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Zacharias - Part V
by Theodore K. Nasos
2016-07-27 10:47:16
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Surprise after surprise

Mama-Ajani Taylor was looking at the little boy, sitting next to me while Sir John served all of us tea. A few minutes ago she had offered tea but somehow Sir John had persuade her that it would be better if he served it. His excuse was “I know better how everybody takes it,” and it had worked. We all took it with a drop pf milk, no sugar but it seemed to me that while Sir John was serving he was watching our host.

Mama-Ajani Taylor was a thick woman since there is no other way to describe her. She was a round woman, short with very thick hair and deep eyes. Her colour was the colour of coal and she had thin long fingers with a thick ring with a big green stone on the second finger of her right hand. Despite wide shoulders and definitely strong arms, she didn’t look like a woman who did hard labour. She was exactly what I said, a thick woman.

“This is Matias,” she said after Sir John sat down. We all nodded to the little boy who was sitting quietly on my side. “He is Zachary son,” she added with a quiet voice.

“I’m sorry for our uninvited visit Mrs Taylor,” Chief Inspector Christopher Bennett started, “but your arrival just after Zachary death was risen some questions.”

“Chief Inspector Christopher Bennett I suppose,” she asked with a smile. She seemed to know us all in great detail. “Oh don’t worry, Zachary has described you all.”

That seemed to take Sir John with a surprise. He gave her a wondering look and she answered.

jo01_400_02“The evenings are long in the island and Zachary was telling me stories about his life here, describing in great detail everybody. Actually and it is rather funny, I have the feeling that I know everybody as well as Zachary knew them.”

“And what did Zachary said about Chief Inspector Christopher Bennett?”

“He said that he would be the first to visit me if I decide to come and the first to ask the right questions in the most inappropriate way.” I nearly laughed but Sir John’s look stopped me.

“He also said that most likely, you Sir John would accompany Chief Inspector and soften things.” She stopped for a bit. “He also said that you are a fair person and that you will not judge me before ask all the right questions the appropriate time with the appropriate kindness.” Sir John nodded a thank you, without saying a word.

“So please Chief Inspector, ask your questions.”

“Why are you here?”

“To honour the father of my son and love of my life.”

“Did you know he is dead?”

“Chief Inspector, I might live in the other side of the sea but we can still communicate.”

“I thought …” I started saying but she gave me a look with a smile on her face that stopped me.

“I know, you thought that I’m a wilding from a village of cannibals in an island in no map. Well this was not exactly true.”

“Did you know that this was the story Zachary said?” it was Sir John’s turn to ask.

“Actually we made the story together and the cannibals’ part was my idea.” She smiled again looking at the little boy. “It was from a book with a castaway and we thought it was really funny. You know, the way people here see us.” Now she looked a bit shy.

“Indeed,” said Sir John with an encouraging smile.

“You know what I mean, Sir John. Everybody thinks that we are savages, eating human flesh and sacrifice little kids.” Nobody spoke but even I had to admit that there were certain truths in what she had just said.

“So you came to honour Zachary and that’s all?” Bennett returned us all to the questionnaire we had come for.

“And verify that the deal continues with his son.”

“The deal?” it was like a chorus the way we all asked the same time.

“Of course. All these years all the products Zachary imported were from my land, from my village. There are tens of people depended on that deal, all their work comes here to Zachariah’s company.”

Now we were all speechless.

“Zachary came often to your island?”

Zachary was most of his time with us. He would come here only to fix his deals here and sell the products and then return to us. We have a beautiful house and a good income.” Then she looked down and she added, “As long the deal continues, of course.”

“But even if it doesn’t, Zachary taught my people a lot of things and perhaps we can find new markets here. Now we know how is done.”

“All the products?”

“Of course. Everything Zachary has import to this country the last ten years at least is a production of my island.”

“Does his son knows?”

“Well I haven’t met him yet,” she said shyly.

“I’m sorry Mrs Taylor but I need to ask something,” Sir John said quietly.


“What do you mean new markets for your products?”

“The last three years Zachary had introduced me to some of his customers, the ones he sells most of our products, and he had found some more we were dealing with straight from the island without needing Zachariah’s network.”

“That’s why you are so confident.” Sir John murmured and she smiled.

“This is not your first time here, is it Mrs Taylor?”

“Of course no.”

“But how? Why haven’t you met Zachary’ son?” it was Bennett’s turn to ask but I think we all wanted to ask the same thing.

“Zachary didn’t want to hurt his son. He was very close to his mother and Zachary thought that if he introduce me that his son would go away. So we decided to wait for a bit. But the time was coming closer.”

“How?” again we sounded like a chorus.

“Zachary was thinking to move to the island for good by the end of this year.”

“Mrs Taylor…”

“Oh sorry Chief Inspector, missed to inform you earlier, but I am Mrs Zachary Longwood.” And saying that she gave Bennett, two papers that she had pulled from the stand next to her. We all looked. One was a wedding certificate signed by the magistrate of the city and the other a birth certificate for Matias Longwood. He was actually born in the city, in a hospital not far from the hotel we were drinking our tea with Mrs Zachary Longwood.


Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V -

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