Action and Adventure in colonial Africa, you must READ ON:
A young veterinary surgeon, who has recently inherited his father’s estate in Southern Rhodesia, is suddenly confronted by a series of incidents from people who want him to sell his ranch, which he politely by firmly refuses, they try other methods!
The situation becomes complicated by the return to Rhodesia of his twin younger sisters, and a friend, which also attracts the attention of the local medical officer and the community policeman.
The first method used by his opponents is to burn him out by setting fire to veldt grassland using a wind to consume his ranch house; he subsequently meets a more senior Inspector of Police who offers his advice.
His workers then find four poisoned deer, which on investigation is found to come from an arsenical cattle dip poured into one of the lakes for his cattle. He knows he has to drain the lake and whilst doing that he finds an underground cavern, which is obviously a disused gold mine from previous civilisations.
In exploring the drainage system for the cavern he is shot at by a sniper, but fortunately is not hit by a bullet, although the police find a cartridge from a rifle and mysterious footprints and vehicle tracks.
The police offer advice that the underground cavern dates back to the Zimbabwe civilisation of several hundred years earlier, and they begin to explore the huge cave, which they give a local name.
In the meantime regular operations have to continue on the ranch. Cattle have to be dipped and inoculated against contagious diseases, calves have to be separated from their parent cows, and ranch staff and their families need medical attention.
He and a policeman discover an unwelcome pair spying on their activities in the cavern, and they manage to avoid an explosion which would have buried them all. It is then they find the heliograph system that is reporting on their movements, and the interest of the police deepens.
It transpires that is not gold but another valuable mineral that the attackers are after, and the plot deepens with international activists involved
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About the Author
Mike had worked in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years, and in south and east Asia for 22 years. He was an expert in the development of livelihoods for disadvantaged farmer families, who often live in remote and mountainous areas. Mike has now retired and has written three historical novels, and has just completed another based on the family of the Emperor Quang Trung, who is still revered all over Vietnam.