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The Lemon Orchard

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Introduction

The Lemon Orchard "Hello? Somebody there?" A creaking sound came from the lightweight plywood door. "Hello?" Suddenly a tremendous crashing sound came, as the cheap door swung open, falling away from the very hinges holding it in place. I leapt up from my straw and grass filled bed, only to be hit on the head with a heavy metal object, knocking me into semi-unconsciousness. The last thing I remember is being dragged, semi- naked across the rough earth floor, before falling into pitch blackness. I do not know how long I was unconscious for, but it must have been only a few minutes, as I could see the log fire, used for heating the small shack, still burning. I grunted and the group of kidnappers stopped dead. Two hands came down and hauled me to my feet. I tried to get my bearings but fell over. From the dark, cold night, lighted only by the faint glow of a lantern a voice said, "Don't go so fast". I recognised immediately the Afrikaans accent of someone who was not totally familiar with the English language. ...read more.

Middle

Oom asked, "Are you cold, hotnot?" I did not answer, even though I was afraid, I could not bring myself to answer to these evil men. Another man asked if I were shivering with fear but again I did not answer. I also noticed, to my horror, that the men either side of me were carrying sjamboks, a deadly weapon which could easily kill a man. The fact that I did not answer Oom's question only enraged him further. "He is a slim hotnot, one of those educated Bushmen." More insults. Oom was now in a rage, "When a baas speaks to you, you answer him." Oom brought the shotgun up against the small of my back but I couldn't resist as my hand were tied behind my back with a riem. "Answer me or I will shoot a hole through your spine." Again the night was silent, apart from the tiny metallic click of the hammer of Oom's shotgun being pulled back and the now monotonous sound of the crickets. Despite the cold, I was now sweating. "For God's sake, do not shoot him, we do not want to be involved in any murder." ...read more.

Conclusion

The gang were obviously opposed to all black people; they did not even want black people to be educated. The sudden silence came once more. The sharp bark of the dog which had been barking earlier could be heard again, this time it sounded further away and the tiny creak of the crickets was still just audible. "It's that Jagter," the man with the lantern said, "I would like to have a dog like that. I would take great care of such a dog." I found this statement very ironic, as the men were taking me away to beat me; yet one man was talking about his love for a dog. The pleasant aroma of the lemons in the orchard that we were still travelling through mixed with the soft sounds of the cold night, made this a beautiful setting, which, ironically, an evil deed was about to occur. The only proper light of the journey now shone, as the clouds uncovered the bright moon. "This is as good a place as any." The time had come. I just prayed that the beauty and peace of the surroundings would somehow help ease the inevitable pain, as I closed my eyes and returned to the world of pitch-blackness. ...read more.

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