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The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) - Literature (2) - Nairaland

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Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by semid4lyfe(m): 2:53pm On Nov 11, 2012
The OP should please space out the story. . .like I've done for the chapter 16
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by dumodust(m): 4:01pm On Nov 11, 2012
good story... Very very good author. Your descriptions and imagery are in order, you style almost perfect but sometimes the story drags or veers off too much from the present problem and stem the big words a little...even if na shakespeare...lol.very many delightful surprises...will certainly keep a steady eye on this thread. Well done larry...i'm giving this 4.8/5, maybe more after editing but this is almost a done deal for an initial draft!
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 4:53pm On Nov 11, 2012
semid4lyfe: The OP should please space out the story. . .like I've done for the chapter 16

Thanks Semid. I'll try to do that for the subsequent chapters.
Thanks again.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 5:01pm On Nov 11, 2012
dumodust: good story... Very very good author. Your descriptions and imagery are in order, you style almost perfect but sometimes the story drags or veers off too much from the present problem and stem the big words a little...even if na shakespeare...lol.very many delightful surprises...will certainly keep a steady eye on this thread. Well done larry...i'm giving this 4.8/5, maybe more after editing but this is almost a done deal for an initial draft!

Thank you, Dumodust. I'm just a developing story-teller who is hoping on being published; and of course, vying for perfection.
Thanks again, buddy.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 5:43pm On Nov 11, 2012
SEVENTEEN

A
ccording to Mark Twain, ‘Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.’ Barrister Michael Kish had some ugly stories of his own which he never wanted anybody to know or be told. He had always wished all his life that he had not gotten himself in the mess. But life must go on, first rule of survival.

Nemesis, he thought as he followed the younger policeman, does nemesis really catch up with people? Yes, it does. I’ve had my own share of the bitter cake. Nemesis or mimesis, man is prone to his own challenges in the struggle to keep his own head above water in the cesspool as he swims across the journey of life. Life contains a lot of different situations and parts that are prone to change everyday, every time and everywhere. Life’s a kaleidoscope. It’s the butterfly effect, whatever action you take today may affect the life of another person a million miles instantly or tomorrow or next year or ten years’ time. Change. Does the change from one’s past affect one’s future? Sometimes in life, we do some things we would never think of doing if we were given more than one choice.

He followed Daniel into the small room and he sat down facing the detective who was looking at him with an expression he could not understand––he returned the stare. Both men continued staring at each other, and the silence had begun to irritate Daniel.

“I’m sorry if I may be interrupting your chain of eye communication,” said Daniel defensively, “but I don’t see the sense in using our eyes to discuss when God gave us the free gift of speech.”

The detective broke his gaze like a child who had been defeated in a game of stare and Kish smiled. By habit he had always smiled even when he did not feel like smiling. Lot removed the cassette in the tape recorder and turned the other side before he inserted it back in the machine. Then he pressed ‘Record’.

“Your name is Barrister Michael Kish Jr., is that right?”

“Yes, that's right.”

“May I ask how old you are?”

“I’m as old as you are.”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

“Oh yes, I have. Have you forgotten your own age? We’re both born in the same year and month, but it’s a pity not the same day. You were born on the twenty-third and I was born on the fifth of March.

“Who told you my age?”

“The internet, bro.”

“Oh, I see. I guess we both have something in common.”

“You can say that again.”

The detective dipped his hand in his bosom pocket and extracted a box of cigarette.

“Do you mind?” he asked Michael.

The Barrister shook his head. Lot opened the box and removed one stick, he dipped it in his mouth between his teeth and lit it with a lighter. He sucked in deeply and exhaled a cloud of smoke before speaking.

“You were a friend to the deceased, right?” he asked, pointing the cigarette at the lawyer.

“From teenage,” the lawyer replied, “We both passed out from St. Joseph College in 1974. We lost contact after then but I never forgot his name. It was after three decades of losing touch that fate brought us together again. We met again a week before he got married to that beautiful girl.”

“Did you attend the ceremony?”

“What ceremony? Oh, you mean the wedding?” he shook his head, “No, there was no ceremony. They got married in the court, both of them and the court officials alone.”

“So, you didn’t attend that?”

“Not at all. The week I met Cain was when he brought me here, he was living alone then, about two weeks later when I came to visit him I saw Abigail. My first thought was that she was a housemaid, because she was so quiet then and I could see fear on her face.”

“Fear?”

“I don’t think you can understand what I mean. The fear I’m talking is something else, she was afraid of looking at Cain’s face. She spent most of her days in the kitchen. I never thought she was a wife until Cain told me so.”

“Were you not surprised that somebody like Cain got married to a young girl like that?”

“I don’t expect you to ask me that kind of question. We are in Nigeria, remember? Anything is possible. And by the way, Cain was a rich man; he could get anything he wanted. Abigail on the other hand is not as if she’s a toddler.”

“Let’s say I’m just plain curious. Do you know if your deceased friend was once married before meeting Abigail? Any Mrs. Martins before her?”

“Yes, Cain once had a wife before Abigail.”

“Where is she?”

“Dead, he told me he once had a wife and a son. The wife died of liver cancer and the son was killed by armed robbers. He stopped the bullets meant for policemen. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“When did the wife die?”

“That was in the New Millennium; nine years ago. Three years after the wife’s death, the boy died too––he was seventeen then.”

“What was the boy doing at the robbers-police shootout?”

“Nobody knows, Cain said he didn’t know either, he did not even go for the boy’s corpse.”

“How sure are you about that?”

“Cain told me himself. He said he refused to go for the corpse because the boy was not really his son; that he was a bastard child born to him by his wife. perhaps the wife was cheating on him and got pregnant in the act.”

“And you believed him?”

“What do you expect me to believe? The boy died in 2003 and I met Cain again in 2006.”

“You seem to know much about the Martins’ connubial status.”

“Connubial what?”

“Cain’s marriage relationship.”

“Of course I do, I’m his friend. He told me everything about his family.”

“Okay, when was the last time you saw the deceased before his death?”

“Um––I think we met about two or three weeks before the incident.”

“You think? Please will you be specific?”

“I’m sorry; I can’t remember what day exactly. But I know it’s not more than three weeks previously, though we call each other occasionally.”

“When was the last time you spoke together?”

“Friday, the day before his death.”

The detective and Daniel leaned forward.

“On Friday?” asked Lot, “What time did you speak?”

“About ten in the morning.”

“What did you discuss?”

“Nothing, he called me to know the next time I’ll be visiting him.”

