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Stats: 1284442 members, 1789309 topics. Date: Saturday, 20 December 2014 at 09:05 AM
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Iaz93: 9:02pm On Nov 14, 2012|
But something's wrong here, why Richard??
Keeping my fingers crossed
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 9:34pm On Nov 14, 2012|
Iaz93: Ewoooo...lwkmd. .
What's wrong? The story hasn't ended.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 10:30pm On Nov 14, 2012|
am really surprised, Richard must have been so dumb to have left the gun in his room. Anyway I will wait and see how the whole mystery was unravelled.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Nobody: 10:31pm On Nov 14, 2012|
so Barrister Kish killed Cain and framed it on his unknown son Richard? hmmm. . . i de wait
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 10:55pm On Nov 14, 2012|
Adinije: am really surprised, Richard must have been so dumb to have left the gun in his room. Anyway I will wait and see how the whole mystery was unravelled.
That's so very funny. But believe when I tell you that Richard isn't dumb. You'll know.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by avicky(f): 10:57pm On Nov 14, 2012|
Lots of suspense and intrigues.
Larry, weldone! I must see d end of dis matter.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 10:58pm On Nov 14, 2012|
brokoto: so Barrister Kish killed Cain and framed it on his unknown son Richard? hmmm. . . i de wait
What happened thereafter would foil your theory.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 11:04pm On Nov 14, 2012|
avicky: Wow! *speechless*
Avicky, thank you. There is still an ouevre of climax and denouements. Stay tuned.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Nobody: 11:21pm On Nov 14, 2012|
Larry-Sun:ok o. bring the update sharp sharp sharp abeg. i don tire to guess. . .
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 11:37pm On Nov 14, 2012|
I didn't expect this. Feel like laughing, crying and screaming at the same time. Not Richard!
Will lawyer dad become persecutor or defence counsel now?
Hmmm Larry i dey wait you abeg.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by hisson3(m): 11:49pm On Nov 14, 2012|
Guy drop this bomb immediately, I hereby authorize you to boko haram us all with your suspense filled story
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 3:05am On Nov 15, 2012|
or about half a minute there was a dead silence in the room, during which the falling of a leaf, or of a feather, might have been heard. Some could not understand what was going on, some were utterly baffled and some find it amazingly difficult to believe their ears. Then Kish suddenly broke the silence with a yell, “She’s crazy! It’s a lie!! It’s a lie!!!”
“No, I’m not crazy,” Mrs. Philip said calmly, “It’s the truth. Have you forgotten so soon? May 17, 1981?”
“What are you talking about?” Kish demanded, frankly astonished.
“The night you were attacked by the police, have you forgotten? I’m sure you haven’t.”
“I can’t believe this,” muttered Richard, “W-wait a minute, did you not tell me that he was killed that night?”
“Yes, he was––I can’t understand this,” replied Richard’s mother. She said to the lawyer, “You people were five in number and I saw the policemen dump the body of the five of you in their van. How come you’re alive? And your eyes! Your eyes––they have changed! How come?”
The question shot Kish in his midriff and he began to sweat. He looked deeply into the woman’s eyes; fear clouded his face for a short moment before his body relaxed and he sat down, “I want everybody seated, we have a long story to tell here today.”
“What is going on here?” Lot asked, “You’re sweating, Barrister Kish.”
“It’s a long story, Lot. Have your seat and tell your man to keep his gun; that is the last thing needed here for now.”
Abigail was quiet and very surprised. How could this be possible? She thought, Cain’s friend is Richard’s father. How come? Barrister Kish’s friend was killed by Barrister Kish’s son. It’s unbelievable! She looked at Richard’s mother; the woman was still a pretty woman who can rivet the attention of every man who appreciates natural beauty. No doubt about it, the woman was looking much younger than what Abigail guessed her age would be. She didn’t in any way look like Richard’s mother; she rather looked much like his elder sister. She immediately liked the woman and felt pity for her because the elderly woman was looking rather lachrymose at the moment.
Kish looked at the detective, “Lot, I want you to promise me that you won’t arrest me after hearing this story I’m about to tell.”
Daniel sat with his eyes wide open, barrister Kish is Richard’s father? How is that possible? What happened in 1981? I was not even born then.
“I won’t arrest you on one condition,” Detectives Georges Lot replied.
Eze John Chima was clearly startled. For the six decades of his life, he had never heard or witnessed anything as unbelievable as this. In the first instance, Richard was convicted of killing Cain, which still seemed impossible if the detective had believed his claim that Cain returned that night with the jeep. This was going in the direction that even he himself did not envisage. Secondly, lawyer Kish is Richard’s father, how is that? Both men have always shown hatred to each other, yet they are blood relations. He shook his head in wonderment. When will wonder ever cease?
“What condition?” asked Kish.
The fourteen-year-old Hakeem Musa was not exempted in the avalanche of wonder and confusion. Are we acting a movie or what? Hakeem asked himself. How can a lawyer who condemns criminals father a criminal? This story is getting more interesting, I’ll tell my classmates in school on Monday.
“My job here is to apprehend the murderer of Mr. Martins,” Lot said, “and if you are in any way connected with the crime I won’t hesitate to get you arrested.”
Doctor Timothy Hassan Adam was also baffled, despite that he rarely knew Richard, his mother and the lawyer, he was nevertheless surprised. A Barrister at Law fathering a breaker of the law. Funny and sad.
“Far from that,” Kish breathed in, then out as if he were about to disperse some important edicts.
