Missing Ballantyne Books Ideas Part 1

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Missing Ballantyne Books Ideas Part 1

Postby Peter Russ » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:07 pm

Book 4-1899-1918
The First half of the book is set a few months after the Matabele Rebellion and the Ballantynes are beginning to work to rebuild the damages of the war. Ralph and Harry are working on building gold mines when a Boer named Gunther De La Rey comes into the scene and begins gold mining of his own. A dirty rivalry begins and Gunther threatens Ralph and his family economically and violently. Harry Mellow, Ralph, Zouga, and Jan Cheroot are hunting when Shona warriors hired by Gunther ambush the hunting party. Zouga is able to escape and rides for help, but the others are trapped in a donga and Jan Cheroot is mortally injured protecting Ralph. Zouga returns with Isazi and several more of his men and kills most of the Shona warriors but Jan Cheroot dies in Zouga's arms. A Shona warrior who was captured by Zouga's men reveals it was Gunther who paid them to ambush them and Gunther is arrested by the British South Africa Police and sent back to South Africa for imprisonment. Ralph and Harry subsequently take control of Gunther's former gold mines and become the richest men in Rhodesia.

The second half of the book is about the First World War. While Ralph has become rich, Jonathan has grown up into a virile, energetic young man and longs for adventure like his father did at his age. He grows increasingly dissatisfied with his life and comes into conflict with his father Ralph and his step-mother Elizabeth. Jonathan finally get's his chance when war with Germany breaks out and he travels to South Africa to join the South African Brigade who are being sent to Europe. While preparing to leave, he is joined by Harry and Victoria's teenage son and his cousin Robert who has run away to fight as well. They leave for France and soon realize the horrors of war as they begin fighting. Despite this they earn rewards and promotion for valour and meet Mark Anders in the trenches. At the Battle of Delville Wood, most of the Brigade is decimated but Jonathan, Robert, and the few soldiers in their platoon who are still alive hold back wave after wave of German infantry. When an artillery bombardment hits their position, Robert's arm is blown off and Jonathan helps him back to an Aid Station. While bring Robert to safety, a German machine gun nest targets them and Jonathan bravely destroys it with a grenade earning him his famous medal. Robert is sent home and Jonathan continues fighting until the end of the war. When he returns to Rhodesia, he is welcomed back by his father Ralph and the rest of his family.

Book 5 1919-1923

Zouga Ballantyne dies peacefully of cancer and Ralph inherits King's Lynn and all his father's former holdings. As the British South Africa Company charter begins to come to an end, Ralph and other prominent members of Rhodesia begin talks of what the BSAC colony should do. If the charter is renewed, the territory will remain a BSAC colony, however Ralph and his friends believe the time has come for the people to govern their own affairs and pushes for responsible government. As he builds support, Gunther De La Rey returns and makes it no secret his reason for being in Rhodesia. Gunther has returned at the request of the Union Of South Africa to help convince the people to join the Union. Harry Mellow meanwhile is trying to cope with a failing marriage and his son Robert's disability. Gunther De La Rey quietly beings manipulating the Mellows further into chaos. Agents of De La Rey befriend Harry and make him drunk and convince him to gamble his shares in the mines on a fixed horse race. The fixed race goes bad for Harry and he loses his fortune and is left destitute and is abandoned by his family. A distraught Harry hangs himself and out of guilt, one of De La Rey's agents reveals Gunther's part in the affair and Robert and Jonathan go after De La Rey. They fail this time to reveal De La Rey's deviousness. Meanwhile the British government decides not to renew the BSAC charter on Rhodesia and referendum is held to determine the colony's future, South Africa or responsible government. In an intense referendum with vote fixing and intimidation by both the Ballantynes and De La Rey, the people vote in favour of responsible government. Defeated, De La Rey resolves to return to South Africa, but before he does, Jonathan shoots De La Rey with a sniper rifle in revenge for the deaths of Harry and Jan Cheroot in the previous book. Ralph is elected Premier in a clean election and the Ballantynes and the people of Rhodesia enter a new era in their history.
Peter Russ
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