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The Mbuji juju

The Mbuji Juju Written by Gary Towner


Harlow is a reporter for her daddy’s newspaper, but her amateurish delving into sensitive African police issues has gotten her in Dutch with the authorities. She needs to leave town in a hurry. The gullible, often funny, Harlow meets Johnny Walker in her quest, but mistakes his pet Lioness, Simba, for a dangerous threat when Walker makes her the bunt of an animated prank. Afterwards, Harlow accidentally disrupts a diamond cutter, ruining his illegal work, and his two cohorts go after her with fire in their eyes and from their guns. Walker interrupts the chase and he gives Harlow a juju bag for protection—but it smells like rotten fish.


Walker goes through the diamond cutter’s things looking for the source of the diamond shards sprinkled on the ground near the body, and he is accused of murder. Rather than argue, he dives out the window taking the reluctant Harlow with him. The two eventually strike a shaky alliance. She says she has to get to Botswana where her “Daddy” is on business. Later, she tells of an eerie find Botswana natives call the “Glass God.” Walker finds her story ludicrous and he tells her so.


They are attacked on take off in Walker’s antique airplane by a machinegun equipped business jet sent by Karl Weiss, a post-war Nazi sympathizer. After Walker fools the jet pilot into slowing down to stall speed, the sleek aircraft crashes into the jungle far behind his “flying chewing gum wrapper.” Later, Walker shows Harlow a letter from an old Army buddy, Estabin. He says he’s worried about him. In the letter, Estabin raves about a secret mine that harbors a gigantic stash of uncut diamonds. On landing, Walker has Harlow divert Weiss’s company guard so he can get a map of the diamond mine in question. He says he has to check out Estabin’s story before he can let Harlow go.


Once inside the mine the two find a WWII German airplane and indications that Hitler may have left a double to take his place in Germany at the end of the war. Subsequently, Hitler’s diary leads them to confront a living “Glass God,” and the charred bodies of not only Estabin, but Hitler and Eva Brown. That’s great, but will our adventurous duo live to tell about it?