“I? Insult you!? You were in the house dining Sir, so how could I possibly insult you?” Ali asked in disbelieve. “Shut up, you fool! I don’t have your time now!” Alan screamed at Ali, who became silent. “You can ask my business partner, my wicked wife! He will explain to you how you kept me from entering my house. You disgraced me in front of him. I went away angry and had to go to a restaurant to eat from there with my business partner,” Alan said with tears filled in his eyes.
Caroline was greatly disturbed by what her husband said. “Why do you speak to me in such a manner, my dear husband? I never held the gate against you and I sent you the money to redeem you by Ali here, who came in a haste for it!” Caroline explained, trying to make her husband believe her.
“I am a witness to that! I went in person into the safe and brought two hundred thousand dollars to Ali,” Lucy said to buttress her sister’s point.
“Yes Madam, I came for the money from you when master sent me to come for it. I delivered it to you, Master Alan,” Ali defended himself.
“Delivered what to me!!?” Alan of Sierra Leone charged at Ali.
“Sir, only God can bear me witness that I gave the money to you!” Ali exclaimed finally.
The now spectator priest raised his hand. “Madam, both servant and master are possessed! I know it by their pale and deadly looks. They must be bound, then laid in some dark room! You know, this is the best remedy for insanity,” the priest said in a shrill voice.
Alan of Sierra Leone was livid. “You are not serious!! You will lock me in a dark room!?”
“Keep quiet, you foul spirit!! I will drag you out of him by force!!” Retorted the priest. Alan couldn’t control his fury any longer. He raised his arm to hit the priest out of anger and was restrained by the crowd that had gathered to witness the commotion.
“Bind him, bind him!!” Cried the priest. “Let him not come near me!” The priest said as he moved back to prevent Alan from reaching him.
“Please more company! The demon is empowering him with supernatural strength!” He continued to cry out.
Alan of Sierra Leone tried to wriggle free, but was kept bound by his captors. “Why, will you murder me?” he growls at his captors. “You are my jailer, officer, and I am your prisoner! Will you allow them to bind me?” Alan asked the police officer.
“Please, let him go! He is my prisoner, and you will not have him!” Said the officer to the captors.
The priest would have none of it. “Go bind this man, for he is frantic too!” The priest told the rest of the crowd as he pointed to Ali. Two of the passers-by seized Ali and pinioned his arms while he tried to wriggle free.
“What will you do, you annoying officer?” demanded Caroline as she scolded the officer. “Are you delighted to see a wretched man in discomposure do harm to himself?” Caroline added.
“Madam, he is my prisoner. If I should let him go, the debt he owes will be required from me!” The officer said, trying to explain himself to Caroline.
Caroline cared less about the money. She was more concerned about her husband. “I will discharge you of your duties. Tell the creditor to come to my house. I will pay the debt!” Said Caroline.
“If you say so, Madam,” the officer finally agreed.
“Please Sir, see to it that he is safely conveyed home to my house,” Caroline told the priest.
“Sister, go with me,” Caroline implored Lucy. The people hauled both Alan of Sierra Leone and Ali away.
“Please what is the name of the creditor?” Caroline asked the officer.
“He is called Anthony, an artist. Do you know him?” the officer asked.
“I think so. I have heard my husband speaking of him in the house. What is the sum my husband owes him?” Caroline asked again.
“Two hundred thousand dollars,” the officer replied.
“And how did he come to owe him that much?” Caroline asked curiously.
“He did an artwork for your husband,” replied the officer as he tried to satisfy the curiosity of Caroline.
“Please officer, can you take me to where this artist is? I want to know if these accusations are true,” said Caroline to the officer. She asked Lucy to accompany her to see Anthony.
As they were on their way to see Anthony, they saw Alan of Gambia approaching, slowly, wielding a machete. “God have mercy, he is loose again!” Cried Lucy, and started to run thinking it was Alan of Sierra Leone.
“And he comes with a machete?” said Caroline. “Let us call for more people to have him bound again!” She quickly followed Lucy.
The police officer was also scuttling down the streets warning people to watch out, “Away! Move away! He will kill us!” The officer screamed.
“I see these strange people are afraid of machetes!” Alan of Gambia said with contempt. “The person who says she is my wife ran from me! This is a strange place. Why are they afraid of the machete I bought for my farm?” Alan of Gambia thought. “Let me go for my luggage at the restaurant and leave this place. The person I sent to buy me a ticket hasn’t even arrived. I have to get the ticket myself and leave this place! I will not be in this town by nightfall!” Said Alan of Gambia.
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Anthony was walking along the road with Jones-his creditor. He was on his way to the police station to collect his money. “I am sorry, Sir, that I have hindered you. He took the painting from me, but I don’t know why he is denying it,” said Anthony.
“How is this man esteemed here in this country?” Jones asked.
“Of very high esteem, Sir,” said Anthony. “He is a man of the people and second to none in the city. His word might bear my wealth at any time,” he added as he shook his head, still puzzled.
Alan of Gambia was approaching with his luggage, the painting, and the machete that is now sheathed. Anthony saw him approaching his direction with the painting.
“Sir, please, draw near to me,” said Anthony to Alan of Gambia. Alan responded and approached his direction.
“Sir, I never thought you could put me through this shame and trouble! You denied with oaths that I didn’t give you the painting which you are now carrying around openly! Beside the charge, the shame, imprisonment, you have done wrong to this my honest friend, who has been hindered by our controversy to travel today!” Anthony said while he pointed his forefinger to Jones.
“You got this painting from me! Can you deny it?” Anthony asked while he pointed to the painting in Alan’s hand.
To be continued….