“One day, I’ll fix this chair,” he said to old man Mbele, the farm manager.
Mbele smiled a toothy smile.
“I doubt it,” he grinned. “Your father never did.”
He finished his root beer.
“Another?” asked James.
Mbele nodded his thanks, and as he did so, Beatrice Bartlett came out of the house
with the jug.
“We were just thinking we’d have another,” said James.
“I heard the chair,” replied his wife. “How are you today, Mr. Mbele?” she asked,
filling his glass.
“Fine, fine, thank you Missy,” he replied.
“Any more news.” Beatrice Bartlett looked concernedly at both men.
“No. Nothing new today.” replied James.
“The gang of strangers has been round the village again,” said Mbele, “but no
“I’m sure there will be, soon enough,” said James. “I’m just glad we got that
security fence up when we did.”
“They say in the village that another farm, to the north, was taken last week,” said
Mbele. “But I don’t know whose it was or what happened to them. When my
people find out, I’ll tell you.”
“I’ve heard nothing on the radio, but then it often takes days for news to get out,”
“I get so worried,” said his wife.
“We’re as prepared as we can be,” said James, reassuringly.
“If that gang of war veterans doesn’t move away soon,” said Mbele, “it might be
best to leave while you can rather than be thrown out like others.”
“I’m certainly not going to simply walk out,” said Bartlett. “This is my life -
Zimbabwe is my country. This farm was built up to what it is now by generations