Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter I0

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55


All rights of distribution, also through movies, radio and television, photomechanical reproduction, sound carrier, electronic medium and reprinting in excerpts are reserved.

© 2018 novum publishing

ISBN print edition: 978-3-99064-178-1

ISBN e-book: 978-3-99064-179-8

Editor: Hugo Chandler, BA

Cover images: Jorgosphotos, Alfio Scisetti | Dreamstime.com

Coverdesign, Layout & Type: novum publishing


Chapter 1

I lifted my wedding photograph from the shelf and sighed. My vision shifted from my wife Kathleen to my best man Peter Wilson. We had been in the same class at school, then had gone on to university together and had even served in the same Royal Air Force squadron for a while. I examined the dark good looks and the smile that had turned women to putty in his hands. That was one of the many things I’d loved about Kathleen. How she was not only impervious to Peter’s charms but had thoroughly disproved of his treatment of women and was not above telling him so. I smiled, remembering when Peter had a few too many drinks and had become maudlin, telling me that Kathleen was the only woman who he’d ever wanted to get close to.

Peter had gone to Kenya after the war, bought a large farm with a resident native village and had turned it into a coffee plantation. From his letters I’d got the impression that he’d acquired himself a harem, “marrying” girls as young as fifteen, which was the legal age there; then when they got older, running his tractor over an uncultivated parcel of his land, then giving it to them with a bag of seed and a few goats. According to Peter, they seemed content with the arrangement and before their first harvest they had invariably attracted a husband.

I remembered East Africa. My father had been a government official in Kenya and I’d spent my childhood there and later when I’d been sent to school in Scotland, I had spent my summer holidays there. I’d loved the country and according to Peter it was my tales of the country that had persuaded him to settle there. I smiled, remembering some pretty native girls. When I was a teenager on holiday I used to go down to the market and ogle them walking about with their bare breasts. I’d had an almost permanent hard on. I remembered a native girl, one of the servants a year older than myself, who I’d had a crush on when I was fourteen. We’d had a brief but torrid relationship. I smiled, remembering how she had shown me what to do and where to touch her. My parents had eventually found out and I’d got a whipping from my father and had been sent home to relatives in Scotland, in disgrace. The girl had been dismissed. I remembered the giggles and the sidelong smiles from the other girl servants before I was sent away.

I sighed. I hadn’t heard from Peter in years.

I remembered my excitement at the publication of my first novel. My hopes had died when I arrived home from the school where I taught to find that my manuscript had been returned. I hadn’t even opened the package until late that evening when I found that the publisher was highly complimentary about my novel and suggested that I redraft some pages and resubmit. I’d let out such a whoop that Kathleen had come running to find out what was wrong. After the redrafting I’d been on tenterhooks for the next four weeks until a letter had arrived with an advance that was more than my year’s salary in teaching. I’d then left teaching to concentrate on writing. We’d bought a new car, a Morris Minor, and had a garage built next to the house. I’d started giving Kathleen driving lessons.

I remembered when I’d first met Kathleen. It was during the war. I’d been a bomber pilot, based near Bath and had been dragged by my friends to a local dance. The band had been mediocre but rhythmic, and as usual, the young women were sitting or standing at one side of the room, chatting, and pretending to be oblivious to the longing and calculating looks of the young men clustered on the other side.

I’d first noticed her because she started to dance by herself in tune to the music, taking tiny light steps on the same spot and occasionally turning. Her eyes were shining with excitement as if this was her first dance. She was wearing a plain green dress, obviously home-made as so many were, three years into the war. She had a light green scarf around her shoulders that swirled out as she turned, coiling round her bare arms. She had light brown, almost golden hair, cut to shoulder length and a slim girlish figure. She wasn’t particularly pretty but there was something about her, and her smile. It was at once cheeky and warm and innocent.

I danced with her four times that night and she’d agreed to let me walk her home. We’d talked about the war and what we wanted to do afterwards. She hoped to be a primary school teacher and had been impressed when I told her I was a mathematics teacher before I’d been called up. She was eighteen and I was seven years older. We had continued to see each other, growing closer and closer; falling in love and after two years had got married.

