Chapter 31 – Samana Peninsular
The two women meandered down a gravel lane dotted with outdoor cafés, absorbing the ambience of the village. Tara was not surprised to see the same coconut palms from La Romana resort beach here too. And she was enthralled to see that the roofs of many of the huts along the side streets were covered in palm fronds, and that some of their walls were painted in the same attractive pastel colours of the huts along the Carretera Turística.
As soon as Tara began to focus on the charm of the little village, her enthusiasm bubbled over to Beatrix, and the ice between them was broken. Beatrix took pride in showing Tara aspects of her culture, even though she, too, was a visitor to the village. It took less than five minutes for the two women to begin chatting as if they had known one another for years.
‘How did you and Aurelio meet?’
‘We have known each other all our lives. Aurelio he ees my cozen.’
‘A close relative?’
‘No.’ She pronounced the word as ‘nor’, with a silent letter ‘r’, in a way that Tara found endearing. ‘Our family ees a big one. He ees a distant cozen. I think Aurelio, he invited me because to show off.’ The smile was demure, conspiratorial.
‘You like him, don’t you?’
Beatrix did not reply. Tara thought she saw a slight hunch of the shoulders and a barely perceptible nod. The girl stared at the ground as they walked, her head slightly forward.
‘Aurelio never told me he could play the guitar. Does he play well?’
‘Muy, muy bueno.’ There was something in the enthusiastic way Beatrix delivered the message, and both women laughed. They understood each other.
Beyond the cafés was a blue painted entrance façade to what might once have been an old church building. Through the entrance were shops. It was not quite as big as a mall, more like a gallery. Tara cast her eye over the stone mosaic floor and the clear lacquered wooden poles that graced the external covered walkways. A timber slatted ceiling covered with palm fronds was designed to shelter the shoppers in wet or hot weather. The shopping gallery was both practical and comfortably inviting.
A fruit vendor, selling pineapples, coconuts and sugarcane from the platform of a rickety old open truck, made Tara smile with a sense of familiarity. This particular vendor was not wearing a colourful singlet, but a check shirt that must have been through a hundred washes.
The village seemed to have a feeling of carefree tranquillity and comforting friendliness. It had something distinctive. Character? Charm? Tara couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
They continued their wanderings. The main road through Las Terrenas was tarred, but this did not detract from the sense that they had arrived at a sleepy country town. Everything seemed to move so slowly. Tara took in the scene which encompassed a dozen or so motor cycles parked at the edge of the roadside under the shade of a huge old tree, and two parked F100 style trucks with their windows left wide open. Further down the road, on the opposite side, she saw a couple of quads. In a moment of wry amusement she realised that this was city central. There were around twenty parked vehicles and maybe six or eight pedestrians in sight. But they weren’t really going anywhere; they seemed to be lolling around in pairs, just chatting to one another. Smiling, she found herself wondering what they did to relax.
There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur'an. Its force is strongest within the Earth's magnetic triangles.
Near one of these--the Bermuda Triangle--circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization?
About the Author:
In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests.
Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel.
The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society. The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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