The Timor Man

The Timor Man by Kerry B. Collison Read Free Book Online

Book: The Timor Man by Kerry B. Collison Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kerry B. Collison
Tags: Fiction, Fiction - Thriller
    â€œWell then, Paddy,” Pete Davies commenced, winking in the direction of his drinking associates, “when will we hear the patter of little feet around here?”
    â€œWhen hell freezes over!” Paddy responded, eyes narrowing a little as the blood pressure rose and his muscles tightened. He did not appreciate this type of talk. Having his daughter married to the Timorese was bad enough; having her procreate with the man would be socially unforgivable!
    Mary, unfortunately for all present, happened to overhear the rejoinder and slipped up behind her father, placing her arms around most of his enlarged stomach. “Looks like next year will be a very cold year then dad.” Mary insinuated, not realising that she had struck her father straight through the heart in front of all of his drinking mates.
    â€œ I will make you a grandfather, yet,” Albert added.
    There was a hush. The men knew Paddy only too well. He was going to blow, and they did not wish to be on the receiving end of his temper, drunk or sober. His face turned scarlet as his chronically abused heart forced itself into overdrive in line with the adrenalin surge.
    O’Malley bellowed with rage. Just once. Then he collapsed. Guests and family alike stood rooted as Paddy’s body fell limp to the floor. It was all over in just a few seconds. He had roared once, then died. The ambulance arrived within the half hour and Albert, sensing the mood, left his wife alone with her grief and her emotional family friends.
    Mary and Albert never did begin the family she had hoped for. The guilt of her father’s death ruined all chance of Mary and Albert having a normal happy married life. After the funeral the Seda household became quiet. Albert continued his studies, deliberately staying up late to permit Mary the opportunity to go to sleep before he retired.
    He was extremely self conscious. He imagined that friends and acquaintances would whisper behind his back regarding his father-in- law’s untimely heart attack, saying he was responsible.
    As months wore on his self confidence returned, and he learned to tolerate the bigoted Australian middle-class attitudes.
    He concentrated his energies on his new teaching position. The challenge of preparing the young trainees from the government departments was rewarding and, generally speaking, Albert found the quality of these potential diplomats and consular employees surprisingly high.
    He was one of a number of teaching staff selected to train the students in the formal use of the Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia . He rarely experienced animosity from the students as they identified a genuine willingness on his part to assist. It was this sincerity that enabled him to establish close bonds with them. Albert had found his niche. He was content although his co-workers often remained aloof. He had conditioned himself to ignore the social difficulties which existed between the staff members. Some academics publicly supported full racial integration while secretly concealing their distaste for mixed marriages. Amongst their number there were fathers who cringed at the very thought of their daughters marrying someone like Mary’s “Alburp”, as Seda was so unkindly referred to when out of earshot.
    His recently acquired nick-name stuck when an instructor from the French department grossly embellished an incident which occurred during a formal dinner for the newly appointed finance director. Unaccustomed to the paté, Seda had burped during a lull between speeches and, visibly embarrassed, had then broken wind causing those sitting nearest to pale considerably. Mary had attempted to make light of the matter, but Albert’s silence subsequent to the incident indicated all too clearly how deeply sensitive he was to the caustic comments and the general attitude of his fellow teachers. Over a period of time his embarrassment turned to disappointment and, eventually,

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