Death on the Limpopo, by Sally Andrew
Ladismith’s famous crime fighter is back: Death on the Limpopo, by Sally Andrew.
‘The letters, I heard a man's voice saying. ‘Give us the letters.’ I was awake now, the tent dark. I propped myself up on an elbow, and felt around for the pepper spray beside my bed. I heard a zip opening, and torchlight shone in my eyes. ‘Don’t move, or we’ll shoot,’ said a woman’s voice. ‘As you know, this is not a walking stick.’ She brought the tip of the stick into the light. ‘I’m giving you one chance,’ she said. ‘Where are the letters?’ Her torchlight moved around my tent like an unwelcome rat, hunting. ‘I don’t have them,’ I said. ‘So, we’re going to do this the hard way, are we?’ she said, the light blinding me. ‘Where are they?’ ‘I don’t know,’ I said, blinking. ‘Sit up slowly, keep your hands in the air.’ I tried to get up with my hands raised, but it didn’t work. I’m not the sit-up type. ‘I can’t,’ I said. ‘Show me your hands,’ she said. I waved them in the air. It was cold out of the sleeping bag. ‘Outside,’ she said. ‘Now. Move slowly.’ I saw my pepper spray in her torchlight. ‘Don’t even think about it,’ she said. I climbed out in my pink flannel nightie. I could see the woman now, in the starlight. She had a slender body and wore tight black pants and a long-sleeved top, black gloves and a balaclava. Zaba had also been forced out of her tent. She was walking naked towards me, and behind her was a slim man with a torch and a gun. All in black, too. Above us were the Swartberge, their slopes also dressed in black. ‘Zaba, you okay?’ I said. She no longer had bandage on her leg, and I could see the grazes. ‘I’m fine,’ she said. ‘Everything’s fine.’ But it didn’t feel fine. It was really cold out of the tent. My nightie was made for winter, but for inside a bed. I wrapped myself in my arms. Zaba stood relaxed as if it was a sunny day on a nudist beach. ‘This auntie says she doesn’t have the letters,’ the woman said. ‘Ms Zabanguni says the same,’ the man said. ‘We might have to hurt the white woman – to get Zabanguni to talk,’ she said. ‘You told me you had instructions not to hurt us,’ said Zaba, turning towards the man, her voice less relaxed than her body. In the torchlight I could see the bump on her head where this man had hit her the day before. ‘Unless necessary,’ he said. ‘If we don’t find the letters, we’ll do what we have to.’ He held his gun in a black-gloved hand, and pointed it at the centre of Zaba’s chest. To the woman, he said, ‘I’ll watch them, you search the tents.’ ‘Give me my clothes,’ Zaba said. They ignored her. The woman went to Zaba’s tent. I was shivering and shaking now, and it wasn’t just the cold. Zaba looked at me and winked. ‘Hey,’ called the woman. ‘Look what I found.’ She came towards us, carrying Zaba’s backpack, moonbag and gun pouch, as well as her leather trousers and jacket. ‘These weren’t in the car at the caves.’ She unzipped and searched every pocket on the jacket and pants, then she handed them to Zaba. ‘Tannie Maria needs something warm,’ said Zaba as she dressed. ‘Her jacket’s on the car seat.’ The woman went to get my jacket. [...]
This is an excerpt from Death on the Limpopo, by Sally Andrew.
Title: Death on the Limpopo
Subtitle: A Tannie Maria Mystery
Author: Sally Andrew
Genre: Crime Novel South Africa
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa 2019
ISBN 9781415210451 / ISBN 978-1-41-521045-1
Softcover, 13 x 21 cm, 415 pages
Andrew, Sally im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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