The Dethroned Caesar of Murang’a III-By Edward Maroncha

Continued from The Dethroned Caesar of Murang’a II

When Samuel wakes up, there is light in his room. At first he is confused, because nobody has kicked him awake yet. While in the streets, he always woke up early. It is difficult to sleep-in while lying on hard concrete, on an empty stomach and with the biting cold of the morning gnawing at you like an insufferable rodent. It takes a moment before he remembers where he is. He gets out of bed, stretches and yawns. It is a long time since he had such sound sleep.

He steps out of the bedroom and walks to the sitting room. There is no one there, but he hears voices in the adjacent dining room, and so he walks there. He finds Bruce and Njeri talking while nursing cups of tea.

“Good morning grandpa,” Njeri says cheerfully.

“Good morning,” Samuel replies.

“Please have a seat, grandpa,” Bruce chimes in. “I will serve you breakfast.”

If Samuel had a chance he would have declined. He doesn’t like this young man one bit. But declining will seem disrespectful, and that might alienate him from his granddaughter. The truth remains that Njeri has not yet seen Bruce for who he is, and so she has a lot of affection for him. They guy himself is a very smooth operator, and therefore it will take a lot of careful planning and calculation to unmask him.

“Aren’t you going to work today?” Samuel asks Njeri.

Njeri smiles sweetly.

“Because I am not dressed in a suit like Bruce?” she asks. “I am not a lawyer or banker, grandpa. I am in engineer, and this is how I usually go to work. Most days I am in the field supervising roads and buildings, not in the office. But you are right. Today I am not going to work. I called my boss and asked for a day off so that we can go shopping. We need to buy clothes for you and a few other personal items.”

“You really don’t have to worry yourself, Njeri,” Samuel says as he accepts tea and bread from Bruce.

“No, grandpa. I am going to take care of you. You don’t have to worry about a thing. Today you will get the small things that you need to lead a dignified life. And then from there we will figure out the future.”

Bruce listens to the conversation between Njeri and her grandfather with growing irritation. Njeri hadn’t told him that she is not going to work. He is hearing about her plans for the day for the first time now. Usually, he drops her at her office and then goes to do whatever he wants with the car for the rest of the day. She usually calls him at around 3pm to tell him whether he should pick her up and if so, where. Right now the company she is working for is constructing a road in Muchatha. But she has to go to the office first to do some paperwork before proceeding to the site. She will go to the site using a company car. Or rather she would have gone; her plans for the day have changed.

 Njeri’s fresh plans for the day have now thrown a spanner in Bruce’s own plans. He planned to come back to the house after dropping Njeri at work and then offer to take Samuel out shopping. Then somewhere along the way they would be attacked by “carjackers and robbers”. Samuel would be fatally injured, while he, Bruce, would sustain minor injuries…just enough to ensure that he is above suspicion. This plan was carefully worked out last night, and his friends are on the standby. But now he will have to call them off and plan afresh.

“What are your plans for the day, babe?” she asks him.

The question catches him off guard. His day was planned around murdering the old man, which is not something he can voice. Njeri knows him as a businessman with a string of electronics shops in Nairobi, Thika, Kiambu and Kikuyu. She has even visited one of “his” shops along Luthuli Avenue in Nairobi. Except that the shops are not his. They belong to his employer and lover, Lillian. Lillian is the master thug, and she is the one who insisted that he should hook up with “Engineer.” At first Bruce thought she was joking, but when he realized she was serious he moved with speed. His lover was giving him a chance to sample another fine lass. He knows that Lillian has a sinister plan against Njeri, but he has no idea what it is. But he knows it is related to the company she works for, because that is what Lillian seems most interested in. She requires him to get information about Njeri’s company and her boss and feed it to her.

Bruce doesn’t care what Lillian’s motives are. He is getting the best of both worlds. He gets to sleep with two beautiful women (and live with one) and both women do splash money on him. Life cannot get better than that. Except that this old man is threatening that luxury. If the old man manages to get Njeri to kick him out of her life, he will not only lose Njeri, but Lilian as well. Lilian is a ruthless woman; she has zero tolerance for failure. If he loses out on Njeri, Lilian will without a doubt cut him off as well. Or worse.

