam being received by a detector. The operator was listening with a pair of earphones connected to the detector. She bought one. It was expensive but she still had most of her earnings from Loch Athlone. If necessary, she could always provide Lucy and Odille with some time off. She also bought a small tape recorder so that she could record messages received by the device. The device had one small snag. In order for the beam to be reflected back in the direction of the receiver it had to be aimed perpendicularly onto the window pane. This meant the operator had to be directly opposite the window. She tried out the device when she got back to her room, aiming it at the window directly opposite. It worked. She could hear the sound channel of the TV set in the room. She wanted to use it to hear what Deadwood and his friends had to say to one another in private. Before she could do that she had to find out which room he was in. A phone call to the reception desk did it. His room was one floor below hers and a bit to one side. She located the room in which the device would have to be placed. A handsome tip to the chamber maid enabled her to try it out. She heard nothing from Deadwood’s room. Presumably he was out. Another tip and the maid opened Deadwood’s room and switched on the TV. It was all right, she could hear the sound clearly. The room where she needed to

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install the device was occupied by a company representative. According to the maid he always came in for lunch. Hillary changed into her sexiest clothes and sprayed herself with her best perfume. She hoped to make an impression of the representative in the hope that he would be cooperative. Shortly before lunch time she went to the foyer to await his arrival. She knew his room number and so she would know him when he asked for his key. She waited near the reception desk. Eventually a smartly dressed man asked for the key number that she was listening for. He was given his key and he turned to go. Hillary was about to speak to him when she recognized him. He was none other than Ken Roberts. She turned the other way but too late. The change in his expression showed that he had recognized her. He was not pleased to see her. She would have to make another plan. That afternoon she phoned Uncle John. He was an optical physicist and knew all about the device she had bought. He explained to her that she could use it with the beam at an angle to the window if she placed the transmitter and receiver at different positions. He explained how to do it. From her room she aimed the beam at Deadwood’s window. Using the instructions Uncle John had given her she worked out where the beam would be reflected to. She estimated it would strike a window on the first floor. Still in her best clothes, she determined the number of the room she needed to use. It was locked. Again she waited in the vicinity of the reception desk. After some time a man asked for the key of that room. He looked like a helpful type. Besides, he was handsome. She followed him into the elevator. There were just the two of them. She invited him to join her for a drink. He replied, "No thanks, I don’t go for prostitutes." He left the elevator and hurried down the corridor. She followed him. "Please I need a favour from you," she called after him. The man stopped. She explained that she needed to install a device in his room. When he heard her story he became cooperative and helped her set it up. With the transmitter on her window sill, she located the beam reflected from Deadwood’s window by using the receiver in her new friend’s room. Then she changed the transmitter and receiver around. That way she could listen in her own room. When they had finished setting it up he said he would accept her invitation to join her for a drink after all. He showed real interest in her career. She was the first woman private investigator he had met. Until then he had believed they existed only in the movies. He agreed to let her keep the transmitter switched on in his room. Then she could listen in any time she wanted to in her own room. Hillary was pleased that he had been so helpful. She had to admit to herself that she enjoyed being well-dressed. There was something so womanly about it. It
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was strange that he had at first taken her to be a prostitute. While waiting for the elevator to return to her own room, a Japanese man asked her how much she charged. Remembering what a motor car salesman had once told her, she replied, "If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it." She put on the headphones and switched on. She could hear the TV. Good, it was working. She took her new binoculars and looked into his room. He was sitting in an armchair watching TV. She got a book to read and waited with the headphones on in case something should happen. After a while she heard a knock at his door. He switched off the TV. Through her binoculars she could see that his visitor was the attractive girl who had been with him in the restaurant that morning. Greetings were exchanged. "I’ve got something to show you that will make our eyes pop out," she heard him say. He went to the wardrobe and took out a briefcase. Then he put it on the coffee table and opened it. "Now doesn’t that make your heart glad," he said. "Wow! They’re beautiful. Are they diamonds?" "Genuine, every one, worth ten million all together. Half will be yours if you will change your mind and come with me." "I’m scared," she said. "I’m afraid of the sea in that little boat and I’m afraid of the police. What will happen if they catch us?" "I’ll probably get ten years. I doubt they would do anything to you. At worst you’d get a suspended sentence." "I’m scared," said the woman. "You go on your own. Find yourself a nice girl in Spain. With all these diamonds that should be easy. Just give me one big one to remember you by. My mother will help me look after our baby. If it’s a boy I’ll name him after you." "Unfortunately, I have to go. My time has expired. They will be after me soon." "How did you get into this mess?" "It was all that money of Stuart’s. It corrupted me. I became greedy. I had a castle and beautiful girls to dance and strip for me. I got carried away. I became addicted to beautiful girls. I fell in love with them. I fell in love with you. Now you’re carrying my baby. How can I abandon you? I love you. Then came this blackmailer. He threatened to tell the church about me. My reputation and my job are at stake. I’ll lose everything. He gave me a time limit. It expires today. I’ve failed. I’ve got to go." "What about your wife? Don’t you love her?" "Once she finds out she won’t hesitate to divorce me. She thinks I’m a paragon of virtue. Besides she’s a prude. After the wonderful girls I’ve had, she’s so boring."

