Keep Off This Grass: battle for gold and uranium in colonial Rhodesia
By Mike Lord
A tale of international intrigue set in the glorious ranch land of Rhodesia in the early 20th Century. A young veterinary surgeon is faced with management of a large herd of cattle, but the ranch is suddenly plagued with veldt fires, poisoning, stampede, flooding and even attempted murder.
Action and Adventure in colonial Africa, you must READ ON:
A young veterinary surgeon, who has recently inherited his father’s estate in Southern Rhodesia, is suddenly confronted by a series of incidents from people who want him to sell his ranch, which he politely by firmly refuses, they try other methods!
The situation becomes complicated by the return to Rhodesia of his twin younger sisters, and a friend, which also attracts the attention of the local medical officer and the community policeman.
The first method used by his opponents is to burn him out by setting fire to veldt grassland using a wind to consume his ranch house; he subsequently meets a more senior Inspector of Police who offers his advice.
His workers then find four poisoned deer, which on investigation is found to come from an arsenical cattle dip poured into one of the lakes for his cattle. He knows he has to drain the lake and whilst doing that he finds an underground cavern, which is obviously a disused gold mine from previous civilisations. In exploring the drainage system for the cavern he is shot at by a sniper, but fortunately is not hit by a bullet, although the police find a cartridge from a rifle and mysterious footprints and vehicle tracks. The police offer advice that the underground cavern may date back to the Zimbabwe civilisation of several hundred years earlier, and they begin to explore the huge cave, which they give a local name. In the meantime regular operations have to continue on the ranch. Cattle have to be dipped and inoculated against contagious diseases, calves have to be separated from their parent cows, and ranch staff and their families need medical attention. He and a policeman discover an unwelcome pair spying on their activities in the cavern, and they manage to avoid an explosion which would have buried them all. It is then they find the heliograph system that is reporting on their movements, and the interest of the police deepens. It transpires that is not gold but another valuable mineral that the attackers are after, and the plot deepens with international activists involved. A gang try to drive off and stampede cattle in one area; another large group of men bent on trouble are driven off with the help of the police, using aircraft and tear gas. Tony is speared by an assegai in his shoulder, but recovers. The police find that there are even traitors in their own ranks, but the culprit is arrested, and is found to be carrying a concealed revolver. The plot unravels and there are several happy endings.
Books by Mike Lord
by Mike Lord
The twenty three chapters in the manuscript are anecdotes of things that really happened in various locations during those years. Some are funny but others are shocking and alarming. One chapter relates to a flight in a DC3 from Singapore to England in 1952, followed by a real life by shocking visit to Benin State in Nigeria during the Biafran war, and the third during work on a project in Libya.
by Mike Lord
The Tay Son uprising, removing the Nguyen and Trinh dynasties, defeating the invaders from Siam, and then the massive Tsing invasion from Beijing, and unifying the country. Princess Le Ngoc Han is married to the Tay Son leader, who declares himself Emperor Quang Trung to defeat the Tsing. Following popular agricultural and educational reforms, Quang Trung dies suddenly, aged 40, and his widow laments writing some beautiful and stirring poetry.
by Mike Lord
The story is set in 5th Century Sri Lanka – Taprobane as it was then called. A princess from Eritrea becomes the fourth wife of the Raja of Taprobane. The story relates her journey by land and sea, escorted by her brother, from Assaba to Puttulam, and their adventures on the way, even being attacked by pirates! The story continues with her marriage, and her life in the rock fortress of Sinagiri, meaning Lion Rock (nowadays called Singirya).
by Mike Lord
In 1659 an English Ship, called “Ann” was almost wrecked off the north west coast of Ceylon, and the Captain Robert Knox and several members of his crew were tricked and then captured, and imprisoned for almost 20 years until a small group escaped. In 1680 Robert Knox Junior, published a book in London detailed his life during the 20 years of captivity.