Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, April 06, 2009

NAIROBI NEWS: 1920 “TROUBLE IN THE KIKUYU VILLAGE!”

NOTE: The cover or The Leopard’s Prey is now an online puzzle. Go to http://www.allstarpuzzles.com/picture/index.html and click on “It’s A Mystery” (if you are reading this as an archived article and the puzzle title doesn’t show, then it has been archived. Go to the bottom of that page and click on puzzle 2221)

Nairobi justice extended beyond the confines of the city and the bounds of British society. The native tribes were no longer able to take matters into their own hands and settle all their disputes in their own villages. So when one Kikuyu killed another, the case went before the High Court and before the acting Chief Justice whose name possibly pre-destined him for the job: the Honorable Mr. Justice Maxwell. The East African Standard reported on the case in the March 27, 1920 issue.

Even in the tribal disputes, there was a prosecutor and a defense as well as witnesses. The story began with Acting Inspector Ridgeway receiving a report of the deceased, a Kikuyu man. The deceased has a “small wound behind the knee joint of the left leg.” The wound, a half inch deep and 2 and a half inches long, must have cut a femoral artery, for the man died of hemorrhage. The accused was another Kikuyu man.


The shauri (dispute) was over a spot of land. The deceased wanted the accused to move as he (the deceased) wanted to build a hut for his wife there. When the deceased asked the accused when he was moving away, the accused replied that he would go when he liked. The deceased then threw a type of knife known as “a slasher” at the accused. The accused deflected the blow with a stick which he held, then threw the “slasher” back at the deceased, striking him behind the knee. One might assume that the deceased had turned to run away when the fatal blow was struck.

The deceased’s wife was a witness on the stand. She did not make any attempt to bind her husband’s wound. Three other natives stated that the accused hadn’t intended to kill anyone and that he had provocation. “His Honour found the accused guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to six months rigorous imprisonment.” No action was taken against the wife for any act of negligence.

NEXT WEEK: More Nairobi news

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com and follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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