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   Gem adventure of the Swiss twins. ( Novel ). ©
    June 26, 1988.
   The plane landed early – something extremely rare on
   the AirMad line serving Tananarive.
   Mrs. Nory was standing on the airport's tarmac,
   right next to a gendarme.
   Her son, her brother the airport's director, and some
   vague relationship accompanied her.
   She welcomed her daughter Tina coming back from Italy. The nine years she had spent there, 
   had metamorphosed the young lady, she almost became vazaha. "foreigner, in Madagascar 
   language."
   Tina caught the stair's metallic fence. Her blue dress was floating in the overheated air, sweeping 
   the black tarmac. She saw some familiar silhouettes far away. The young woman showed a 
   movement of retreat, perhaps, her diploma of chemist engineer, acquired recently, would help her 
   blur the vindication of the assistance who came here to meet her, she thought .
   John and Alain followed the lady. She had met the twins during their stop over in Rome and got 
   acquainted with them. This meeting was not fortuitous, because it was her mother who arranged 
   it.
   Readjusting her scarf, Mrs. Nory moved on. - I see her, she is not in a hurry to go down, she said. 
   The lady did not take of her black glasses to kiss her daughter. This coldness intrigued Alain.
   And, Tina introduced her new friends, the precious stone experts, waited impatiently in 
   Tananarive.
   Alain noticed a certain ambiguity and even some condescension from the clever lady with her 
   daughter.
   Then, both vazaha precipitated towards a wooden shelf. They filled in the immigration forms.
   Details on their origin, the goal of their visit, the exact sums imported was explicitly asked to them,
   and a police officer gave them a lined sheet to be made plug to each hotel in which they would 
   go down.
   Charged of cumbersome parcels, Alain painfully cut through the crowd.
   The twins separately took seat in two cars brought here to pick up them. John went up in the
   roomy BMW with the mother. And the prodigal girl took seat right next to Alain, in the Peugeot.
   Driving fast, compressed against the door, Alain noticed a black Mercedes coming in opposite 
   direction.
   - This is my uncle, the president of the national assembly, shouted Tina, She then added that the man
   - a famous reverend - had the habit to harp virulent Marxists sermons to his flocks.
   The hearse color limousine disappeared behind enormous billboards marking out the road of the dike...

   - To the Terminus!  Ordered John to the taxi driver.
   The hotel Terminus was located at the center town, opposite to the railway station at the corner 
   of the Independence Avenue. 
   Large house plants decorated the hall. It was a building of the purest colonial style.
   Inside, the atmosphere of the Twenties was perpetuated. A large staircase of brown wood 
   led to the rooms, the employees - flexible and trained - waxed it several times a day.
   The owner, an old and little vulgar settler, directed her staff with an iron hands.
   By derision, the employees called her "tara shambo", as the Madagascans named former colonists 
   who were too late to take the last boat to the decolonization . Mrs. Morlan - her real name -
   was everywhere at the same time.  Like a sheepdog, she was ready to bark her sheep at the
   least prank.  It should be said that the staff had of it the attitude.  Always dressed in white
   immaculate blouses, it had kept this subjected position which characterized the relationship
   that natives had with their Masters during colonial times.
   All were bare footed. Their miserable wages guarantee calm and rest to the establishment's 
   customers.

   A porter ran into the lobby. He relieved the twins of their two larger bags and invited them to follow
   him. John, climbing the stairs, slipped on the soaped steps. He hung up again himself to the fence.
   – This is Holiday one ice, he launched to his brother desperately trying to follow the guide.
   - You know, Al, it'll be necessary that you call Coco without too much delay, he recommend, as if
   this hitch had shake his meninx.
   Coco was not a parrot and even less a vazaha!  In Madagascar, one called everyone by their first
   name and even more readily by their small name...
                                           Precious Stone Adventure
                         Alain Darbellay   ( Excerpt ) ©
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