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"Why don’t you become one of us? The police would never think to look for you in the coloured community. Once the Immorality Act is repealed we could get married. In the meantime you could change your name and appearance. Grow a beard." "I would always be running from the police. Come with me to Spain. There’s no apartheid there. We’d be well off." "You would. You’d have all those Spanish ladies dancing on your table. Then where would I be? No, thanks. I’ve made up my mind. I’m staying here." "Look at these diamonds," Deadwood said persuasively, "They could be yours. You could live in a palace and drive a Silver Smoke. You need never work again." "I’ve made up my mind. I’m staying here," the woman said. Hillary heard the door bang. There was no more conversation. What she had heard amazed her. Deadwood’s access to Stuart’s money she already knew about. His means of getting it could be the reason he expected to be in trouble with the police. He was being blackmailed. What did he mean saying that his time had run out? Who was the blackmailer? Who would be after him soon? He was planning to leave the country in a small boat with ten million rands worth of diamonds in a briefcase. An attractive young coloured woman was carrying his baby. That was probably another reason he would be in trouble with the police. She had probably danced for him. Presumably Leslie had acted as her agent.

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Chapter 19
Salvation and Murder
Hillary continued to listen while reading her book. The door opened again. She recognized the visitor’s voice immediately. It was Ken Roberts. She switched on the tape recorder. "I’ve got good news for you," Ken Roberts said, "Dr. Shrink’s passport has been returned. The police are no longer interested in the case. One or two of the patients may institute civil proceedings. If they do we can settle with them out of court. We still have twenty million rands of Stuart’s money as well as sixteen houses and twelve motor cars. Dr. Shrink has resigned. The rack therapy has been closed down. It’s safe for you to return to Roodepoort." "But what about the diamonds? Some of them are hot. I bought them from a fence in Johannesburg. They were stolen from Lady Margo. The others are the ones Stuart gave to the widows. I was planning to have them re-cut in Spain. I want to get out while the going is good." "I’ll get the diamonds re-cut for you. Then you can let your wife divorce you and you’ll be able to marry Kate. I have it on good authority that the Mixed marriages Act is about to be repealed. The British and American governments are putting pressure on our government to repeal it. No more prosecutions will be made." "But what about Stuart? He will be free now. Won’t he make trouble? And there is the blackmailer. He gave me until today to deliver Debbie Delightful’s body. He said if I failed in that it would cost me my life." "Stuart’s as soft as butter. He won’t make any trouble. If he does, I can handle him," Roberts assured him. "How can you be sure?" "I’ve been twisting him around my little finger. I know the scriptures he preaches, about forgiving and turning the other cheek. I’ll quote them back to him. He’s the least of our problems." "And the girl, Debbie Delightful?" "Yes, she’s our biggest problem. I’ve had her investigated. Her real name is Hillary Keating. You will remember her. We met her in Pietermaritzburg that night, when we were with Bert Richards. She has been deceiving you in her disguise as Debbie Delightful. She is very dangerous. She attended an elite girls’ school in Standerton. To be accepted candidates need a certificate from a magistrate. The girls have a very elite status. They are called the State President’s
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daughters. They are trained in martial arts and the use of firearms. They put a lot of emphasis on sport and physical fitness. She did well in everything. In her final year she was Head Girl and Victrix Ludorum. She was a crack shot with rifle and revolver. She has a double black belt in kung fu and she eats Black Cat peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. "Her kung fu chop is so powerful she can smash armour with it. She was tops in everything: running, swimming — you saw her swim — hockey, tennis, self defence. "Mary Shrink tried to break her on the rack. Usually one thousand newtons is fatal. She took two thousand and only increased one centimetre in height. She went without food and water for three days and it did not affect her in the least. She didn’t even plead for water when she was released. "Yesterday, she followed you to Cape Town. This morning she poked her nose in at the shop, asking dangerous questions about the cars. I sent the knife men after her. Now they’ve quit. They say she plays too rough. And they were Cape Town’s best. "There’s one thing that puzzles me about her. I can’t make out who she is working for. The State President tried to recruit her for the NIS, the National Intelligence Service. She declined. I’m not sure that wasn’t just a cover up. She may actually be working for them, or even the CID." "She was sentenced to death by you know who," Deadwood said. "She is still at large and being very troublesome. I’m blamed. I was made responsible for eliminating her. I was threatened with exposure if I do not deliver her body by midnight tonight. That’s another reason I should leave the country tonight." "I’ve taken care of that too. I’ve had the deadline extended by two days. Leave it to me. I’ll come with a plan at lunch time tomorrow." "What do you propose to do?" Deadwood asked. "I’ll think of something." Ken Roberts left. He promised to return at lunch time the next day. Hillary laughed. "Double black belt, smashes armour. What nonsense! I wonder where Ken Roberts got his information?" Hillary decided she would have dinner at the Moonscape. Then she would have the pleasure of watching either Lucy or Odille dance. It was Odille who was on that evening. Halfway through her act she doubled up in pain. The manager apologized for her not being able to complete her performance. Hillary came to the rescue. She offered to do the act in place of her sister. The manager and the audience were pleased. After completing her act she went backstage to see how Odille was doing. They had called the doctor who had given her something for her stomach cramp. She was feeling better. Hillary did not tell her about her eavesdropping.
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The next day Hillary waited impatiently for lunch time. She was eager to hear about Ken Roberts’ plan to put her in her grave. Ken arrived early. It was obvious he was keen to tell Deadwood the details of his plan. "I’ve hired a good hit man," he began. "He will do the job tonight. He will pose as a doctor and use a cyanide syringe. It’s quick. She will only have pain for a few seconds and then it will be over for her." "I don’t like murder," said Deadwood with a shudder in his voice. "Couldn’t I persuade her to come with me to Spain? You could fake her death." "That won’t work. She is unlikely to agree and you would have to tell her about your plan. Then we would be worse off than ever. No, there’s only one way, distasteful as it is." "I don’t like it. I’d rather hand myself over to the police." "Then we would both have to serve long terms in jail. No, there’s only one way. Nobody likes murder but sometimes it’s expedient. Give me your bible, I’ll show you." There was a short delay. Then Roberts continued, "All things are lawful unto me, but not all things are expedient. "That’s I Corinthians, Chapter 6, verse 12. You see all things are lawful for us Christians. It’s only a question of expediency. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s expedient in this case. "I still don’t like it. Is there no other way?" "No our orders are to have her eliminated. Her body must be put in a large suitcase and taken to Johannesburg as accompanied baggage. You are to go alone from the airport to you know where. There you will open the suitcase in the presence of the Red Disa who will check that it is the correct body. Then the suitcase with the body will be taken to the abandoned mine shaft and thrown down. That way no one will ever find it. No body, no murder charge." "I don’t like it. I’d rather go through with my plan." "Your plan is too dangerous. The coastal patrols will intercept you and search your vessel. Even if they don’t you will have to contend with the rough seas for which the Cape is notorious. It is not called the Cape of Storms for nothing. You have never even taken a boat out on a lake. How do you possibly think you will manage on the Atlantic Ocean.? "No, forget about your plan. It won’t work. You might as well give yourself up to the police. At least they might be able to protect you from the Red Disa. If you fail, and the Red Disa gets you it’s your body that will go down the mine shaft. As far as the Red Disa is concerned, it is either her or you. If you don’t get her, he’ll get you."

