Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #119) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #119)
Transcript: to put on a pretence of bravery."You touch me and you'll be completely ruined. I'll take tou to the highest court in the land",I retorted. No one could have been more surprised than myself when I noticed the sergeant hesitate. I straightened my back even more and plunged into the offensive. That saved me and he turned to the car and ransacked it. From under the floor mat in the front he pulled out a copy of a newspaper which I had hidden immediately the accident occured. He looked at the title and exploded: "Wragtig ons het 'n Kommunis gevang!" (My word, we've caught a communist). It was a copy of "New Age". He left behind him an African constable to guard me and hurried off.
I tried to speak to my kinsman but the situation was hot and he was unfriendly. Our friend was back by about 8 p.m., accompanied by another sergeant and a different approach. He was all politeness and intent on his duties. But I had tasted victory and had become more difficult. I objected to the taking of measurements at night when the accident had occured during the day. "Mandela", he said, "I want to help you resume your journey. But if you are difficult I will have no alternative but to lock you up." That sobered me. I had reached the limits of my advantage.
The next day I was travelling through the district of Excelsior when I ran out of petrol. I explained my difficulty in English to an elderly white lady. She had an agressive face that I would easily recognise even if we met in a crowd at the Red Square of before the Vatican. Her reply was simple and tart and there was no mistaking the nuance. "I have no petrol for you." I tramped another two miles to the next farm. Chastened by the earlier attempt I covered up my own need and told the farmer my boss had sent me. I got the petrol. He was a friendly person and a relative of the South
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