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Keep Off This Grass

Mike Lord Updated
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Keep Off This Grass

Book information

Full Title
Keep Off This Grass
Rated for Readers
Rated PG (not necessarily suitable for children)
Other Contributors
The original book was written by Harry Norton in about 1970.

Book Description

A young veterinary surgeon who has recently inherited his father’s estate in Southern Rhodesia. He is suddenly confronted by a series of incidents from people who want him to sell his ranch, and failing an offer an attempt by three visitors to persuade him by a financial offer, which he politely by firmly refuses they try other methods!
The situation becomes complicated by the return to Rhodesia of his twin younger sisters, and a friend, which also attracts the local medical officer and the community policeman.
The first method used by his opponents is to ‘burn him out’ by setting fire to veldt grassland using a wind to consume his ranch house; Tony subsequently meets a more senior Inspector of Police who offers his advice.
Tony’s workers then find four poisoned deer, which on investigation is found to be from an arsenical cattle dip poured into one of the lakes for his cattle. Tony knows he has to drain the lake and finds an underground cavern, which is obviously a disused gold mine from previous civilisations.
In exploring the drainage system for the cavern Tony is shot at by a sniper, but fortunately is not hit by a bullet, although the police find a cartridge from a rifle and mysterious footprints and vehicle tracks.
The police offer advice that the underground cavern dates back to the Zimbabwe civilisation of several hundred years earlier, and Tony and his family begin to explore the huge cave, which they give a local name.
In the meantime to regular operations have to continue on the ranch. Cattle have to be dipped and inoculated against contagious diseases, and the calves have to be separated from their parent cows, and ranch staff and their families need medical attention.
Tony and a policeman discover an unwelcome pair spying on their activities in the cavern, and they manage to avoid an explosion which would have buried them all. It is then Tony finds the heliograph system that is reporting on their movements, and the interest of the police deepens.
It is then found that it is not gold but another valuable mineral that the attackers are after, and the plot deepens with international activists involved.
A gang try to drive off and stampede cattle in one area; another large group of men bent on trouble are driven off with the help of the police, using aircraft and tear gas. Tony is speared by an assegai in his shoulder, but recovers.
The police find that there are even traitors in their own ranks, but the culprit is arrested, and is found to be carrying a concealed revolver. The plot unravels and there are several happy endings.

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