(Continued from The Narrow Path II)
The Bishop leans back in his seat and sighs deeply. He has painstakingly built an empire for the last thirty years, and he is not about to let a small boy and his mistress destroy it. Killing Caleb is difficult for him, because he is his favorite son. Caleb is the one the Bishop had wanted to inherit his wealth. That is why he engineered Caleb’s marriage to Dinah, the thinking being that if he could not publicly acknowledge him as his son, then he could draw him close as a son-in-law. He loves the boy, probably because his mother is his favorite woman. The Bishop likes women, but he doesn’t sleep with any woman for more than two years. But he has been with Harriet, Caleb’s mother, for more than thirty years. They are both in their seventies now, but they still meet secretly every now and then for conjugal satisfaction and physical companionship.
In many ways, Harriet is his first wife. She is everything that Gladys, his late wife, never was. Gladys was a bad match. She was fiercely independent, yet at the same time she wanted to control him. She was possessive, domineering and controlling. That turned him on in a way, which is probably the reason he married her. She presented him with a challenge: by subduing and domesticating her, he would establish himself as the man.
But that project failed when he discovered that she had a lover. Granted, he had also been cheating. By the time he married her he was already sleeping with Harriet and a slew of other women. But the way he saw it, he was entitled as a man to keep mistresses. As a woman, however, she was supposed to be completely loyal to him. They had a huge fight about her affair, and in a fit of anger, she called him a cuckold. She told him to his face that their three children were not his. That had prompted him to discreetly do a DNA test. Gladys was right. None of the three children were his.
The revelation sliced him at the very core of his being. He knew he could not divorce her because she was crazy enough to tell the world that his children were not really his children, and that would humiliate him. Worse, she knew about his philandering ways, which she claimed were the reason she had stepped out of the marriage. At that time, the church was young, and he was still building his reputation as a pastor. If she went out there running her mouth, she would destroy him. That is why she had to die.
The Bishop killed her, and he still remembers how the events unfolded. She came home late that night from a workplace meeting. It was raining heavily, and the rain had no sign of letting up. Bishop Josiah cornered her in the bedroom when she was changing, forced her to the bed and suffocated her with a pillow. Then he loaded her body onto her double-cabin pickup truck. She loved the Hilux truck because to her, driving it was a show of masculinity.
Josiah drove up to the bridge, stopped by the edge and cut out the headlights. He removed his motorcycle, which he had loaded at the back, and then strapped Gladys’ body on the driver’s seat of the double cabin. He put the car on drive and switched on the headlights. Then he pushed the car the small distance it needed to move for gravity to take over and pull it down the valley to the river below. Looking back, the whole exercise was risky because anyone could have driven by the bridge and caught him in the act. But luck was on his side that night. He successfully pushed the double cabin down the valley, got onto his motorcycle and rode home without anyone passing by that bridge. The children were away in boarding school, and their house assistant used to come in the morning and leave in the evening. So there was nobody to incriminate him. He called Gladys’ friends in the morning, wondering why she had not come home. They went to the police and a search was mounted. The car was found the following day, with her body still strapped to the driver’s seat by the seatbelt. The official report of the police was that Gladys died in a road accident. She apparently missed a bridge while driving through the rain at night and the car tumbled into the river.
Bishop Josiah started having sex with Gladys’ daughters, the girls he had been bringing up as his own, when they came home the next holiday. He charmed them the same way he charms other women. Since they were teenagers, their hormones were running wild, and their consciences had not yet crystalized. They fell right into his preying arms.
Gladys is the first person Josiah killed, and the last one he killed personally. Over the past twenty years he has put in place a ruthless team of assassins. All of them have brains the size of peas, which makes it easy for him to manipulate them. But they are skilled with guns, and they have proven they can kill from anywhere. Most importantly, they have perfected the art of never getting caught. They are killers by instinct. Josiah needs these men now.
There is going to be a blood bath, and no one is going to link it to him. He picks his phone again and dials a number.
“Gitonga, I have a job for you. I have learnt that there is a DCI squad nosing around my affairs. It is led by a woman called Inspector Marie Chepchumba. They have been hired by the Governor to tarnish my name and destroy my political ambitions. I want you to find and kill them. But before you kill that inspector, torture her until she tells you who sent her. Then kill her, and find the guy she tells you sent her, torture him to get a name and then kill him. Go as high as you can in the chain of command. You will have all the resources you need for the job.”
The Bishop leans back, a satisfied smile on his lips. Gitonga is one of his finest goons, so he knows the job will be done. His political opponents have no idea who they are messing with. He frowns when he remembers that there is a loose end: Hakim knows his secrets, because he listened to Caleb and his mistress. He has to be eliminated. The Bishop takes his phone again and dials a number.
“I need your help, Liboi.”
“I am at your service, Chief. What can I do for you?”
“Some people close to me have betrayed me, and I want them punished.”
“Who are they?”
“Hakim and Caleb are the traitors. Caleb wants to take over the church and my businesses. I have learnt that he has another woman, and it is she who has turned him against me. He wants to leave my daughter, but he will not even leave her with her dignity. He handed her over to Hakim to be raped. Those monsters left her for dead. Fortunately, a friend of Dinah went to their house unannounced and found her. The front door was broken, so I think they wanted to make appear like a robbery.”
“Is Dinah okay?”
“I don’t know whether she will be okay, Liboi. I have taken her to a private hospital and they are doing their best. But that animal really hurt her. They tell me that even if she recovers physically, the trauma will haunt her forever.”
“Those fools! If I lay my hands on them I will kill them!”
The Bishop was counting on that reaction. He knows that Liboi has always been in love with Dinah although he would never admit it.
“I don’t what Dinah saw in that coward Caleb anyway. She should have married a real man like you. If she makes it out of this alive, I hope she will see sense.”
Josiah knows what that last statement will do to Liboi’s mind. By suggesting that Dinah might give him a chance, and by emphasizing that she might not make it, he has turned up Liboi’s anger by a thousand degrees.
“I swear that when I see them I will kill them. All of them.”
Liboi is not shouting, and that is a good sign. He is now in assassin mode.
“That is what I want you to do. Reliable sources have informed me that Hakim has put up at Stalker Hotel in Kitengela. Find him and kill him. Caleb is at Medop Hotel in Westlands. You need to move quickly before they change their locations. Take a flight and do whatever you need to do to get to them as quickly as possible. I will cover all your expenses.”
Josiah has included Caleb and his mistress in Liboi’s list just in case something happens and Hakim is unable to kill them. Josiah knows that even if Caleb and his mistress don’t go back to the hotel, Liboi will find them. He has done it before, and he certainly will do it again. Hakim, Caleb and Caleb’s mystery mistress are as good as dead.
Image by Congerdesign from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/gerbera-pink-flower-blossom-bloom-1250290/
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