Rough Diamonds

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Chapter 54

Christmas Ndlovu

In the murky darkness, Christmas was shocked to see the madam lying there on the lounge floor. He felt a sticky fluid. She seemed to be covered in blood.

He looked at Madelaine in the dim moonlight. She had been hit over and over with a heavy object and was bleeding profusely from her head. It was running down all over her body.

She felt limp to Chris. She didn’t deserve to die that way. He had been planning to tell her that he didn’t have the diamonds and that they were with Jack.

Just then, there was a startling clatter from the other end of the house. Christmas turned to determine where it came from.

There it was again. It sounded like someone was falling and stumbling about in the dark. He quickly followed the source of the noise.

Suddenly, he heard: “You fucking kaffir!”

He didn’t know the voice, but the man threw all of his weight over Christmas, using as much force as he could muster in the dark. Chris detected alcohol fumes on the man’s breath as he hit the floor.

He heard the person try to make a break for it, but he grabbed at his ankles. In so doings, he felt the bracelet cut into stranger’s ankle, and then an oozing of what felt like thick molasses.

“Yaaah!”, the stranger yelled, as Chris brought the intruder down. They wrestled and traded blows. Suddenly, everything went dark for Christmas.


He came to and realised he’d been hit on the head. Christmas thought he heard a car door opening roughly and then closing again. He heard a vehicle starting and then zooming off. He sat up, stunned, and made his way back to the lounge where the madam lay.

Chris didn’t turn the light on, but he could make out the madam’s body in the moonlight that filtered in through the window.

He felt something sticky on his bracelet. He held the bracelet on his arm so that it could get some light from the moon, and thought: It’s the blood of the murderer. Christmas had an idea to make sure the guilty man didn’t go free. He had to give the evidence to someone. But who? The cops? He was too vulnerable. If he gave it to them, he would be setting himself up.

He looked at the mess the intruder had made. He had to get out of there quickly before someone found him. He was shit-scared.

Where would, or should, he go? The police would arrest him without questioning him. He thought that he could perhaps go to someone in Scallyclare. His father? The authorities wouldn’t listen to him.

Chris heard a sound from upstairs and he remembered: Kate-Emily! She was waking up!

He had two choices: Take the child with him, or, leave the child. It would be several hours before Jack got there. Kate-Emily didn’t know Christmas and she would be frightened of him. Or, he could abandon Kate-Emily and wait to see whether or not Jack got there.

He could hear her crying upstairs.

Christmas made a decision: He would take her with him. But, he needed a strong medicine to quiet Kate-Emily down and make her sleep. He found a bottle of brandy and diluted it with some milk in a cup.

He could hear the little girl wailing. When he walked into the room, he kept the light off and approached the bed where she was lying. At first, she resisted, but she must have been hungry because she finished the entire contents of the cup. In a few minutes, she stopped the wailing and fell asleep. Christmas picked Kate-Emily up and headed outside.

It was dark, and the home was situated in a suburb made up of little alleyways between groups of town-houses. He made his way down a narrow alleyway. He cursed Jack for getting him into this predicament, but he understood why his friend had called on him.

Christmas had trouble getting hold of Jack because Jako had to keep a low profile, which meant that he had no access to phones. Chris had to be patient and hope that the police weren’t looking for him.


Christmas had some planning to do. He had to post the bracelet, or deliver it to someone. But to whom could he send it? The bracelet said “Jako”.

At least Kate-Emily was still sleeping. She was out for the count. He thought about who he should send the bracelet to. He considered Jako, but that would not help because he, too, was avoiding the police.

Chris had heard about a lawyer who helped black people. His name was Stuart Thomson. He went to a telephone booth and looked in a phone book to find his offices.

He found some brown paper and wrapped it up as best as he could without blurring the blood stain. He took Kate-Emily to his relatives as she was still fast asleep and she would stay that way for a long time.

Pretending to be a messenger, he took the package containing the bracelet to the business, which was close to the police station. That made Chris think twice.

He sneaked in carefully and nervously went up to the lady behind the counter.

The white receptionist looked at him with suspicion.

“May I help you?” She looked down at the tattily wrapped package. “What have we got here?”

“I’ve got something for a lawyer. I need to get this to Stuart Thomson,” he said.

“You can leave it with me.”

Chris was uncomfortable with that and held on to the package.

“There’s some blood of a murderer on this. A man.”

“Wait here and I’ll check whether he can see you.”

She went through the door and Chris heard talking from the office: “I’ll be out as soon as I’m finished. Give me five minutes.”

The woman came back through the door and closed it.

Chris was getting nervous. He had been in the offices too long. The cops could visit at any time.

“Can I entrust this to you, please?” Chris asked the receptionist. He put the package in front of her, but didn’t take his hands off it.

“I’ll take it right in now.”

Chris watched the woman go through the door, carrying the package. Once more, he heard: “I’ll be about two more minutes, then I’ll see him.”

But, Chris was worried and left, fearing the police.

I got the bracelet to the lawyer, Thomson, and he will know what to do with it, he thought.

He left the offices of Thomson Attorneys.

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