“I’ll start this story from 1970,” continued Kish, “I was about Hakeem’s age when I lost both my parents in a motor accident. I was initiated into the underworld after my parents’ untimely demise. My uncle, whom I lived with thereafter, was the one who introduced me into the criminal world––he was a hardened criminal. I did not know until I started living with him, and I don’t think my parents knew before their deaths either for he was the most gentle and kindest person I had ever known. Nobody would have thought he was capable of killing a bedbug. He taught me how to wield knives, fire guns, how to beat my enemies in physical combats, how to smoke grass. Can you believe it? I started smoking grass at the age of fifteen, it’s not my fault; I was too young to know that I shouldn’t have joined their corrupt milieu. I don’t even think Baba 70 smoked cannabis sativa more than I did; I became very tough at that age, maybe it was the effect of the cannabis I smoke, I can’t say. But like my uncle, nobody suspected I was a criminal because I was the most gentle boy in class, not even Cain knew that I was a criminal. I never disobeyed my teachers and never beat up my principal like other students did. I read my books and passed out of the grammar school with good grades. I never liked tattoos but I was made to have one after only the first year of living with my uncle, they call it the sign of brotherhood, my uncle had much older men who helped him in his dirty works; I was like a baby in the midst of adults. We robbed many people of their belongings and we were never scared of the law because we thought we were smarter than the law itself; the police didn’t for once catch any one of us. I became as dangerous as my uncle after three years of my initiation.
“My uncle got sick and died when I was nineteen and I became the new leader of the gang. As young as I was, everybody in the gang feared me, I don’t know why––maybe because of the brutal rate at which I smoked grass or because I was fearless, I had no regard for my death. I robbed people of their belongings and threatened them though; I have never taken another person’s life. That was my weakness which I cunningly refused to show to anybody in the gang. We continued terrorizing everybody we come across in the streets of Lagos. We robbed banks and went free, and in no time, I was in money. I spent quite a large sum of the money on grass––smoking cannabis had become an addiction. I didn’t take to cocaine or heroin but I smoked about fifteen sticks of the hemp everyday. We were eight in number at that time but two died; one from chronic bronchitis and the other was run down by a Man Diesel truck during one of our operations when we were trying to escape from the police.
“We became the state’s some of the most wanted; five thousand naira for anybody who can give the police the information of how to capture us. Our name appeared in almost every daily newspaper.
“Your names were known?” asked Lot.
“Not exactly, you see, we had a name for our gang then. It was called Èyò––a name after the Lagos deities. Nobody knew our faces because they were always covered. We dressed in white clothing most of the time and on our heads were white hats; the clothes covered our entire bodies, draping from our heads down to our feet, and sometimes we covered our faces with black stocking masks and hoods pulled over our heads. Or maybe just disguises, like fake beards and moustaches. Also included were wigs and crazy clothes to confuse the witnesses. I didn’t have any interest in women, they never seem much important to me. My only interests were in money and grass.
“As funny as it may seem, after my high school education I got myself enrolled into the University of Benin where I studied Law, I didn’t know what prompted my studying that course. I became a lawyer at the age of twenty-four and still a virgin. Yet, I was the most wanted.
“Our doom caught up with us in 1981; a year after my graduation from the university. We got a message from one of our informants that there was a man who went to withdraw some thousands of money from the bank, we got interested and found out where the man lived. The situation did not go as planned that night when we went to attack the man; I got the shock of my life when we entered the man’s house. I saw a young beautiful girl, I’m not a man who really appreciate women’s beauty but this particular girl probed my emotion which I didn’t think I possessed; I was immediately captivated by the beauty of the girl and an animal desire ran through my devilish body. There was something mesmerizing about the girl’s appearance and for the first time in my entire life, I felt love. She was exceptionally different from every woman I’ve known, she seemed to possess an aura around her beautiful fragile body which is very hard for me to explain; that beauty was so appealing that it almost swept me off my feet. Then that wicked animal spirit that have always been in me took hold of my senses; after collecting the money which I was not really interested anymore, I ordered her into a room, I wanted to stop myself but I couldn’t, I was shaking uncontrollably and sweat was dripping from me furiously. I followed her into the room and made her UnCloth herself, then I did something my gang member must not know, maybe I was really out of my mind at that moment, I showed her my real face. I didn’t know why I did that, probably the love I experienced or the guilt I felt. But the fact remained that I showed her my face, then I climbed over her, and with my body shaking violently, I gently entered her. It was like I was dead and in heaven, like I was in paradise, I continued thrusting in and out of her, not wanting the feeling to end. Then suddenly, my brain seemed to explode and I felt like a part of me had been merged with her. I slowly got off her and to my astonishment and regret, the girl was a virgin; just like me. That was when I knew that we shared a bond which not even any of us could understand, I was ashamed of myself and a pain which I had never experienced took hold of my body. It was the pain that was more than the rape, it was the pain of taking away the pride of an innocent and helpless girl; I had selfishly popped her cherry.
“Some other things happened which I don’t need to say now, but I definitely told her that I loved her before I covered my face and went out of the room leaving her on the bed crying. I can still remember that first kiss, it was the sweetest experience; the feel of those softest lips still make the greenest memory in me. Still, what could an animal like me have to do with that innocent girl? I don’t even know her name.” he smiled and tears began to flow from his eyes down his cheeks. “Just almost immediately after that, something terrible happened and it happened very fast. I don’t know how the police got to know that we were there. They attacked us with a series of gunfire as we stepped out of the house.”
