PAPERBACK BOOKS

THE DEVIL WORE GLASSES



 The demonic powers of the local witch doctor and his beautiful, seductive daughter are alive and well in the remote villages of the African jungle. A young Australian priest is challenged when he enters the domain of this satanic control, which has held the natives in fear for centuries. The spiritual beliefs of this vocationally-charged missionary are tested to the extreme, with dire consequences.  
A dark story emerges, where evil carries its venomous outrages out of Africa and into the halls and minds of the rich and famous in the top end of Sydney town.  

A must read.  

Book number three from an author who is prepared to peel back the layers of human frailty and reveal its underbelly.
 

“Well done sir, yet again!”
Vince Chumney.

In Store Price: $20.00 
Online Price:   $19.00

ISBN: 978-1-921240-96-6
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:104
Genre: Fiction

 

Author: Peter V. Maloney
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2007
Language: English

About the author  

Peter Maloney has previously published a book of poems and short stories and The Devil Wore Glasses is his second novel.

            After five years of boarding school experiences in Ireland , a stint as a barman in London ’s West End as well as time served in the Royal Australian Air Force in Canberra , Peter has many more yarns left to tell.

            Arriving in Australia in 1955 as a ‘ten pound migrant’, Peter spent most of his working life as an Industrial Engineer in Sydney . With his family up and running Peter now lives in Bundaberg , Queensland .

The banshee    

Come on, old son. You’ve had your run,

The Banshee croaked her tune.

It’s time to go, this fact you know,

The rising of the moon.

 

I cannot do the shriek and howl,

My throat is burning raw,

So, hang on tight, our time is right,

We must uphold the law.

 

Who could have thought, I would have caught

The dreaded Asian flu,

It was that trip, the sinking ship,

Atlantic storms on cue.

 

Souls submerged, but soon emerged,

From deep within the wreck;

Now on their way, with naught to say,

Their stories ‘neath the deck.

 

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere,

As busy as a bee;

With planes and rockets, mines, plug sockets,

They’ll hear a wail, that’s me.

 

 

Beware, take care, now don’t you dare

To listen to OLD NICK.

He’ll smile, beguile, rewards a pile,

Your soul to take, his trick.

 

He’s out there now, don’t ask me how,

In places dark and scary.

Your mind to win, yes, that’s the sin;

He wants you, Dan and Mary.

 

Your time is up; you’ve drained your cup.

Don’t fight me, you can’t win.

I’ll guide you where there is no care,

No pain, no gain, no sin.

 

Your memory bank becomes a blank,

There are exceptions, rare.

You’ll stay there halled until you’re called

To join another lair.

 Peter Maloney  April  2007

 

1 ( Part Sample)

 

Jungle fever – Africa , 1949

 

As the native canoe rounded the last bend in the slow-moving river, Father Michael Donovan could almost taste the adrenalin coursing through his body, as he sat upright, two large suitcases lashed tightly together at his feet. The steady strokes of the two strong paddlers, sweat glistening in the afternoon sun as their muscles rippled beneath tightly-drawn ebony skin, seemed to pick up the tempo as the signs of human habitation appeared ahead at the river’s edge.

            Well-worn tracks from the brown water’s edge lead upwards into the dense foliage of the surrounding jungle. Three canoes, similar in design and size to the one the priest was travelling in, lay side by side, pulled well up on the muddy bank, their paddle handles showing above the sides of the solidly-constructed hull of seasoned bark and wound jungle hemp bindings.

            At last, he thought, journey’s end. Many years of study in the holy college and monasteries of Ireland , the land of saints and scholars, and finally returning to his homeland, Australia , to complete his religious studies lasting two years before ordination. His chosen order, The Society of Missions to Africa , had honed his Christian missionary zeal to a knife edge.

            “Take your beliefs and spread them amongst the pagan souls of the African continent, Father. Your vocation, given by God, calls upon you to instruct these neglected people in the ways of the Almighty. A noble calling indeed, as was His during His short life on this earth. Go forth and save souls, my son. Make us proud of you.”

            With those inspiring words still ringing in his ears, Father Michael was eager to establish himself amongst the residents of this far-flung African village, where word had it, pagan rituals were still practiced.        ‘Once I bring the holy truth amongst them, showing the way to the heavenly kingdom that awaits all believers, then my life’s work on this troubled earth will be rewarded beyond human measure.’

            The young priest heard distant drumbeats carry through the still, humid air, spreading their mysterious message deep through the jungle. A strange silence descended from above as birds ceased their shrill cries, and monkeys fell curiously aware as they gazed down with large, suspicious eyes from their lofty perches amongst the dense overhanging tree branches at the possibly-threatening sight gliding soundlessly over the water beneath them.

            Father Michael noticed an eerie quiet creep over the two paddlers, who, up till this time had called out a rhythmic song to blend with the timing of their paddle strokes.

            The canoe was expertly guided to the shore edge beneath the pathway leading upwards, where all was still, except for the lapping of the disturbed waters of the river. No welcoming party waited to greet this strange visitor, dressed in black, with white skin and blue eyes.

            One paddler quickly untied the two cases and stood them, side by side, at the river’s edge. The priest left the canoe, stretched his lanky muscular frame, and turned to thank the guides, who by now had the canoe turned about, and without a glance in his direction, paddled strongly back down the river to their own village, fourteen miles south, where the priest, hours before, had been delivered onto a makeshift airport runway.