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"You’ve convinced me that I should hand myself over to the police and confess everything." "Don’t be silly. You won’t enjoy it in jail. Now listen to me. You know you can trust me. How often have I got you out of jams in the past? Think of it this way. We will be sending her to be with the Lord. Think of it as a good deed. She will be more comfortable there. You will be helping her in her quest. Don’t you remember that night in Pietermaritzburg? She said her car was given to her by Towly. We know that Towly stands for The One Who Loves You. You know as well as I do that Jesus is the One who loves her. She is looking for Towly. We will help her in her quest." "Put that way, I like it a lot better. But what if she’s not a Christian? She might end up in Hell. I could never forgive myself." "We can make sure she goes to be with the Lord," Ken Roberts said. "How can we do that?" "I’m surprised you have to ask. You’ve been doing it every Sunday for the last thirty years. ‘If you were to die tonight, where would your soul spend eternity? Don’t you want to accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour? Is there one tonight?’ We’ll get you up to look like the real thing, white hair and beard. You can knock on her door, preach the word and get her saved." "Is that possible? She’s a stripper and a prostitute. Do you think it is still possible to save her?" Deadwood asked in a skeptical tone. "Of course," Roberts said, reassuringly, "God can save anyone. Don’t you believe what you preach?" "I’d like to pray about it," Deadwood said. "You do that while I make you up for your part." Hillary continued listening. The conversation was most interesting. She heard Ken Roberts ask Deadwood what the Lord had said in answer to his prayer. Deadwood replied that the Lord had said it was a good idea. They must get her saved and send her to Him before she had time to be tempted into sin again. That is the only way to get a stripper saved. "You look like a real man of God. She will never recognize you. Go now and get her saved," she heard Ken Roberts say. It was not long before Hillary heard a knock at her door. She opened it to see an old man with white hair, a beard and a stick. He had a stoop and carried a bible in his right hand. She had been expecting him. Ken Roberts had done quite a good job. Leslie’s artist would have done it better. "If you were to die tonight, where would your soul spend eternity?" he asked. She had been expecting that too. "I haven’t thought about that," she replied.