Kish turned to Richard’s mother, “That was what got you confused, we were six in number that night; one of us, Emeka, stood outside the house watching over. He also wore an armless shirt that night and he was the first to be hit by the police’s bullets. I was dazed and could not do anything as my gang mates continued returning fire to the police. I became numb and something kept ringing out loud in my ears that ‘it’s over!’. Then just beside me, one of us was hit in the stomach, the bullets sending the large parts of his intestines flying. I quickly calculated my escape; it became imperative for me to gird up my loins if I needed to survive this bloodbath––just some yards behind me was a fence. I immediately climbed over the fence and jumped into the compound of the building behind where I was, I jumped over another fence into a nearby bush. I was almost home before I realized that I was the one holding the money we stole; I ran home like escaping from the pit of hell; through the bushes and amid different bruises and scratches. It was about four in the morning by the time I got home and I packed all the money and others in the house into a bag in rush. I knew that none of my gang mates would leave that showdown alive. I changed into a more respectable piece of clothing and fled. There was so much money in the bag that it was heavy and uncomfortable to carry. I travelled to Zaria that day and lodged in a hotel where I spent two weeks before flying to England. But before my travel I came around that location we robbed; I was trying to meet that innocent girl again, but they had vacated the place. Nobody knew where the family went.
“I lived a more respectable life in England, though at first it was very hard for me due to not finding any cannabis to consume, what was actually in handy was cocaine with which I was not attached. I could understand why some hemp smokers run insane because I nearly ran mad myself when I could not smoke it again. It took me quite some months, after visiting several rehabilitation centres, before I could get rid of my addiction. I got to England in 1981 and got married to a girl whom I met there in 1984; she was also a Nigerian, her name was Lara. We lived together for five years before she divorced me and got married to one sordid mulatto.
“She gave birth to a girl after one year of getting married and I was very happy. I did not believe that I would ever become a father, but my world came crashing on me the moment Lara told me that I’m not the father of Belinda. I felt like dying, I was like a man who wanted to die but could not find the courage to kill himself. I did not blame Lara much for the actions she took, I accepted it, and it was my expiation. But that was the moment my nemesis came targeting on me dramatically.
“I decided to come back to Nigeria after spending twenty years of my life in Europe. Four different marriages did not work for me in England, I thought getting married in my country would be different. I made a considerable large sum of money there in England and I was reluctant to come home but I must get married and have a child, I realized that England is not the right place for me to do that. The first thing I did before arriving in Nigeria was changed my physical appearance in the little way I could, and hoped to God that nobody would recognize me. I knew that my eyes would be the first thing anybody that had encountered me would notice, I don’t know how I came about that extraordinary pair of eyes; perhaps, one of my ancestors was a foreigner, and the one thing I was able to inherit from their genes is the one which would make me stand out among crowd. And fortunately for me, I read it somewhere that a certain kind of contact lenses can impede the colour of the eyes; and with the aid of one of my contacts in England, an optician, was able to provide for me perfect spectacles. I’ve been wearing the same kind of contact lenses for a decade now; two years in England and eight years here in Nigeria, and this had magically turned the colour of my eyes to something darker, not really purely African, but dark nevertheless. And it’s only a very few people like Richard’s mother can notice the difference. I don’t even think you noticed, Detective.
“Anyway, I met another girl when I came back to this country in 2001, her name was Sara. We loved each other deeply and I was happy that I had finally found my soul mate; somebody who really loved me for who I am. I even told her about my past and she did not love me the less, I have never been so cared for in my life. She possessed that sweetness no other woman I’ve taken down the aisle had. I was about forty-seven years old and she was twenty-six with a beauty so astonishing, I provided her with everything she needed. I literally worshipped her like a goddess, I did not allow a single fly to pounce on her. She was my life. She got pregnant the same year I met her, nothing could contain the joy I felt. That moment, I knew that I was going to have a child of my own. My worst nightmare came when Sara put to bed, she gave birth to a boy alright––but the child was a stillborn, she herself died of exsanguinations shortly after the birth; she had lost too much of her blood. I almost became a maniac, I was no more myself; I could not bath, I could not barb or shave, I refused to eat any good food––I became a shadow of myself.
“Then it suddenly dawned on me that God had been punishing me, making me reap the fruit of my sins. I cried like a baby when I realized that, I cursed myself and God. ‘Why did you do this to me? Why?’ I asked God wrathfully, ‘You should have killed me instead. Why must Sara die? She was innocent, why did you kill her? You should have taken me.’ For many years, I stopped going to church to get even with God, I refused to get married again because I knew God would kill my wife. I was wondering why He is still keeping me alive, I decided He wanted me to see more evil days, and I was prepared. I knew that the final blow to knock me out was coming but I didn’t know it until now. This is how God want to destroy me finally, I’m not prepared for this, this one is too much for me.
“I’m a doomed soul, I thought I was not going to have a child, I didn’t know that I already have one. My son was close to me and I did not know. My son was the driver of my friend, he’s the murderer of my friend––my only son is going to be hanged––
“God is wicked!” he shook his head, another stream of tears welling up from his eyes. “He’s a wicked God!” he jerked his finger in the direction of Mrs. Philip, “She doesn’t deserve this! Why should God get her involved? What grief is more than seeing your own son getting killed for––”
“Enough!” Mrs. Philip screamed, “What nonsense are you saying?” tears that had secreted from hearing the lawyer’s story had clouded her face, “My son is not a murderer.”
The detective sighed and stood up, “What a sad story,” he murmured, “Madam, I’m sorry that you have to face the sad vagaries of fate,” he faced the lawyer, “I don’t even know what to say, it’s a pity you’re paying your price this way. If I may say, it would have been better if you had been killed with your fellow criminals that night. The father has eaten the sour grape and the son’s teeth are set at edge, like it says in the book of Jeremiah. It’s too bad that that only son of yours is also a criminal, and justice must be served. I swear I don’t like what I’m doing now, this difficult choice is putting me in an invidious position but there’s nothing I can do but the right thing expected of me, I hope you understand what I mean.”
The lawyer nodded and wept bitterly this time.
Abigail who had been silent for a long time asked the detective a question with trembling lips, she also had tears in her eyes, “What happens to my explanation of seeing Cain at about three that morning?”