“Is that all you discussed on the phone?”

“See, I don’t know what kind of cigars you smoke, but you had better changed your brand. You’re starting to ask the impossible. Do you expect me to remember everything verbatim? We spoke for about twenty minutes on the phone, and remembering everything word-for-word is not intelligence, it’s lunacy.”

The detective leaned forward and stared into the lawyer’s eyes as he spoke, “I know it’s impossible for you to tell me everything. Telling everything you see, hear or do always demands selection. If I asked you to tell me all the events of your day the day before yesterday, you would probably reply like this: ‘I woke at six in the morning, took my breakfast at seven. I had bread and beans and tea. I met a lady whom I took to the cinemas and we watched 'The Figurine'. You would, perhaps, never remember to tell me thus: ‘My phone died and I had to put another battery. I spilt a little tea on the table mat; I brushed my shoes and put it on, the lady had red paint on her fingers’. Everything is never told, therefore one selects. However, when selecting at times, those we rule out as unimportant and never told may be relevant––especially in cases like this. So, will you think deeply and tell me more of what you can remember?”

He was silent a moment and obeying the detective’s adjuration to ‘think deeply’. He shook his head in negativity. “I’m sorry, I don’t think there’s anything extraordinary in what we discussed,” he paused, “but he asked me a question. I don’t think it odd but maybe it can help in your investigation. He asked if I would always be there for him as a lawyer.”

“Did you ask him the reason for that question?”

“Not really, he told me he just wanted to be sure.”

“Thanks for your assistance,” said the detective, “but I want you to see something before you go.”

He brought out the notes again and gave them to the lawyer. Michael Kish read the notes carefully.

“You want me to tell you which was written by Cain?” Michael asked.

“Sure.”

He held out the first note immediately, “Cain wrote this.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I know. I can identify Cain’s writing with my eyes closed. He had the world’s most illegible handwriting; I can pick it out among millions.”

“What about the second note?”

“I have no idea who wrote that. Where did you find them?”

“Never mind, just one final question, please.”

“Fire off.”

“You’re Mr. Martins’ friend and lawyer; was he of any will before his demise?”

The lawyer was clearly surprised, “Will? No, he has no will. What would he need a will for? He has no other heir but the wife. He doesn’t really need any will.”

“Barrister Kish, you don’t own a gun, do you?” he shot out the question suddenly.

Michael replied immediately too, as though he had known that was the next question the detective would ask, “Good lord, no! Wouldn’t know which end to point now. But I'm armed with faith, righteousness and a pure heart.”

“Thank you, Barrister. I appreciate your contribution. You can go now, sir.”

“Officer, I’m not trying to challenge your ability but I think you’re taking too long to solve this case. I want to know who killed my friend and I would do everything to get him hung.”

This was the third time, Lot felt, that his appropriate degree of investigative acumen in solving the mystery fatefully presented before him had been doubted. “I’d prefer to use the word ‘Hanged’ instead.”

“Whatever, he will swing by the rope until he’s lifeless.”

Daniel who had been quiet as usual said, “Sometimes, those who hunt for the criminal do turn out to be the criminals themselves.”

Michael and Georges cast a questioning look in his direction. Daniel became nervous and added, “In novels, I mean.” Kish looked at him with his left eyebrow higher than the right––a display of legerdemain few people had been able to master, he apparently decided that Daniel had IQ problem, shrugged pitifully, and turned his attention back to Lot who was talking to him now.

“Thank you, Barrister Michael Kish Jr.; I’ll call on you if I need to ask you any more questions.”

The lawyer rose, shook the detective’s hand and went out the door.

The detective turned to his junior partner smiling, “This case is becoming more interesting. You agree with me, don’t you?”

“I think it’s more boring than interesting. It’s getting too complicated.”

“Elementary, my dear Watson. You seem to be ignorant of something––the more complicated a case becomes, the easier it tends to be solved. As a child, did you ever play the game called ‘Treasure Hunt’?”

“No, but I watch the reality TV game show called ‘Ultimate Search’.”

“They’re similar to each other, wherein one clue leads from A to B. from, let us say, a little message hidden underneath a stone to a further message pinned behind a tree. It’s the same in this case, but I’ll rather call this ‘Criminal Search’. A clue leads from one to the other. I know the clues are already there for me to use, what I only need to do is to link them together to fix the puzzle.”

“What clues are you talking about, sir? The notes?”

“The notes are parts of the clues, not all. This Martins’ saga is beginning to resemble one of those children’s puzzles in which numbered dots are connected in sequence to form a picture. But in this case, most of the dots are unnumbered––or missing.” said the detective, “Moreover, what do you think about the lawyer’s choice of the notes?”

“The wife said it’s the second note that was written by her husband, but the lawyer claimed it was the first. Honestly, I’m confused, but I think the lawyer was lying.”

“This may thwart what I’ve been thinking all along.”

“And what is that, sir?”

“That both the wife and friend connived to murder Cain.”

“It doesn’t make sense; you know it’s utterly impossible for that to have happened. The wife was sleeping at the time of the incident, unconscious of anything going on, and the lawyer was about hundreds of kilometers away. It’s absolutely ridiculous to link those two with the crime.”

“Before you think it––ridiculous, listen to this and tell me what you think––the wife was having a secret sexual affair with the lawyer, and she had convinced him to destroy Cain’s will which, however, was stating that his property was to be bequeathed to someone else; a charity organization maybe. Both lovers had planned to kill the husband, and they had carefully laid down their plans. On the day of the crime, the night to be precise, the lawyer had already parked his car at a quiet place not far from this house. When it was time for them to carry out their evil deeds, the lawyer called Martins that he was close to the house and his own car had broken down, so he asked Cain to come pick him up. Without thinking, Cain called his driver and they both drove to the point of rendezvous. But unfortunately, he did not have the faintest idea about what was going to happen to him. When Cain got to the location, the lawyer did not waste time, he shot him in the forehead and carried his corpse in his car or trekked, then he laid the corpse quietly by the gate. If he had been killed close-by, the gatekeeper would have heard the gunshot. About five hours later Hakeem saw the body and came rushing to call you. The wife played her role when you called the gatekeeper out to see the corpse. She might have been watching the gatekeeper, and when he went out at your request to see the body, she quickly sneaked into his room, put a note under his pillow and hurriedly departed. At that exact time, the lawyer had already reached home and snoring; though waiting to receive the gatekeeper’s phone call. As soon as he got the call, he came rushing back as if he had known nothing. The deceased’s wife also completed her part by acting as though she was asleep all the while. A carefully planned crime. What do you have to say to that?”

