It was Goodwill’s face on which Bafozi first focused. “Hawu, my brother’s son. Thank the spirits you live. The baas saved you.”
Bafozi rubbed his head. Around him he saw the bobbing headlamps as the workers cleared the last of the fallen rock. He had a bruised body and a sore head, but he would walk in the Sun again. He looked forward to the touch of Salena, the young girl back in the wattle forests in Mbabane.
Jan van Wyk’s eyes met Bafozi’s. He saw that the big man had a questioning expression on his face.
“Ngiyabonga, baas. Thank you.”
Jan nodded briefly, then shook his head with a smile. “You kaffirs and your heads. That’s the hardest part of your bodies,” he laughed.
“Baas, what must we do with the rock face?” one of the workers asked. “It still stands.”
They all turned as Bafozi spoke: “My pick handle is holding it. I saw the rats running and I remembered that the induna told me they know when the earth is about to complain. So, I held it upright to support the rock. It saved my life and is filled with good spirits. I must take it out.”
“Not on this shift, you won’t!” Jan exclaimed.
Bafozi saw a look of fear cross all of the men’s faces as they murmured their anxiety. Jan stated adamantly: “We leave the tunnel to settle and do it tonight, when we come back on shift.”