            A much older fellow priest, Father Connors, still speaking with the lilting brogue of the west coast of Ireland , and with many years of African missionary work under his belt, stood sweating liberally under the glaring morning sun, eager to greet this new missionary priest as he stepped off the small plane.

            He hopefully offered the hospitality of his humble abode, a stopover for the day and night. Of course the older priest longed for all the latest news from the other world of their church, yet with an understanding nod accepted the new arrival’s decision not to tarry further.

            Father Michael thanked him, but chose to continue his journey to his assigned patch, eager to join his parish and get settled in to apply his fervent zeal to his anticipated missionary project, challenging though it may surely turn out to be.

            He knew that his guides had been well paid for his passage, so with a farewell wave, he turned and gazed upwards at the muddy pathway ahead, strangely aware of unseen eyes watching his every move.

            “Hello. Hello. Anybody there?”

            A boyish giggle escaped from the surrounding bushes, only to be stilled by the gruff warning of an adult, well-concealed, somewhere above him.

            Those drums must have been the natives’ bush telegraph announcing his arrival, so where was the welcoming party? The priest knew that out of protocol, his first duty was to make his presence known to the village chief, so picking up one of his heavy bags, and using his free hand to steady himself, he climbed up the muddy pathway to the level ground above.

            Leaving the bag, he slid down and repeated the job of carrying the second bag upwards, also. Panting from his efforts at the top of the pathway, he, to his amazement, discovered that the first bag was nowhere to be seen.

             As he took in his surroundings, a large, cleared area where up to thirty huts stood in a semicircle facing the river, he noted that each hut, or tembe in the local Bantu language, was constructed of river mud, topped off with layers of large leaves cut from jungle palm trees, forming a roof secured firmly in place with expertly interwoven hemp binding. This roof, overhanging the stout walls, provided necessary outdoor shade from the burning sun.

            Suddenly, from above, a young, naked boy swooped down from an overhanging branch and snatched his black hat off his head, dancing brazenly across the open space in front of him, the hat jammed firmly on the boy’s curly head. This cheeky act caused the surprised priest to burst forth with peals of laughter, which in turn, brought suppressed giggles, then loud laughter from all sides of the clearing. Cracks in the palpable tension surrounding his arrival in this village were now appearing, to his intense relief.

            Heads appeared from around each hut; young, naked children ran giggling towards their new visitor, stopping and staring shyly, each pushing and shoving ever closer to the delighted man, who had shown a strong sense of understanding child play; a promising sign. Father Michael reached down and collected one young girl from the pushing crowd into his strong arms, and with a whoop of sheer delight, tossed her high in the air, catching her safely, as she screeched with pleasure at this game.

            She, smiling broadly, eagerly reached both arms upwards for a repeat performance, as did twenty or more other young, eager, naked boys and girls.

            “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not!” Father Michael was delighted, and his laughing, handsome face mirrored his intense pleasure at this unexpected turn of events.    

            Now closely surrounded by the shyly giggling throng of children, he grabbed his second bag and confidently strode through into the centre of the clearing, placing it on the ground beside him, and with arms folded, stared about him, waiting. The villagers slowly retreated to the edge of the clearing, whispering quietly to each other as the anxious mothers gathered their excited children around them, watching closely.

            He did not have long to wait; a hush fell over the gathered throng as a tall, well-built native, adorned in impressively colourful plumage emerged from the largest hut and approached, carrying easily an intimidating assagi, or spear in his right hand. Stopping in front of the priest, the chief of the village brought his painted face within inches of this visitor and silently stared deeply into his eyes for what seemed to the now nervous white man standing alone in the centre of his future, an eternity. No job interview could have been as intense.

            Father Michael, realising that he was being tested for whatever qualities the chief deemed most important, returned the stare without flinching. Finally, after what seemed an age, the tall, bare-chested man, his face and arms proudly displaying the tattoos and scars symbolic of his high office, stepped back, turned slowly to face his followers, then raised both arms high above his head, calling out loudly words in the Taal dialect, a language as yet unknown to the young priest, that brought forth cheering and wild dancing from the previously tense gathering. 

            Father Michael had passed the test, winning acceptance from the village leader. Now his pounding heart steadied and a thrill of sheer joy filled his being.

            Things happened in quick succession. The chief strode majestically back to his hut without a backward glance. An old woman, her dried breasts resting against her thin, bony ribs, beckoned eagerly with her stick for the priest to follow her. This he did, holding his second bag securely by his side.

            She led him to a hut at the far end of the clearing. Sitting proudly in the centre of the freshly-swept floor was his other missing bag. Many dried animal skins covered the mud floor, especially in one corner, where he guessed the space was intended as his sleeping area.

As the old woman turned to leave, she screamed angrily at the gathering of young, curious eyes staring in through the hut opening. Swinging her stick, they quickly scattered, allowing Father Michael the privacy he needed to unpack, change out of his sweat-sodden, black suit into shorts and an impressive sweat top which displayed the handsome and all-forgiving face of the Lord of Heaven.

            This informal attire was more suitable to the humid climate he shared with his newly acquired congregation, and finally falling onto his knees, he gave thanks to his adored Master in Heaven. His mission had begun.  

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