By Wilbur A. Smith
The Van Der Byl Diamond corporation, willed by way of its founder to his son Benedict, daughter Tracey and estranged foster-child Johnny Lance, seems to be a bequest now not of affection, yet of hatred. For it truly is couched in such phrases as to supply Benedict an tool of destruction of his bitterest rival. 'Destroy Johnny' used to be the outdated man's implacable message to his son, and, obsessively jealous of his foster-brother, Benedict units out in ruthless pursuit of this goal.
In a determined bid to help Johnny, Tracey acquires for him the concession within the diamond-rich seabed around the coral islands of Thunderbolt and Suicide off the savage South West African coast, and Johnny throws all his assets into the development of a vessel that would recuperate the stones from the sea flooring and service his fortune ultimately. yet Benedict, already excited about unlawful diamond-dealing as a sideline, seizes this opportunity to assault his rival and, with a community of accomplices and a few inventive digital tampering, plots to siphon off the diamonds. Johnny won't basically be ruined via his liabilities, he'll even be a guffawing stock.
However, Benedict's obsessive jealousy is his undoing. He can't withstand stripping his rival of his attractive yet bitchy spouse Ruby to boot, and whilst he then discards her, she takes her revenge, precipitating a climax of homicide and destruction that consumes Benedict at last.
Narrated with Wilbur Smith's impossible to resist using thrust, it is a story of brotherly hatred, redeemed in simple terms via the deepening love among Johnny and Tracey. it really is set in London, Cape city, at the thunderous seas round the ocean diamond fields and results in a last disagreement among Johnny and Benedict within the blistering hyena-infested barren region.
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Up! ” He crawled in the back of Benedict and driven and dragged him right into a sitting place. “Look. ” Twenty yards away the 2 hyenas sat optimistically, leering idiotically and bright-eyed with impatience. Benedict started to tremble. He made a mewing whimpering sound. Johnny labored him slowly backwards until eventually he had him propped opposed to a rock. He rested back, leaning at the rock beside Benedict. “I’m going,” he whispered. “You remain. ” Benedict made that mewing sound back, shaking his head weakly, looking at the 2 slobbering animals prior to him. Johnny slung the knapsack approximately his neck. He closed his eyes and referred to as upon the final reserves of his energy. With a heave he obtained to his knees. Darkness and vivid lighting fixtures obscured his imaginative and prescient. They cleared and he heaved back and he used to be on his toes. His knees buckled and he grabbed on the rock to regular himself. “Cheerio! ” he whispered. “Have enjoyable! ” And he went lurching and dazzling away into the desert of black rock. at the back of him the mewing whimper rose to a effervescent scream. “Johnny. Please, Johnny. ” Johnny closed his brain to that cry, and staggered on. “Murderer! ” screamed Benedict. The accusation checked Johnny. He leaned opposed to one other rock for aid, and appeared again. Benedict’s face used to be convulsed, and a skinny line of bloody froth rimmed his lips. The tears have been pouring unashamedly down his cheeks to soak into the blood and antiseptic stained bandages. “Johnny. My brother. Don’t depart me. ” Johnny driven himself clear of the rock. He swayed and nearly fell. Then he staggered again to Benedict and slipped down right into a sitting place beside him. From the knapsack he took out the knife and laid it on his lap. Benedict used to be sobbing and moaning. “Shut up. rattling you! ” whispered Johnny. The solar used to be good up now. It used to be burning at once into Johnny’s face. He may well think the outside of his cheeks stretching to bursting-point. The veils of darkness saved passing over his imaginative and prescient, yet he blinked them away. The flutter of his eyelids was once the one move he had made within the final hour. The hyenas had closed in. They have been pacing nervously backward and forward in entrance of the place Johnny and Benedict sat. Now one among them stopped and stretched its neck out, sniffing eagerly at Benedict’s blood-clotted foot, creeping inch via inch nearer. Johnny stirred and the creature jumped again, bobbing its head ingratiatingly, grinning as though in apology. The time had come to fall again on their final line of defence. Johnny was hoping he had now not left it too overdue. He was once very susceptible. His eyes and ears have been tricking him, his imaginative and prescient jumped and blurred and there has been a buzzing sound within the silence as if the desolate tract was once an orchard packed with bees. He spun the cog-wheel of his cigarette lighter and the flame lit. rigorously he utilized it to the fuse of the smoke flare, and it spluttered and stuck. Johnny lobbed the flare in the direction of the hyenas, and because the clouds of crimson smoke spewed out, they fled in shrieking terror. An hour later they have been again. Slinking out of the rocks, wary back. Johnny observed them simply in flashes, among the bursts of darkness in his head.