The Heart of Redness: A Novel
Camugu, recently returned to Johannesburg and disillusioned by the new democracy, moves to the remote Eastern Cape. There in the nineteenth century a teenage prophetess commanded the Xhosa people to kill their cattle and burn their crops, promising that the spirits of their ancestors would rise and drive the English into the ocean. The failed prophecy split the people in two, with devastating consequences. One hundred and fifty years later, the two groups' decendants are at odds over plans to build a vast casino and tourist resort, and Camugu is soon drawn into their heritage and their future―and into a bizarre love triangle as well.
rule paid allegiance to him. When he showed great interest in the prophecies, many amaXhosa people followed him. There was great excitement at Twin’s homestead when the news arrived that King Sarhili would be riding from his Great Place at Hohita to the sea. He was undertaking this journey of a day and part of the night because he wanted to see for himself the wonders that everyone was talking about. Twin and Qukezwa were at Mhlakaza’s homestead early in the morning. On Qukezwa’s back was their
did your parents send you to school for?” “These are difficult issues, Miss Ximiya,” says the teacher apologetically. “Sometimes I find myself tilting more to the position of the Believers. I think it is important to conserve nature . . . our forests. . . our rivers. . .” “What about jobs? What about the tourists?” “We can still get tourists. Different types of tourists. Those who want to commune with nature. Those who want to admire our plants, which they regard as exotic. Those who want to
Her Imperial Majesty. “Your savage practices are taking food from your children’s mouths, not Sir George,” said Dalton. “Sir George did not kill your cattle or burn your crops. Your own people did.” People murmured among themselves that there were rumors among some Unbelievers that in fact The Man Who Named Ten Rivers was responsible for the cattle-killing movement, so as to break the might of the amaXhosa and subjugate even those lands across the Kei River that the British had failed to
the men watching, the soldiers cut off the dead man’s head and put it in a pot of boiling water. “They are cannibals too,” hissed Twin-Twin. The British soldiers sat around and smoked their pipes and laughed at their own jokes. Occasionally one of the soldiers stirred the boiling pot, and the stench of rotten meat floated up to the twins’ group. The guerrillas could not stand it any longer. With bloodcurdling screams they sprang from their hiding place and attacked the men of Queen Victoria.
Dalton will serve that purpose. Dalton’s feet are firmly planted on the ground. Although there are still some traces of tension in their relationship, things are returning to normal between them. He joins Dalton in his office, where he is relaxing with a magazine. Missis is busy with some paperwork. Camagu bubbles about his discovery of the Jacaranda. But he does not mention his shipboard romance. Dalton tells him the Jacaranda was a Greek cargo ship, which foundered in September 1971. The