Log 24-07-13

July 25, 2013

The blue police land rover stopped at the East gate of the plantation – five policemen dismounted and walked up the hill to the estate mansion.

At the gate, they were received by the planter’s 73 year old Hainanese man servant – standing behind him was Sami, the day watchman with his shot gun.

The Hainanese man servant noticed one of the policeman was holding a transparent plastic bag with arrows. He recognized them as those belonging to his master.

The 65 year old Subramaniam aka supermaniam – a famous hammer who once cut his teeth on the beat in the city in his younger days – who now served as an auxiliary police inspector in the reserve constabulary – Inspector Subramaniam could just make out the shape and form of the planter who sat some distance away from the gate in a rattan chair – from what he saw, it seemed the planter was only concerned about the flying birds above him – and cared very little for what was going on.

“We need to speak to the landowner.” The inspector asked

“What does it concern.” Exclaimed the Hainanese man servant.

“Last night four foreigners where tied, stripped naked and thrown outside the local constabulary. We believe your master can help us in the investigations.”

“I don’t see how that is possible – my master was in the provincial planters club last night. He only returned this morning.”

“Are these not your master’s arrows? They were found in the scene of the crime. Four mile North from here in Tejuruh Estate.”

“Now open this gate and call your master out.” Inspector Supermaniam boomed as he took one step closer towards the Hainanese man servant – at that moment, an invisible line had been crossed.

The dogs began to stir. The tribesmen bodyguards who were usually indolently roaming the grounds disappeared – even the kitchen hands, gardener along with farmhands had began to stop work and look up – the planter could sense there was something dangerous in the air.

When the planter stood up and glared towards the gate – Inspector Supermaniam instinctively took a step back. The man approaching was in bush jacket – there was something in the way his highly polished laced shoes clicked authoritatively on the concrete road – or maybe it was the granite hard features of the man who sported sunglasses. Perhaps it could have even have been the smoking briar pipe in the hand. The confident manner in which the man had brought normality back to a once shattered calm – the dogs began to calm down, the farmhands, servants and gardener began to return to their work – as for Inspector Supermaniam. The sight of the approaching landowner had magically transported him back to the moment of his youth – where he had remembered seeing this same man. A storm of memories.

Supermaniam had grown up in a rubber estate not far from here – throughout his youth. He had often seen the planter who wore the bush jacket. The man who all feared – the image of this mythical figure was so strongly imprinted in the mind of those who turned the wheel of life through the grace of the good earth – that even Supermaniam couldn’t help but feel all his vigor giving way to a sort of resignation – one where even he knew the man who stood before him that morning was none other than the same figure of lore who he had seen and heard of in his youth.

All that he could do was exclaim as best as he could to the granite faced man who as a child he knew to be the keeper of the great wheel of life. He had even remembered the dark early dawns during his youth when he had regularly seen such hard men returning from their nightly patrols to fight the communist – heard stories of how the man with the bush jacket was invincible.

“We are here to return back your arrows Sir.” The granite face man remained hard as if those words hardly register – he was waiting for something else.

Then it came, “It must have been stolen…”

And with these words, the gentlemen planter smiled supremely.

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