Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Brand Of Cain Episode 19

Exactly 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.”


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