Northern Cape, 2012 – In the 90-odd years since his death from Spanish influenza, people are still trying to deconstruct the life of the Kalahari brigand, Scotty Smith.
Was he just a mad horse thief, acting out his Scottish Border ancestry? Was he a true Robin Hood, blessed by lonely widows and cursed by rich men from Vryburg to Hotazel and beyond? Was he a ruthless Bushman hunter and a criminal to be caught and hanged? The jury’s still out.
Suffice it to say, however, that Scotty Smith was a very, very naughty boy.
One time, a detective cornered Scotty, arrested him and cuffed him. Within hours, Scotty slipped his handcuffs, overpowered the lawman, shackled him and dropped him off at the Kimberley jail.