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and I were only a degree or two more cheerful. It was hoped that the next day, or as soon as possible, spares could be flown down to repair the damaged wheels and, in the meantime, the three pupils and I would be left to do our best to make the next landings safer by filling the ant-bear holes with the stones which littered the grass and moving a few of the haystacks clear to create one rather wider and safer landing strip. Wilcox took off in my Harvard without trouble, Tony Gaudioz doubtless rehearsing what he would say and how he would behave when they got safely back to Thornhill. The pupils and I set to work in the sweaty heat, with blackjacks sticking into our RAF khaki stockings and causing lots of discomfort, collecting the larger stones and stuffing them into the ant-bear holes. We concentrated on the half of the strip on which I had done my landing, for there was little point in making the whole serviceable if half would do. Mrs Kemp kept us well watered and fed during the rest of the day and just before the sun was due to go down a truck appeared out of the bundu on the far side of the track and arrived at the farm buildings. Out of it stepped a middle-aged, rather small and wiry man. It was the farmer himself, Mr McDougall. As briefly as possible I introduced myself and the three pupils, explaining without going into detail something of the dilemma we had brought upon ourselves. Mr McDougall proved to be kindness itself. It was obvious that we were going to have to spend the night at Triangle Ranch and there were, fortunately, all the facilities needed for that. Not only was there, on the hill overlooking the airstrip, McDougall’s spacious farmhouse and another smaller house for his manager, but two or three separate rondavels, typical round huts with straw roofs and all amenities, which he used for guests. We were invited to clean ourselves up and join Mr McDougall for his evening meal. We sat down after a drink to a splendid meal whose main course was kudu steak. This was new to the visitors, but it seemed the locals ate rather a lot of it. During the meal Mr McDougall told us something about himself. He had been farming in the midlands of Southern Rhodesia until some years before this time, and had decided to move down to the Sabi River to grow grapefruit. With native labour he had built everything we could see around us. All the bricks, all the tiles, had been made on the spot from local materials. All the woodwork came from trees which had been cut down and fabricated into floors, window frames, doors and furniture. The rugs were the skins of animals shot in the district. The only importations were the glass for the windows, the door and bathroom hardware, and the screws, nuts and bolts needed to put everything together. The little settlement was exceedingly self-sufficient, as it needed to be with the nearest main road and township that 54 miles distant. From this base McDougall had carved out an extensive fruit farm, growing tons of grapefruit helped by the waters of the Sabi River. He had dug canals for irrigation, created the tracks he needed to move round his land, and employed a horde of Bantu


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