Rough Diamonds

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Chapter 37

Mike Retief becomes Stuart Thomson

Sue and Charlie were arguing about what name to give him.

“He looks like a Charles,” Sue said.

“I don’t think so. He’s a Matt or Garth,” Charlie countered and giggled.

Just then, George interrupted them. “What are you arguing about, girls?”

They answered in unison: “Nothing, Dad.” He got the feeling that they were discussing the choice of names.

George had unilaterally decided on Stuart to avoid conflict between the twins.

His full, new name was Stuart Thomson.

Stuart was not tired because he had so much sleep, both the day before and that morning.

He thought about what had happened to him. I must remember, damn it!

But, he couldn’t remember anything. It was just blank. Nothing.

“Damn it!”

At least he could speak English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Sotho. But, that was all he could think of right now.

He thought of the family who’d taken him in: The folks and the twin daughters. The thought of the two girls excited him, but he put those thoughts aside.

He wondered how he’d got in such a state. Covered in mud from head to toe, he must have stumbled and fallen in the dirt. The pain in his head didn’t hurt much any longer.

All he remembered was waking up in the plantation and wandering and wandering until he found the farm.

His thoughts turned to the twins. Sue and Charlie. Just in the first flushes of youth (he thought they were 13), he could sense the start of the slight musky, give-away aroma.

“How did he know so much about life?” he asked himself.

At lunch time, he went through to the living room.

“Hello,” George said. “We’ve decided on a name for you - Stuart. How do you feel about that? Stuart Thomson. We’ve given you our surname, until the mystery of your origins clears up.”

“Yes, I think that’s okay. That’s perfect, until we work out where I come from.”

“Now we’ve an instant brother,” joked Sue. They laughed together.

Months passed and Stuart was puzzled. The memories were not returning. As hard as he tried, there was nothing.

Stuart could see that George had no idea, either. George had investigated, but found no clue to the youngster’s identity.

Stuart had fitted in well with the girls and he didn’t display any sorts of errant behaviour. He saw that in Stuart, George had found the son he’d always longed for.

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