Rough Diamonds

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Chapter 23

Mike Retief

“Where’s Fleck?” asked Mike.

“I haven’t seen him all morning,” Mum said. “He likes to go out, but he’s not ever been gone this long.”

A while later, Chris knocked on the door, holding an unconscious Fleck in his arms.

Mike quickly took Fleck from him.

“This car ran the dog down and knocked him into the swamp. I think he was stunned, because he lay there and I had to go fetch him. Luckily, he fell into those reed-like things.”

“They’re called bulrushes,” said Mum. “More importantly, we need to work on Fleck. Let’s clean him up. He looks a right mess.” Fleck lay still, and Mike saw that he was unconscious.

“Oh, Fleck, what have you done?” Mike cried.

The boys took turns to be by Fleck’s side, and Mum made a temporary bed beside Fleck.

The dog had a restless, uncomfortable night, groaning and whimpering. In the early hours of the morning, Fleck let out his final breath.

Mike was with him at the end, but he didn’t have time to call.

“Oh, no, Fleck. Goodbye, my friend,” Mike grieved. He woke the others from his family to break the sad news to them.

They all buried him in the garden, behind the garage, under the trees, where he would lie undisturbed for all time.

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