Rough Diamond-a South African Short story Ch 7
The trip home had been hard. Saying goodbye to the people she had known for only a few days, yet which somehow had felt much longer, was difficult. Against advice from Sgt.Barry, she had given Piet more than half the money Jacque had sent her mother, and he had been very grateful. She felt she had to tell the Sgt. and Danie about the money, otherwise it could have led to suspicion about where Piet had got it. At the same time Piet and the family were also very disappointed because of the expectations that had been raised. He said that he would use the money to register the claim in his name, now that things were changing in South Africa. Susan told him to keep the rudimentary equipment that Jacque had left behind and wished him well. Her instinct told her that he was not responsible for what had happened to her father.
Danie, Millie and Sgt. van Staden now seemed like old friends and somehow she felt that she would see them again. She was, in a strange way, drawn to this dry and dusty Karoo area of the country with its interesting people and their friendliness. The dreams of the people who toiled in the hot sun in the hope of one day striking it rich had cast a bit of a spell over her. Perhaps it was the blood of her father that flowed through her veins or his dreams that made her feel that way.
She shrugged it off and realized that it was back to looking for a job and then starting to earn a living so that she could start paying off her study debts. The reunion with her Mother was great and they cried again as they hugged each other. She had to tell her Mom, Gloria in great detail, everything that had happened. For the first time in her life she sensed a softening in attitude towards Jacque from her Mom. Perhaps his death had helped in some strange way. They would wait for the identification of the body from Pretoria before deciding what to do about a funeral.
Then the parcel arrived! The address and handwriting was the same as the previous letter. It was addressed to them both. Gloria’s hand shook as she opened it and then they could not believe their eyes. Wrapped in Styrofoam in the cardboard box, was the rough diamond that Jacque had almost certainly died for. As Susan lifted it up to catch the morning sun it did not look particularly impressive to their untrained eyes. They both however knew immediately, and with absolute certainty, that their lives would never be the same again!