The great N'Konga river shimmered in the summer heat as it sluggishly ambled between steep banks through the brown crisped grass of the summer plains and as I dreamed and planned which of my six wives to sleep with next when a distant thudding heralded the imminent arrival of a helicopter.
It was not unexpected but undoubtedly unwelcome, a sword of Damacles hanging over my little idyll as I ruled over my own village of some three hundred N'Konga tribesmen and women and a huge number of children.
It wasn't supposed to be like this, just a gap year really, but a childhood as the son of a mechanic in a Yorkshire mining village playing with machinery and a degree in Politics had set me up nicely for an isolated village with a failed water pump, in fact not one but three failed water pumps, one petrol powered in full working order but no petrol, a wind pump, with no wind, and an old lever action pump with a broken lever, and along I come, not on a gleaming white charger like a medeval knight but in a Bell Helicopter with some basic tools and a few sacks of food aid.
They thought I was the Messiah, all I did was shorten the wind pump shaft by two twelve foot sections, dismantle the tower and make a pair of handles so they could walk round and round and pump the water up that way, but to a tribe used to fetching filthy water from the crocodile infested N'Konga river it was life changing.
Of course I should have declined all the tributes offered, it was just the Charitable work I was supposed to do but I was young, it's no excuse but it's my excuse, and I was only supposed to be there a week but somehow I was forgotten as there was no way to re charge my satellite phone when I left it on and flattened the battery, so I made the best of it in an area Aids had yet to reach.
The N'Konga tribe had fought among themselves for generations, the leader seldom surviving for a year, his promises failing and sealing his fate as the coming man challenged, fought, succeeded and then failed to deliver so in many ways it was a relief for them to offer me the role as Tribal Chief.
I didn't appreciate that as chief I was expected to take a wife from each of the three main families but it was no hardship, and indeed it was now almost nine months since I had married them in a single moving and entirely meaningless ceremony, I had re christened them, Ann, Beatrice (Bea), Celia, A,B,C you see, as their tribal names were unrepeatable, certainly I couldn't get my tongue around them, but we soon had a great rapport growing, and seeing their happines I was quickly approached by other concerned fathers of girls reaching marriageable age and so my household had grown to six wives Daisy, Eve and Fanny having joined me in matrimonial bliss and fairly soon the swelling of their bellies was an indication six children would soon join them.
But now it seemed the much anticipated and dreaded return to civilisation was imminent as the Charity inspection Team liveried chopper was upon us.
The Bell Jet Ranger set down just beyond the end of "Main Street," and I ordered my Tribal friends to form a guard of honour, with their spears held at the slope which actually looked pretty aggressive and I waited for the inspectors to descend.
We must have looked very fearsome, myself as chief quite darkly tanned in my wide brimmed bush hat open neck shirt and shorts, my men bare breasted, but with arm bands for rank and Khaki shorts and boots and the women bare breasted wearing anything from a grass skirt through skimpy panties to a designer dress five sizes too small which Ann as my number one wife somehow managed to squeeze into or possibly through!
It quickly registered that one of the Helicopters occupants was a woman, but when she opened the door and stepped out her beauty was a shock to the system, nine months of black company had made me forget how irresistible a fair skinned fair haired european girl really was, and I leered inappropriately as this vision of loveliness descended from the port side passenger door.
I stared at her long lightly tanned legs stretching from her tight Khaki shorts to her practical Khaki boots and at her modest european breasts tightening the fabric of her tight white blouse, such a contrast to my tribes womens huge free swinging udders.
"Mr Harding," she queried as I stepped forward, "I'm Grace Telling, from UniChar SA?" she announced, "I think your inspection is somewhat overdue."
"Welcome to my humble village," I replied, "Please may I introduce my wives, Ann, Bea, Celia," I indicated them in turn, "And Daisy, Eve and Fanny."
"Hello," she said, "I'm Grace, Grace Telling"
"They don't speak much English yet, we're mainly French speakers here," I suggested, "But what did you want to know?" I asked as surrounded by my warriors we stood on the edge of our Village where the galvanised steel roofing sheets of the wooden framed mud brick houses shone like mirrors in the blazing sun.
"Where the Chief is for one thing," she said.