I smiled, remembering the way she pressed against me when she was aroused. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other. We loved the feel of each other’s skin. I felt my eyes go moist. I loved being near her, to watch her as she moved, to see the light and shadows of her face, to hear her voice.

My mood changed. I remembered our baby girl’s death. After three miscarriages we were wary but as her pregnancy progressed and the doctors took extra care, our hopes rose higher and higher, but despite Kathleen being extra careful, the baby girl was born six weeks prematurely. I remembered the nights sitting by the tiny body. Kathleen had hardly left her side. At first, we’d talk in whispers then we would just watch the tiny mite, our silences stretching like the emptiness of our hopes, each asking God to take our lives if he’d only let our little girl live. She’d given up the struggle after two weeks and we had both been devastated. We’d given her a name by then, Elizabeth, after Kathleen’s mother, and had both been in tears at the funeral, as the tiny white coffin had been lowered into the ground. I don’t know how I got through the next few months, especially when I’d seen men younger than myself holding the hands of little girls with shiny hair and rosebud mouths and little frilly dresses. Kathleen had sworn never to get pregnant again.

Eventually time had dissolved the hard edges of our grief and we had tried to capture our previous intimacy. But something had happened to her. She was warm in my arms and got aroused but whenever I tried to make love to her, even though I took precautions, she drew back. And the time that I’d tried to force her she’d become hysterical and hadn’t spoken to me for three days and had shrunk away at my touch. I tried to discuss our problem, but it was as if she blamed me, or sex itself for the death of our child. A year after Elizabeth’s death she had eventually agreed that she would try to resume our intimacy if I had a vasectomy.

They’d put a screen across my stomach, so I couldn’t see what they were doing. I’d felt the tugs and pulls in a dull sort of way and there had been no pain, but with every tug I’d felt part of my manhood being removed. And the theatre sister! – I wouldn’t have minded if she’d been ugly or middle, aged but she’d looked so young and attractive in her uniform. My self-esteem had sunk at the sight of her, as I lay helpless with my knees drawn up, exposing my testicles to the surgeon’s knife. I was told it would take three months for the sperm still swimming about inside me to disappear. Only after they had ascertained I was sterile could I resume ‘normal sexual relations’. I grinned. Mini-skirts had just come into fashion and I’d spent the next three months drooling at young women. I’d loved, to watch the play of muscles behind their knees and the movement of the skirt as their hips swayed.

We eventually got a letter stating that my sperm count was non-existent. During dinner, Kathleen had kept giving me sidelong lingering looks, then smiling before looking away. I helped her clear the table and dried the dishes, I then read the daily newspaper, trying to hide my eagerness, my desperate need of her.

She must have noticed, for much earlier than usual, she suggested that we go to bed. We’d aroused each other but when I entered her she’d grimaced and given a stifled cry of pain. My erection had immediately subsided. I sobbed and fell on top of her. When she’d started crying I’d lifted myself off, lain at her side, and stroked her back

“I’m sorry William,” she’d sobbed.

I pulled her closer and told her not to worry, that maybe she needed more time.

We both lay awake for a long time before sleep claimed us. The next day she’d told me she was going to see her doctor.

I’d been gardening and looked up to see her trying to get in the gate, laden with shopping. I’d helped, opening the gate and had taken the heavier looking brown paper bags. Once inside the house, she’d told me that the doctor had told her that there was nothing physically wrong with her and suggested that she see a psychiatrist. I was shocked. She’d run crying to the bathroom and locked herself in. I’d been frantic when she wouldn’t answer me, remembering my razor by the washbasin. After what felt like hours I heard the bolt slide back. Her head had appeared, then she was in my arms, her wet cheeks against mine.

“I’m sorry dear,” she’d, said. “I’d better get on with dinner.” She’d left me gaping after her.

