A Falcon Flies
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A Falcon Flies by Wilbur Smith
In 1860, a man and woman approach the coast of Africa aboard a swift clipper--in the command of an American who knows no law. Robyn Ballantyne and her brother Morris have waited years for this moment: to return to Africa, to search for their missionary father who had disappeared somewhere in the wilderness.
Traveling north from Cape Town, they follow a map left by a madman--into an uncharted world of waterfalls and jungle, teeming wildlife, murderous disease, and the ghastly ruins of an astounding city.
Uncovering their father's trail, Robyn and her brother are in the midst of a slave trade that pours out of Africa like a bloody wound. Now, to survive what they have found, they must make their separate ways out--through pitched battles on land and on sea...and through the pride, passions and fury of their hearts...
delicacy that the porters would miss once they left the river. Pereira suddenly hauled a man out of the line and hit him a lusty clout across the back of the head with the stock of his kurbash. ‘He come twice, try for double,’ he explained cheerfully, and took a playful kick at the man as he ran. If it had landed it would have knocked him off his feet, but all the porters had come to anticipate Camacho’s flying boots. Zouga waited until the last porter had been rationed, then he called to the
seemed to fill the night around them. ‘Leave it!’ Robyn shouted, her voice quavering and breaking. ‘Drop it – this instant!’ Unconsciously she was using the same commands as she had given her terrier as a child when it refused to deliver the rubber ball. Ahead of her in the darkness Sakkie heard her, and bleated feebly. ‘Help me – for God’s love, help me.’ But the lion pulled him away, leaving a long wet drag mark through the sand. Robyn was tiring rapidly, her arms ached from the weight of
King sent for him each day, and he must listen to Mzilikazi’s wisdom and eat huge quantities of half-raw beef washed down by pot after pot of beer. ‘Without a horse my warriors will overrun them before they can reload, even as we did to the Griquas, and afterwards we picked up over three hundred of their precious guns from the battlefield.’ Zouga nodded his agreement, smiling inwardly as he imagined the amadoda trying those tactics on a square of British infantry. Mzilikazi broke off to lift
slaver’s Captain,’ he ordered. With that gesture, the last of his madness was gone. ‘Forgive me, Doctor Ballantyne. We will speak later, but now there remains much to be done.’ He bowed slightly and hurried away calling his orders. ‘Carpenter’s mate, go below immediately, I want the damage to this ship repaired at once. Bosun, disarm her crew, and have them sent below under lock and key with a guard on the companionway. Two men on her wheel, and a prize crew to work her. We’ll sail her into
a cunning old bastard,’ he said quietly. He took one more slow look about the room, making certain that he overlooked nothing. The painting of the lion hunt was no longer on the easel, he noticed. Suddenly the humour of the situation struck him, and his scowl lightened, he began to chuckle ruefully to himself. ‘You had the last joke on the Ballantynes, didn’t you? By God, but you always did things your way, Tom Harkness, I’ll grant you that.’ He stood up slowly, and placed his hand on the