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"Where would it?" "Unless you give your heart and soul to the Lord Jesus today, you will land up in Hell," he replied. She looked shocked. "Oh, I would hate that," she said. "Won’t you come in and tell me how I can give my heart and soul to the Lord Jesus?" He came in. She asked if he would like tea. She ordered tea for two from room service. He opened his bible and read her a few warnings. Then he asked her to say after him, "Dear Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me. I now repent and follow You. I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord." He read her Romans, Chapter 10, verses 9 and 10 and told her that "Jesus is Lord" is the confession that results in salvation. "What if I fall into temptation and resume strip dancing?" she asked "That won’t happen. It’s impossible now. You will go to heaven like a good girl. You will be with the Lord. Enjoy yourself there." She thanked him for saving her from Hell. He finished his tea and left. When she saw him enter his room again she listened to what he would say to Ken Roberts. "How did it go?" "Just perfect. She was very cooperative. Now that she is saved we can safely dispatch her." "There are a few things we have to do first," Ken Roberts said. "The hit man will need a key to her room. This is what we’ll do: When she goes out, you’ll go to the counter and ask for your key. You will give your room number as 312, that’s her room number. I’ll wait in the elevator with a cake of soap. I’ll make an impression of the key. You will return the key while I take the soap to a locksmith friend of mine. Tonight while she’s asleep the hit man will use our key to enter her room. It will only take a minute. Being asleep, she won’t feel a thing." Hillary was glad she had bought the eavesdropping device. It was expensive but it was money well spent. She was at peace now that she was saved. Now she knew who Towly was. He was the One who loved her. He had given His life for her. He was her Saviour. She was looking forward to going to be with Him. It was kind of Roberts and Deadwood to be so considerate. Towly would know the identity of the Red Disa and what to do with him. She had learned some amazing facts. Deadwood was clearly not the Red Disa. He was being blackmailed by someone, presumably the Red Disa. It seemed the

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identity of the Red Disa was not known to Ken Roberts or Deadwood. He was their enemy as well as hers. She had some urgent shopping to do. She wanted to look her best for Towly. The Golden Acre was her destination. The shops there were so nice. After doing her shopping she went to the beach and collected some large pebbles. On returning to her room she received a phone call from the manager of the Moonscape. He told her that Odille was indisposed and had returned to Johannesburg. Lucy was on that night but he wanted her to take Odille’s place in future. Hillary apologized. She had a previous engagement which involved a long journey to another place. Before going to bed she read Psalm 91. She wasn’t afraid of anything anymore. Perfect love casts out fear. Her love had been perfected. She even felt kindly toward Deadwood and Roberts and the Red Disa, who had ordered her execution. At midnight Ken Roberts parked his car outside the hotel. He wasn’t using the green Turbo Cornish. That would have been too conspicuous. It was the black Cadenza that Deadwood had hired at the airport. He kept the engine running. A smartly dressed man got out of the car and entered the hotel. He carried a doctor’s bag and a large suitcase. The hall porter took his suitcase from him and asked his room number. "Room 312," he answered. The porter carried his case to that room. At the door the smartly dressed man thanked the porter and took the case from him. He explained that his wife would probably be asleep and he did not want to put the light on or make a noise that might wake her. The porter left. With his unsteady hand the smartly dressed man unlocked the door. The top hit men can do their job sober but they charge a lot more than the R10 000 that Ken Roberts had offered this one. It had been explained to him that his victimto-be would be extremely dangerous if awake. It was essential for him to make sure she was asleep before entering. He listened carefully. There was no sound. The light was out. He opened the door a crack and peered in. She didn’t stir. He opened it a little wider. Still she did not stir. He entered. She seemed to be in a deep sleep. He tiptoed over to the bedside. He opened his doctor’s bag and took out the syringe. He was shaking. He knew he would be no match for her if she woke up. He was shaking violently. Anxious to get it over as quickly as possible, he pulled back the bedclothes from her neck. Still she did not stir. He stabbed it hard into her neck where he judged her jugular to be. There was a faint sigh and then silence. He emptied the syringe. It contained enough to kill a dozen elephants. She couldn’t possibly survive. He put the syringe back in his bag. Then he uncovered her arm and felt her pulse. "Good," he said, "Dead already, quite dead." He breathed a sigh of relief.
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Wishing her eternal happiness and asking her forgiveness, he rolled her body out of the bed into the large suitcase. He had to fold her body double to get it in. He locked the suitcase and carried it out of the room. In his drunken state he struggled. It was heavy. He locked the door. His slow erratic course eventually got him to the elevator. When the elevator car arrived there was a waiter in it. It was obvious to him that here was a guest who had imbibed too much. Such incidents were common at that hotel. He took the suitcase from him. He presumed he was on his way to board the late night flight to Johannesburg. He helped him all the way to the waiting car and put his heavy suitcase in the boot. The hit man gave the waiter a tip and then got into the back seat of the car. Ken Roberts drove the hit man to his home and gave him the balance of the R10 000. He had insisted on a deposit before he would do the job. When Ken Roberts returned to the hotel he went straight to Deadwood’s room to inform him of the success of their mission. Her body was in the suitcase in the boot of the car. Later in the day he would be able to deliver it to the Red Disa and recover the videos that the latter was threatening to use to expose him. They opened a bottle of champagne and decided to send a fax to the Red Disa. "Prime objective accomplished," it read. "Suitcase will be delivered today as per your instructions." Ken Roberts put his name on his own suitcase and that of Deadwood. Deadwood’s name he put on the suitcase in the boot of the Cadenza. Deadwood was not feeling well. He was having feelings of remorse. He ate only a little of his breakfast. He was feeling shaky and it showed. At the airport they had two cups of coffee each before joining the check-in queue. When they reached the counter Deadwood was unable to lift his suitcase off the trolley. Ken gave him a hand. The attendant remarked that their baggage was very much overweight. They paid the excess baggage charge. The attendant had to get someone to help her transfer the suitcase to the conveyer belt. As they turned to go, Ken Roberts noticed a girl at the back of the queue. If her body had not been in Deadwood’s case, he would have taken her to be Hillary. The worst of it was that she appeared to be waving at someone at the head of the queue. He looked to see who was responding to her wave. He could see no one. He hurried Deadwood off to the lounge.

