Thursday, August 27, 2009
Featured Author - Excerpt
An excerpt from “Bechuana Interlude” by Herman Charles Bosman
“When he had filled the whole sheet of blotting paper with small circles, Johnny de Clerk stopped talking and put the printed documents in order.
‘I have proved to you why you should be insured for a thousand pounds, Oom Piet,’ he said. ‘So just sign your name here.’
Piet Venter shook his head.
‘Oh no,’ he replied. ‘I don’t want to.’
‘But you must,’ Johnny de Klerk went on, waving his hand towards Lenie, without looking up. ‘For the sake of your wife, here, you must.’
‘That is not my wife,’ Piet Venter replied. ‘That’s my daughter, Lenie. My wife has gone to Zeerust to visit her sister.’
‘Well then, for the sake of you wife and your daughter Lenie,’ Johnny de Klerk said. ‘and what’s more, I’ve already spent an hour talking to you. If I spend another hour I shall have to insure you for two thousand pounds.’
Piet Venter got frightened then, and took off his jacket and signed the application form without any more fuss. By the way he passed his hand over his forehead, I could see he was pleased to have got out of it so easily. I thought it was very considerate of Johnny de Klerk to have warned him in time. A more dishonest insurance agent, I felt, would just have gone on sitting there for the full two hours, and would then have filled in the documents, very coolly, for two thousand pounds. It was a pleasure for me to see an honest insurance agent at work, after I had come across so many of you might call the dishonest kind.”