Subject: For All Nails #51g: Victoria's Secret (Part 7)
16 April 1973
"Good morning, Mrs. Madoka," said Magistrate Ian Douglas.
"I must say it's a pleasure to see you in your accustomed
"It's a pleasure to be there, your Honor," answered Victoria
Madoka. "It's certainly more comfortable at the counsel
table than the dock."
"Your Honor," objected the public prosecutor, "I take
exception to this familiarity. Need I remind you that
Victoria is the defendant in a pending criminal prosecution
before this court, and that it is incumbent upon your Honor
not to give the appearance of partiality?"
"Oh, be quiet, Mr. Hodges," the judge said. "I'd tell you
I was pleased to see you too, if you ever gave me a reason.
Let's get on with this - please call the case."
"Petition for hearing," read the bailiff. "Number 73-1442,
State of Victoria on relation of Michael St. Cyr against
Commissioner, Central Prison."
"I take it this is a petition for habeas corpus?" Douglas
"Yes, your Honor," answered Madoka. "My client has been
held without charges at Central Prison since April fourth."
There was no need to specify the reason why he had been
arrested; it would be years, perhaps decades, before the
nation forgot what had happened on that day. "Twelve days'
detention without charges is clearly _ultra vires_ the
Criminal Justice (Pretrial Detentions) Act 1957; so clearly,
in fact, that I don't think there's a point in debating the
matter. The public prosecutor had seven days to charge or
release Mr. St. Cyr; he hasn't done the one, so he must do
"A forceful argument, certainly," said the judge. "Mr.
Hodges, what say you to that?"
"Your Honor, I beg your indulgence in the matter of Mr. St.
Cyr," Hodges began. Both Madoka and the judge noted Hodges'
use of her imprisoned client's honorific; unlike most of
those detained in violation of the Pretrial Detentions Act,
he was white. In the days since the demonstration, white
liberals as well as blacks had begun to fear the knock on the
door, and it was amazing how suddenly they had come to the
conclusion that the criminal justice system was an arbitrary
and frightening thing. Yesterday's Guardian editorial had
warned the Prime Minister not to turn Victoria into a police
state. _It's several years too late for that, but thanks
for the support._
"The civil disturbances of April fourth resulted in a very
large number of arrests," Hodges continued, "and processing
all the arrestees is a regrettably time-consuming endeavor.
We are deciding on the appropriate charges for all those
arrested, including Mr. St. Cyr, as quickly as we can..."
"That's all very well," interrupted the judge. "Is Mr. St.
Cyr being held in violation of the Pretrial Detentions Act,
or isn't he?"
"I believe that the Pretrial Detentions Act contains a
provision relaxing the seven-day deadline in cases of public
"Public insurrection?" repeated Victoria. "Do you hear
shooting outside, Mr. Hodges?"
"Of course not, but there have been rallies in several
cities in support of the rioters killed on April fourth. At
the moment, Mombasa is under military jurisdiction..."
"Then if Mr. St. Cyr had been arrested in Mombasa, you might
have an argument. But since he was arrested in Nairobi - in
a city that has been peaceful as the grave since April
fourth - then there is no state of insurrection to prevent
"Your Honor," Hodges appealed, "once again, I beg your
indulgence. The crowded judicial docket simply makes it
impossible to arraign all the April fourth arrestees in the
"In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Hodges," Douglas said, "I
am a magistrate. If you're ready to charge Mr. St. Cyr,
then why don't you bring him in here and arraign him before
me? His counsel is already here, so there will be no
delays, and that ought to solve the Pretrial Detentions Act
problem very neatly."
"I'm not sure we're prepared to do that just now..."
"Because there isn't any evidence against him, is there?"
Madoka finished. "He just happened to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time, on his way home from work. He's served
twelve days in detention. Isn't that punishment enough for
the crime of walking on the wrong street - and more to the
point, isn't that punishment enough for anything he might
possibly have done to violate the Riot Act?"
"Mr. Hodges," the judge said, "I think I agree with Mrs.
Madoka. The petition is allowed; the writ is granted; the
relator is to be released forthwith. The court stands in
"Pardon me, your Honor," Madoka interrupted, "but would it
be possible for us to speak privately for a few moments in
"Your Honor, I object," Hodges said. "It's highly improper
to communicate _ex parte_ with a defendant in a forthcoming
"Nonsense," Douglas replied. "I trust that Mrs. Madoka
knows the rules well enough not to discuss her case with me,
and _I_ certainly don't intend to discuss it with her. Five
minutes, Mrs. Madoka."
"Thank you, your Honor."
"All right, what is it?" asked Douglas five minutes later.
"I'm trying to find Letitia Ntimana," Victoria answered.
"She worked as a maid for an... acquaintaince of mine, and
she was arrested a few days ago in connection with the April
fourth march. She's not at Central Prison, and thus far
nobody's been willing to tell me where she is. She has two
"At first, yes. Now they're staying with me, but they're
still without their mother and they're very worried."
"And you hope a judge can find her where an attorney cannot?