During dinner she’d kept giving me coy looks. After washing and drying the dishes she’d disappeared upstairs. I heard the bath water running in the bathroom. I hadn’t known whether to go upstairs or not. Much later, she’d come into the kitchen wearing the black silk nightdress I’d given her for her birthday. She’d pulled me to my feet and kissed me passionately and rotated her stomach against my erection. Taking my hand, she’d led me to the bedroom. I aroused her until her hips started arching. As I’d sunk into her soft fleshiness she’d cried as if in, agony but my passion was a red haze and I’d pushed into her violently my movements convulsive until in my last spasm I’d sank deep into her and felt blessed release. I collapsed on top of her, suddenly aware of the pain on her face. She pushed me off and started slapping me. I’d covered my face with my hands as she’d punched me, calling me an animal. Shocked, I’d held her wrists, until she’d exhausted herself. She’d turned her back to me and lay sobbing.

“Kathleen?” I’d touched her back.

“Don’t touch me,” she’d sobbed.

I’d eyed her accusing back and started to touch her. She must have sensed my hand for she’d shrunk away. I’d felt wetness on my face and staggered into the bathroom to look at the damage. There were scratches on my face and neck. After tending to my face I’d come back into the bedroom. Kathleen was sitting on the bed with her feet drawn up, her arms wrapped round them and her head bowed on her knees. She’d looked like a frightened child.

“Kathleen,” I’d murmured softly.

“I don’t want you to sleep here,” she said.

“Kathleen, I’m sorry.”

“Just go away.”

He’d stumped his way to the lounge, had a drink and sat brooding. Something had been hurt when their daughter had died, something inside her. It had been bad enough for him, but it must have been far worse for her. Feeling the baby growing inside her, her body readying itself for the birth, hormones flooding her body, preparing her for feeding and nursing. Maybe she did need a psychiatrist?

When I’d returned to the bedroom. Kathleen was in the same position. I looked at her for a while. She never moved, I couldn’t even hear her breathing. I’d felt under my pillow for my pyjamas, then crept out again. Later I’d heard the bath taps running. Getting rid of all evidence of me, I’d thought dismally.

The next morning she’d smiled at my wounded face.

“Sorry Bill,” she’d said, and that was it.

I’d dried the dishes. They’d read the Sunday papers and carried on a normal conversation. After lunch she’d tended to the flowers in the garden while I’d mowed the lawn. I’d had no idea how to react to her, frightened that some remark of mine about the night before might push her over the edge.

After dinner as they’d washed and dried the dishes, she’d suddenly said.

“I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to have an affair.”

I’d been so shocked that I’d dropped the plate I’d been drying. She’d giggled and kissed me on the cheek. I’d spent the rest of the evening in a daze.

That night I’d found that my pillows and my alarm clock had been moved to the spare room. We’d carried on much as we always had, except it took a month before I’d even started noticing mini skirted young women again.

One evening, when Kathleen was visiting friends, I’d gone out for a beer. I’d sat at a corner table going over the rough plot of my new novel, testing ideas. I was a visual thinker and liked to picture the characters, and watch their expressions. I wondered how much Kenya had changed. Was my friend Peter still on his farm? I remembered his tales of the native black girls and smiled. I’d sat with my empty glass for a while then when my erection had subsided, went to the bar to for a refill. pondering how much longer I could go on like this? Lying in my lonely bed, longing for her touch, I missed the sound of her breathing and the warmth of her body. Even being near her leached any passion out of me.

I’d thought about Kathleen’s words. I could do it! I could visit Kenya, pick up a black girl and live with her for a week or two. I could also do some research for my book. I contacted an acquaintance who had dealings with modern Kenya. His advice was to rent a cottage since many expatriates saved their holidays and took them in a block to visit relatives in Britain, and were quite happy to have someone trustworthy to look after their house for a nominal rent. He’d suggested that I look in the “East African Standard” and said he’d send me the latest copy.

Alone in my single bed, I’d wondered how I might tell Kathleen. I couldn’t very well just say “I’m going off to Kenya for two weeks dear.” Maybe I could say I wanted to do some research for my next book? But what if she wanted to come? I’d fallen asleep still pondering.

A package with the newspaper arrived. When I’d scanned the ‘Property to Let’ pages I’d found five properties that might be suitable. For some reason a bungalow on the outskirts of Nairobi had attracted my attention from the start.