Daniel stared at the detective in astonishment. For a moment he thought the detective was rambling, and with genuine concern Daniel began to doubt the detective’s sanity. Although, of course, he had listened with interest, and without interruption, to what Lot had said. Apart from the seemingly plausible a tale, it wasn’t particularly an astonishing analysis, it was not just the sort of self-consistent hypothesis that Daniel would have expected from the detective. He knew very well the amazing feats of logic the human brain was capable of––but quite often, life could elude logic––and when a brilliant logic itself got built there could always be a fault in its foundation of deductive analysis, thereby causing the whole edifice to collapse right on the occiput of the mason. This explanation of the detective’s did not bring together all the clues into one coherent scheme of justification, because there were one or two weaknesses in what Lot had laid down, at least as Daniel saw things at the moment. Whenever Daniel could not follow the train of the reasonable, he stopped. He didn’t always venture into shuttles of the unreasonable like most detectives did.

He shook his head, “I disagree with your permutations and combinations, remember Mrs. Martins said she saw her husband at about three in the morning. How do you explain that?”

“You’ve got a great brain, use it. If you have a criminal who went to the extent of writing a note to complicate things, do you think she won’t give another lie to make things as complicated as they can be. If you had the sense God gave a goat, you’d know that what she said about seeing her husband at midnight is fallacy.”

“But the gateman also claimed the same thing; he said Mr. Martins drove back in at half past twelve that morning. Was he lying too?”

Lot drummed his fingertips on the table, thinking deeply.

“Bribe.” He said at last.

“What?”

“I think he was bribed to say that, or he was made to believe that saying that was for a noble cause. Have you ever thought about bribery?”

“I don’t need to think about it because it is the most unusual thing to have happened in this case. I don’t think that man can be bribed to do something as outrageous as that.”

“Well, it may seem inexplicable to you, but if you think deeply in your mind you will come to realize that that is the only reason for that.”

“You’re burning up my brain, sir,” said Daniel, tapping his skull to make emphasis, “There’s another thing which you seem to be forgetting too; what about the driver who drove Mr. Martins out that night, what happened to him?”

“The fly in the ointment, it seemed as if there are too many fish in the net; I think he’s also involved in the affair. But I can’t conclude until I’ve heard what he has to say.”

Daniel spread his hands, “Well, lucky your belief has been thwarted.”

Lot met his face with the kind of eyes a pope would use in looking at Hitler after the end of a long war, “How do you mean?”

“You said it yourself; you said that the notes have thwarted what you have been thinking. The two cannot both plan the notes and have different ideas about it. You should think of another possibility.”

“No, I’m still sticking to my theory.”

“But you––”

The detective shook his head, “You’re not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, Daniel. Can’t you see it? That’s part of their plans too.”

“You’re not making the slightest bit of sense to me, sir. I’m sorry, my poor befuddled brain can’t take any more of these. I enjoy a challenging riddle as much as any genius like myself but when the riddle turns out to be as complicated as the Daily Times crossword puzzle I can only feel frustration and fury at being such a sap in the end. Unlike you, I can’t glance at a man and immediately know he is left-handed, diabetic, has a pregnant wife, and sells meat for a living. I only see the obvious and notice the unlikely.”

“Like I said, the two lovers planned about the notes; maybe they got two different people who do not know what was going on to write them. They had planned that the wife should claim that the second note, which was found in the bedroom, was written by her husband, and the lawyer should claim the first.”

“Why would they do that?”

“To complicate things as much as they could. For Christ’s sake, can’t you use your noggin for once? Have you got a Ph.D. in fatuity? They purposefully did that to confuse me. They are clever, those two, they knew that if they both claimed the same thing about the notes I’ll be suspicious of them. But they don’t know Georges Lot, nothing passes him by.”

He continued, “If you could remember what that woman said when I told her that she was the only person who inherits her husband’s property––do you remember what she said?”

“She told you to call the lawyer.”

“Good, remember what the first note says? ‘In the morning, call my lawyer’. There’s a link there; I haven’t shown her the note when she said that.”

“What are you going to do now, sir? Arrest them?”

“Not that fast, all what I said were only the possible reasons for Cain’s death; why he called me instead of his lawyer. I can’t arrest them yet, I need proof. Besides, we haven’t questioned everybody, therefore, before I decide who is guilty or innocent among the household, I need to question the last person involved, and I also need the gun.”

Daniel acted surprised, “The gun? Don’t you think that might have been miles away?”

“I have the feeling it’s around here, and I’m going to find it. Now, let’s call in our next guest.” He knew that he had reached this conclusion largely by imagination rather than by reason or even intuition.

“Who?”

“Who do you think?” Lot scowled at him.

Daniel Famous went out of the room to summon the driver––Richard Philip.

1 Like

Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by dumodust(m): 7:20pm On Nov 11, 2012
Larry-Sun:


Thank you, Dumodust. I'm just a developing story-teller who is hoping on being published; and of course, vying for perfection.
Thanks again, buddy.

no problem, as long as you keep on writing and editing, we'll be friends grin. publishing is another tough frontier, a different world altogether, e no easy but it will be done...goodluck bro, no matter what you hear in the future, just keep at it.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 8:35pm On Nov 12, 2012
EIGHTEEN

I
t was midday; when the heat of the sun had started to really rise and birds had begun to seek shelter in between the leaves of trees. Lizards and ants had begun to crawl into the holes of walls or under stones. In the living room of the building, Daniel Famous found Richard and Abigail in a lively chat, the lawyer and the doctor were watching the midday news where the BBC announcer was wrapping up the midday batch of bad news before going to the football scores. It took a considerable amount of efforts in his part to disallow himself from sitting in-between the lawyer and the doctor, eating popcorn and listening to the scores about the recent football match between the Wolves and the Marsupials.

“The detective wants you.” Daniel told Richard.

“Tell him I’ll see him in a moment.” Replied Richard.

“No, he wants to see you now.”

Richard looked up at Daniel in annoyance but Abigail spoke before him.

“Don’t be ridiculous, officer,” she shot out, “You have been on the investigation for hours without any result. I’m getting sick of you policemen.”

Daniel felt really hurt from such words coming from the mouth of a lady he was head over heels in love with, “Madam, I’m really sorry for the inconvenience but there’s nothing I can do, I’m only following orders.”

“What are you doing in the police force anyway? Can’t you find a worthwhile profession than one that makes you run after criminals?”