"He stood down, I'm chief now." I explained.
"Oh, that's most irregular, can we talk somewhere private?" she asked.
"Probably not, the girls will think we are having sex," I said.
"Mr Harding," she said frostily, her blue eyes somehow icily severe, "I can assure you that having sex with you is something I would rather die than contemplate."
"Which is largely irrelevant," I suggested "As Ann will accompany you at all times." I motioned towards my own modest home, easily the largest in the Village with two floors and a reception room large enough for the whole tribe to squeeze into.
We went upstairs to my room, I sat behind my desk, it was quite a smart desk, I made it myself,in fact I built most of the house and did nearly all the work on my room, it was quite a smart room, I just about wore out the wood plane planing the timber to panel out the mud brick walls so apart from no windows and no light it was as good as most garden sheds "Do you have the accounts?" she asked, as she sat down opposite me on a wooden chair I had made and Ann stood behind her.
"Sure!" I agreed and handed it to her.
"There's no entries." she said.
"No transactions," I agreed, "We trade,"
"But Mr Harding, am I to understand you are having sexual liaisons with natives?" she said.
"I have six wives yes," I agreed
"You're an animal!" she snapped, and reached forward as if to strike me, but Ann was too quick for her and dragged her back into her chair by her long blonde hair.
"Aw, what was that for?" she asked.
"Being rude to Ann's husband I suppose!" I explained, "But seriously, yes I am chief, more like Town Clerk than dictator, and according to tribal tradition I have a number of wives."
"It's against all the rules," she said, "I shall have to report this,"
"You do what you have to, you didn't come to give me a lift back then?" I asked.
"No, we heard reports of a large native canoe being seen on the N'Konga river." she said.
"Titanic," I explained, "I got the chaps to build a twin hull so the Crocs can't turn it over so easy."
"But they have traditions, traditions we must maintain," she exlplained as if I was some kind of idiot."
"And being Croc food is one of those!" I queried, "No you don't have a clue, degree in Sociology and."
"How did you know?" she asked.
"I didn't, your attitude maybe," I suggested, "Reckon you need a few months out here to learn not a couple of years partying your was through lectures."
"And you are an expert?" she asked.
"I did Politics, me" I said, "Mind you my dad taught me how to use a screwdriver, and that's far more useful."
She scowled disapprovingly at me, and then she looked up, "What's that," she said as we heard the Jet Rangers engines spooling up.
"Sounds like he wants to leave," I suggested, and as the thudding increased I realised he was actually leaving.
"No, for gods sake," Grace cried and hurled herself headlong down the stairs, (Which I built) and ran for the Bell, "John, Wait!" she squealed as she sprinted down main street with me following behind her..
"Sorry," John the pilot's voice boomed from a loudspeaker under the nose, "But we can't have you reporting back to London, Bye!" and he swung away in a neatly executed departure, only to swoop low again and throw out her backpack.
"Get on the Radio!" Grace squealed.
"What Radio?" I replied, "Why do you think I've been stuck here so long."
It was an awkward situation, completely unexpected, but a few things became clear, such as it wasn't an oversight that my satellite phone Photo cell was missing fromm my kit and I was sure we travelled south east not south west to the Village when I came originally, and when Grace said a different name for the Village where we had been left I knew it was no accident that we had been dumped here.
"They've been selling supplies," she said, "Having affairs with." she stopped, "Just like you!"
"And you let them know you knew?" I asked. she nodded.
"You stupid bitch!" I said, and this time she did hit me and this time Bea and Fanny dragged her off me.
"They'll come looking for me!" Grace exclaimed hopefully.
"Well not if he tells them you were dropped off miles away and abducted by natives." I pointed out,"but hey life's not so bad."
"I'll walk!" she said.
"Where?" I asked, "I don't know the way out, there's rapids ten miles south so we can't get downstream in a boat easily, there's shallows and a three way fork in the river to the north, it's not easy."
"You know exactly!" she snapped, "Liar!"
"No I don't and don't be so disrespectful, I'm chief remember, be a bit deferential, just fake it ok."
"Liar!" she repeated.
"I don't have to listen to this," I told her, "You want to walk, you walk." and I just turned away and went back to my house.
