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Rough Diamond - a short story from South Africa.Ch 11 the end.
The police had not been happy that Gloria and Susan had not told them at once that the diamond had arrived and were even more annoyed that they had not mentioned the threatening phone call. “What were you ladies thinking?” Captain Mostert enquired. ”This was something for the people who know what they are doing,” implying himself.
“We were not really thinking in any way clearly, Captain,” Gloria replied. Susan was so proud of her Mom who now seemed to have regained her wits and control. “We just did not know what to do. What would you have done?” Gloria came back to him. He pondered the possibilities and probably thought that he was glad it had not happened to him.
The reunion between Gloria, Susan, Jacque and the diamond took place two day later. Jacque, with some information volunteered by the kidnappers, was found locked up in a shed in the township in Kimberly. He had been on his way to look for someone to help with a valuation of the diamond when he had realized that he was being followed. He stopped at the post office in Kimberly where he managed to lose them for a while. He posted the diamond before they found him again and forced him of the road while he was on the way to Bloemfontein.
What exactly happened after that is not clear. What was known is that there was a fall out among the gang. The body in the car was one of the group who been killed in the altercation. The details would come out later when there was a trial. Jacque had been beaten up badly in the attempt to find the diamond. Eventually the gang had put one and one together, and with help from someone in the post office they had followed the diamond to Port Alfred.
The question that everybody asked was, how did the police know to stake out the house? The police plan should have worked perfectly except that one of the gang had decided to jump the gun, so to speak. Gloria had not been quite as confused as she had appeared to be to Susan. She had typed out a letter to Captain Mostert and handed it over the back fence to her friend next door with the request to deliver it to the police station. This avoided any suspicion to the watching eyes. The gang had no knowledge that Gloria had contacted the Police and so while they were watching the house they were under observation.
The reunion between Susan and her father had been strange to say the least. When the phone call came that he would be arriving in Port Alfred requesting to see them, she and Gloria were filled with so many mixed emotions. The bandaged figure walking up the path to the house looked rather pathetic. Susan was shaking as she went to open the door. They looked at each other in a moment of uncertainty. Then she moved forward and gave him a hug. Gloria stepped forward in support of her daughter.
He stepped back and looked at Gloria; years of resentment in her heart froze her limbs and showed on her face. He dropped his head, not able to look at her. To Susan it seemed as if an age passed before Jacque looked up and whispered; “All these years I have carried the burden of what I did to you two. I know you will never be able to forgive me.” Gloria shook her head, and again an age seemed to pass. She turned and led the way into the kitchen, “Let me make us all a cup of tea,” she suggested. Answers were not given because the questions were too difficult to ask. Perhaps later they be asked and answered.
Gloria, Susan and Jacque decided that they would “take it one step at a time.” Would they allow him to share with them the proceeds of the diamond, with no strings attached? Jacque had requested. That would mean a lot to him. They discussed it and then accepted that he could on that basis. Susan hoped that he and her father could get to know each other better - something she wanted desperately. Gloria warned him that she would have to wait and see what the future held, and he seemed happy to accept that.
The rough diamond proved to be a high quality blue, of great purity. A diamond of this size coming onto the world market caused a lot of interest, rumour and mystery. The story of how the diamond digger from Longlands got involved in the selling process will have to be told elsewhere. It was eventually cut and sold in Amsterdam for a staggering 32 million rand to an undisclosed buyer, said to be from the Middle East. Piet Swart was given his share and he and his family bought a house and shop in Barclay West. He hired someone to work the claim that he had taken over from Jacque.
Gloria and Susan were paid a handsome support back pay of ten million rand. Gloria resigned her position at Port Alfred Primary School and would now spend all her time pursuing her passion of photography. She paid off the bond on her house and also bought the camera of her dreams. Her plan was to set up a studio in her garage. Susan paid off her study debts and decided to continue studying towards a master’s degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
Jacque bought a game farm, also in the Grahamstown area, and planned to develop it into a “Big Five” Reserve. He would market it to tourists locally and overseas, and hoped to build a relationship with his daughter and perhaps even with Gloria in the future.