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By Wilbur A. Smith

The Van Der Byl Diamond corporation, willed through 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 really is couched in such phrases as to provide Benedict an device of destruction of his bitterest rival. 'Destroy Johnny' used to be the previous 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 get well the stones from the sea flooring and service his fortune finally. yet Benedict, already desirous 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 simply be ruined by way of his liabilities, he'll even be a giggling stock.

However, Benedict's obsessive jealousy is his undoing. He can't withstand stripping his rival of his appealing yet bitchy spouse Ruby besides, 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, this can be 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 leads to a last disagreement among Johnny and Benedict within the blistering hyena-infested desolate tract.

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Even in his urgency Johnny felt a stir of revulsion for the loathsome creature. The chilly damp rush of the wind into his face refreshed Johnny. It cooled the gritty feeling of his eyes, and eased the throb of sleeplessness in his temples. The solar burst over the horizon, and lit the crimson Gods 5 miles forward with all of the drama of level lights. They glowed golden purple within the sunrise, a procession of massive half-human shapes that marched into the ocean. As Johnny drove in the direction of them the sunshine and shadow performed over the cliffs and he observed a hundred-foot tall determine of Neptune stooping to dip his flowing purple beard into the ocean, whereas a vast hunchback with the top of a wolf pranced beside him. Ranks of Vestal Virgins in lengthy gowns of purple rock jostled with the throng of peculiar and amazing shapes. It used to be eerie and disquieting. Johnny curbed his fancy and grew to become his realization to the shorelines on the foot of the cliffs. What he observed all started his epidermis tingling back, and he pressed the accelerator flat opposed to the floor-boards, racing around the rainy sand to the place a white cloud of seabirds rotated and dived and hopped approximately whatever that lay on the water’s facet. As he drove in the direction of them a gull flew around the entrance of the Land-Rover. a protracted ribbon of anything rainy and fleshy dangled from its beak, and the gull gulped at it greedily in flight. Its crop used to be distended and engorged with nutrients. The seabirds scattered raucously and indignantly because the Land-Rover approached, leaving a human physique mendacity within the centre of a space of sand that was once dappled by way of the prints in their webbed ft, and fouled with dropped feathers and excreta. Johnny braked the Land-Rover and jumped out. He took one lengthy examine the physique, then grew to become speedy away and braced himself opposed to the facet of the car. His gorge rose in a scorching flood of nausea, and he gagged it again. The physique used to be nude yet for a number of sodden tatters of garments and a sea boot nonetheless laced directly to one foot. The birds had attacked each inch of uncovered flesh—except for the scalp. The face was once unrecognizable. The nostril was once long gone, the attention sockets have been empty black holes. there have been no lips to hide the grinning the teeth. Above this ruined face the surprise of colourless albino hair appeared like a wig put there as an obscene and tasteless comic story. Hugo Kramer had made the lengthy voyage from Thunderbolt and Suicide to the purple Gods. Johnny took the canvas groundsheet from lower than the passenger seat of the Land-Rover. heading off his eyes from the duty, he wrapped the corpse conscientiously, tied the entire package with lengths of rope minimize from the tow line, then laboriously dragged it up the seashore good above the high-water mark. The thick canvas may push back the birds, yet to make doubly definite Johnny amassed the driftwood and planking that used to be scattered thickly alongside the high-water line and piled it over the corpse. a few of the planking used to be freshly damaged and the paint on it used to be nonetheless vivid and new. Johnny guessed this used to be a part of the wreckage of untamed Goose. He went again to the Land-Rover, and drove on in the direction of the crimson Gods which lay just a mile forward.

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