Very well, I'll make enquiries." He paused and breathed
deeply. "And now, I'm going to have to break the promise I
made to Mr. Hodges, and discuss your case. I've been
instructed - unofficially, but reliably - to tell you that
the government is willing to provide a sizable settlement to
you and to your parents on condition that you leave the
country and renounce your nationality. I've also been told
that your emigration status has been discussed with the
North American embassy, and that you'll be welcome to stay."
"I'm sorry, your Honor, but I'm afraid I can't accept."
"Somehow I knew you'd say that, and I must say - in this
room only - that I admire you for it. It's more than I'd do
in your place, I'm afraid. Very well, then, I'll see you on
"Promptly at nine, your Honor."
West Nairobi, Victoria
19 April 1973
Antonio Marques learned about the political meeting from one
of his workmates. He had lived in Victoria slightly over a
year - long enough for a white immigrant to become a
citizen, but not enough to become familiar with the vagaries
of Victorian politics. He'd actually never had a reason to
be political even in Esperanca; ARENA had been the ruling
party longer than he'd been alive, and the few splinter
parties that sat in the National Assembly didn't matter.
The only real choice in Esperanca was between ARENA and the
FNLE [FN1], and that decision wouldn't be made by election.
Victoria, though, was different; from all Marques had heard,
the upcoming general election would be hotly contested. He
took his new Victorian citizenship seriously, and intended
to vote in the election, but he had no idea which party to
Marques decided to remedy his ignorance one day at the
construction site. Hesitant as always about revealing the
limits of his knowledge, he had approached a fellow worker
who lived in his district and inquired as to the relative
merits of the candidates. Somewhat to his surprise, his
co-worker - Blackford by name - had neither mocked him nor
dismissed his question.
"Good thing you asked, Tony," he'd said. "As a matter of
fact, there's a Conservative meeting tonight right in our
district, at the Daughters' hall. You should come along;
you'll learn a lot." Antonio hadn't realized there _were_
any Founders' Daughters in West Nairobi, but he'd nodded
The meeting was already in progress by the time he and
Blackford arrived, and they found their way carefully to
seats in the darkened hall. The Conservative candidate,
Michael Ruffin, was at the podium, and he clearly had his
"White men built Victoria," he said. "When we came here, we
found a collection of mud huts and cow pastures - and left
to itself, this country would never amount to more than that.
We - men like you and me - built cities, railroads, schools,
hospitals - _we_ built this country, and _we_ raised the
niggers out of the mud in which they were born. And now,
it's we who get the short end of the stick, while the
niggers we've allowed to become citizens lord it over us.
"For instance, let's take a name you may have heard in the
news recently - Victoria Madoka." Ruffin held up his hand
and waited for the chorus of boos to die down. "All of you
hard-working white men, unless I miss my guess, labor like
mules for four or five hundred pounds a year. Did you know
that the Madoka woman, who never did a thing for this
country, sits in an office on four thousand?"
Ruffin was answered by the shouts of a hundred voices -
including, Marques realized, his own. This nigger lawyer
made almost as much money in a month as he did in a year?
This was as bad as - no, worse than - that black teller
being hired in his place.
"Gentlemen," Ruffin continued, "the Conservative Party is
the only party interested in doing anything about this state
of affairs. The Democrats and Liberals actually want to
_extend_ black citizenship, and the VUP isn't any better.
Yes, I know they call themselves the party of the white man,
but they're really the party of the big companies - the same
companies that would rather hire a nigger than pay you a
"Gentlemen!" he went on through the baying of the crowd.
"The Conservative Party is the only party that is committed
to revoking the niggers' citizenship rights. We're the only
party that will reserve the professions for white men, keep
the niggers from moving in next door, and guarantee a good
job with a decent wage to every white worker. Vote for us
on May seventeenth, and we can reclaim this country
Afterward, Marques made his way through the crowd to join
the multitude congratulating the candidate. "Senhor...
sir..." he faltered.
"Don't be embarrassed," Ruffin said. "You're from Esperanca,
aren't you? It's people like you who will restore this
great nation. I congratulate you on becoming a Victorian
citizen, and I hope I can count on your vote."
"Oh, yes, you can, sir," Antonio said. "What you said...
it's true. I used to work for a bank in Esperanca, but
here... they hired a black woman in my place."
"If we're elected, then no company will be allowed to hire
a nigger when a qualified white candidate is available,"
Ruffin said. He paused, thinking of something. "You say
you worked for a bank, Mr..."
"Marques. Yes, sir, I did."
"Can you keep accounts?"
"Yes, I can."
"Then I may have something for you. I have a friend who has
a payroll service in Kibera, and he's looking for an
assistant bookkeeper right now." He pulled a card from his
wallet and handed it to Marques. "Why don't you drop by and
tell him I sent you? And if it works out, why don't you
come by party headquarters this Saturday? We might have
some work for you there as well..."