Daniel smiled, “It’s a long story.”

“I’ll like to hear that story sometimes ‘cause I can’t imagine an interesting young guy like you having a boring profession like policing.”

“Let’s just say I like serving my country.”

“I won’t buy that,” Richard chipped in, “There are many other ways of serving your country than this. Do you know that I always feel like breaking your nose just because you are a policeman?”

Daniel stared at him for some time and said, “Sometimes, no matter what we do or how much we try, we can’t change that thing which starts with the letter ‘F’. I’m in this job not because I really like doing it and I believe a man of your status should be in a better place than driving a rich man around. There are some idiots who can’t even speak a simple declarative sentence and yet they work in banks, just because they have the certificates they didn’t earn.”

Richard appeared a modicum mollified by what Daniel had said and he nodded silently. He was beginning to like the police officer standing over him, he felt the man was the only policeman with something worthwhile in his skull. He had initially wanted to beat his anger out of him when he had first set his eyes on him, he didn’t know that he would soon come to like him. And it seemed Abigail liked him too.

“You’re right,” said Richard, “but I can now move ahead in search of greener pastures and I’ll advise you to do the same.”

Abigail cast a sharp glance at Richard before facing Daniel, “Didn’t you tell me this morning that you wanted to be a footballer?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why don’t you go for that instead? Maybe you’ll make it to the national team. That’s another way of serving your country, don’t you think so?”

“Honesty, I really appreciate your concern but it’s not as easy as you may think. If you are lucky you may get an official from the NFF watch you play and get interested in the way you play, then you get signed in as the country’s footballer. It’s a one in a million chances. My desire is to go to The Academy.”

She looked puzzled, “The Academy? What’s that?”

“The Academy is a football school,” explained Daniel, “Where one would be given the chance to display how good he is without the rule of politics. It was recently introduced by the NFA, and if one performed to their expectation he would be introduced into the national team or one of the country’s football clubs.”

She brightened up, “Really? That’s brilliant, you can go there and show them your stuff, I’m sure you’ll make it.”

Daniel smiled without humour, “Getting into The Academy costs a fortune. I guess that is why most talented footballers can’t make it there. I guess we all have dreams, then we grow up and realize how impossible they were.”

“How much are you talking about?” asked Richard.

“We are not talking thousands here, Richard.”

Richard whistled, “That’s a pretty large sum.”

“It’s no child’s play, but I believe in miracles.”
“A miracle? Tell me, how rich are you in your family?”

“We’re not rich; I can’t put my burden on my parents, because I’m the first child and I have two younger sisters and a brother after me. I’m old enough to cater for myself.”

“How old are your sisters?”

“The older one, Juliet, is twenty years old; and the other, Antonia, is seventeen. But don’t ever think about getting close to any one of them.”

A very faint smile came to Richard’s mouth, “The overprotective big brother. Your little brother? How old is he?”

“His name’s Silas, he’s the last child and only fifteen years old.”

“You’re a lucky man, Daniel; I wish I had younger ones like yours.”

“It’s not too late,” said Abigail, “You have a momsy who is still young.”

“My mother doesn’t look like one who is passionate about being led down the aisle, let alone getting into labour.”

“Oh God!” lamented Daniel, “The ‘tec’ will be very angry. Can we go now, Richard?”

When they got to the room, the detective was on his feet, and not looking very pleased, he kept walking to and fro the room. Daniel needed not to be told that he had excited the man’s ire. He decided to blow a little gasket when he spotted Daniel come in. “Young man, did you want to spend your eightieth birthday there? Why do you just choose to make me angry? I should have found a better person than you because you are slacking mentally, really slacking.”

“I’m sorry, sir.” Daniel apologized.

“We’re sorry, detective. I am the one who held him up with discussion. Can I sit down?” asked Richard.

“Please, do sit down,” answered Lot, “I need to ask you some questions, Mr. Philip, and I promise not to take much of your time.” He pressed the necessary buttons again. Like a ritual that could not be ignored, he waited for about five seconds before speaking.

“Um, Mr. Philip––”

“Call me Richard, sir.”

“Okay, I learnt that on the night of the seventh you drove Mr. Martins out, is that true?”

“You’re right.”

“Can you explain what happened that night?”

“I don’t know what really happened, though Mr. Martins is a pain-in-the-you-know-what, he might have offended many people. But I can’t think of anybody who might go so far as to kill him.”

“Tell us what you know. You drove him out of the compound that night, what happened after then?”

The fan above began to oscillate again. Up PHCN!

“That night, after driving for about half a kilometre from here, Mr. Martins asked me to stop the car. He explained with fear which I had never seen in him before that a gang of killers sent him a note; they asked him to send a cash of five million naira or he lose his wife within twenty-four hours.

“I did not believe what he was saying at first until he showed me the ransom note. He told me that the note was posted to his office in the morning and he didn’t open it until about half past nine that night. He didn’t receive any phone call or any other message––just the letter. He received the letter at about ten that morning, according to the note, he had only twenty-four hours to pay the money or his wife would be killed. The letter warned that he must not get the police involved or he would lose his life after his wife had been killed. It was also written in there that Mr. Martins must not be the one to bring the money, so that was why he chose me to deliver the ransom.”

“Was Mrs. Martins kidnapped?” Daniel asked.

Richard shook his head, “No, she wasn’t. But the note really threatened that she would be killed if the demand was not met. I don’t even think she knew that somebody was out to kill her. I initially wanted to refuse when Mr. Martins gave me the money. I was thinking that I may be killed or injured if I went. Yet, if I refused to go Mr. Martins had no other person to deliver the money for him, and with my refusal Mrs. Martins would be killed; so I had no choice but to go. He gave me a black suitcase filled with money. It was the same suitcase I saw in the booth of the car about a week ago when I went to pick him at the airport. The description of where to go had been clearly written in the letter, including the phone number to call immediate I got there. I took the letter, carried the suitcase and got out of the car.”

“You did not go with the car?” asked Georges Lot.

“I wanted to, but he refused, he said I could still see some late public transport vehicles and it was safer to go there alone without any vehicle.

“On getting there I called the number written on the letter and before the fifth ring I was confronted by two masked men. They didn’t say any word; one of them extended his hand for the suitcase and the other collected the letter from me. They thereafter dismissed me with the jerk of their heads. That was what happened, it was on the second day when I came around that I saw the body of Mr. Martins. I was so confused and angry but I didn’t want to show it; since the wife is okay, I decided to keep quiet. If I had gone talking, I’m very sure she might have joined her husband by now, they wouldn’t spare me too. I think it was those men who killed him, I don’t know why. Maybe Mr. Martins eventually called the police, I have a feeling that the men were more than two; I can’t even recognize them if I saw them, I only saw their eyes, I did not even hear anyone speak between the two men.”

