Rough Diamonds

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Chapter 79

Jako Retief

Jako realised that there was a new inmate in the cell alongside him. He thought he recognised him when he caught a look at him as he was marched past the gate.

When he was in the cell, Jako shouted through the tiny grill on the door: “You moved in this afternoon. What’s your name, please?”

There was silence. Maybe the person was sleeping. Jako thought: I’ll give him another hour.

The hour passed, and Jako repeated the question.

He was sure he could hear muffled sobbing. He knew there was no-one else in the cell because the other prisoners had been taken to the sports field that afternoon.

Jako thought he heard a response, but he didn’t quite catch it, so he asked the inmate in the next cell to repeat it.

“What is it to you?” came back the aggressive reply. A moment passed, and he heard, in a calmer voice: “My name is Roderick.”

Jako was sure that he was Madelaine’s husband. “What are you in for?”

“They think I killed my wife.”

“What was your wife’s name?”

“Madelaine.”

Jako thought: Chris and I are in jail for the same reason, but he didn’t mention it. He preferred to keep that to himself.

“And what are you in for?” Roderick asked.

Jako lied: “Robbery. I broke into a house.”

“Could you direct me to a lawyer?”

Jako thought: I must be careful here. “There are a couple of companies around town: Oosthuizen and Oosthuizen and Wilson and Abercrombie are two of them.” He avoided naming Thomson.

“Cheers. I can’t wait to sort this fucking mess out.”

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