Shortly afterwards he heard the hum of an oncoming motorbike, the rider rode up from the direction of Kyalika on a Yamaha motorcycle, Simon watched as the rider approached, stopped next to the Hilux and killed the engine. He was dressed in blue jeans a white shirt and black army boots.
The rider wore a jet black helmet and black riding gloves to match. He looked Simon over head to toe from behind the dark helmet, subsequently he dismounted and proceeded to remove his helmet.
The deep set eyes, bordered above by bushy white eyebrows were unmistakably his grandfathers. That pair of eyes had stared back at Simon countless times from family photographs. The slim lips that remained firmly shut beneath a sharp protruding nose gave the old man a hawkish appearance. So this was him, his grandfather the legendary Dr. Richard Katende who’d retired from public life years ago to spend his twilight years in remote Kyalika.
Simon rather undecidedly took a few steps forward with an outstretched hand.
“Good afternoon granddad. How are you?”
“Very well Simon, welcome to Kyalika.” The slim lips broke into a warm smile.
“This place is a long way out.” He observed while shaking the old man’s hand.
“This is home Simon, your home too any time you want to come live with your old grandpa.”
With that they both laughed together heartily until the old man’s laughter died down abruptly.
A wave of apprehension came over Simon until he followed the old man’s gaze to the shattered car window.
“Had an accident?” his grandpa queried.
Simon was silent for a while not quite sure where to begin. He was still reluctant about admitting to almost running over the girl even though he was now pretty certain it wasn’t his fault. But the savages had tried to kill him and he couldn’t report that to the authorities without disclosing his near fatal hit on the young girl.
He knew he needed to make sure the girl was found and saved so he had to come clean with the truth.
“Some people tried to kill me.” He said quietly.
The old man’s eyes narrowed as he looked inquiringly at Simon.
“What do you mean by ‘some people tried to kill you’?” his grand father asked rather incredulously.
They were savage, they carried spears………machetes... The words spewed forth rapidly, Simon was now talking frenziedly his earlier hesitation to speak having somehow dissipated. He recounted his story right from when he’d almost run over the girl to the point he’d driven away from the nightmare.
The old man listened with no interruption or exclamation, he kept his eyes on Simon and with his arms folded across his chest he listened to the entire story from start to finish.
After Simon’s narrative the old man turned and stared in the distance, he was obviously in deep thought and Simon dared not interrupt. After a few minutes his grandfather suddenly faced him and shot a question.
“This leader, what exactly did he look like.”
“He had some weird head gear with long feathers and…….
“Yes, I heard that” the old man said impatiently “anything else?”
“I……..I couldn’t notice much grandpa…I was scared shitless.”
His grandfather walked over to him and grabbed his shoulders.
“Think” the old mans fingers dug into his flesh painfully.”
“Granpa you’re hurting me.” Simon yelped.
“Sorry” the old man eased his grasp.” We’d better go to the police, they can help save the girl.
The old man glanced at his Rolex, the gold plated time piece sparkled in the afternoon sun, “I know you’re tired but the police chief’s gonna want to hear your story.”
“Nice watch grandpa.” Simon quipped.
“Parting gift from a friend at Oxford”
“Thought you went to Havard?”
“Yes, when I was your age, there’s a lot you don’t know about me grandson, hope we get some time to catch up.”
He mounted and kick started the bike, the old man fastened his helmet securely and after beckoning to Simon to follow him, sped off towards the village.
Once again Carsozy cannot apologise enough for the delay in posting the fifth installment.
Devil's Bonfire resumes Monday 2nd February 2009