“I thought you were lying before,” replied Lot, “But I know better now. You were actually merging your dream with reality without you knowing.”
Abigail looked at the detective as if he had just unzipped his trouser and exposed himself to her.
“Remember when I asked you the last time you saw your husband alive?” continued Lot, “You were not sure of yourself; you told me you saw your husband last at about ten, then you later said it was at three. It means you either unknowingly included the activities in your dream with your narration, or you just decided to complicate case by lying.”
“But I also saw Oga drive in at about one.” Chima chipped in.
Lot looked at the gatekeeper and decided to be rude. “What can one expect from an old man like you but hallucination?” Lot said.
“Watch your tongue, man!”
“What will you do if I don’t?” Lot shot back before turning to the others, “There’s another thing which I will like you all to know. Doctor Adam is here to tell us about it. Doctor, please.”
The doctor had a nervous throat clearing cough which he used when he was confused about how to begin his speech. When he swallowed, his Adam’s apple went up and stayed put, “Well, what we actually found out has not been tested but it’s something which will no doubt enlighten us about the identity of the killer. We searched under the corpse’s fingernails during our autopsy and found minuscule fragment of skin lodged under the nails.”
“He might have scratched himself. It does happen, doesn’t it?” asked Chima.
“Yes, it does. But our test showed that the skin was not the corpse’s. Mr. Martins possessed long fingernails and that scratch must have drawn blood. What we only need to do is get the little blood sample on the skin and compare it with the suspect’s; that will give us our facts.”
“This is the only possible explanation of that,” said Lot, “There was a fight or struggle between the deceased and his assailant, and he was able to scratch Richard; that is part of the evidence we are going to present in court after the test. The gatekeeper declared that he did not hear any sound; if that is true, it literally means that Cain was murdered somewhere else and dumped by the gate.”
There was another short moment of silence.
“But why did he kill him, why?” Kish asked painfully.
“Ask him, he knows best,” replied Lot.
“Aren’t we putting bracelets on the criminal’s hands anymore?” asked the irritated Ayo.
“Cuff him up. They’re waiting for us at the station.”
Richard spoke as the officer advanced, “Wait,” he looked at the lawyer in sadness, this time, tears was streaming down his cheeks. “It’s a pity,” he declared, “It’s a pity that I got to know you this way.”
“I’m sorry, son. I’m truly sorry.”
“You don’t have to be,” he said curtly. Then he turned to his weeping mother, “Stop crying, mama. Everything will be fine.”
Mrs. Philip continued crying bitterly, “I warned you, I warned you!”
Richard told the detective, “This is what I tried all my best to prevent.”
“And what is that?”
“Being accused of killing Mr. Martins,” he looked straight into the detective’s eyes, “I didn’t kill Mr. Martins, I swear on my life.”
The detective gave a wicked smile, the kind he had given many convicted criminals, “Tell that to the judge, he may believe you.”
“I did not kill Mr. Martins, detective.” Richard said in a voice that matched his lugubrious mien.
“Then who did? Me?” Lot asked scornfully, “How will you explain the gun found in your possession or the money you purloined?”
Richard looked in Abigail’s eyes as he spoke:
“Mr. Martins killed himself––he committed suicide.”
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Iaz93: 7:30am On Nov 15, 2012|
This is getting more and more interesting. . .i knew it...that Mr Martins ehn...hMm
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Nobody: 7:50am On Nov 15, 2012|
Hmmm. So that was Cain's ace? To commit suicide and then frame Richard with it. I de wait. . .
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 9:51am On Nov 15, 2012|
He committed suicide eh? That man wicked gan.
Waiting for Richard's story.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 10:12am On Nov 15, 2012|
uj_sizzle: He committed suicide eh? That man wicked gan.
It appears as if Richard is your favourite character here.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 11:27am On Nov 15, 2012|
Larry-Sun:Duh he's the kinda guy I'd fall in love with in real life
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by jslimz(f): 11:27am On Nov 15, 2012|
Please keep it coming, cuz i'm sitting at the edge of my sit.
Larry your undoubtedly good.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Adinije(f): 11:38am On Nov 15, 2012|
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Splendblex(f): 3:03pm On Nov 15, 2012|
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by nikinash(f): 5:25pm On Nov 15, 2012|
its a game. Remember thats what Cain said. He has a twin brother, who he killed and framed Richard for. Cain is alive, in hiding in that same house!
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 6:17pm On Nov 15, 2012|
nikinash: its a game. Remember thats what Cain said. He has a twin brother, who he killed and framed Richard for. Cain is alive, in hiding in that same house!
No, Niki. Cain is never a twin. If he were, I'd have created the awareness directly or indirectly.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by IZUKWU(m): 6:54pm On Nov 15, 2012|
Wonderful ! Wonderful !! Wonderful!!!
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by iaabc(f): 7:55pm On Nov 15, 2012|
Cain is the murderer.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by iaabc(f): 8:03pm On Nov 15, 2012|
But if he's really dead, then the gateman did it!
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Iaz93: 8:06pm On Nov 15, 2012|
Cain planned everything! He came back to put the gun and money in Richard's room, and he gave richard a wrong ad! Idiat
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 8:19pm On Nov 15, 2012|
iaabc: But if he's really dead, then the gateman did it!
Cain is really dead.
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by LarrySun(m): 8:22pm On Nov 15, 2012|
t was a moment when all imaginable rules were flying out the windows. Almost everybody’s jaw dropped at the same time, even the doctor became much more interested in the affair, he took out his pair of eyeglasses that looked like they were fitted with the bottoms of Coke bottles, he wiped the dust on it with the hem of his suit, and put it back over his face. Richard Philip became the cynosure of all eyes; all ears waiting to hear his own side of the story.
