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10

Precious Ramotswe stayed at school until she was sixteen and then she had a series of smallish jobs. She met a handsome trumpeter called Note Mokoti, and she married him. It was a terrible mistake, of the sort that any young person can make when confronted with glamour or good looks. Note was a bad husband and he was violent toward her, hurting her.

She had a baby, who lived only a matter of hours. She was able to hold this small scrap of humanity until death took the child from her. Note did not even come to the funeral. Her father, Obed, took her back when Note left. He did not gloat, although he had seen Note for what he was; he simply took her back into his home.

In due course Obed himself became ill. The mines had ruined his lungs, and the damage that they had done caught up with him. Part of Mma Ramotswe’s world ended when Obed died. Part of Botswana, this country she loved so much, seemed to wither and recede into the past.


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