The Author (Episode 7)

Chigozie was impressed with the progress made by Tom and Jerry. He gave them the express permission to proceed with their investigation. The two men then left the station and headed to St Mary’s hospital.

Doctor Allison had just concluded his shift and he was preparing to head home when his beeper went off. ‘What is it? My shift is already over’, he said. ‘Two detectives are here to see you’, the Chief nurse replied. ‘Send them over to my office’, he replied.
After a while, there was a knock on his door and the two detectives entered the office, accompanied by the chief nurse.
‘Welcome gentlemen. What can I do for you?’ Allison said as he motioned for them to sit down. ‘My name is Detective Tom and this is my partner Detective Jerry. We’re with the Enugu State Criminal Investigative Department’, Tom said as both men showed Allison their identity cards. ‘We understand from what the Chief nurse here told us that you were the doctor on call for the night shift of the first of February’, Jerry said. ‘That’s right. Is there a problem?’ Allison asked. ‘We have reason to believe that there was foul play involved in Professor Stan’s death that night’, Tom said. ‘That’s just preposterous! The Chief nurse here can testify that we fought tooth and nail to save the Professor’s life when he was brought in here. Stan died in his sleep. He was not murdered’, Allison said. ‘Did you people find out the cause of death?’ Jerry asked. ‘We didn’t bother. It was a no-brainer really. The professor had just been in a fatal accident that claimed the life of his driver. It was actually a miracle that he survived’, Allison said.
This bit was a lie. Doctor Allison knew that Professor Stan’s bloodshot eyes proved that he had died of asphyxia. What he couldn’t explain was how Stan suffocated even when he was wearing an oxygen mask. He was not about to tell that to the detectives. There was no point in letting them know that the hospital was using defective oxygen masks. He didn’t want to ruin the hospital’s reputation.
‘Did anyone apart from the hospital staff have access to the emergency ward that night?’ Tom asked. ‘It was just Stan’s wife. The only other person that entered the emergency ward, apart from the hospital staff was a foreign trained doctor’, The Chief nurse said. ‘Why was she in the ward?’ Jerry asked. ‘She brought a patient who had sustained multiple injuries and she offered to treat him herself’, Allison said. ‘How interesting. You people just let her have the place to herself’, Tom said. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. She showed us her identity card. She is a foreign trained consultant’, Allison said. ‘It didn’t occur to you that ID cards can be forged?’ Jerry asked. ‘I watched her operate on her patient. She’s a more skillful surgeon than I am. Besides, she mentioned that she was currently working at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital’, Allison said. ‘Is there any way you can contact her. We would like to speak with her’, Tom said. ‘Yes. She gave me her number’, Allison said. He wrote down Lilian’s phone number on a piece of paper and handed it over to Jerry. ‘Her name is Dr Lilian’, he said. ‘Thank you very much for your cooperation. Here’s my card, in case you remember anything else’, Jerry said and both men left the hospital.

It was sunset when Tom and Jerry got back to the station. The two men compared notes and shared their thoughts in Tom’s office. ‘I think Dr Lilian is the culprit here. She’s either the Author or the Author paid her. Either way, she’s guilty’, Tom said. ‘Let’s not conclude yet. Let me call her and inform her that we’re coming to see her tomorrow. If she makes a run for it, we’ll know that she’s guilty’, Jerry said. ‘That’s a good idea’, Tom said.

‘Oh goddammit!! She gave the hospital a wrong number’, Jerry said. ‘How can you tell, when you haven’t even called the number yet?’, Tom asked. ‘I don’t need to call the number. Take a look at it: 080 0102 2018. She gave him the date of that day. First February twenty eighteen’, Jerry said. ‘I told you that she was guilty. First thing tomorrow, we’ll start looking for her. We will first go to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital where she works. We’ll find her as we always do, no matter where she hides’, Tom said in a confident tone.

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