..From there, he stretched his hand and held on to the branch of a tree growing in the backyard. With the support of the tree he swung off the window sill and on to the tree.
The night sky and blanketed with pearly stars. The air blew hot, and not one cloud threatened the ground with rain. Chisala trudged through the quiet street on which their house stood. Fortunately for him, the tree on which he had flung himself was close to the fence, and from the branches he had made a bridge to the street below.
He looked in his pocket and saw that he had a few notes, they would be enough to take him to his destination. The burden of saving the people in that house laid squarely on his shoulders. It was his duty to help them, he told himself.
From the street, he walked on to the road that was very busy at that time of evening. Chisala flagged down a taxi cab and entered. He gave the driver the address of the house he was going to, and gave him all the money in his pocket.
Chisala: “Please sir, that is all I have” he said with a note of desperation. The driver drove to the address, and once again Chisala banged on the gate of the house. The gate man opened the gate and when he recognized Chisala, he grew angry.
Gateman: “ What do you want again? What’s wrong with you?
Chisala: “I don’t know what your problem is with me, but the lives of the people in this house are at stake. I need to talk to someone. They should leave the house this evening” he said desperately. He felt like shoving the man away from the gate.
Gateman: “ So you think by saying that I will believe you? Am not as foolish as you may think I have even sent my first born child to the university, so just leave before I do something bad” he replied and banged the gate in Chisala’s face. Chisala paced in front of the house in confusion. He didn’t know what to do, he thought he could meet privately with the occupants of the house and warn them, but this gate man was standing as a stumbling block in his path. He thought of going to the police but that was going to endanger his life, if Kopakopa found out, there was no doubt that he would kill him.
Chisala: “What do I do God?” he asked aloud.
Back home, one of the gang members was told to go and call Chisala for dinner. Kopakopa wanted them all to eat together before going for the operation. Every night they went out for an operation, they expected death, it was the reason they ate. Kopakopa’s policy was that, after pursuing money on earth, a man was not supposed to die on an empty stomach. But when the gang member went to Chisala’s bedroom, he found it empty. He checked the adjoining bathroom, thinking he was having a shower, but it was also empty. He rushed downstairs in alarm, and when Kopakopa saw his face, he knew something had gone wrong.
He had been having a sense of foreboding since the day dawned, but he attributed it to anxiety before an operation. However, seeing the face of his gang member, he knew his feelings were spot on.
Kopakopa: “What happened?” he asked anxiously.
“Mabvuto, Chisala or whatever he is called, is not in his room or anywhere in this house” he said with a ‘I told you so’ look in his eyes.
Kopakopa: “What!” he exclaimed and bounded up the stairs. He bashed into Chisala’s room, and confirmed what the other gang member had said. His eyes went to the open window and the branch of tree which looked pulled towards the window, and then he knew that
Chisala had left the house through the window.
“ Where would he go by this time, and why did he leave like a thief? Has he escaped, would he go to the police” these were the thoughts running around in his head. He was confused for the first time in a long while. He could not abort the mission because commitments have been made. He had to hope that Chisala was not doing anything that was jeopardizing their safety and freedom.
Kopakopa: “We continue the operation as before ”.
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