Heroes of the Bush: A Novel of Portugal’s Colonial War in Mozambique

by José Leon Machado, Milton M. Azevedo, Karen C. Sherwood Sotelino


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Heroes of the Bush: A Novel of Portugal’s Colonial War in Mozambique by José Leon Machado, Milton M. Azevedo, Karen C. Sherwood Sotelino
Yet another battalion departs for Mozambique, to fight in a seemingly endless war. It includes a reservist 2nd lieutenant and a private who barely know each other. Having left behind his fiancée, a medical student, the officer indulges in transient passions and reckless behavior. The private, married and with a daughter, struggles to survive in a strange environment, among hostile animals and plants, mined paths, ambushes, scorching sun and blinding fog. Back in Portugal, the officer’s fiancée and the private’s wife survive amidst fear, prejudice, and misery, guided by their natural strength and by love.


The guide quickly slid out the iron rod that locked the door and they walked in. Pulling out his knife he said to the soldier, “All you gotta do is gimme light with your flashlight.”
An instant later the hut was filled with shrieking, as if two foxes had slipped into a chicken coop. The women were sitting on the ground. The guide grabbed one of them by the hair and sliced off her throat with a fast, precise blow. In the darkness, the other woman, also screaming, could not exactly understand what was happening. In a matter of seconds, the two women were lying down, bleeding profusely. The soldier, shocked by all that blood, asked, “The children too?”
“Captain said, kill everybody.”
Seeing their mothers in that state, the children started howling and tried to run away, but the guide grabbed them and sliced their throat one by one.
When the soldiers woke up in the morning the heads of two women and three children were hanging from the stakes of the barbed wire fence as an example to anyone who dared attack the encampment again.
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Heroes of the Bush: A Novel of Portugal’s Colonial War in Mozambique by José Leon Machado, Milton M. Azevedo, Karen C. Sherwood Sotelino