ADVENTURE IN A-MINOR
I turned around and faced Thabo, who was
watching me with a vague twitching of his scarred lips. He was a black
monolith of a man, towering at least six inches above me, but for the
moment his size did not intimidate me. I looked at him venomously.
The desperate situation manifested
itself in the person of Thabo. Thabo, who is supposed to know his way.
Thabo, who claimed he is the best guide around. 'Here I am in the middle of a mosquito-infested jungle, trying my
damnedest to find a way out for us, and you find the time to stand there
and snigger? Why don't you tell me the joke, as well? Then I can also
laugh my head off while we perish in this bloody hell!' I yelled at him
and discarded the panga with disgust. 'Mister Sanders, I think you are
not feeling well. Maybe we should rest,' he said soothingly.
He took off his gigantic backpack and dropped it to the ground.
I slumped down among the knotty vines and ignored the stung expression
that crept into his face. He hesitated, then crouched quietly next to
the backpack. The monkeys still screeched incessantly, grinding into the
tortured depths of my mind.
He then turned his face towards me, and I could see death in his eyes. His outstretched hand found the discarded panga and he jumped at me like a wounded leopard. He was upon me before I could even unclip the cumbersome .38-Special from my holster. Instinctively, I put up my left arm and rolled over, trying frantically to loosen the revolver. The panga swished past my ear and thudded into something solid behind me. A sudden thrashing made me look up. The panga was embedded in the flat head of an enormous cobra. Thabo was towering over it, delivering the final coup-de-grace. I guiltily slipped my hand from the holster and stared with awe at the squirming, dying snake.
Thabo pointed upwards with a bloodied hand.
© Etienne A. Marais – 1993