“What time exactly did you get there?” Lot asked.

“Where?”

“Where you delivered the money.”

“At about quarter to twelve, almost midnight.”

“Where’s the place?”

“Victoria Island.”

“Address?”

Richard paused, as he spoke he chose his speech one after the other, “The place was at Victoria Island, Alexandra Avenue.”

“Alexandra Avenue,” Lot repeated. “What’s the house number?”

Richard thought for a moment before replying. “It’s number 47B.”

“There’s something I need to know,” Daniel said, “You did not return that night, were there no more public transport vehicles?”

“I could still see some few transport vans, but when I was about returning I received a text message from the deceased that I should not bother coming again. So I decided to spend the night at my mother’s. That was why it took me the next day before I could come back.”

“Why did your boss ask you not to return?”

“I don’t know, I only got the message through text.”

“Is your phone with you now?”

Richard brought out his mobile phone, scrolled it for some time and gave it to the detective. On the phone was the message:


DON’T RETURN UNTIL DAWN. I HAVE MY REASONS. BYE.
CAIN MARTINS

Lot frowned a little, then he frowned a lot, “I can see the phone number here,” said Lot, “The number through which the text came in. Is this your boss’ phone number?”

“No,” answered Richard plainly.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m very sure. Mr. Martins had never used that phone number before.”

“Did you try calling the number when you got the message?”

“No, but on my way coming the next morning I tried it; there was no response––I wanted to tell him that I’d safely delivered his package and I’m on my way.”

“What about his original number, did you try that?”

“Yes, switched off.”

“What time exactly are we talking about?”

Richard lapsed into memory, “About some minutes before nine on the morning of that Saturday. What is confusing me is this; Mr. Martins had his own number, why didn’t he send me the SMS through his number instead of using a strange one? Another puzzle is that I don’t find the reason why he should have texted me when he could call? I’m not sure, but I think there’s something one needs to look into.”

“I promise you we’ll surely look into that.” Lot said, he reached over the recorder and stopped it. “You have a pretty good alibi, Richard, I’m quite impressed.”

“I thought the detectives were always breaking alibis. In detective stories, it’s usually the person with the cast-iron alibi who commits the crime, isn’t it?”

Lot chose not to answer the question tag. “Thank you, Richard,” he said, “You have been very co-operative. You can leave now.”

After Richard’s departure, Daniel said:

“To be candid with you, sir, I’m really flummoxed.”

“There’s something wrong in what that young man said, there’s something very wrong.”

“What is it?”

“He said that the letter warned not to get the police involved. Yet, Mr. Martins called me himself; he even transferred a large sum of money into my bank account. No, I don’t think they go together.”

“That was what probably killed him. Maybe the killers found out he called you after all.”

A frown line delved between Lot’s brows and he shook his head, “No, I don’t think so, I received the call before the delivery was made and he did not even tell me anything about it.”

“I have nothing else to say except for the fact that the avenue must be a very long one to have a B for the aforementioned number.”

Lot stared at Daniel for a long time and his face suddenly beamed with excitement as he leaned forward and clapped a hand on the younger officer’s shoulder, “Thank you, Daniel. You are, for the first time ever, a genius!”

“A genius in what?”

“My! You know not even what you have done?” The detective was appalled, “I’ll allow you to give your so-called brain the massage it needs while I go out now and make an important call.” He dashed out quickly, leaving the confused Daniel trying to find the cause of the sudden outburst of the detective’s mania.

The detective returned after about ten minutes.

“Who did you call, sir?”

“Your unit.”

Daniel was confused some more, “My unit?”

“I assigned two officers to go and bring someone who would help us on this case.”

“Who?”

“You know what curiosity did to that cat, don’t you?”

“Is the household aware of it?”

“No, and I will want you to keep it that way, okay?” Lot warned sharply, “And if you screw up you’ll find yourself to blame. Do I make myself clear?”

Daniel nodded dumbly.

“Fine,” said Lot, “Now, let us go another fishing before our visitor arrives.”

“Oh! No––not again!”

1 Like

Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Cuddlemii: 8:52pm On Nov 12, 2012
^Mr efficient, your updates come in on time smiley.
I see you are organized & committed to this, keep it up!
You also listened to Semid4lyfe, impressive!
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Splendblex(f): 10:44pm On Nov 12, 2012
welldone guy! more ink to ya pen...
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by hisson3(m): 2:49am On Nov 13, 2012
Bravo my brother! Like good wine, u just keep getting better! Can't wait for the next chapter! Mods please this is front page stuff.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 7:50pm On Nov 13, 2012
IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE READERS PAUSE IN THEIR PERUSAL OF THE STORY AT THIS POINT, MAKE THEIR OWN SOLUTIONS OF THE MYSTERY––AND THEN SEE HOW CLOSE THEY COME TO THAT OF THE AUTHOR.
IN THE MEAN TIME, THE READERS SHOULD TRY TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND SEE HOW MANY THEY GOT CORRECTLY.

WHO WROTE THE NOTES?
WHO WAS THE VISITOR LOT ASKED TO BE BROUGHT?
WHO KILLED CAIN MARTINS? OR WAS IT SUICIDE?

AUTHOR.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by IZUKWU(m): 8:57pm On Nov 13, 2012
The visitor is the photographer and cain was killed by the Gm aka gateman.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 9:50pm On Nov 13, 2012
IZUKWU: The visitor is the photographer and cain was killed by the Gm aka gateman.

Wow! Izukwu, you're very imaginative. Stay tuned to know if you're right. cheesy
You did not answer the question about the notes. Why?
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 10:55pm On Nov 13, 2012
the first note was written by Gm, while the second by Richard. I guess the murder was planned by the lawyer and Abigail and was executed by Daniel Famous. The Gm and Richard knew all that transpired, while the Gm was bribe, Richard got the ransom which he claimed to have desposited to hoodlums.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 12:06am On Nov 14, 2012
I never expected Richard to be so civil.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 8:25am On Nov 14, 2012
Adinije: the first note was written by Gm, while the second by Richard. I guess the murder was planned by the lawyer and Abigail and was executed by Daniel Famous. The Gm and Richard knew all that transpired, while the Gm was bribe, Richard got the ransom which he claimed to have desposited to hoodlums.

