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By Wilbur A. Smith

The Van Der Byl Diamond corporation, willed by means of its founder to his son Benedict, daughter Tracey and estranged foster-child Johnny Lance, seems to be a bequest no longer of affection, yet of hatred. For it really is couched in such phrases as to supply Benedict an software of destruction of his bitterest rival. 'Destroy Johnny' used to be the outdated man's implacable message to his son, and, obsessively jealous of his foster-brother, Benedict units out in ruthless pursuit of this goal.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 better the stones from the sea flooring and service his fortune ultimately. yet Benedict, already interested by unlawful diamond-dealing as a sideline, seizes this opportunity to assault his rival and, with a community of accomplices and a few creative digital tampering, plots to siphon off the diamonds. Johnny won't purely be ruined through his liabilities, he'll even be a guffawing 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 riding thrust, it is a story of brotherly hatred, redeemed basically by means of 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 results in a last disagreement among Johnny and Benedict within the blistering hyena-infested wilderness.

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I need to go,” Johnny stated. “Your spouse? ” she requested, the laughter fading. “Yes. My spouse. ” It was once darkish whilst Johnny went in in the course of the entrance door of the hot split-level ranch sort in Bishopscourt which was once his residence yet now not his domestic; the phone was once ringing. He picked up the receiver. “Johnny? ” “Hello, Michael. ” He well-known the voice. “Johnny, wake up the following to the outdated apartment without delay. ” Michael Shapiro’s voice used to be strained. “Is it the previous guy? ” Johnny requested anxiously. “No talk—just come, fast! ” The curtains have been drawn, and a log hearth roared at the stone fireplace. however the outdated guy used to be chilly. The coldness used to be deep within him the place the flames couldn't hot it. His palms shook as he picked sheets of paper from the open record field, glanced at them after which dropped them into the hearth. They exploded into orange flame, then curled and blackened to ash. finally the field used to be empty yet for a thick wad of multi-coloured envelopes certain including a ribbon. He loosened the knot, picked out the 1st envelope, and slipped from it a unmarried sheet of writing-paper. “Dear Sir, i am hoping you may be happy to listen to that i'm now in school. The meals is sweet however the beds are very hard—” He dropped either envelope and letter at the hearth and chosen one other. one by one he learn after which burned them. “—that i've been chosen to play for the 1st fifteen—” occasionally he smiled, as soon as he chuckled. “—I used to be best in all topics other than background and non secular instructing. i am hoping to do larger next—” while there has been one envelope left he held it decades in his blue-veined bony fingers. Then with an impatient flick of his wrist he threw it directly to the fireplace and reached as much as the mantelpiece to drag himself to his ft. As he stood he appeared into the gilt-framed replicate above the fireside. He stared at his mirrored image, mildly shocked by means of the swap that the previous few weeks had wrought in his visual appeal. His eyes had misplaced the flicker of existence, fading to a light soiled brownish blue—the color of putrefaction. They bulged from the sockets, within the glassy startled stare that is bizarre to the later levels of terminal melanoma. The watery feeling of limb, and the coldness weren't the results of the pain-killing medicines, he knew. Nor was once the shuffling feet-dragging gait with which he crossed the thick Bokhara carpet to the stinkwood table. He regarded down on the rectangular leather-based case with its brassbound corners, and he coughed, a unmarried flesh-tearing bark. He stuck on the table to regular himself, expecting the soreness to cross prior to he sprang the capture at the case and laid the lid again. His fingers have been rather regular as he took the barrel and butt component of the Purdy Royal twelve-bore shotgun from the case and equipped them jointly. He died the best way he had lived—alone. “God, how I hate black. ” Ruby Lance stood within the centre of the bed room ground, looking at the garments laid out at the double mattress. “It makes me glance so washed out. ” She swung her head backward and forward, environment the champagne-coloured cascade of her hair swinging.

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