Eunuched reminds us that fortune favours not only the brave, but also the alert.
Eunuched is the next chapter in our saga, A Family Affair. The morning after the night before. Read on ...
‘Gerhard’s late this morning,’ Tom hissed at the start of early morning training. ‘Has he got a black eye too, Santie?’
‘No, his face is fine,’ Santie retorted.
Just then a message was relayed to the Sergeant in charge. Glancing at it, he looked up, ‘Student Constable Veenstra, the colonel wants to see you. Now, at the double.’
Santie made her way to the Colonel’s office, knowing the command could only mean trouble. Gerhard was his protégé. But she was not experiencing the slightest remorse.
The bastard had only got what was coming to all of his sort, one way or another. Rapists always get it eventually, she reasoned; either a nasty little bug, or a kick in the crown jewels. He could consider himself lucky she had not poked out his eyes.
The colonel’s face was grim: ‘How could you do that to a man, Constable? The doctor tells me that he may be ruined for life; eunuched.’
‘He was raping me, sir.’
‘Do not tell me that the strongest and fittest woman in the class got herself into the compromising position where she could be raped. I do not believe it. Well, what have you to say for yourself?’
‘Sir, it is true that I was stupid. He invited me to dinner and I accepted, not knowing that he was taking me to one of the sergeant's home. I thought we were going to a restaurant.’
A Family Affair is a trilogy by Bernard Preston; it traces the love affair between two women, and the man they seduce into giving them four children. Eunuched it lifted from Book I, The Bostonians.
Eunuched brings to an end Santie Veenstra's life in the police college in Pretoria; one door closes, and another opens.
‘Maybe so, Constable. But you were under no obligation to go with him.’
‘He made me feel guilty, sir, telling me he had spent the whole afternoon preparing dinner. It was very foolish of me.’
‘You make it sound very plausible, Constable, but your hatred and distrust of men in general is well known. You are going to be charged with assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm.’
‘Sir, I was raped one hundred and thirty eight times by my father. I will never let any man do that to me again.’
The colonel put his head between his hands: ‘Oh, my God, what is this world coming to?’ He was silent for a few moments. ‘I’m sorry, Constable. I didn’t know. But you may still be facing a charge of assault. Can anyone attest to the fact your father abused you? A doctor? A relative?’
‘My aunt, sir.’
He nodded. ‘I’ll support you as best I can, constable, when all the facts are out, but it doesn’t look good.’
Neither Santie or Gerhard were at the closing parade. Colonel van Beest read out the awards of his two best students in absentia, something he had never done before.
Santie was booked off for a month. As for Gerhard, once the swelling of his testicles came down, he was indeed found to be a eunuch. At the pre-trial of Student Constable Santie Veenstra, two girls in her class testified under oath that Gerhard had raped them during their six months in the police college. The charges against Santie were quietly dropped, and the police decided that Gerhard had been adequately punished.
When not writing his lurid tales like Eunuched, Bernard Preston is a semi retired chiropractor.
"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy."
Florence Scovel Shinn
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