Part of a detective’s training was never to show surprise, and Lot did not, only his hairy eyebrows were hoisted aloft. He brought out a box of cigarettes, took out a stick, put it between his teeth and lit the other end of it. He inhaled deeply and exhaled the smoke through his nostrils in relief.
“I’m listening,” Lot said.
Richard pointed at the cigarette between the detective’s lips, “That thing is dangerous, it kills.”
“What business of yours is it?” demanded Lot sarcastically, “I take what I want and anything I take is not anybody’s cup of coffee. Besides, I’ve come across someone who smoked ganja for about ten years without running mad.”
Kish cast a reproachful look at Lot, he knew the detective was indirectly referring to him, but he did not say anything.
“Sorry,” said Richard, “I was only pretending to care.”
Abigail wiped her tears, a feeling of excitement had begun to build inside of her.
“Sir Lot,” Richard said, “I’m not trying to be rude but what you don’t know is far more than what you know.”
“I’m listening,” Lot said unfazed.
“I know that what I’m about to tell you here may seem like a bitter pill to swallow but it’s the truth––the whole truth.” He paused and looked directly at Eze Chima for a long time before he continued, as if it were the old gatekeeper who needed to confess, “My first time of meeting the deceased was when I came here to apply as a driver, but I noticed that I wasn’t one of his favourite people the moment he set his eyes on me. I didn’t know why at that time but I can guess now; it had been his nature, he virtually hated almost everybody. Although I wasn’t a saint either, I had successfully picked people’s pocket before, but it was not a skill I should be horning with pride. Well, he hated me, he hardly knew me from Adam, but he employed me and paid me handsomely. The hatred he had for me grew by the day; the more loyal I was to him, the more vicious he became in return. The tiny pilot light of suspicion that had been burning in my head was very much aglow when I learnt that he was once a psychiatric patient.
“The worst moment for me came when he realized that his wife spent some time in my room. I didn’t know he knew until when I was driving him to the airport the next day; on the way to the airport, Mr. Martins started by telling me about the Shakespeare’s book––Othello. If you have read the play, you would know that the Moor was made to believe that his own wife, Desdemona, was having a love affair with Cassio and he learnt that the handkerchief which he had given to her was found in Cassio’s abode. I will say that that was what really happened in the case of Abigail and me.
“Abigail was weeping when she came to my room that night, she said her husband had slapped her so I gave her my handkerchief to wipe her tears, but she took the hanky with her when she was leaving that night. It was my fault all the way, I should have remembered to collect the handkerchief from her. Her husband saw the handkerchief with her and became mad again.
“You see, Mr. Martins believed that I paddled Abigail’s canoe that night so he began to tell me things like playing games and challenging me to a game of survival. I was confused, I didn’t know how to explain to him that nothing happened between us. Even if I got the right word to convince him, I know he wouldn’t believe me; at least, he wouldn’t want to. I came to realize later that the game he was talking about was to murder Abigail and pin the crime on me. He was a rich man and I’m a nobody––if he accused me of killing his wife, how would I wring off his hook?”
“What gave you that impression that he wanted to kill his wife?”
“Permit me to come back to Shakespeare––in Othello, the Moor stabbed his wife because of the thought Iago had put in him that Cassio had been bedding his wife, and Mr. Martins was as jealous as Othello himself. If you dug well, you might find out that Mr. Martins first wife didn’t die from a natural cause. He could also plan Abigail’s death and nail me on the cross.
“I knew that the moment for him to plot his uxoricide was at hand but I had no idea about how he was going to plan it. Then, about a week after his return from Maitama, Mr. Martins called me to drive him out, he refused telling me where we were going. The time, I assume, must have been about eleven that night. I knew that the moment for his plan had come, but I also had my own plans too––if I disallowed him from killing her, I would be free. We drove out of the compound into the street and as we cut into another road Mr. Martins suddenly ordered me to stop the car with a yell––as though I was about to hit a wall and crash us. I was horrified when I looked at his face, he was almost unrecognizable––his face was like the colour of a fish’s underbelly, the eyes were particularly deadly looking. He looked at me and smiled with those eyes which resembled a cat’s. The smile was ghastly and horrible, I hope I never see another smile like it. It was like watching a corpse smile, a skeleton could smile with more warmth than that. It was also that of a madman; his eyes suddenly sprang to a vivid, cruel violent exuberance that made my legs shook with terror. ‘I left something in the house,’ he bleated, ‘wait here for me, I’ll be back in a jiffy…this is the night that either makes me, or fordoes me quite.’ And before I could say anything he had opened the door of the jeep and headed the way towards the house.