“Attractive bungalow. Two bedrooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and garage, with small annex for resident houseboy. Phone. Fully furnished. Linen etc. Just over one mile from centre of Nairobi. Available for rent July.”

I’d looked over the others but was irresistibly drawn back to that advert. Giving in, I’d written a letter right away, registering an interest and giving my publisher and bank manager as referees. Kathleen had looked over my shoulder and asked what I was reading.

“A Kenyan newspaper,” I replied. “I was half thinking of going to Kenya in the summer holidays to do some research for my new book. Would you like to come?”

She’d given me an intent look, then looked away.

“I was thinking of going down to Mum for a while.”

‘God! She knows,’ I thought.

“How long are you thinking of going for?” she’d asked.

“Two weeks maybe three, sure you won’t come?”

“Yes, you go by yourself, have fun. I’m off to bed.”

I’d lain thinking in my lonely bed that night. How could she know? Maybe it’s just my guilty feelings?

No! She knows. Well anyway, I’m going. I remembered the young black girl who’d seduced me. It had been my first time. I couldn’t even remember her name. For some reason that disturbed me.

A week later a letter had arrived from an agent offering me the use of the bungalow in Nairobi for three weeks. I was also offered the use of a Land Rover and asked if I wanted to retain the services of the houseboy. I’d accepted both and sent off a cheque. I’d bought a Swahili primer to try to regain the fluency I’d had as a boy. In a state of rising excitement, I bought light clothes, cotton underwear and socks, sandals and a pair of stout brown brogues, and a book about modern Kenya, and arranged with my bank to have funds available to me at their Nairobi branch. I’d contacted my publishers to inform them about my trip and learned that my first book was still topping the best seller list and my new book was selling well and had been given a very good reception by the critics.

I’d booked my flight to Kenya then taken Kathleen out for dinner We’d walked home hand in hand, had a coffee, watched some television, then went to our separate bedrooms.

The next day she’d helped me pack my case. I remembered that venereal disease was rife in Kenya, so in the afternoon I’d visited a shop at the other end of town. The sign above the door said euphemistically “SURGICAL APPLIANCES”. I’d bought three dozen condoms which by my calculations should be enough. I’d carefully distributed them among my pockets, so they wouldn’t be too noticeable, then I sneaked back to the house and had hidden them at the bottom of my case. Feeling like a schoolboy, I’d strolled down to the lounge where Kathleen was watching television and casually taken a seat beside her.

“What have you been up to?” she’d said, smiling into my eyes.

“Up to?” I’d tried to look surprised. “Nothing.”

She’d rolled her eyes and looked back at the television.

“All ready for tomorrow?”

“Yes, all set.”

“Maybe I should check your case?”

‘God she’s psychic,’ he thought.

“No, I’ve checked it, I can buy anything that I need.”

“I’ll come and see you off at the station.”

“That would be great Kathleen.”

“I’ve made your favourite, for dinner.”

“Steak pie?”

“Yes, and I bought a bottle of wine.”

“That’s great, thanks love.”

“I’ll go and put the oven on and set the table. You have a rest, you have to conserve your energy.”

“Conserve my energy?”

“For all the travelling you’ll be doing,” she’d smiled at him as she left.

He’d felt dazed. Does she know? But, how could she?

They’d arrived at the railway station the next morning in plenty of time for the train and stood with their arms around each other, while they listened to the announcements. When it came time to board she’d wrapped her arms around his neck for a long kiss and pressed her body close to him.

“Come back to me safe William,” she’d whispered.

“I’ll only be gone two or three weeks.”

After a last kiss, she’d gazed into my eyes.

“I’m sorry William,” she’d whispered with tears hovering in her eyes. Feeling an absolute cad, I boarded the train. We waved to each other as the train moved off.

I stowed my luggage in the rack above me and sat brooding. I’d had a sudden revelation. Kathleen wasn’t rejecting me by refusing to sleep with me. She was afraid that my nearness would arouse her.

