Karabo stared out of the enormous glass windows of the airport. As her nose pressed gently against the pane, she watched the planes move slowly along the ground. The people looked like Lego men, with Lego vehicles that pushed mobile staircases towards the planes. The window felt ice-cold against her nose and she felt even more excited. August in the Highveld could chill you to your bones, but the trip they were about to take was going to land them in summer.
Karabo turned around to look at the seating area. In a group sat her mother, Isla, Cedric, Mzi, William and Jez. She shook her head slightly, to make sure she wasn’t having another one of her dreams. This was going to be a very interesting trip to Madagascar. In fact, she still couldn’t believe that they had managed to get everyone here in agreement — ready to catch a flight to the island — to try and capture Edward English and his ill-gotten treasure.
It had all started when Anathi found out that Jez was a descendant of Malagasy royalty. As an incredibly resourceful and insightful lawyer, she began to delve into Malagasy law and Jez’s possible royal heritage. Once she realised that there an incredibly strong case for Jez, and one worth pursuing, Anathi had contacted the authorities in Madagascar. She wanted to find out if areas of the
island could be purchased with private rights to the beach, and was surprised to learn that it was indeed possible. This made Edward’s proclamation that he wanted Lobengula’s treasure to rebuild the fabled Libertalia seem less ridiculous. Despite trying to get a list of the people who owned these private sectors of beach, she hadn’t been able to convince the bureaucrat on the other end of the line to give her the information. That was when she went to visit Cedric, to tell him about everything she’d found out, and about her suspicion that Edward would be in Madagascar.
Cedric, a clever and well-connected businessman, had immediately contacted a number of influential people and his own private investigator. The results of all of these enquiries had revealed that a French businessman — who had made his fortune in generic medicines in South Africa — now owned a large area of Nosy Be, an island off Madagascar’s north western coast. This businessman was currently selling the land and was in negotiations with a buyer. Cedric’s investigator had seen the Frenchman meet with a man he identified as none other than Edward English. An island like Nosy Be would be perfect for English’s plans. With a large, natural harbour and removed from the mainland, Edward would begin building his Libertalia — a place where criminals would be safe and a law unto themselves.
The information had snowballed into the idea of going to Madagascar. By working with the authorities to capture English, their plan was to have him deported to South Africa, where he would face a trial and jail. Cedric asked Anathi and Jez to accompany him — Anathi as his lawyer and Jez to try and win over the authorities with her status. Anathi had been working non-stop with Jez for most of the second term to build her file. They had to make sure they had all the evidence they’d need to prove their case to the Malagasy government. Anathi told Karabo about their plans two weeks before the end of term.
‘Mom, how could you not tell me all of this?’ Karabo lamented.
‘I’m sorry my angel, I’ve been very busy trying to get all the documents we need together, to prove Jez is who she says she is. And the bureaucracy! Oh my word, from French bureaucrat, to Malagasy bureaucrat. It’s doing my head in!’ wailed Anathi.
Karabo decided it was now or never that she tell Anathi about what had happened. She, William and the sangoma knew for certain that Edward was in Madagascar. She was glad Anathi and Cedric were on the right track, but was still cross with her mother for not telling her about their plans until now.
‘He’s definitely in Madagascar.’ ‘What?’ asked Anathi. ‘Who? English?’
‘Yes, I went to the sangoma and saw him in a dream. He is in Madagascar. You guys are on the right track. I saw it Mom, seriously, you should have told me, and I could have saved you tons of investigator money.’
‘Why didn’t you tell me!’ demanded the high-pitched voice of Anathi
‘I didn’t know you and Cedric were going on a man hunt! Edward’s crazy, and in another country! What were you going to do?’ replied Karabo.
‘This! This is what we are going to do. Anyway, it’s too late now and it’s all decided. I’ve spoken to the Hepworths and you are going to their farm while we go to Madagascar,’ said Anathi.
‘What if I don’t want to go there?’ asked Karabo, annoyed at having her holiday decided for her without consultation.
‘Don’t be ridiculous Karabo. You love going there. Listen, I have to go. This conversation is going nowhere. Goodbye,’ said Anathi, putting the phone down in a huff.
Karabo and her mother hardly fought, and Karabo had ended up feeling deflated and hollow after Anathi had put the phone down.
Karabo told Isla about her conversation with Anathi.
‘But you never told me about Edward English being in Madagascar,’ said Isla, pouting in disapproval. Karabo looked down. She also hadn’t told Isla how William had kissed her after they came back from the sangoma. In fact, all she’d said to Isla was that the dream made sense now.
Question: Do you think Anathi and Cedric’s plan could work?