“It was during those times I was left alone in the car that the motive struck me. Something inside me, my intuition I presume, led me out of the car to open the booth. In the booth was the suitcase he was carrying when he was returning from Abuja, I opened the case and I saw the money which filled it to the brim. Immediately, Mr. Martins’ plot was staring at me in the face. I already knew that his return back to the house was to go and murder his wife, but there was more to it; after killing his wife, he would accuse me of doing the deed––and robbery. He intentionally put the money in the booth to implicate me. His wicked intention was to call the police that he had been robbed by his driver who had killed his wife and gone away with the money. The police would come searching the car and find the money, they might even find the gun in my room where Mr. Martins had put it after wiping his print off it. With a kind of plan like that, how would I escape the hangman? Having seen the money, I wanted to run after him and stop him but I returned into the car; it would be faster using a car than running. I knocked a hard U-turn and began speeding back here. As I drove, more revelations occurred to me, Cain had made a statement before leaving the car, something in that statement worried me. I tried to remember; he said he left something in the house, he told me to wait saying he would be back in a jiffy. Then he said something thereafter, he said, this is the night that either makes me, or fordoes me. Yes, that was it! It wasn’t just a statement, I’ve heard the statement somewhere before. I tried to get a hold at how I came about this phrase. I racked my brain to remember, then it came! I didn’t hear it anywhere, I read it from a book––it was a quote. It was a quote from Shakespeare’s––Othello! It was the aside Iago made in Othello, after he had wounded Cassio. He had wounded Cassio in the leg and exited the room, the victim knew not who attacked him. And Iago, however, had pretended to know nought about the cause of Cassio’s injury. Turning into the adjacent road, I heard a shot, and before a minute after, another shot sounded––this was quite louder than the former. This second shot was almost so twice as loud as the first shot that made me wonder if both shots had actually come from one gun. Then as I drove nearer, I beheld a spectacle which froze the current of my blood. Mr. Martins was lying dead at the side of the road with a bullet hole on his forehead. I slowly got out of the car, hardly believing my eyes; I saw a pistol lying some metres away from the body. In my puzzlement, I bent by the body and touched it. His skin was cold to the touch, the hand that I raised fell back lifeless. I was not thinking straight at that moment so I made a very silly mistake––I touched the pistol, I held it in my hand and realized that it had recently been fired. It was then that I discovered Evil with an uppercase E, Mr. Martins’ real motive slashed at me like a razor blade across the eyes, it was what I did not think about at all. I had been wrong, the plan was not to kill Abigail––Mr. Martins’ plan was to kill himself and make it look like I did it, automatically pinning two crimes on me still; larceny and murder.”
The last sentence was received with a sudden roar of surprise by all listening to Richard, except of course, Lot.
“Do you have any idea how insane you sound?” asked Lot.
“What do you expect from someone who was once a psychiatric patient, sir? If you had been acquainted with Mr. Martins you’d have known that he was not a man who thinks straight. What he was only perfect at doing was making more money for himself in his business. With the vow of destroying me, he felt no qualm about putting a stop to his own life. It was the neatest plan, how would it appear to the police? We both drove out of the compound and I murdered my boss after seeing the large sum of money he had in his car. The gatekeeper saw us drive out, my prints were already on the gun, and there was the money in the booth of the car. What was I to do? Wouldn’t it be foolish of me if I returned the body, the gun (which already had my prints) and the money? Who would believe my story that Mr. Martins committed suicide with those damning evidence? The least they would do was wheel me to the nearest asylum to spend some years there. You know the policemen we have in this country; they would only conclude that I felt a pang of guilt after killing him and I decided to return the body with the lie that he committed suicide––does that sound crazy to you as it does to me? Not even the best juror could save me. It is really the truth but even to me it sounds like flimflam. The likelihood was small to nonexistence that anybody would leap unreasonably to the consideration that I might really be innocent.
“It was about half past twelve that night and I still stood there horror-stricken as the thought of what the police would do continued torturing me. As seconds ticked by, I felt danger looming over my head. Think, think, think, think, think––I kept slapping my head painfully for any inspiration to exonerate myself. At the moment, I got only two choices; either I bury myself by telling the world what really happened or I flee and become a fugitive, I decided the latter choice would be preferable––I was not ready to die for what I did not do. I opened the booth of the jeep to get the money, with that, I knew I’d get lost in this country where nobody would find me, what I only needed was to grow beards and use specs. I could even travel out of the country and still live comfortably with that kind of money. I shut the booth and was about to pal up with my heels when the thought of my mother struck me. How would she bear it if I left? I couldn’t even dare think of what she might do to herself after learning that her only child had become a murderer and was wanted by the police––that’d be too much on her. I stood there rooted again, not able to take a step. For another thirty minutes, I continued hitting my head and looking with fear at the second hand of my wrist-watch ticked continuously. That exact moment, time was my worst enemy; an encounter where each split second was the difference between life and death. Time was running out as fast as water through a sieve. I was still trying to puzzle out my escape when suddenly a light bulb flashed on in the air above my head––just as in the comic strips––and I sighed aloud. A brilliant idea, shinning and new, had travelled like a comet through my tired brain––the solution to my dilemma had occurred to me at the minute when I was about to give up. If the truth would kill, could the lie save?
“It was between me and me; and if I couldn’t be frank with myself, I couldn’t be frank with anyone. There was nobody around, the only things moving that night were fireflies. They were everywhere, pulsing off and on in the bushes around like defective Christmas lights. In less than five minutes, I’d planned how I’d make my moves. I quickly stripped the outer clothes off the body and stripped off my clothes too. You see, I had almost the same body shape as the deceased so I made use of the opportunity. After getting myself off my outer wears I put on his trousers, the inseam of the trouser was just right; the waist was inches too big, but I cinched it with a belt, I also put on his shirt and overcoat which fitted perfectly, I put on his hat and pair of sandals which were slightly loose but wearable. I think you would have known what I did by now. I picked up the pistol on the ground and got into the vehicle. For some time I could not drive, I kept asking myself if the plan was going to work and I was wondering what would happen if it didn’t. I drove the jeep towards the house leaving Mr. Martins partly Unclad by the roadside––I knew that nobody would come across the body, at least, not yet. My body was shaking violently from fear as I was driving, I had driven a few metres close to my destination when one of the tyres climbed a sharp object and burst; at first, I thought it was a gunshot sound, I thought someone was firing at me from behind, until I leaned out from the car and realized the jeep was leaning on one deflated tyre. I was afraid some more, I didn’t know if I should stop the car or continue driving on, sweat had begun to run down the nape of my neck, I decided I should drive on if I wanted to really save myself, a part of me wondering what kind of omen backed up the flat rubber. I wanted to stop the car and scream my lungs out; I think I was also crazy for a millisecond. But screaming would only complicate situation so I drove on. I grabbed the steering wheel tightly because my hands were shaking, my palms were damp with sweat and they were slippery on the steering wheel when I reached the gate. I hooted and as the gate was opened by Mr. Chima, I bent my head low to conceal my identity, the clothing and the hat were enough to make him think it was Mr. Martins who drove inside. Still with my head bent very low, I drove in stealthily; and as Mr. Chima turned his back to lock the gate I quickly got out of the vehicle and rushed inside the house with a prayer that I wouldn’t meet Abigail still awake. It was almost three in the morning; half past two to be precise, and I didn’t expect her to still be awake. Luckily for me, as I had prayed, she was already in the bedroom sleeping––I had successfully completed the first phase of my plan which was convincing the gatekeeper that Mr. Martins returned alive that night. The second phase was also to convince Abigail that her husband came back alive that night, and yet, I wanted her to feel my presence there. I didn’t know if my plan would be successful, but if it wouldn’t, I wanted her to know something very important if I was convicted. I went into the bedroom and found Abigail sleeping peacefully; I stood looking at her for some time, reveling in her beauty so ravishing that I could not stop myself from touching her tender face––what I could not bring myself to tell her in person was that I am very much in love with her. I love her intensely, and I will throw myself off a high cliff for her if she asks me to jump. I would, of course, need to understand the reasoning behind her request. Yes, I confess I like her a lot, even from the moment I first met her to my working for her husband, but I wasn’t unaware of the danger inherent in my esteem. So, I couldn’t bring myself to really let her know the way I feel about her until Cain passed on.”
