Rough Diamonds

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Chapter 44

Jack Retief

“Who’s a big girl?” Jack asked two-year-old Kate-Emily, while jogging her up and down on his leg.

“Let’s get out of the house, I feel like going on a drive to see wild animals.”

“I thought you had seen enough last night,” Liz whispered passionately.

Jack growled playfully and then hugged her. “It’s already three o’clock. Yes, let’s go.”

They packed a small picnic and took a bottle of red wine to share, as well as food and drink for Kate-Emily.

Jack drove while Liz cuddled their daughter. Soon she was fast asleep.

“I wonder whether we will see some of the big cats: lions, leopards or cheetahs.” Liz pondered.

“It’ll soon be dusk, and that’s good time for lions to hunt,” Jack said.

A while later, Liz asked Jack to be quiet.

“Sshh, my darling, I think I’ve spotted some lions over there in the bush.” Liz held the sleeping Kate-Emily tightly.

Jack stopped the Land Rover. He stared through the deepening gloom in an attempt to spot the lions.

“Yes, I can see them now,” he answered very quietly. They were looking over at the Land Rover driver’s door.

Suddenly, there was a commotion and a lioness appeared next to the passenger door. Liz screamed in terror in shock at seeing the lioness next to her.

The lioness attacked Liz and pulled her out of the window of the Land Rover. Jack grabbed at her, but it was no use. He managed to grab hold of Kate-Emily before the lioness succeeded in taking her, too.

Jack pleaded and shouted at the lioness to stop. He screamed: “Fuck off, get off of my wife. Let go of her! Shit, shit!”

He was in two minds about whether to offer himself to the lions, but what would happen to Kate-Emily? The image of them all being devoured crossed his mind.

He watched in shock as the lioness dragged Liz away, struggling and kicking. A group of lions then took an interest in their new meal. Kate-Emily was shrieking.

Jako wished he had a gun to shoot the animals. “Oh, no...”

What followed was the horrific sound of bones crunching and growls of pleasure as the lions savoured Liz.

Jack tried to calm Kate-Emily down, but her mother was being eaten by a pride of lions. He turned Kate-Emily away from the hideous scene, but she kept turning back to watch, horrified, seemingly hypnotised.

Jack rushed back to Gaborone to the farm and phoned the hospital. “Liz was taken by lions; I don’t know what to do.” Kate-Emily and Jako were still in shock and Kate-Emily was wailing from the trauma.

The week after the lion attack, a man come to see Jack. He said respectfully to Jack: “You and Kate-Emily have got a name for yourselves. Can I get a picture of you for the newspaper?”

Jack reluctantly agreed. He felt that the game was up, anyway.

The picture went national and was published in all of the major newspapers.

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