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brother was, but whatever he drove, it had to be of sufficient
substance to make the right statement. Large cars confer
status, and Bruce Dreyer believed in status. That’s
why he would never consent to Claude acquiring a vehicle
superior to his own.
He eased the long, gleaming shape out of the garage and
backed it up to the entrance porch. Harsh floodlighting
had turned the car’s finish from midnight blue to
stygian black. The V8 purred almost inaudibly, and while
he waited he got the surround sound to play some Nora
Jones. Nineteen speakers, the car consultant had told
him. Nineteen speakers and ten airbags. And four-zone
climate control with air purifier plus pollen and smog
filters – it was already cooling down nicely. Although
he wasn’t bothered with the technical details, he
knew that these features were of paramount importance.
These were the features that put a car into a certain
class and bestowed high social standing upon its owner.
This was one of those possessions that made other men
respectful and envious.
Another of Bruce Dreyer’s enviable possessions got
in beside him. As she made herself comfortable in the
heated, ventilated and electronically configurable seat
he let the vehicle slide down the driveway through an
avenue of trees and shrubbery.
The uniformed guard at the gate hurried from his sentry
box, automatic rifle over left shoulder, two-way radio
in right hand.
“All clear?” Dreyer asked, not bothering to
greet the man.
“I check with the outside, Sir.”
He spoke into the radio in a mixture of English and Sesotho.
The radio crackled and a voice came back loud and clear.
“All is 100 percent, Sir. I open the gate.”
As the gate began to roll back, the window completed its
silent ascent, sealing off the driver and passenger from
the hostile environment they were about to pass through.
They could relax in sumptuous security for the duration
of the short journey to Parktown East.
In the dark street they passed the two guards on foot
patrol. One of them waved his flashlight in a kind of
salute as the car swept by. What a state of affairs, Dreyer
thought to himself. What a country. All this security
just to be able to drive in and out of your private residence.
You had to throw more and more money at it to keep ahead
of the problem. And if you didn’t, you’d end
up another dumb-fucker statistic.
Yes, the dumb fuckers were the ones who were negligent,
or didn’t have the bucks to keep upgrading their
security arrangements. They were the ones hijacked at