The detective looked at Daniel who carried a defeated expression on his face, Lot felt sorry for him, and he felt what he felt, because he himself was not unacquainted with the agonies of love unrequited.
“Because I could not summon enough courage to tell her that I am crazy about her, I decided to let her know through a note. I tore a small sheet of paper from a book in that room and wrote I LOVE YOU on it. I did not put my name or signature because Abigail recognizes my writing quite well. I slipped the note under the bible lying on the stool by the bed, and just at that moment, Abigail turned on the bed. I quickly turned my back at her; I knew she would have opened her eyes before falling back into her deep sleep. I didn’t want to take any other chance so I got out of the bedroom into the living room ready for the third phase––I had to get out of the house without being seen or heard at that particular time, if I had to get my alibi right. I went over to the bar and took some shots of brandy to get over the nervousness eating me up but I only succeeded in becoming slightly drunk, but there was nothing like Dutch courage in everything I did. I peeped out to see if the gatekeeper was still outside, he wasn’t, he had gone back to his room probably sleeping, too. I went out quietly into my room and hid the gun in the wardrobe among my wears, intending to bury it if I had the opportunity. Thinking that I’ve successfully hidden the gun, I went out of my room into the compound where I climbed the fence to the other side into the street. I ran back to where I had left the corpse and the money. I quickly stripped the deceased’s clothes off me and put it back on the body carefully, then with only my boxers short and singlet on me, I headed to the house carrying the body on my shoulder, it was the most horrifying thing I could imagine I would ever do. As I carried the body, I could not look at the fixed but unseeing stare of the dead man’s cold eyes. I put the corpse beside the gate. When I looked at my wrist-watch, it was almost four in the morning and rigor mortis would soon be setting on the body. I went to a bush far away from the scene and retched violently until my belly ached.
“I ran back to where my clothes were lying, I didn’t place them carefully on the ground when I was leaving so they were crusted with more sand than needed to fill an hourglass. In my condition, narcissism was not a courtesy I could enjoy, so I wore the clothes mindlessly. I carried the money and when I again checked the time on my wrist-watch it was four-fifteen; the coldest, darkest hour out of every twenty-four. People would soon be coming out and I must not let anyone see me or my plan would be thwarted. I caught the early commercial bus to my mother’s, I got there at around five, she was surprised to see me very early, I lied to her when she tried to question my early visit. Besides, if I needed to stay innocent, everything must come in lies, I told her that I was sent on an errand by my boss to his business partner the night before, I said I spent the night at the partner’s house so very early that morning I decided to come and see her since her house was not far from where I was sent. The most painful part of it all was that she believed my lie; I wished she had at least suspected me of not putting all my cards on the table for her. I slept like a log of wood that morning and woke up about four hours later before I decided to come here.”
He spread out his hands in a banal of finality, “That’s what happened, the rest you know.”
The detective sighed, “How about the text message on your phone?”
“When I was coming here on the morning of that Saturday I branched off at a call centre and bought a SIM card through which I texted the message to my number, thereafter, I broke the SIM into pieces. I had to save myself, so the truth mustn’t surface; I tried my best not to make Mr. Martins’ death linked to me in any way. I thought making his death look like murder would save me, but I didn’t want an innocent person to be, in a wrong way, convicted of the murder, so I cooked up a story of kidnappers getting involved in the affair, I thought that would divert your attention to somewhere else, at least, that was what I was thinking when I was showing you the message.”
“How about the note found by the gatekeeper?”
“I don’t know anything about that,” replied Richard, “But I believe it was written by the late himself. He intentionally put the note in the gatekeeper’s room because he was positive that his friend would certainly hunt me down, he called you so that you would see the note since whoever is the murderer in your eyes is surely the murderer to the world. With you two strong pillars, how am I going to go unscathed if I had said the truth?” he sighed, “I feel better telling you about it at last. I guess confession is really good for the soul because I’m feeling as innocent as Jesus Christ right now. Even Mary and Joseph all know that what I said is the truth. My atlas now feels lighter without the world on its prone shoulders.”
The detective stood up, sucked deeply on his cigarette and exhaled a ball of smoke which made Hakeem cough. He began pacing around the room and nodding occasionally at what was forming in his head. He looked intently at Richard and gave a smile which crinkled the lines around his eyes. He gave the ex-driver a thumb-up sign.
