Brand de la Rey is a scientist conducting research in a remote area near Mozambique. Nearby is a clinic which becomes a refuge for hundreds of refugees escaping the famine caused by drought. Brand and the clinic's meagre staff desperately try to help the starving and when supplies are running out come up with a daring plan to evacuate the people by plane to a Red Cross camp. A story of love and despair, death and survival.
It was five o'clock in the afternoon and the yard a sweltering hollow in the forest. I was shaving; the first time in many days. It was painful because the blade was worn and the water lukewarm. There was a glass of wine in front of me on the windowsill and after every fifth or sixth razor stroke I would dab more soap on my chin and sip at the wine and the wine wasn't up to much but it was wine and it was cold. I made sure, each time, to replace the glass precisely on its little wet ring. And to take my mind off the business of shaving I tried to remember when last I'd seen a human being. Normally Vusi would be somewhere in the vicinity from early to late, but without him the house and the yard and the forest presented a lonesome aspect. Was it de Gaspri, the previous Friday, when he'd brought provisions? Or had Strydom been here after him