Adinije, your comment shows that you know your way around solving mysteries. You'll know very soon how close you are to my solution of the mystery. Kudos.
You did not answer the question about the person Lot invited.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 8:32am On Nov 14, 2012
uj_sizzle: I never expected Richard to be so civil.



Sizzle, you have been following this story from the start. I hope you aren't disappointed. Trust me, we have reached the moment where the real climax begins. Brace yourself for surprises. wink
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by hisson3(m): 9:03am On Nov 14, 2012
Larry-Sun:


Sizzle, you have been following this story from the start. I hope you aren't disappointed. Trust me, we have reached the moment where the real climax begins. Brace yourself for surprises. wink
am braced already,I think I have d clues, but will keep my fingers crossed.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 9:19am On Nov 14, 2012
hisson3: am braced already,I think I have d clues, but will keep my fingers crossed.

Alright buddy. I think Lot would envy you. smiley
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 9:39am On Nov 14, 2012
Now ur question;

i think Richard wrote d note in the bedroom, and the gateman wrote the other.
It could be a suicide but the lawyer and gateman have got to be aware of it or helped and they're prolly gonna pin it on Richard.
Now I'm not sure who Lot's inviting.
What happened to Sam from the beginning of the story?


I've not been disappointed at all, and waiting to have my mind blown away smiley.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 12:47pm On Nov 14, 2012
Larry-Sun:

You did not answer the question about the person Lot invited.

no idea
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 12:47pm On Nov 14, 2012
.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by IZUKWU(m): 3:12pm On Nov 14, 2012
Larry-Sun:


Wow! Izukwu, you're very imaginative. Stay tuned to know if you're right. cheesy
You did not answer the question about the notes. Why?
richard wrote both notes
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 3:22pm On Nov 14, 2012
IZUKWU: richard wrote both notes

Now, let's proceed. Shall we?
The next chapter I will divide into two parts. Please, bear with me.
Thanks all.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 3:30pm On Nov 14, 2012
Cuddlemii: ^Mr efficient, your updates come in on time smiley.
I see you are organized & committed to this, keep it up!
You also listened to Semid4lyfe, impressive!

Thank you, Cuddlemii. You've been a great help from the start. Bless you.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 3:47pm On Nov 14, 2012
uj_sizzle: Now ur question;

i think Richard wrote d note in the bedroom, and the gateman wrote the other.
It could be a suicide but the lawyer and gateman have got to be aware of it or helped and they're prolly gonna pin it on Richard.
Now I'm not sure who Lot's inviting.
What happened to Sam from the beginning of the story?


I've not been disappointed at all, and waiting to have my mind blown away smiley.

You shall know what happened to Sam and Ada in due time. But remember, they never saw each other again.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 3:56pm On Nov 14, 2012
NINETEEN

E
xactly an hour later, Mr. Eze Chima, the gatekeeper of Martins’ Castle, was busy having his lunch of insipid rice and beans when his teeth suddenly broke something hard in his mouth––a small stone. It was one of those things one would have to endure after buying from a local food vendor. Eze stood up to empty the content of his mouth before he resumed his meal, as if nothing had happened.

It was ten minutes after his meal when he was happily digesting 'an excellent lunch' that a hard knock came on the gate from without. Eze went to open the gate and was confronted by two men dressed in khaki, they were looking tough. Chima could see the hardness and scowls of most policemen written all over the two standing before him. Between them was a pleasant-looking middle-aged woman, she was looking worried. You can’t be in the middle of these two apes and not look worried, Chima thought.

“Can I help you, young men?” Chima asked.

One of the two policemen brought out his identity card and extended it towards Chima. “We are from the District Police Department and we’ll like to see Inspector Georges Lot.”

The gatekeeper looked at the card without much interest and returned it to the officer, “I see, you can come in.”

It was already 4.25PM but the sun was still as scorching like it was midday. The gatekeeper led the two policemen to the interrogation room before his return to his shed. The two officers exchanged pleasantries with Daniel Famous and the detective. The two plain-clothed policemen were Daniel’s colleagues at the station; they belonged to some of those who called Daniel names, which actually made them not so close with Daniel.

“Young men, you’re welcome. Can I know your names, please?” Lot asked.

The first officer, an albino, was Moses Anuku, and the second––a tall powerfully built black man, was Ayo Festus. His description was exactly that of a brawny brute of a man. Lot turned to the woman. The woman had a surprisingly beautiful appearance, but looking into her eyes Lot felt like his privacy was being invaded and he averted his gaze; she had that look as if she stared long enough at your eyes she would discover your secrets.

“I’m sorry for summoning you this way,” Lot said, still avoiding meeting her eyes, “you only need to help us on this case and you’ll be back where we picked you in a jiffy,” he turned to the new officers, “Did you get that thing I asked you to find there?”

They nodded. The albino smiled and Daniel wish he hadn’t; Anuku’s teeth weren’t all that great.

“Fine. Moses, you stay with her. Daniel and Ayo should follow me.”

Daniel Famous and Ayo Festus left the room in the wake of the detective.

“Where are we going, sir?”

The detective answered from his shoulder, “To catch a mouse. Bring out your pistol and handcuffs; we’ve got a criminal to arrest.”

Daniel was not looking pleased, probably because of the presence of some of his foes, and nobody noticed that plain neurosis in him. Ayo did as he was told and the three men went into the big building. In the living room were five people: The widow, the lawyer, the driver, the boy and the doctor.

Detective Lot sat in one of the cushions, “Daniel, call in the gatekeeper. I want everybody present here.”

And in two minutes Daniel came back with the gatekeeper.

“Have you locked the gate, Mr. Chima?” Lot asked.

The gatekeeper nodded.

“Fine. Now Ayo, collect the keys from him.”

The officer obeyed.

Lot faced the others, “I’ve made my investigations and we’re here to catch the murderer of Mr. Martins in a few minutes. I want to use this opportunity to thank Doctor Adam for his patience and contribution to the success of this case; I wouldn’t have reached a quick conclusion without his help. Doctor, I’m personally saying ‘Thank you’.”

The doctor smiled, “It’s a pleasure.” He pushed his spectacles once more towards his eyes.

Detective Georges Lot took a deep breath through his nostrils as though he were about to disperse essential wisdom. “I was determined to fish out the murderer when I arrived this morning,” he continued, “Though I only got a paucity of the information but I still managed to arrive at a reasonable conclusion; I can now proudly say that the criminal will be arrested here anon. I’ve come to understand that this crime was committed by an amateur gradually growing a repertoire of criminal tactics and cleverness.