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Chapter 20
Bodies and Ghosts
Ken Roberts said nothing to Deadwood about the girl who looked like Hillary. Deadwood was already in a bad way. He wanted to spare him any further worries. The flight to Johannesburg was uneventful. After the plane had landed Deadwood rose from his seat. As he stood in the aisle, someone tapped him on the shoulder. "Hi, Rev," she said. Deadwood looked round to see a girl who looked just like Hillary. She did not wait for him to return her greeting. He collapsed in the aisle. Ken Roberts massaged his heart. A concerned air hostess gave him mouth-tomouth. He said something very softly. The air hostess was kneeling beside him. She heard what he said. "He is saying something about seeing a ghost," she said. "It’s all right," Ken said. "He is speaking in tongues. He has just been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Only God can understand him." "No, he has just repeated that he has seen a ghost," the air hostess said. "That proves he has been baptized in the Holy Spirit. That’s the seventh gift of the Holy Spirit: the discerning of ghosts," Ken Roberts assured her. "Shall I call an ambulance?" she asked. "No thanks. He’ll be all right in a minute." Deadwood recovered enough to walk. Ken Roberts helped him into the arrivals lounge. He suggested they have a meal before they collected their baggage. He did not want to risk having Deadwood see Hillary’s ghost again. By the time they finished their meal the other passengers would have collected their baggage and left the airport. When they had finished their meal they went to the carousel to collect their baggage. As Ken had hoped, all the other passengers had left. There were only three bags circulating on the conveyor belt. They recovered their bags, put them on a trolley and started walking towards the car park. Deadwood expressed surprise at how much weight his bag had lost. He had been able to lift it off the conveyor belt unassisted. He told Ken that he was afraid the authorities had discovered the contents of his bag and removed them; either that, or she had been raised from the dead. He remembered what had happened to him at Loch Athlone. He was so insistent that Ken agreed that they would go to the gents’ cloakroom, lock themselves in, and open the case. To their surprise the key did not fit.

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Then Ken noticed that the label had another name on it. Someone had mistaken Deadwood’s case for his own. They went to the help desk. Someone had just phoned to tell of his mistake and was on his way to exchange cases. The two men breathed a sigh of relief. When the man arrived he said to them, "Your case is terribly heavy. What have you got in it?" Ken Roberts thought quickly. "It’s full of books," he said, "My companion here is a pastor. He’s got a lot of bibles and concordances and things." Deadwood was still worried. His life would be at stake if he arrived with the wrong suitcase or if the body had been stolen. He wanted to make sure her body was still in the case. Again they went to the gents’ cloakroom and locked themselves in a cubicle. Deadwood unlocked the case. He was relieved when the key fitted. He raised the lid a little. An arm popped out. He shuddered as he pushed it back and closed the lid. It was cold and clammy. "I’ll be glad when this is all over," he said to Ken. Deadwood’s instructions were to come alone at a certain time. He was to open the suitcase in front of the Red Disa. After the body had been positively identified as that of the victim, the suitcase would be closed, taken to an abandoned mine shaft and dropped down it. Then the videos that were being used to blackmail him would be given to him and he would no longer be blackmailed. Ken Roberts helped him get the suitcase into the car. Deadwood set out alone to meet the Red Disa at the appointed place. When he arrived he got one of the servants to help him carry the suitcase. The Red Disa was at the table, in the chairman’s seat, a henchman on either side. He wore a black track suit with a black hood over his head. Deadwood and his helper placed the suitcase on the table in front of the Red Disa. "Good," the Red Disa said, "You will get your promised reward. This is what we have all been waiting for. At last that meddlesome girl is out of the way."

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Chapter 21
To the Rescue
After arriving at the airport, the girl who looked like Hillary took her car and raced into town. She ran up the stairs and barged into the office. Leslie was startled by her sudden appearance. There was a visitor in a chair at the side of his desk. She ignored the visitor. "Your game’s up," she said. "I know who you are and what you’ve been doing." Leslie looked even more surprised. "Who I am, and what I’ve been doing? Indeed, I’m sure you know. I am your agent aren’t I?" "You’re more than that. You’re the Red Disa and you’ve been blackmailing the Reverend Deadwood. And you’ve been trying to have me murdered. I know all about Kate, how you got her to dance for Deadwood and get pregnant by him and how you’ve been using videos to blackmail him." "So you’ve exposed my little game, have you? Sherlock Holmes would be proud of you. Who else have you told? Leslie picked up the phone, "This is the Red Disa. Send in two men with guns," he ordered. "It’s no use," Hillary said, " I’m a double black belt at kung fu. I know how to handle gunmen." Two men entered with rifles. They looked most unprofessional, like they had never handled firearms before. They were about to give them to Leslie. "Don’t give them to me," he said, "Point them at her." The men pointed the rifles at Hillary. Like greased lightning she kicked the rifle out of one man’s hand. It broke in two and the pieces went flying. The man uttered a cry of pain and nursed his hand. The second man received a kung fu chop. He lay on the floor unconscious. "Pretty good," said Leslie. "If you weren’t so rough you could have had the part. We’re auditioning for someone to play the part of Purdy in ‘The Avengers,’ but as it is you’ve injured your fellow actors." Hillary took the rifle from the unconscious man. She pointed it at Leslie. He raised his hands high above his head. She tried to cock the rifle. Realizing it was a toy, she threw it away. "Now call the police, " she commanded. Leslie picked up the phone. "Send in a policeman," he said. In came a man dressed as a policeman.