I had been sitting down for ten minutes when I heard Grace shouting, "Mr Haines!" she yelled, "Mr Haines!"
There were six of my fittest young chaps surrounding Grace trying to seduce her and she was finding it something of a culture shock, she was actually as tall as any of them, but their muscles rippled from rowing and digging, and they hadn't realised that Grace wasn't used to gentlemen in grass skirts showing their fully engorged genitals in a bid to gain her favours.
She should have been in seventh heaven with a choice of three eight inch pricks a seven and two sixes on offer but she was too stupid to be flattered. "Harding!" I corrected her, "what is it?"
"They exposed themselves," she said.
"It's their way of asking you out," I said, "You'll have to get used to it until you marry."
"They want to, Oh!" she said as she realised I was unconcerned.
"You do speak French," I asked.
"Un Per," she said unconvincingly.
"Then say thank you, but," I suggested.
"But what?" she asked.
"That you're only here for a day or two." I suggested. "We have a guest room in my house supposedly for visiting dignitaries, I suppose you had better stay there."
She took my advice and barricaded herself in the room,
Tribal lore said guests were welcome for a week and a day, so Grace was waited on like royalty by my wives for the first couple of days while Grace worked away on her computer, recharging it from a neat Solar panel as she worked.
She dined on Zebra and Crocodile, used my private toilet and generally lived like a queen, but on the third day with Eve as chaperone I broached the subject of the eight day rule.
"Tribal rules suggest guests may stay a week, but if they want to stay longer they must join our society." I said.
"Right? and what does that involve?" she asked.
"A man must bring in a Zebra or Crocodile to eat while a girl." I explained.
"A girl must fuck the Chirf senseless am I right ," she asked, "because there is no way."
"No" I explained "In your case you need to find a husband, as you see there are no single women of child bearing age."
"No way!" she said.
"Then you must leave." I said, "But there is nowhere to go to."
"I not prostituting myself, I'd rather die."
"That is the option, I can't let you sleep under my roof beyond seven days, I'm sorry." I explained, "It's not fair to my wives."
"Those savages!" she snapped, Eve knew enough English to be hurt.
"Eve," I called and had her sit on my lap, "Je t'aime," I said and I cupped her swelling belly and kissed her, "Ce soir, Oui?"
"Yes Tonight," she said, "Apres Daisy."
"There's no need to be hateful," I told Grace, "You hurt me if you disrespect my wives."
"But they're savages, they walk around half naked!" Grace complained.
"Grace, unless you find a husband in the next four days you will be paraded naked through the village and kept tied up in the corral until someone will take you on," I explained, "it's something every local girl has to go through when she starts menstruating just as every boy has to catch a Zebra or Croc."
"Don't be stupid." she said.
"Yes," I explained, "it marks the transition between girlhood and womanhood, a girl belongs to her father, the woman to her husband, so at first menstruation she is stripped naked and the father takes her clothes and it is for the husband to clothe her, if he wishes."
"At menstruation?" she said agitatedly.
"Well, in theory," I said, "but it's not fixed, these are decent people, usually the girl finds her fellow but just occasionally a father needs the old way to get a daughter to accept what is available and to forget her dreams."
"And you'll let them do that to me." she asked nervously.
"You're under my roof," I explained, "That makes me your father, so I shall have to dispose of your things I suppose."
"So how will my husband clothe me?" she challenged.
"He may choose a simple collar," I exlained, "many young girls love being naked, haven't you seen Kaylala and her husband Jose or Tiribantana and Farouk, they are for ever making love in the main street then walking around naked with cum leaking down their thighs."
"Oh god," she said, "You're joking right?"
"And I bet you believe in equality," I snarled, "except when it comes to you, you think because you're white you should be treated differently don't you?" I challenged.
"I want to meet the right man and have a white wedding." she said firmly.
"White wedding, I rest my case." I joked, I shouldn't have joked, it wasn't funny.
"Four days?" she said, "To choose a husband?"
"For a husband to choose you as a wife," I explained, "he will expect to see you are aroused when you see he is, you should be bare breasted like the other girls so he sees your nipples stiffen and really you should show how wet you are for him. maybe a grass skirt or just a big wet patch on your panties if you're shy."