“I suspected, when I was starting to investigate this case, that nobody in Cain Martins’ ménage was moved by his death; it seemed like everybody was happy that he is dead. That gave me the first idea that he was murdered not by an outsider but by one of the people close to him, I later learnt that he made life quite unbearable to this household when he was alive, so one of you closely connected to Cain murdered him. The notion that he was killed by an outsider is simply nonsensical.

“I was confused in the course of my investigation because each of the household had an alibi or two––Mrs. Martins was in her room sleeping when the body was discovered, Barrister Michael Kish was miles away at the time it was found, Mr. Chima claimed that he was unaware of the corpse lying by the gate until he was called out by Daniel and young Hakeem.”

“I will be fifteen by November, I am not young.” Argued Hakeem.

Lot ignored him, “Richard was sent on an errand by the deceased and he spent the night at his mother’s,” he paused and continued, “I know that if not everybody, at least one person was lying among the households. In the course of my interrogations, I came across three different notes: I was given one by Mr. Chima, he claimed to have found it under his pillow; I found another note under the Bible in the deceased’s bedroom; then another was shown to me on Richard’s phone. One crime but three different notes, they can be quite confusing, so I refused to allow myself to be misled by the notes. The first note had the initials of the deceased, the second did not bear any name and the third contained the name and surname of the deceased. Actually, those notes rarely shed light to my investigation, I therefore classified them false. As far as I’m concerned, after being forced to go back to the drawing board of this case, I decided that the first note might have been written by the gatekeeper himself.”

Chima was about to protest but Lot lifted his hand like a priest about to pronounce a benediction, and cut off whatever Chima had intended to say, “I’m not ready to argue with you, old man.” He said and continued, “The second note might have been written by Mrs. Martins and put under the Bible because she had suspected that sooner or later the room would be inspected.”

Richard and Abigail exchanged glances and Eze Chima was glaring at the detective.

Lot continued, “The text message might have been created by the killer himself and sent to that phone number belonging to Richard. What I was really bent on retrieving is this.”

Lot raised a black polythene nylon bag hanging from his hand, he put it on the table and asked Richard, “Richard, do you know what’s in this bag?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have X-ray vision.”

The detective dipped his hand in the bag and came up with a pistol.

“What is this?” Michael Kish asked, as though he knew not what was flourished.

Lot replied proudly, “That is the gun which was used to murder Mr. Cain Martins.”

Richard stood up suddenly, sweat had immediately started dripping down his forehead. He demanded sharply, “Where did you find that? Tell me!”

“In your room,” Lot answered, he turned to others, “Lady and gentlemen, we have the murderer of Cain Martins––Mr. Richard Philip.”


* * * * *

1 Like

Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 4:05pm On Nov 14, 2012
Richard's mum dream is about to come true sad.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 4:18pm On Nov 14, 2012
uj_sizzle: Richard's mum dream is about to come true sad.

Wait till you see the sensational series of events that would soon be unfolded.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 4:44pm On Nov 14, 2012
someone was trying to hang the crime on Richard, someone I presume was Daniel Famous in collaboration with Micheal Kish.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 6:02pm On Nov 14, 2012
Adinije: someone was trying to hang the crime on Richard, someone I presume was Daniel Famous in collaboration with Micheal Kish.

LOL! You'd be surprised.
Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 6:46pm On Nov 14, 2012
* * * * *

Ayo Festus stepped forward with his pistol, “Mr. Philip, I have a warrant for your arrest on a charge of murdering Mr. Cain Martins––I caution you that you have the right to remain silent. You need not talk or answer any question, you have the right to an attorney and if you can’t afford any, a lousy one will be provided to defend you in the court of law,” he continued, thrusting his handcuffs forward, “Now, step forward and put your hands in front of you.”

Richard did as he was instructed and he was handcuffed.

Hakeem jumped up, “I cannot believe this! It is Uncle Richard all along?” he turned to Lot, “Permission to kick him, sir?”

“Why, Richard?” Abigail asked in a tremulous voice and lips, tears already flooding her eyes. “Why did you do it?”

Richard looked at her face and looked away immediately. He did not utter a word.

“I knew it! He’s the criminal,” Kish uttered, he turned to Abigail, “You don’t have to weep for this criminal. He doesn’t deserve your tears; they should just stick him in a cell somewhere and forget about him.”

“I want to know how you got to know that Richard is the murderer.” Chima said in a concerned and amused voice, he looked at the detective as if he were an child for coming up mmmmwith this latest theory.

“Good question, I’ve been expecting somebody to ask me that, although I never though such an impressive question would come from you of all people. That sealed gun lying on the table has Richard’s fingerprints on it.”

The doctor opened his eyes wide behind his thick lens spectacle and he wanted to speak but the detective cut him off by continuing his speech.

“You see,” Lot continued, “I’ve been suspecting Richard from the moment he came into this room on the morning of the incident, but I couldn’t pin anything on him since he exonerated himself by claiming that he spent the night at his mother’s; lying that he was not around at the time of the murder. But as faith would have it, he who exonerated himself by lying also implicated himself by lying the more; he gave a false account of how the deceased was threatened by kidnappers with a letter asking him to send them a sum of five million naira to prevent his wife from being killed by them.

“It was quite a brilliant lie and with it he almost brought my investigation to a whinnying whoa but for three things which gave me the idea that he was lying: One, he told me that the address of where he was sent to deliver the ransom was number 47B of the renowned Alexandria Avenue, he stumped me there but for the help of Daniel, who unconsciously made an enlightening statement about Alexandria Avenue being a long street as it is––possessing a B. This brilliant statement spurred my remembrance of having a friend living in that particular street. Well, I called my friend and what my friend told me was contrary to what Richard claimed; my friend lives in number forty-two, the last number in Alexandra Avenue. In fact, there is no number in Alexandria Avenue having an alternative B.

“Two; I have never heard of any kidnapper or killer who threatened a husband of killing the wife without having any leverage or holding the wife hostage beforehand. Nobody would demand for five million naira without having something worthwhile handy. And three; he said he received a text message the night before Mr. Martins’ death when he was returning from where he delivered the money, but the time the text message was sent proved otherwise, the message came into his phone at exactly 9:26 on the morning of the eighth of this month. That was over nine hours after Mr. Martins’ death.