“I have a meeting with a potential business partner this morning. After that I think I will go to Kikuyu to see how things are. That shop has not been performing very well of late, and I need to know what is happening there.”

“Okay babe, no problem. You can take the car. Grandpa and I will take a matatu.”

“I can actually drop the two of you wherever it is that you want to go. Are you going to buy clothes in Eastleigh? I think that is where you are likely to get the best deals.”

“Yes, I think we will go to Eastleigh. But we can take a matatu, don’t stress. I don’t want you to be late for your meeting and lose business.”

“If we leave now, I think I can drop you and still make it to the meeting on time. Then when I am done with the meeting I will call to find out if you are done with shopping so that I can pick you up. Grandpa, since you are done with breakfast, you can take a shower as I find something you can wear. You cannot go to work in such clothes.”

Bruce is speaking authoritatively. He is not inviting debate. He is issuing instructions, and he fully expects them to be obeyed. He rises from the dining table and goes to the bedroom to find clothes for Samuel. Samuel glances at his granddaughter, and she shrugs her shoulders. He rises and goes to the bedroom he was assigned. He plans to retrieve the towel he was given yesterday by Njeri from the laundry basket, where she told him to place it after showering. But when he gets there, he finds that the basket is empty.

“Here grandpa,” Njeri says from behind him, startling him. “I already cleaned the towel you used yesterday.”

Samuel turns around and sees his granddaughter holding a neatly folded fresh towel on one hand, and on the other a suit held up on a hanger.

“When did you get time to wash clothes? What time did you wake up?”

“I always wake up early, grandpa. But I did not wash the clothes myself. I just put them in the machine and it did its thing.”

“Ah, you have a washing machine.”

“Yes. Anyway, you take your shower and dress. These clothes, just like the ones you are wearing, are oversize. But they will have to do for now, at least until we get your own.”

“Oversize is better than undersize,” Samuel replies with a smile. “Tell your boyfriend that I am grateful for his kindness.”

“I will. We will be waiting for you at the sitting room.”


Bruce’s mind is whirling.  It has just dawned on him that he does not have to abandon his original plan: he only needs to amend it a little. In the original plan, he would have been with Samuel in the car when they got attacked, and it would be around midmorning. Now he has to factor in Njeri, and he also has to inform his friends that the attack will take place earlier than expected. That is not a problem, because he knows that his friends are flexible.

Once he gives clothes to Njeri to take to her grandfather, he texts his friend Ian and explains the change of plans. He explains that he wants Njeri to be injured just slightly, and makes it clear that this important. He explains that if anything happens to Njeri, then they will all have a problem with Lilian. He knows that none of his friends would want to mess with Lilian, so his instructions will be obeyed.

It takes just fifteen minutes for Samuel to emerge from the bedroom. He looks a scarecrow. Bruce and Samuel are roughly the same height, but while Samuel is a thin old man, his body having wasted away from years of starvation, Bruce is a heavily built young man. Bruce’s clothes are therefore hanging on Samuel’s bones.

They exit the house, and Njeri locks the door. Bruce has the car keys and they all troop down to the basement where the car is parked. Samuel is able for the first time, to look at the neighbourhood his granddaughter lives in. It is a relatively nice neighbourhood, one that must cost quite a bit in terms of rent. The car itself is quite impressive. Samuel doesn’t even recognize the model, and it would be ridiculous to walk to the back and read the name of the car.

Bruce slides into the driver’s seat, while Njeri sits beside him. Samuel sits at the back.

“So what do you do for a living my boy?” Samuel asks as thy drive out of the compound.

“I am a businessman,” Bruce replies pleasantly. “I am into the electronics business. I own several electronics shops in the metropolitan area.”

“What is the metropolitan area?”

“Nairobi and its environs.”

“Ah I see. That is very nice.”

They lapse into a silence.  Bruce wonders whether the old man can foretell his imminent death. He has already confirmed that his friends are already in place. In about 20 minutes, all hell will break loose.

Continued Here


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