“You got this painting from me! Can you deny it?” Anthony asked while he pointed to the painting in Alan’s hand.
Alan of Gambia frowned at the man who refused to receive payment, “I got this painting from you. I never denied it.”
“Yes, that you did, Sir! You even swore that you never took the painting too!” Jones protested. Alan lost patience.
“Who heard me denying it or swearing?” Alan asked furiously.
“These ears of mine, you know, did hear you!” Said Jones.
“What do you mean?! You want to disgrace me in public? I tried to give you the money for the painting, but you refused. Are you now trying to tell me I stole the painting!?” Alan exclaimed.
Alan became so angry that he pounced on Jones to attack him. Jones also retaliated and there was a fight. Caroline and Lucy, with the police officer were on their way to see the artist when they came to the scene.
“Please stop! Do not hurt him, for God’s sake! He is mad!” Caroline cried.
“Please separate them!” She implored one by-passer.
“Bind him and take him to my house,” Caroline again requested.
Alan of Gambia became terrified when he heard that. He immediately took to his heels, and the crowd pursued him. He found an orphanage and dashed into it.
“Please save me! Some people are after me!” He implores a lady he met at the orphanage. The lady came out in response to his request and met the crowd standing outside the gate of the orphanage.
“Be quiet, people,” she said calmly. “Why have you thronged this place?” She asked. Caroline stepped forward.
“To fetch my poor distracted husband! Let us come in, that we may bind him fast, and bear him to my house for recovery!” Said Caroline.
“I knew he wasn’t well mentally,” said Anthony. Jones also became calm. “I am sorry now for fighting with him,” said Jones as he wore a shy countenance on his face.
“How long has this possession held this man?” the lady asked.
“This week he has been heavy, sour, sad, and much different from the man he was, but till this afternoon his passion never did break into extremity of rage.” Caroline replied.
“Wives of this age! You maltreat your husband to a point where they can’t take it anymore. You refuse them pleasure and hamper them with jealousy. Jealousy so venomous than the poison of a deadly snake. You hide your love from them and only show it when they are dead. You scare your husbands with your cantankerous behavior. Your clamor pierces their hearts like an arrow. You run them mad with your nagging. Why won’t your husband be mad in his youth!!?” The lady said harshly to Caroline.
“She did nothing to her husband. She is a good wife,” Lucy tried to defend her sister. “Why do you bear these rebukes and refuse to answer?” Lucy turned and asked Caroline.
“There is no need, Sister,” Caroline replied her sister. “Please enter and lay hold of him!” Caroline told some people in the crowd.
The lady lifted her palm to bar them. “No! Not even a creature will enter my orphanage!” Exclaimed the lady.
“Then let your workers bring him out!” Caroline demanded.
“Neither! He took this place for a refuge and it shall privilege him from your hands till I have brought him to his wits again,” the lady blurted out.
“I will attend to my husband, be his nurse, for it is my office. Let me take him home!” Insisted Caroline. The lady shook her head.
“Be patient, for I will not release him till I have used the approved means I have, with syrups and drugs from the psychiatry here, and holy prayers, to make him a normal man again,” said the lady to Caroline. “Therefore depart and leave him with me!” The lady demanded.
“I will not leave my husband with you here! Why do you want to make it your personal mission to separate husband and wife!?” Caroline cried hotly.
“Be quiet and depart! You will not have him,” said the lady as she entered the orphanage and closed the door after her.
“Report this issue to the mayor,” Lucy advised her sister. Caroline nodded in agreement.
“Escort me, my sister,” Caroline said, looking towards the direction that led to the house of the mayor.
“I will fall prostrate at his feet, and never rise until my tears and prayers have won his grace to come to this place and take my husband from the orphanage.
Jones approached them. “By now, I think it is almost six o’clock in the evening. I am sure the mayor comes this way himself. He is coming to preside over a case behind the orphanage,” Said Jones.
“What case is that?” Anthony asked.
“A case of a Gambian man who unluckily entered the town against the laws and statutes of this country. He is to be executed in public for his offense,” Jones explained
Immediately Jones finished with his statement, they saw the mayor approaching. “See them coming! We will behold his death,” Anthony said.
“Kneel to the mayor before he passes the orphanage!” Lucy urged her sister.
The mayor who happened to be the commander that arrested William approached. He had with him his soldiers and William. Behind William was the prisoner’s guard. The crowd following them, drawn to the anticipation of the event, was quite jolly. Among them were two thieves.
The mayor paused as he neared the orphanage. “Yet once again, I proclaim it publicly, if any friend will pay the sum for him, he shall not die,” The mayor said hopefully.
Caroline approached the mayor and knelt, “Your excellency, I have an issue with the woman who keeps the orphanage,” said Caroline. The mayor frowned.
“She is a virtuous and a reverend lady! It cannot be that she had wronged you!” Said the mayor.
“May it please Your Grace,” Caroline said as she rose. “Alan, my husband, whom I have made lord of me, this ill day a most outrageous fit of madness took him, such that he desperately hurried through the streets doing displeasure to the citizens by rushing into their houses and shops, and bearing from there paintings, items, anything his rage did like!” Caroline said sadly.
“I did get him bound, and sent him home, while at once, to make order for the wrongs, I went here and there where his fury had committed them. He mysteriously escaped from them that had guard of him and met us with a machete and chased us away! I went to look for more aid to bind him again when he fled to the orphanage. We pursued him to the orphanage and there the gate was shut on us. We were not allowed to fetch him out, nor send people in to bring him out. Therefore, most gracious mayor, since you are in charge of this city, with your command let him be brought forth so I can take him home!” Caroline pleaded.
The mayor knew Alan of Sierra Leone well. “Your husband has served this country well. His tactics as a defense minister has brought a lasting peace to the country. I will do him this favor,” Said the mayor. “Go, some of you. Knock at the gate of the orphanage and bid the lady to come to me,” the mayor said as he instructed his soldiers.
Watch out for the Grand Finale of Mistaken Identity!! Don’t miss it for anything!!
To be continued….