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|copyright 2008 by HM Entertainment Inc.
hm books, 2015
The sun had finally risen, scattering the cold haze and bringing with it an air
of irrational optimism, an unreasonable expectation.
"You know," the giant said, pointing at the barrier, "in the old days this place was
full of people. Some went north, some went south and some went nowhere; just
helping stuff across my border. No one comes this way anymore, no one except
hardcore smugglers. Even those are having second thoughts after I caught two of
them sneaking past my post with stolen diamond."
He pointed to a gnarled, old thorn tree about two hundred yards away.
"They are buried over there," he said, “where they fell trying to dodge my bullets."
Two piles of rocks marked the smugglers’ final resting place. He let Ruben
contemplate and reconsider whether it was worthwhile trying to outwit him. Then he
cleared his throat loudly.
"Your passports, please," he said.
The interlude was over.
His brief is simple. He is to go where she goes, do what she says and how she
says it. The Maasai Mara is not any part of that brief, nor are any animals larger than
a termite. The Maasai Mara is not on Vasco da Gama’s trusted map. All that the
explorer scrolled across that part of Africa, in a flourish of ancient script more
decorative than it is informative, is the warning – ‘Wayfarer beware - there be man-
eaters in these parts.’ To which someone has added a skull and crossbones and
the word ‘cannibals’.