Chapter 2

I staggered off the plane at Nairobi airport, hardly daring to believe that the noise had stopped. My ears hurt despite the earplugs I’d been issued with, and although I’d slept, I was bone weary and felt dirty and sticky. It was two o’clock in the morning. Once I got through customs and collected my luggage, I pushed through the hordes of youngsters begging or offering to carry my luggage, and hailed a taxi. After a twenty-minute journey I arrived at the bungalow. It was in darkness. I banged on the front door and after a while a light went on. A voice shouted through the door.

“Who is it?”

I shouted back. “William Munro!”

A face leered out of the partly opened door then it opened wide and I could see a young black man, wearing what looked like a night shirt, looking me up and down.

“I’ve rented the bungalow for three weeks I’ve just arrived.”

The young man bobbed his head.

“Welcome Bwana. I sorry I sleep.” He lifted my case. “In here please.” The young man led the way into the house, switching the lights on as he went. “This lounge,” he said, stopping in a large room.

I didn’t even look around.

“Just show me to the bedroom, I’ll have a shower and go straight to bed.”

I was led to the bedroom and shown the bathroom.

“Shower not hot.” I was told.

“I don’t care,” I replied, starting to strip off my clothes.

You want tea, coffee?” the houseboy asked.

“A cup of tea please,” I replied. “What is your name?”

“Kabero,” the young man replied. “I make tea.”

“Thank you Kabero.”

I stripped off the rest of my clothes, found a towel, figured out how to work the shower and stepped into the lukewarm spray. I washed my hair and every part of my body, then dried myself, rubbing until my skin was red, then on hearing Kabero’s knock, wrapped the towel round my middle and opened the door to find the houseboy holding a tray.

“Where you want your tea Bwana?” he asked.

“In the bedroom.”

“What time I wake you?”

“I’m tired, just let me sleep.” I eyed Kabero, still hovering. “Don’t worry about breakfast, I’ll make myself something”

“Thank you Bwana.” Kabero bobbed his head and left.

I drank down the tea, then too exhausted to even open my suitcase, clambered into bed naked, pulled the sheet over myself and immediately fell asleep.

I woke and sat up, I was drenched in sweat. I looked up at the fan, motionless in the ceiling. I’d forgotten to switch it on. I felt much better, but the glare of the sun hurt my eyes. I rose and shut the curtains. It suddenly sank in, I was in Kenya! My stomach rumbled. I had a quick shower, and dried myself. I unpacked and dressed in my light clothes, I found the kitchen which was well equipped, with a refrigerator, electric cooker, toaster, electric kettle and coffee percolator. A row of gleaming copper pans hung on hooks and dishes and cups were neatly arranged on a shelf. I found cereal in a cupboard and made a pot of tea. After breakfast I explored the house. There was a dining room off the kitchen, with a fair sized, highly polished mahogany table. The lounge was spacious with two large three-seater settees and four armchairs. The master bedroom where I’d slept was large, with a huge bed. The second bedroom was medium size with two single beds. I stepped through the French windows to inspect the garden. It was large and well cared for, with a well-manicured lawn bordered by colourful flowering bushes in bloom. I breathed in the exotic scents with a sudden excitement.

I thought again, ‘I’m in Kenya.’

I remembered why I’d come and decided to have a look round Nairobi. I found Kabero in the front garden.

“You have breakfast Bwana?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you Kabero. Would you like to show me around Nairobi?”

“I do that Bwana. How you go?”

“I’ll take the Land Rover.”

“I get keys. When you go?”

“About fifteen minutes.”

“I be ready.”

He disappeared into the house then reappeared to open the garage doors and give me the Land Rover keys.

I climbed into the driving seat, started the engine and reversed out into the road. I drove carefully up and down the road, getting the hang of the gears, then confidently drove back into the drive, found Kabero waiting and set off.

I found Princess Elizabeth Way and drove down it to the centre of Nairobi, noticing the changes. Some of the smaller roads that were dirt tracks, lined with wooden shacks with corrugated roofs in my boyhood; were now well-paved roads with tall glass and concrete buildings on each side. There were far more cars and buses, and the local taxis, ‘matata’s’ I remembered they were called, were everywhere. I eventually found a parking place. I made arrangements at the bank and drew money out in shillings, the local currency. I gave Kabero some money to buy enough supplies for the next few days. We agreed to meet back at the Land Rover in two hours, time. I then set off on foot to explore the centre of Nairobi.