“After questioning him, we decided, without the knowledge of anybody among the household, to check Richard’s room for any evidence––and in the wardrobe, lying almost inconspicuously among his clothing, was that gun on the table. To give no one among you any benefit of doubt, there’s someone who will illuminate more light on this affair. Daniel, go and call in Anuku and the woman.”

The sweating Daniel went out of the room and returned moments later with the albino and the woman.

“Mother!” Richard cried and sank on his knees. “It is finished.” He said.

“What is going on here?” demanded Mrs. Philip, “Why are you in handcuffs, Richard?”

Lot spoke, “Mrs. Philip, I have just a single question to ask you in the presence of everybody here. Madam, was your son with you on the night of the seventh of this month?”

“What day was that?” she asked, getting really scared. She didn’t know if lying or telling the truth would implicate or exculpate her son.

“Friday.” Lot answered.

She shook her head slowly, “He came to me at about five in the morning of Saturday, not Friday.”

The detective smiled, “Thank you, ma’am.” He turned to the others, “If Richard was not at his mother’s between twelve midnight and five in the morning, where was he? I believe you all know the answer to that question. Well, there’s one last thing I want to get to your notice––when I assigned these two officers here to bring Mrs. Philip, they searched the house and found a briefcase full of money; the amount, I’m keeping confidential for now. The money has been taken to the nearest police station, I specifically asked the money not to be brought here because if he had seen the briefcase and his mother he probably might have fled.” Lot paused and continued, “You’ve all seen the motive now, haven’t you? He robbed Mr. Martins of five million naira and when the man found out that it was his own driver who had stolen the money, he called me to come the next day. But incidentally, Richard found out about the call he made, so he was afraid thinking his boss had called the police. He didn’t know that his boss called someone far intelligent than the police; his boss called me, Inspector Lot, whom no crime passes by.”

“But Oga and Richard went out together that Friday night. If he knew that Richard was the one who stole his money, why would he ask his driver to drive him out in the night?”

“Another good question. Obviously, Cain made the call to me before asking Richard to drive him out, but like most rich men, they like having the aces up their sleeves; when they had driven a considerable distance from this building, Mr. Martins, who didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut, began telling Richard about all what he knew and what he had done, that included telling him that he had called somebody from the law. When Cain called me, he refused divulging what had happened to me because he wanted to blackmail Richard so he could easily manipulate and dominate his life, seeing himself between the bull and the spear, Richard did the only thing he hoped would save him from the clutches of the law.”

“It’s a lie!” screamed Mrs. Philip, “My son did not kill anybody, he’s innocent. Richard will never kill, there’s a mix-up somewhere, something’s wrong. My son is innocent!”

“So, you’re the mother of a murderer.” The lawyer accused her.

Mrs. Philip spun in anger to face the man accusing her, “My son is not a murderer and––” she stopped, “Oh my God!” she screamed, “It can’t be!” her pupils were dilated and she looked as if she was going to faint. She shrieked and ran out of the house.

“Mama!” Richard called after her.

“What has gotten over your mother?” Barrister Kish asked Richard, with a smirk on his face.

“What did you do to my mother? Tell me now!” Richard screamed, advancing towards the lawyer but was held back by Ayo.

Kish spread his hands, “Nothing, she just acted as if I’ve turned to a demon.”

“But she ought to have known that you already are,” Richard lashed and turned to Lot, “Detective, I need to see my mother now. Please uncuff me.”

“That’s impossible.”

“Listen to me carefully, Mr. Man!” shouted Richard, “My mother just screamed out without a reason known to anybody here. I want to go and see her so you are going to get these crazy cuffs off me now. I swear I won’t try to escape, and if I attempt to, you can shoot me.”

“Okay, it’s a deal,” Lot signaled to the officer to remove the handcuffs, “And if he tries to flee, just shoot him. And, young man, do not ever talk to me in such a manner again if you still want your criminally handsome face intact.”

The officer removed Richard’s bondage and Richard rubbed his wrists. He went out of the room and the detective and Festus followed close behind him. The officer with the gun aimed the pistol at Richard’s back.

“This gun is aimed at your seventh thoracic vertebrae,” said Festus, “You do anything silly, I fire, and––phew! If you survive, that is, nothing works below the waist. And believe me, it won’t be a story you’ll love to tell.”

Richard himself knew that sometimes when people are shot in the spine and they do not immediately die, they surely lose control of their bowels. Having known that, he tightened his BehindBased sphincter so that even if he was shot he would not be a mess, causing an embarrassment to himself and to those who had to witness the repulsive excretion.

They found Mrs. Philip by the gate biting her finger and shaking uncontrollably. For a moment, Richard thought his own mother had lost her mind.

“Mother, what’s wrong? What happened?” Richard asked, holding his mother by the shoulders.

“Who’s that man?” she asked.

“Who? Do you mean Barrister Kish?”

“The man who called you a murderer,” she said, “Who’s he?”

“He’s Mr. Martins’ lawyer. Why are you asking, mama?”

She turned to the detective, “I need your help.”

“What can I do for you, madam?” asked Lot, he cast an is your mother normal look at Richard.

“I want to see that man’s left arm.” She said.

Lot cast Richard another funny but uncomfortable glance before asking the woman, “What for?”

“Please, sir. This is the only help I want you to do for me, be kind enough to help a helpless woman.”

Lot looked at the woman for some time before acquiescing to her plea.

“Well,” he said, “I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Now, let’s go back to the house.”

They returned inside.

“Barrister Kish,” Lot called, “I need to see your left arm now.”

The lawyer looked at the detective like an old man looks at a young man who had just poured an elixir in the ocean, “What has my arm got to do with the situation here?”

“Just show me your left arm, I want to see it.”

“I refuse to do that,” Kish said in a determined effort.

“Then you leave me no choice,”

Festus immediately aimed his pistol at the barrister.

“Wait, wait, don’t shoot!” Kish screamed at the top of his voice, with arms raised upward he asked, “Are you that serious?”

“Very serious,” Lot replied, “show me your left arm before the situation gets ugly.”

Barrister Michael Kish begrudgingly unbuttoned his shirt and revealed his Unclad left arm.

Mrs. Philip gasped as she saw it; on the lawyer’s arm was the tattoo of a cross, written in the spidery and uncertain black ink of an amateur tattoo artist. She began to shiver again.

“Mother, you’re not looking well, what’s the matter?” Richard asked nervously.

She looked up at her son’s face with sadness and suddenly pointed to the lawyer.

“Richard, that––that is your father!”

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