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"Impressive! I’m impressed. Your kung fu is better that your driving. Aren’t you going to say ‘Hello’ to me?" In her anger she had ignored Leslie’s visitor. As he spoke she turned to look at him. It was Graham Grant, against whom she had diced on Town Hill. "I suppose you’re in this with Leslie," she said. "No, I’ve just come from Port Elizabeth," Graham said. "I don’t know what has been happening. It sounds fascinating. Leslie the Red Disa, blackmail and murder? Tell me all about it." "He hired a hit man to murder me in Cape Town," she said. "How naughty of you, Leslie. Was this all part of "The Avengers" production?" "No, it was for real." "Impossible! I’ve known Leslie for a long time. He must have been doing this for one of his productions." "Here’s your policeman," Leslie said, "What do you want him to do?" She was beginning to realize that she was making a fool of herself. There was something about Graham that reminded her of someone. Who was it?" She looked at Graham trying to remember who it was he reminded her of. He was smiling. She looked at Leslie. He had a quizzical smile on his face. Then the penny dropped. "Leslie, you beast!" she said. "Why? If you could be Lady de Rothschild, why couldn’t Graham be Prince Andrew?" "Because he took me in. He took advantage of me, that’s why." "Come now, you’re not going to stop loving me just because I’m not the real Prince Andrew?" "I hate you!" she said with feeling. "Policeman, arrest that man." He put the toy handcuffs on Graham. Hillary took out the magnifying glass she had bought in Cape Town. She examined the handwriting on the notes she had received from the Red Disa. She took out a greeting card from her handbag and examined it with the glass. "What a fool I’ve been. I should have known all along. My God, I hope I’m not too late!" She left as suddenly as she had arrived. She drove at full speed to Deadwood Castle. She prayed she would be in time. The gate was locked. She was over in a trice. She opened the door. On the table in front of Deadwood’s chair was the open suitcase. Arms and legs stuck out in all directions. Out of the corner of

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her eye she saw a figure in black slip out of the door. The glass doors to the patio were open. On the patio sat Deadwood tied to a chair. Blackhench stood with his right arm raised. Butcher had torn open Deadwood’s shirt. he was indicating to Blackhench the position of the main artery from the heart. She was running at full speed. Could she possibly make it? Blackhench’s arm was already on its way down. It seemed impossible. She was too late. Thoughts of Jonty Rhodes went through her mind. She dived. Would she get the bails off before Blackhench made his ground? It seemed like ages but in fact it was only milliseconds. Her hands closed around the syringe. So great was her momentum that all four landed in the pool. She wasn’t sure whether the syringe had entered Deadwood’s chest. He was in the pool tied to a chair, head down. She righted the chair. Mercifully, he was still breathing. Blackhench and Butcher were struggling to get out of the pool. Neither could swim very well. She pushed the chair along as she swam. As she reached the side Blackhench pushed her away. She grabbed his hand and pulled him in. She pushed his head under and held it there. He struggled. She held his head under until she thought he was drowning. Then she let go. He struggled for breath and then struggled to get out. While he was struggling she got Deadwood out. As she was doing so she failed to see Butcher coming. He hit her with a chair, knocking her out cold. When she came to she was bound hand and foot. Deadwood was bound in the same way. The two men carried her to the garage and put her in the boot of a car. They closed the lid and locked it. She heard them walk back into the house. Shortly afterwards she heard them coming back. She presumed they were carrying Deadwood. It seemed they put him on the back seat. Then the car started up and began to move. A few minutes later it stopped and the engine was switched off. The boot lid opened and the men took her out and carried her. She saw they were at a disused mine shaft. It had a tall barbed wire fence around it with warning signs in four languages. The men had cut a hole in the fence. They carried her through the gap and put her down right at the edge of the shaft collar. She could see a considerable way into the shaft. It looked dark and miserable. Butcher took a syringe from his pocket. He broke open a glass phial. There was a smell of bitter almonds. She watched as Butcher slowly filled the syringe with the contents of the phial. When it was full he bent over to inject the contents into her jugular. She felt the needle touch her neck. She pulled away and fell into the shaft. Desperately she clutched at the concrete collar. Her hands were tied. Momentarily she hung there. Then her fingers slipped off the concrete. She was falling. It became dark around her. The air had a foul smell. It was rushing past her with ever increasing speed. She felt it was all over. This was the end.

