Meanwhile, Lucy had reported the conversation Alan of Gambia whom she thought was her brother-in-law had with her earlier to her sister.
“Caroline, you wouldn’t believe it! I don’t know what is wrong with your husband. He came to me when you went inside angrily to propose to me. He was calling me “love”. I was feeling very uncomfortable with his awkward behavior,” Lucy said.
“Lucy, are you sure of what you are saying? Did he tempt you? No, wait! Was he serious when he said that? Could you perceive it in his eyes that he asked you out earnestly? Please answer me! What observation did you make?” Caroline asked with a lot of anxiousness.
“He denied it first. He said you are not his wife and you have no right on him,” Lucy replied.
“You mean he meant he is not my husband!!?” Caroline asked with impatience.
“Yes. And he said he was a stranger here,” Lucy added.
“Really!?” Caroline exclaimed.
“Yes, sister. But, I immediately pleaded for you,” Lucy said, trying to calm her sister.
“What did he say when you pleaded for me?” Caroline asked as she drew closer to her sister.
“He still stood on his grounds that he loved me. He even said I should allow him marry me,” said Lucy.
“With what persuasion did he tempt your love?” Caroline asked, trying to gather more information.
“His words sounded honest, sister. First, he praised my beauty and then my eloquence,” Lucy answered.
“Was he serious!?” Caroline asked sharply.
“Have patience my sister, I implore you,” Lucy said as she held her sister by the arm.
“Patience you say!!? I cannot be patient. How can my husband be in love with another woman? I cannot be still. I cannot bridle my tongue. Look at this useless man! He is so unkind, foolish and vicious!” Caroline blurted out. Lucy smiled gently.
“Calm down my sister. Why are you jealous? You are overreacting by calling your husband useless, foolish and unkind,” Lucy advised.
Caroline loved her husband very much despite her fears. “Lucy, I love my husband very much. With my tongue I curse him, but my heart prays for him. I love him so much that it will be unbearable for me to lose him to another woman,” Caroline said as she sat on a chair nearby.
Ali immediately barged into the room where Lucy and Caroline were having their discussion. He was gasping and looked exhausted.
“Hurry! Go into the safe!” He said while he wiped sweat from his face with his hand. “Please go now! Be fast!” He added when he realized Caroline was still sitting.
Lucy was surprised at his urgent demand for money. Ali had never approached her sister in such a manner.
“Ali, why have you lost your breath?” she asked.
“I lost my breath by running fast, my lady,” Ali answered sharply.
“I asked you to look for your master. Where is he? Is he well?” Caroline asked.
“Madam, he is far from well! He is in a real mess,” Ali replied.
“Please tell me, what is the matter!?” Caroline demanded with impatience and anxiousness.
“I don’t know madam. But, he has been arrested on a charge!” Ali answered. “I don’t know the police officer that arrested him, but I know where they are taking him to,” Ali peered at her. “Will you fetch me the money now, madam? Will you deliver him from the clutches of the law?” Ali asked.
“Fetch the money, sister!” Caroline told Lucy.
“How much do we need to save Alan?” Lucy asked Ali.
“Madam Lucy, he asked me to bring along a sum of two hundred thousand dollars,” Ali answered. Lucy immediately went into the safe and counted the notes.
“Come to think of it. My husband never informed me he was in debt. Tell me Ali, what was the charge?” Caroline asked Ali.
“Madam, I heard from the bystanders when coming here that he was arrested based on a breach of contract. I heard it was about a painting,” Ali answered.
“What! A breach of contract? My husband didn’t tell me he had any dealings with an artist,” Caroline said with a surprise.
Lucy returned with the money and gave it to Caroline. “Take the money Ali. Go immediately to the police station and release your master from his debt. Bring your master home immediately,” Caroline said as she handed the money over to Ali.
Meanwhile, Alan of Gambia had become weary of searching for his lost family in Sierra Leone. “I don’t think they are here. I need to go to other countries to look for them there. Also, this place is a strange place. Everyone seems to know me by name and I know none of them. People tender to me money, some invite me, some give me thanks for the kindness I didn’t show and some offer me things to buy. Let me book a ticket and get out of this strange country,” said Alan as he headed to the station to book himself a bus ticket.
As Alan of Gambia was walking to the bus station, he met Ali. Since he didn’t recognize him as the security he met earlier at Caroline’s house, he bypassed him. Ali saw Alan whom he thought was his real master and was very surprised to see him free and holding a painting. He quickly approached him.
“Sir! How did you escape? Anyway, this is the money you sent me for!”
Alan of Gambia was very surprised too. “What money is this? And what do you mean by an escape?” he asked as he stared at sweating Ali.
“Sir, the last time I saw you, you were being dragged to the police station by an officer. A man made a charge against you that you owed him an amount of money. That was why you sent me to your wife to get this money to free you from your bond. I must confess, Sir, I’m really surprised to see you free!” Ali said, expressing his perplexity.
“What are you saying? I don’t understand you! Me, arrested! No! I have not been arrested by anyone, neither do I owe anyone money,” Alan of Gambia said looking very surprised.
Ali was more confused that Alan. Was his master well mentally? Was he suffering from amnesia? “Sir, what are you saying? Have you forgotten you sent me an hour ago to get this money from your wife? Please, take this money before your wife gets angry with me for not bringing it to you. She waits for you in the house and is expecting your return, Sir,” Ali said as he forcefully handed the money to Alan of Gambia.
To be continued….