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Life for a Life - South Africa (Novel)

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Submitted By emma533a
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Life for a life

This short story is written by Alan Paton in 1961.
The story takes place in a village called Kroon located in Karoo. As far as we know, the village is located in a valley. The white people are inhabiting one side of the valley, and the “brown” people inhabit the other side of the valley. The master of Kroon, Big Baas Flip, is recently dead and the white investigators suspect, that one of the “brown” people may have murdered him, as well as hid his safe. On the other side of the valley, lives the head shepherd of Kroon, Enoch Maarman and his wife Sara Maarman. As the two investigators, one of them being Robbertse, known as a mad detective, who easily lost his temper, come over to ask the Maarman’s some questions, we find that Enoch is rather being interrogated, than being asked questions. Detective Robbertse lies about his son being in town, and not in Cape Town where he lives, to study. This is very dangerous, as the now deceased Big Baas Flip forbid Enoch’s son to come to the farm again, because Enoch wouldn’t let his son become a shepherd, but rather send him to a white university, where he could built a future. This leads to some unpleasant times, where Robbertse loses his temper and indirectly threatens Enoch Maarman, for answers, which he cannot give. The mad detective demands, that Enoch comes with them early the next day to search for the safe, as he believes, that one of the “brown” people hid it on the farm. Sara is worried sick, when Enoch never comes home. Her younger brother, Solomon, later comes to town, with some good news and some bad news for Sara. The good news is that her son never were in Kroon, but that her husband, Enoch Maarman had passed away. Sara stays strong and go to the police office the next day, where she finds out that her husband supposedly had died because of sub cranial bleeding, due to him slipping on some rocks...

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