"For gods sake that's disgusting," she said.
"Well they have to show their cocks," I explained, "and that can be humiliating if they are on the small side!"
"You are joking?" she said "Surely?"
"No, deadly serious," I said, "the only other options are to leave or become a Tribal slave."
"A What?" she asked.
"They used to capture people from neighbouring tribes and keep them as slaves," I said, "I don't think you'd like that."
"Better than being forced to have sex with a savage." she exclaimed grimacing.
"Ah I think that with your looks and ah, uniqueness," I suggested, " you would find yourself having sex with a large number of what you call savages."
"Oh," she said.
"Yes," I said, "What will you do? do a parade and see if you get any offers?"
She sat down and coldly and methodically weighed up the option, no hysteria, just calm contemplation.
"You really think we're stuck here?" she said quietly.
"Oh yes, I've walked all day and not seen any hint of a road or anything." I suggested.
"Then I suppose," she said and her resolve broke and she started crying, "I wanted a white wedding," she said.
"Then do a parade, the girls will prepare you," I said as I saw my wives hovering jealously in the background.
"I can't" she protested but I gave Ann some instructions and as number one wife she knew exactly what to do, first they surrounded Grace and moved her into their sleeping quarters and as they stood round they giggled as they gently eased her clothes off a button at a time an inch at a time but every move Grace made to resist they out maneuvered her and tugged or pulled something else until a pile of clothes lay on the bed.
I had a simple leather choker and when I judged the time right I approached her, "They won't do anything you don't encourage if you wear my collar," I suggested and my fingers trembled slightly as I buckled the symbolic Tribal slave collar around her neck.
She stood in just her pink bra and tiny white panties, barefoot now, strangely pink against my ebony skinned harem, and the girls ushered her from the house.
"My god, it's like being a native," she gasped, "Oh hell." but it was only when she was fully out in the street that I symbolically undid her bra catch and pulled down her panties that she lost it and screamed "Noooo"
She tried to hide her breasts and sex with her hands but we were wise to that and as Eve and Bea held her arms I slipped a simple leather strap around her wrists and tied her hands behind her back which cured that problem, and as we we stood back and looked she looked magnificent, I knew I was swelling but it was a shock when Eve touched me, "Moi," she insisted and took my hand to lead me to bed.
I resisted, I needed to be sure nothing would go wrong as Grace realised she had nowhere to run to and our bronzed musclemen moved in to check her charms.
They were reticent at first as if afraid to touch, but then they became bolder and more and more eager, from gently stroking her pale skin and running their coarse dark fingers through her long golden hair to checking the firmness of her flat well muscled belly before they explored the hot moist secret places beneath the furry down of her fine golden pubic hair. Grace gasped and grimaced as the men, mere boys in my eyes, eagerly pawed at Grace until despite everything her poor nipples strained and her sex glistened and oozed moisture and her resolve melted as rapidly as any uneducated native girl as groping and stimulation triggered the lust that lurked unsuspected deep in her psyche.
More and more people gathered as the afternoon turned to early evening and the word spread that the white girl was being paraded for marriage, I watched in amusement as Grace finally realised that here she was just the same as any other female, all the reverence she had become used to as a student and a white woman had been swept away and she knew equality and she realised she didn't like it.
I hadn't dared warn her of the Tribal customs, because I had to be seen to treat he fairly as if she were just another stray spare female who had joined our little community, rather than as something special, but she was about to find out.
The collar meant she must not be married without the owner's consent, and as she wore my collar that meant my consent, but it didn't mean no one must touch, only that they mustn't actually have full sex with her, foreplay was fine and indeed expected, and the softness of her mouth and the agility of her tongue and the flexibility of her throat were all things to be explored by her suitors.
I had to warn her, "Grace," I said carefully so that she understood, "We will break your teeth f you bite anyone"
"What!" she gasped.
"Fellatio, the men will want to see how good you are at giving head and." I paused.
"What?" she asked.
"How good you are at Anal." I said.
"No way!" she wailed, but she had run out of choices as firm dark skinned hands gently but firmly bent her from the waist.
"We have no STDs or Aids," I reassured her, "Relax, our own girls love their parades, they love the attention," I said.