The Sound of Thunder (Courtney Family, Book 2)
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The Sound of Thunder, a Courtney Family Adventure by Wilbur Smith
The year is 1899. The British Empire is at the height of its power. But in South Africa, proud Dutch colonists defy the Queen and her army--and a lush, wild world is torn apart by guns, spears, and swords.
Sean Courtney had been tragically separated from his family, but the Boer War has brought him back to his homeland--and into the sights of his enemy's guns. It has also returned him to Ruth Friedman, the only woman Sean can love, even though he shouldn't. As Sean's loyalties--to nation, man, and blood--are tested, a saga of duty and betrayal unfolds....
cheek was swollen and inflamed and it wept pale lymph. But it was the eyes that alarmed Mbejane. ‘Nkosi.’ Mbejane tried to restrain him, but Sean did not hear. His eyes were glazing over with the madness that had taken the place of his grief. His head hunched down on his shoulders and he growled like an animal. ‘Take them! Take the bastards!’ And he went up and over the rock in a twisting leap with the bayoneted rifle held against his chest. ‘Come on!’ he roared and went up the slope so fast
ridge two days ago when I had three hundred men to hold it. But now I have five thousand to their twenty-five – so let them come! Suddenly, as he reached the crest, the valley of the Tugela lay below him. Soft with moonlight so that the river was a black gash in the land. He scowled as he saw the field of bivouac fires that straddled the drift at Trichardts farm. They have crossed. May God forgive me that I had to let them cross, but I could not meet and hold them with three hundred. Two days I
which was exactly half his savings. The following morning he began his intelligence work, and a week later he had collected a massive volume of information. She was eighteen years old and was on a visit to relations in Johannesburg, a visit scheduled to last a further six weeks. She came from a rich Natal family of brewers and hotel-keepers, but she was an orphan and a ward of her uncle. While in Johannesburg she rode every day, visited the theatre or danced every night with an assortment of
think you have heard me speak of him. He was with me at Colenso, and on the train a few weeks ago.’ ‘Indeed. Mr Courtney, this is a great pleasure.’ She was plump and friendly but Sean was hardly able to murmur the correct response so conscious was he of the other eyes upon his face. ‘And this is Major Peterson of my staff.’ Sean nodded. ‘Colonel Courtney you will probably know – seeing that you bear the same name, and not to mention the fact that he is your Commanding Officer.’ For the
Boers. Forward in the pounding hooves, forward in the shouting, in the continuous crackle of rifle-fire that sparkled along the line – with his fear left behind him, Sean spurred at them. Steadying the butt of his rifle under his right armpit, firing blind, blending his voice with the yelling of six hundred others, leading slightly in the centre of the line; he took his commando down upon the Boers. They broke before the charge. They had to break for they could not hope to stand against it.