Fast little loans
Word in the international pirate community spread like wildfire when the Queen of England, brushing her teeth, dropped her royal crown during her 60th anniversary on the throne jubilee celebrations, and Cullinan Two, the 317 carat Lesser Star of Africa jewel, popped out of the crown’s casing and disappeared down the Buckingham Palace drainpipe.
“Drat!” Elizabeth exclaimed.
“What a time to suffer from diamond dropsy.”
“Despite what old Mr Oppenheimer assured us, diamonds are not for ever,” her husband Philip lamented.
Captain Blackbird’s nose, one of his last remaining intact appendages, was soon hot on the trail.
“It’s foolhardy to try and find the original, I tell yer,” Blackbird explained to his fellow officers Long John Platinum and Rupert Redbeard.
“They’ll never let us into London, let alone the palace. Our efforts would be more profitably spent copying it. After all, we have the advantage of local knowledge,” the captain continued, his eyes misting over in fond memory of the time he had spent in Zonderwater Prison, where he had been temporarily incarcerated in the 1980s for stock theft from PW Botha’s prize mixed Afrikaner-Nguni herd.
“The Cullinan mine is just around the corner,” he explained further. “I had a view of it from my cell’s window. I promise, cross my heart and hope to die.”
So the pirates’ plan was hatched. The Bountiful was soon anchored in False Bay, and under the cover of darkness the boat’s officers stole into the night, with athletic Rupert Redbeard in the lead, and LJP and Blackbird hot on his trail.
Within a few days the three buccaneers had scaled the colossal boerewors curtain which surrounded Tshwane like a moat, in search of Nigerian drug lords, who certainly would help them in their quest.
Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and loyalists the world over, wailed tearfully over the loss.
Scotland Yard was in a complete tizzy, having no luck when scouring the sewers, and the murky undergrowth of the moors.
“We need you to steal a rough diamond as big as a brick from the mine,” Blackbird whispered through Abadom Igbo’s ebony earring during half-time at Loftus Versveld.
“Then find a Doornfontein diamond-cutter to fashion it just like the Lesser Star of Africa – just Google it,” Blackbird explained to the perplexed West African.
“Don’t worry about how many flaws it has. The Queen’s sight, in her dotage, is not what it once was.”
Abadom rubbed his thumbs and forefingers together, and our good captain assured the rogue, one to another, that his efforts would be well-rewarded.
A stone of sheer magnificence was soon delivered to The Bountiful, comparing exactly to the image of the original. So the boat set sail, eventually docking in London’s Limehouse Basin.
Abadom easily convinced the British Protection Command security apparatchiks of his royal Nigerian credentials, and soon sat across the lounge from Her Royal Highness herself.
“No, no, no,” he explained. “King of the Mafi-obo, long-lost in the Nigerian hinterland.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” the monarch matriarch apologised politely, for wrongly assuming Adabom’s identity as an everyday West African, when he actually enjoyed blue-blood lineage.
Abadom apologised profusely in turn, on behalf of one of his scoundrel national compatriots, who had, he explained, delivered on a “finders keepers” basis Her Majesty’s missing jewel.
“You can see for yourself, it’s the original,” Abadom asserted, looking so deeply into Elizabeth’s eyes he could see her very soul.
“Oh gosh and golly, I can see it is!” she replied, leaping to her feet and smothering Abadom in a hug so warm it was usually reserved only for her favourite Corgi.
“But Lizzie, I want us to keep this a private affair, please,” implored the Nigerian drug lord comradely. “My country gets very bad press, and we can’t have this story out.”
“Abadom, my lips are sealed,” the queen reassured. “Now, can we reward you for having appropriated so valiantly my stone from your vagabond?”
“Oh, just perhaps my costs and a little extra, that’s all, which I’ll happily, actually prefer, be paid in jewels.”
“Oh, in that case, I insist you take the Lesser Star of Africa back,” retorted Elizabeth, who had not reigned over the British Empire for 60 years for nothing, and well knew a fool’s diamond when she saw one.
“It will be missed, but can be replaced. We’re up to date on our insurance premiums, you know,” she said, pushing the fool’s diamond back into Abadom’s sweaty palm.
On leaving the palace’s gate, Abadom was arrested, and on reading the news in the Sunday Sun, Blackbird and his cohorts trekked unhappily back towards False Bay.
Treasure-hunting Tip: As recruiters, our job is to be honest brokers. When we send candidates to clients in the knowledge they don’t meet the spec, or knowingly hide something negative, our dishonesty will be found out, to our detriment.
l Peter Christie is with Exclusive People. Contact them at 011 440 8560.