22 April 1973
"Please answer the telephone, Sharon," commanded Caroline
"Yes, madam," answered her maid, and walked across the room
to comply. "Boyle residence... yes, I will. Madam, it's
Caroline accepted the receiver from Sharon. "Victoria!" she
said. "It's so good to hear from you. Can we expect you at
the rally tonight?"
"Not tonight, Caroline," Victoria said, "and not ever."
"Victoria? What's wrong? We have the rally all planned,
and everyone's expecting you..."
"Letitia Ntimana," said Madoka. "Does that name mean
anything to you anymore? Do you know where they've got her?
Do you even _care_?"
"What does Letitia have to do with..."
"They're keeping her in Nyeri camp. I remember the speeches
you've made about how terrible Nyeri is, and how it should
be closed down. Does it even matter to you that you put her
"_I_ didn't put her there," Caroline said. "The police had
a warrant, and she was accused of involvement with the VNC.
What else could I do?"
"You might have told them she wasn't in," answered Victoria.
"Told them to come back later. Given her a little time.
But no, you sent them right back to the kitchen to get her.
I heard the story today, from the arresting officer. This
is the woman you've called your 'dear friend,' Caroline -
surely you could have done that much for her."
"But she was accused of supporting the VNC. I could hardly
tolerate that, could I?"
"Remind me again, Caroline. Exactly why am I currently
facing a sedition charge?"
"Because you spoke at a bar association meeting and praised
the... but you didn't cause a civil disturbance."
"And where's the proof that she did? She may have helped
plan the march on April fourth, but she certainly didn't
turn it into a riot. You're supporting me because you value
my free speech; what about hers?"
"Victoria, do you think I _wanted_ to hire a new maid?"
"I won't dignify that with a reply, Caroline, and I really
don't want your support any longer, unless you want to do
the right thing for Letitia's children. They're staying
with me, and they'd appreciate your help in getting their
mother back. Of course, if you'd rather report me for
violating the Resident Nationals Registration Act [FN2],
please go right ahead."
27 April 1973
"So how was Mombasa?" asked Olivier de Ruyt.
"A bloody holiday, what do you think?" answered Anand
Rajaram. "What with the buttons checking passes and the Red
thuggee breaking heads [FN3], it was an absolute bloody joy.
The only times I wasn't afraid of ending up in gaol was when
I was afraid of ending up in hospital."
"Better than I expected, then," said de Ruyt. "I was hoping
the Reds would dust you. Then I'd have one less stubborn
Marathi bastard to deal with."
"I'd make the obvious connection between Flemings and
phlegm," Rajaram replied, "but I'm too bloody mature."
De Ruyt enfolded Rajaram in a bear hug and clapped him on
the back. "You bloody raghead bastard. That was a damned
good job you did. Dispatches from Martial Law - I had all
the other national editors and half the CID wondering how I
got someone in there."
"And the other half are probably wondering how you got it
all past the censors."
"I didn't," de Ruyt admitted, "but the miracle is that I got
_any_ of it through. Those were some scary stories you sent
me. Was it really that bad?"
"More or less," said Rajaram. "The soldiers went back to
barracks three days ago, but the police are still keeping a
very tight lid on things. They had non-citizens under
curfew for six days, and groups of more than three are still
forbidden under emergency regulations. That's scheduled to
expire at the end of the month, but I'll believe it when I
see it - and anyone darker than you had better carry their
papers with them. The only time I've seen anything like it
was in the westlands after a VNC raid."
"How are people taking it?"
"That depends. The Reds are having a jolly good time, as
you might expect. Most of the All Citizens and Liberal
party workers are under arrest, so there hasn't been any
major protest. It's hard to tell what everyone else is
thinking - nobody likes soldiers on the streets and the
Democrats are worried that so many white people were
arrested, but the protesters didn't help their cause by
looting stores. I think most of the people - at least most
of the people who count - actually believe the official
story about the military being there to restore order.
The editor nodded. Rajaram was an active member of the All
Citizens' party, but you'd never know that from his
reporting; he was as cold-bloodedly objective as any
journalist de Ruyt had known. "No idea how it will affect
the election, then?"
"Not really. I think it might be a wash, but I'd be a
bloody fool even to say that."
"Good enough," Olivier said. "At any rate, I've got
something quieter in mind for your next job. Victoria
Madoka's trial starts Monday, and I want you there..."
[FN1] ARENA is the National Republican Alliance, and the
FNLE is the Esperanca National Liberation Front.
[FN2] Article 2 of the Resident Nationals Registration Act,
commonly known as the "pass law," requires non-citizen
nationals (i.e. blacks and Indians who don't meet the
property qualification) to register their domicile with the
police and to obtain government permission before changing
domiciles. Letitia Ntimana's children are non-citizen
nationals, and the strict terms of the act would thus
require Victoria Madoka to obtain permission for them to
reside with her. Given that the necessary paperwork takes
several months to process, she has violated the law by
taking them in while their application is pending.
[FN3] "Buttons" is a colloquial Victorian term for police.
Red is the color of the Conservative Party.
Jonathan I. Edelstein in Kew Gardens, NY
"It's been a lot of fun." -- in memoriam, Alison Brooks