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Ghost buster

27 August 2012, 07:19


Some years ago wife and myself decided to explore the smaller settlements in and around Kimberley. It was a Friday afternoon and on the return trip from Schmidtsdrift we passed a well groomed tallish man standing beside the road hiking. We stopped and loaded him up. He introduced himself as John Doe and he was residing in South Africa but only during the winter months while in the summer months he would return to his home in Thurso, Northern Scotland. He was a mechanical engineer by occupation. His main interest was the railways systems globally.

He could recite practically every station and siding between Johannesburg and Cape Town with , and including most over the rest of the country. He lodged in Kimberley and on Friday nights he led the Ghost Trail through the city, pointing out where ghosts still haunt mankind, even into the gloomy cemeteries in the dark of night. He knew the city well and most of its history too, relating to haunting.He carried a cool-bag around loaded with wine and plastic cups to sooth any ghost-wise wrenched minds. The favourite destination was an old house in which the late dear Daisy De Melker planned her heinous tricks. Few people actually entered those portals. Daisy was a real nasty bit of work.    

After the completion of the trail he would turn up at my place and we would spend much of the remaining night emptying beer bottles.     Much of our time, other than imbibing, was spent in argument as to the nature of ghosts. John claimed ghosts are made up out of energy while I proclaimed they never and cannot exist in our dimension. He could never define the nature of the ghostly energy and usually put it down to  energy connected to other universes. Quite astute I dare say but if he failed to convince me he would then throw out some thermodynamic equation which was interpreted as “Another round please”.  John’s strong point was he could convince most people that he actually saw ghosts. People tend to listen to what they hear without first evaluating the information. And with an powered voice like John had few people could hear otherwise.    

When the wee hours of the morning approached and the beer turned flat I would see that John has come to the end of his day. A breakfast was scrambled up and the first thing he would say is “I use only English mustard” and “I don’t eat eggs , thank you”.     

He would insist on walking to his lodgings but I managed to force him into the bakkie and take him home. He never quite understood the criminal element in Kimberley.    

John was rather eccentric and enjoyed life as he saw it. When returning to Britain he would hike to Cape town and buy his way on a  cargo carrier for about a quarter of the actual price and bunk down with the crew.Sadly he will no longer be coming to South Africa again. JOHN  IS  A FICTITIOUS NAME
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