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Her life passed before her. She saw herself fighting with her sister, breaking plates over her head. She saw the scar on her sister’s forehead that had been made by one of the plates. She saw her mother’s regret at the loss of crockery. How she wished she had controlled her temper and not been so violent. Then she remembered what Deadwood had taught her the time he had visited her in a disguise at the Cape Moon Hotel: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, you shall be saved. "Jesus is Lord," she shouted at the top of her voice. She hoped that would get her into heaven. There was a loud noise. The earth seemed to be shaking. Suddenly she hit water. That was a familiar experience. She often dived off the high board. The water was warm. It smelt foul. She was choking. She hadn’t been prepared for a swim and hadn’t held her breath. That sensation of falling had stopped. Strangely, it felt like she was rising. She surfaced. Thank God, she could breathe again. To her amazement, she saw the walls of the shaft moving swiftly downwards. She was rising. It was getting lighter. Then the full light of day. She was rolling over the ground. Grabbing at the grass she came to rest. There was water all around her. It was now flowing in the opposite direction. She could hardly believe her eyes. She was on the surface some distance from the shaft. The earth was trembling. The water was flowing slowly back into the shaft. Someone was screaming for help. It was Blackhench. He was desperately holding on to Butcher who had been washed into the shaft. He was sliding slowly toward the edge. She rushed as best as she could with her feet tied and grabbed him with both hands. Her hands were still tied so she had to use both hands. "Confess that Jesus is Lord," she shouted to the two men. They both shouted that confession. She hooked her legs around a small shrub. With all her strength she pulled Blackhench on to firmer ground. The water was receding, the ground becoming firmer. They pulled Butcher to safety. Blackhench cut her bonds. Butcher expressed his thanks and apologized. Blackhench also apologized. Deadwood was still in the car with his hands and feet tied. He was surprised to see them return with Hillary, and her unbound at that. They cut his bonds and apologized. He asked what happened. Butcher told him that Hillary had fallen into the shaft. At the same time there was an earth tremor caused by a major subsidence in the mine. They had stopped pumping water in that part of the mine and it was flooded. The subsidence caused water to be pushed up the shaft. That had washed Hillary out again. Deadwood mentioned that it was Thursday, the day of their midweek prayer meeting. It was due to start in a few minutes. He suggested they all attend and give thanks for their deliverance. They drove straight there.

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Chapter 22
Endless Vacation
Pastor Deadwood went on to the platform with his wet suit clinging to him. It was his best suit, all dripping wet from his ordeal in the swimming pool. His three companions who had entered with him were all drenched to the skin. Hillary took a seat in the middle row. Shortly afterwards Mrs. Deadwood entered and sat one seat away from her. She looked at Hillary with distaste. Then she said, "My dear, you’re all wet. And your hair is such a mess. And, if you don’t mind my saying so, you smell dreadful. What on earth have you been doing?" "Swimming in an abandoned mine shaft," Hillary replied. "Isn’t that very dangerous?" "Yes, normally, but, no — not if you know the confession that results in salvation." Hillary was surprised to see Stuart there. With him were Glenda, Felicity and Heather. Dr. de Villiers was there too. As the meeting was about to begin, a lady entered. She wore a brown costume, a brown hat with a veil and brown shoes. Her hair was short, straight and black, her face wrinkled. In her right hand was a walking stick and in her left hand a brown briefcase. She walked slowly, like an elderly lady. She took a seat on the aisle near the back. As usual the meeting began with spirited chorus singing. This continued for a long time. It was followed by prayers, scripture readings and testimonies. While testimonies were being given, the lady in brown who had been sitting near the back came to the front. She switched on the large screen video machine. She started to address the congregation. "I have some Christian videos here that are particularly relevant to this church. You will get a blessing from them," she began. This was the moment Hillary was waiting for. She had some unfinished business. When she had entered Deadwood Castle in such a hurry she had seen out of the corner of her eye a dark figure slip out of the door and disappear. "Give me the car keys," she said to Blackhench, "I’ll be back shortly." Blackhench, who had driven the car, gave her the keys. The lady in brown opened her briefcase and took out a video tape. As she did so Hillary snatched it from her and put it back in the briefcase. Then she grabbed the briefcase and started to run up the aisle. The lady in brown shouted, "Stop her! Stop thief!" A deacon at the entrance tried to stop her with a rugby tackle. She had no difficulty in evading him.
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She drove to the mine shaft. There she entered through the gap her captors had made in the fence. She emptied the contents of the briefcase into the shaft. Then she went back to the church. The lady in brown was back in her seat, weeping. A few people were trying to comfort her. Hillary gave the empty briefcase back to the lady in brown. The meeting was over. Only a few stragglers remained. "What was that all about?" Deadwood asked. "Come to the vestry and I’ll show you," Hillary said. The lady in brown tried to run away. Hillary grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her back. She forced her into the vestry. She called Stuart, Butcher and Blackhench to join them. When the door was closed, Hillary tore off the hat, wig and makeup of the lady in brown. To everyone’s amazement (except Hillary’s), the old lady was suddenly transformed into a beautiful young girl with long blonde hair and smooth pink cheeks. "Gentlemen," Hillary said, "Meet the Red Disa." "Odille!" Deadwood gasped in amazement. Odille turned to Hillary. "I hate you," she said, "I’ve always hated you. You were always Mommy’s little pet. You always had the best and I had to make do with the left- overs. You were always the clever one and I was the dunce. You stole my toys and you broke Mommy’s plates on my head." She pointed to the scar on her forehead. "You had the best schooling and I had the worst. You were always the pretty one and I was the ugly sister. You even stole my boyfriends." Odille broke down and wept. "I hate you, I hate myself, I hate Mommy, I hate everybody. I hate everything!" she shouted. "That’s good," Stuart said. "You sound like you’re ready to become the Lord Jesus’ disciple. He quoted Luke, Chapter 14, verse 26: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. "That’s what I’m going to do," Deadwood said. "I’m going to become the Lord’s disciple. I hate myself. I hate my wife. I hate the things I’ve done. I’m going to return the diamonds to their rightful owners. I’m going to return all the houses and cars to the widows. Then I’m going to the Transkei to minister to the poor. I’m sorry, Stuart, I’ve wronged you. I hope you will forgive me. I’ll be lucky if I’m not sent to jail." "There’s nothing to forgive. I love you, Pastor. When you go to the Transkei, you go with the Lord’s blessing and mine. Go well! Don’t worry about the