“I should confess, I really like you––I like your intelligence,” said Lot, “I’ve never met anybody as clever as you are. But do you think I’ll swallow that theory as if it were a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream? You should have kept your lies as brief as you can, the best lies are the short ones. Because it’s a pity now that I can’t find any veracity in all what you have said.”
“What are you talking about, sir?” Richard said, his voice shaking. “I’ve told you what happened.”
“You failed by trying to deceive me about a gang of killers threatening you boss. Now you’re giving me another cooked up tale and you expect me to believe you. What makes you think I won’t count this as one of you lies? This is pure malarkey, I’ve come to know that a story has to be very good before a detective can tell it is a lie. There’s no scintilla of truth in what you have been saying.”
“It’s the truth, I swear!” screamed Richard, casting his gaze again upon the gatekeeper to help him take off the noose the detective was gradually putting around his neck.
“Oh, save me that. I really accept the fact that you’re a very clever man, but you can’t buy my belief with that fable of yours.” He placed a sharp emphasis on fable. “You’re forgetting one thing which you cannot cover up with your lies; one doesn’t commit suicide by shooting himself on the forehead with a pistol. If Mr. Martins had killed himself, the bullet would have gone through the temple and not the forehead.” He looked around at the people; Hakeem was staring at him with his mouth wide open. Others were just staring at him. He shook his head:
“Too bad you’ve all allowed yourselves to be moved by his lies,” he bit his lower lip, “I agree that his story is quite fascinating. With what he had said I’ve been able to determine that robbing the deceased was not his only motive––as he’d confessed, he was in love with the deceased’s wife and he’d always been annoyed every time he saw Mr. and Mrs. Martins together, believing in the notion that Mr. Martins did not deserve her, so he decided to put him off. I don’t know how long he had been waiting but he was patient enough to wait for the right moment to strike––the moment was when his boss came to him that night to drive him out.
“Richard went back into his room to get the gun, which he had already been hiding, and slid it into his pocket. After driving a considerable distance from here, where he believed the shot would not be heard, he shot his boss point-blank in the forehead. Richard is a very fast thinker, he’d already planned everything permanently. Unlike most criminals who would have simply worn gloves before holding the gun, or they might even bury the gun after using it, Richard was smarter and cleverer, he wanted all the evidence to point to him as the murderer and still get away with it; he purposely lied about the gang of killers because he knew that I wouldn’t believe it really, he showed me the text message on his phone so that I’d see the date and time it was sent, he gave me the fake address because he knew I would verify if the address really existed. This is the third week after Mr. Martins’ death, Richard had more than enough time to get rid of the gun but he intentionally left it in his room for me to find, very clever of him. I don’t know, but he somehow managed to conceal under the gatekeeper’s pillow a note which he had written in a different handwriting.
“After killing his boss, he had to return the car into the house to complicate the investigation. He really got me there, when the gatekeeper and Abigail said they saw Mr. Martins after the time he was proclaimed to have died, I did not believe them because I had a reason not to. What I was thinking about was the car; Mr. Martins has two jeeps of the same type––one, I learnt from a reliable source, was with the motor mechanic because it developed a minor fault. The jeep was reported stolen a week before Mr. Martins’ death, and when I checked the second jeep in the compound it had a flat back tyre, so I concluded that the stolen jeep was the one used to commit the crime. Now I know better, the stolen car was only a coincidence; it has nothing to do with this case.
“As I was saying, Richard returned the car to the house by pulling the stunt of disguising as the deceased to the innocent gateman and Abigail. I know you are all wondering why he did so much, I mean, intentionally planning evidence against himself as well as pulling a strong alibi. The reason’s not far-fetched, he wanted to gain Abigail’s unconditional love, he believed that with that last story he’d said, Abigail would by no doubt fall in love with him––women have flexible hearts, they fall in love if given the chance. He knew that he would be in control of Mr. Martins’ fortune after marrying Abigail. Another reason is thus––the blood of his father flows in his veins. Like his father, he thought he’s a perfect criminal who would always get away with every crime committed.” Lot turned to face Richard, “Remember, even Iago did not get away with his crime.”
Detective Georges Lot turned to Mrs. Philip, “I’m sorry again, Madam. Destiny has been showing you no mercy. First, the one who fathered your son was a hardened criminal, and that son is now one.”
Richard’s mother wept bitterly, “My son is not a murderer––my son is innocent––he will never kill.” She continued sobbing. On her face were more tears than could have been found from peeling ten thousand onions.
The only person without tears in his eyes was the detective. Every other person was weeping in his own way. Even Ayo Festus, Moses Anuku and Daniel Famous were not so strong-hearted. The pathetic situation was enough to make the devil lose a few drops of tears.
Richard looked with tears into the detective’s face, “I knew it––the truth doesn’t make you free.”
Lot replied coldly, “Neither do the lies. And you can cue the violin as much as you want.”
“My son is not a murderer! He’s innocent!” Mrs. Philip cried.
“I’m sorry, but justice must be served––the law doesn’t set murderers free. At least, not the last time I checked.”
“He’s innocent,” a gentle voice said behind Lot. The detective turned, it was Daniel.
Lot whistled, “Goodness! I can’t believe you are also moved by his lies. My God! You’re even weeping for him––”
“He’s innocent,” Daniel repeated, wiping his tears with the back of his hands. “He was not lying––I’m the one who killed Mr. Martins.”
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by Nobody: 8:42pm On Nov 15, 2012|
ok. pls Daniel is innocent. I'm the one who killed Cain Martins
|Re: The Brand Of Cain (A Complete Novel) by UjSizzle(f): 8:43pm On Nov 15, 2012|
This story is getting really twisted
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