Something struck him lightly in the chest. At first he thought it was an insect but, glancing down at this khaki shirt, he saw a spot of red, and a fleshy bi of red fruit rolled down his shirt to the muddy ground. The damned monkeys were throwing berries. He bent over to pick it up. And then he realized that it was not a piece of fruit at all. It was a human eyeball, crushed and slippery in his fingers, pinkish white with a shred of white optic nerve still attached at the back.
He swung around and looked over to where Misulu was sitting on the rock. Misulu was not there.
Kruger moved across the campsite. Overhead, the colubus monkeys fell silent. He heard his boots squish in the mud as he moved past the tents of sleeping men. And then he heard the wheezing sound again. It was an odd, soft sound, carried on the swirling mourning mist. Kruger wondered if he had been mistaken, if it really was a leopard.
And he saw Misulu. Misulu lay on his back, in a kind of halo of blood. His skull had been crushed from the sides, the facial bones shattered, the face narrowed and elongated, the mouth open in an obscene yawn, the one remaining eye wide and bulging. The other eye had exploded outward with the force of impact.
Kruger felt his heart pounding as he bent to examine the body. He wondered what could have caused such an injury. And then he heard the soft wheezing sound again, and this time he felt quite sure it was not a leopard. Then the colubus monkeys began their shrieking, and Kruger lept to his feet and screamed.