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houses and cars. They’re yours. I’ve replaced those given up by the widows," Stuart said. "I also hate myself and what I’ve been doing. I also want to be the Lord’s disciple. I’ll go with you, Pastor," Blackhench said. "Me too. Count me in," Butcher said. "Cheer up, Odille," Stuart said, "You may come with me. We will go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Our first stop will be the Victoria Falls. Preaching the gospel is like a vacation. We’ll have an endless vacation like the RCI motto says. I will be a father to you. From now on you will have the best." Stuart put his arms around Odille and embraced her. She stopped crying and kissed him. "There are two things I don’t understand," he said. "The first is why Hillary wouldn’t let you show your videos. The second is, Why is everybody so wet?" "To answer your second question first, we had an afternoon swim in an abandoned mine shaft," Hillary said. "About Odille’s videos, she was using them to blackmail the pastor. When Deadwood Castle came into the hands of the church the elders had a celebration there. They hired Odille to dance for them. Afterwards the pastor took her to bed with him. Unknown to him she had hired our friends here, Mr. Butcher and Mr. Blackhench, to install secret video cameras to record the events. She was under age. Therefore the pastor could be charged with rape. Moreover she found out about his cheating the widows out of their houses and cars. She threatened him with exposure if he did not do what she wanted. She hired Mr. Butcher and Mr. Blackhench to make sure he toed her line. She demanded large sums of money from him so that he was forced to sell the houses and cars. He used Ken Roberts as his salesman. "She hated me so much she wanted him to organize my murder so that it could not be detected. Mr. Butcher worked in the gold extraction plant of a gold mine. He came up with the idea of giving me cyanide and then dropping my body down an abandoned mine shaft. That would have been the perfect murder. "Odille gave the pastor a time limit. She offered to give him the tapes after my dead body had been disposed of in the required manner. If he failed to do that in the time stipulated she would expose him. He failed. She was going to expose him at tonight’s meeting. "The pastor did not like the idea of murdering me. He did all he could to try and spare me while seeming to comply with my sister’s orders. That is why he sent me those notes signed, ‘Towly.’ He knew I’d solve his problem sooner or later." "What puzzles me," Deadwood said, " Is how you managed to deceive the hit man with a life size inflatable doll."

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"I eavesdropped at your window and heard of your plan to hire a hit man. Then I went shopping at the Golden Acre where I bought the inflatable doll. I bought the de luxe version with self-sealing rubber. I slit it down the back, stuffed it with blankets and pebbles, and then sealed the slit with packaging tape. Then I placed it under the bedclothes. After that I packed my bag and left the hotel by a side entrance. Then I reentered by the main entrance and checked in under the name Debbie Delightful. They put me in room 517 where I spent a comfortable night. In the morning I checked out first as Debbie Delightful and then as Hillary Keating. "I was under the impression at that stage that Leslie Granger was the Red Disa. From my eavesdropping I heard that someone was blackmailing the pastor with videos. Leslie had filmed our performances at Loch Athlone with a black cloth over his head so that he could not be recognized. Naturally I came to the conclusion that he had made a habit of that and that he was the blackmailer." "Well, I’m amazed," Deadwood said. Hillary thought how beautiful Odille looked. She was at the airport to say farewell to her sister who was thrilled by the idea of going into all the world. She could not help feeling a little envious. Stuart was there with Felicity and Heather. He was taking them with him. Hillary felt left out. Not yet sixteen, Odille had been the Red Disa. What an adventure she had given them! How fortunate it had ended so well. It could easily have been otherwise. Hillary watched as they boarded the Air Zimbabwe Boeing. She saw the name on the side of the aircraft, Flame Lily. What a splendid name for the conveyance of the Red Disa from the "City of Flowers." Tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched the Flame Lily lift its nose above the northern horizon and slowly disappear into the blue sky. Forsaken, she wondered if she would ever see her sister again. THE END

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