“Yes, good morning,” he said slowly. Then his eyes narrowed in recognition. “Hold on, do I know you two? You two are from Cambridge, no?” He asked in his half-French-half-English accent.
“Yes sir, we are.”
His lips stretched in a slight smile.
“Very good, how do you do?” His arm was extended. Segun shook it first, and then Chuks. The man’s grip was surprisingly strong.
The world-famous private investigator had been invited to their school as a guest speaker when they were in the U.K. to lecture the Cambridge Criminology students on his success in his line of work. One of their lecturers had decided the Sociology students should attend as well, and that was how they had found themselves and their coursemates listening to a lecture by Clyde dé Crozon.
But Chuks was a bit surprised. When Segun had suggested that the man might recognize them, he had just thought he had said it merely in passing. Obviously, the man possessed an uncanny ability to remember faces, because not only had there been hundreds of them that day in the lecture hall one day, but the Sociology students had stayed at the back, since they were only guests at the seminar.
“So, what are you doing here? Are you visiting, or are you Nigerians?”
“We’re Nigerians,” Segun answered.
“Nigerians. Interesting. What kind of work do you do?”
“We’re not working yet,” Chuks replied. “We just came back last year. But we’re taking classes at a shooting range just here on the island. Coupled with our educational background in Cambridge University, we intend to put our specialized training to use in the police force.”
“The police, you say?”
People passing by on the road and sidewalk were already starting to recognize dé Crozon, and many were stylishly taking pictures of him as they walked past. No doubt that was what happened to all celebrities.
“Look, I don’t like being in the public eye. What days are you free?”
They exchanged a look. Chuks scratched his head.
“We’re free only on Sundays, but we have a free day today.”
“Okay, so here’s what we will do. Have you broken your fast this morning?”
“We were just about to when we saw you.”
“Do you do chinese?” They nodded. “Okay, let’s go in and eat something first. We’ll discuss later.” There was a look of extreme pleasure on Segun’s face as they turned and went through the doors of the restaurant.
Thirty minutes later saw them sipping glasses of wine after they were done with the food. Segun and Chuks had both ordered chicken, Chuks Sesame chicken, his friend Almond chicken, while dé Crozon had a helping of crab rangoon.
“So, what kind of firing range are you training at?”
They gave him a brief run-down of their training schedule for the past six months, from the handguns to the assault rifles, and the one they had practiced only the previous day, the anti-tanks.
“That is a top-notch range you attend, you know,” the man commented when they were done. “I don’t even need to ask how much you paid to get in.”
“If you want to know how much we paid, we paid quite a fortune, and that’s because our parents can afford it. I signed up online and borrowed money from my parents to pay the fees at once. I told him,” he nodded slightly towards Segun whose eyes were glued to the menu, “that he didn’t have to bother about it, but trust the Brainards. Always the nice guys. I saw the alert anyway.”
“So that you can nag me for the rest of my life about how much I owe you, abi?” Segun sneered, still looking at the menu and holding his wineglass.
Dé Crozon smiled at the two friends’ exchange.
“You have been friends for a very long while, no need to tell me that. And you say you have both trained on nothing but the use of firearms for six months, yes? We could really use your experience, you know.”
Segun looked up from the menu he had been studying and gave the Frenchman a look that matched Chuks’ own. Who was “we”? And what did he want their training at Star Ranges for?