This is the end of the series…
“And where did you go?” the sergeant asked almost impatiently.
“I went to dispose of the bin”
“Around what time was this?” he asked gruffly.
“I’m not sure, maybe around past ten” she said.
“And what happened then?”
“Just as I stepped out to take out the bin, I heard gunshots so I got scared and ran back in” she said gesticulating with her wrinkled hands.
“Madam do you usually take out the trash by 10 pm?”
“No, but yesterday I got carried away by a film I was watching”
“And the trash couldn’t wait till this morning?” Sergeant Fofah queried
“Officer is there a crime in taking out my trash at whatsoever time I please?” she retorted
“No, but it is suspicious that on the night of a chase, you coincidentally happen to be taking out your trash at an unusual time” he responded coldly.
“Young man I’ve had enough of your insinuations, accusations and insolence. If you want to arrest me for taking out my trash please do, and if not kindly get to your point or get out my house!” she said firmly
“I’m sorry for agitating you madam, we will take our leave now but if you see anything unusual or remember something from last night please give me a call.” He said pacifyingly, he had not expected the old woman to get feisty. He offered her his card and she collected it as she watched the sergeant and his walk out of her compound.
As soon as she was sure they were gone she walked back to the pen, a few paces away from where Sergeant Fofah had found the shred of cotton and called out.
“Gloria? You can come out now.”
Gloria opened the ceiling tile through which she had entered the roof and slid down.
“Oh! You’re bleeding!” Mama Joe observed swiftly moving to her side and inspecting the wound.
“Yes, a nail cut me when I was climbing up”
“So that’s what tore your blouse. The policeman found it on the floor. Let’s go and treat this, we have to get you out of here soon!” she said urgently.
The cool breeze of the air conditioning blew on Mama Joe and she sneezed.
“Bless you ma!” Her driver said. “Maybe I should turn off the AC”
“No, no! I hate the heat too. I was clearing out some dusty books that’s why I sneezed…” She responded as a call came in.
“Hello… Yes I’ve left the house… Peter is taking me… Yes… I’ll be fine, don’t worry… Bye dear.” She ended the call.
That was the code, her daughter would now call Gloria and tell her to leave the house.
She looked in the rearview mirror and saw the surveillance car that her daughter had told her would have been outside her house now tailing them. She smiled contentedly, everything was going according to plan.
Gloria snuck out of the gate, peeking out to see if there was any law enforcement agent around. Satisfied that all was well, she stepped out and hailed the first bike she saw, hoping that her disguise was good enough.
“Something’s not right” one of the spies said
“What do you mean?” the other asked
“She’s too comfortable and she seems to make a stop every five minutes. It’s almost as if she’s trying to pass the time.”
“But why would she do that? You know she’s an old woman and they are barely in a hurry”
A phone rang. “It’s Sergeant Fofah”
The surveillance team following Mama Joe had suddenly made a U-turn and she hoped Gloria had left her house. Her daughter should have called her to let her know it was safe to leave. What could have happened? The girl’s parents had already been contacted and were eagerly expecting her. She picked up her phone and dialed her daughter’s number.
“Hello…Yes?… Oh my!…okay… Bye.” She hung up with a heavy heart. One of Gloria’s customers had recognized her at the airport.
Sergeant Fofah’s hands were sweaty, he couldn’t wait to get to the airport. He was sure the old woman was involved somehow and he was going to confirm it when he arrested the girl. Finally he would be promoted and get the respect he deserved, it was too bad that the girl would be his sacrificial lamb but that was the way things sometimes were. Besides, she made her choice to work for Madam B. Inspector Musa had called to tell him of the incident at the airport, she had disguised as an older woman and was alone. Her destination was unknown so they had to get to the airport as quickly as possible.
“Drive faster!” He ordered.
Gloria was close to having a panic attack, try as she did she couldn’t convince the man that she wasn’t who he knew her to be.
“You don’t fool me. You’re running away aren’t you?” He had said.
“I don’t know you please,” she muttered.
“This disguise was a bad idea!” He laughed. “You look ridiculous!” He said and laughed heartily.
“If you don’t leave me I’ll shout for help” she said.
That got him angry. “Alright I’ll leave you, but trust me you’re going back. And I will see you soon.” He sneered and walked away, bringing out his phone.
That was twenty minutes ago and she was sure that Madam B’s boys were close by. What could she do? Suddenly her flight to Lagos was called and she got up hastily to board the plane.
Sergeant Fofah and his boys got into the airport and immediately began scanning the faces for Gloria. She was nowhere to be found and he was becoming frantic when he looked ahead through the glass and saw her looking out of the plane’s window. They had spent close to thirty minutes searching for the girl within the terminal and he hadn’t bothered to look out on the tarmac. The plane was taking off and he stood there, watching it take up the fugitive and his dreams of accomplishment.