There were more cultivated green spaces than I remembered. The gardens and parks were a riot of colours. Jacaranda trees with violet blossoms, purple bougainvillea, white frangipani and bright red hibiscus wafted their fragrances in my direction. Almost as colourful as the flowers, were the men with brightly coloured shirts and the women in bright clothes, some balancing baskets on their heads. Everywhere I saw smiling African faces with shining teeth. I noticed with regret that the women and girls were now covering their upper bodies, but judging by the movement under their thin tops, bras had not caught on yet.

I remembered why I had come here. It had seemed so easy. Pick up a black girl for a couple of weeks. But how did one go about it? They weren’t going to come knocking at my door asking to come in! I decided to ask Kabero.

I walked back towards the Land Rover and on the way I found an off-license and bought a couple of bottles of whisky and a crate of beer and had a boy carry them back to the Land Rover and load them in the back. I waited, eyeing up any girls who were passing. They walked, heads held high, and swayed as if carrying secret music inside them.

Kabero arrived carrying some packages. Once we were seated I cleared my throat.

“I would like a girl to warm my bed for the three weeks I’m here. Can you tell me how to do it?”

Kabero looked shocked. “What kind of girl Bwana?”

“A black girl. Not a (I used a Swahili word meaning “professional”), and not fat.” I remembered Peter Wilson’s comments, “and over fifteen,” I added as an afterthought, “I would pay her well.”

Kabero sat in thought for a while.

“I know a girl, she works in hotel. We go look now?”

“How old is she?”

“She seventeen, she beautiful.”

I tried not to look too eager.

“Mm, I suppose so. Tell me where to go.”

Following Kabero’s instructions, I arrived at a rundown hotel in the back streets. Kabero went in at a side door and a short time later, he appeared with a woman. I eyed her as she approached. She certainly wasn’t slim, and she certainly wasn’t seventeen. Kabero opened the door.

“This girl, Bwana, she beautiful.”

He muttered in some native language. The woman took her top off and posed for me, her breasts wobbling as she moved.

She smiled at me. “You like?”

There was a hardness in her eyes.

I called, “Kabero, get in.” I fumbled in my wallet and extracted a note “Give her this.” I drove off, leaving the woman, still standing bare breasted, looking at the note in her hand.

“You no like?” Kabero sounded disappointed.

“No, she’s too old.”

Kabero looked thoughtful. “I know other girl, she my sister.”

“How old is she?”

Kabero hesitated. “She fifteen.”

“When can I see her?”

“I go now.”

“Can I come?”

Kabero shook his head.

“Maybe Baba (father) not like.”

“Can I drop you anywhere?”

“Yes Bwana, I show.”

With Kabero’s guidance I drove to what looked like a huge scrapyard.

“How long will you be?” I asked.

“You go home Bwana. I see you tonight.”

After taking some wrong turns. I eventually found my way back to the bungalow in the darkness. I’d forgotten how the sun went down quickly in Kenya. I unloaded, put the car in the garage and locked up, then sat with a whisky and a bottle of beer to wait for Kabero. At about ten o’clock that night, I heard the door open, then Kabero knocked at my door.

“Come in,” I called.

Kabero entered with a big grin on his face.

“Baba say you get girl.”

“Good! thank you Kabero. Did you bring her?”

Kabero bobbed his head.

“We get her tomorrow.”

I felt anticipation rise. “What is she like Kabero?”

“She young.”

“How young?”

Kabero moved his weight from one leg to the other. “She fifteen.”

“What else?”

“She small and thin, her name Jerie.”

“When will we go?”

“Baba says in afternoon.”

“What will she eat? Should we go shopping?”

“She eats anything Bwana.”

“Well thank you Kabero. I’m off to bed.”

I remembered to switch the fan on, then lay under the single sheet with the moonlight through the curtains silvering the room. I repeated “Jerie”, “Jerie” to myself. A strange excitement stirred deep inside me.