The Amebo newspaper published the story of Kingsley’s death with the headline: ‘Barrister drinks himself to death‘.
The Moon newspaper had the headline: ‘Alcohol sends owner of Kings Bar to his grave.
The Aproko newspaper also had the headline: ‘Hilltop Valley’s biggest alcoholic dies’.
The police report concerning Kingsley’s death was very short. The policemen who arrived at the scene knew Kingsley’s drinking reputation, so after questioning the bartender and two other eyewitnesses, they reported the cause of death as alcohol overdose.
It wasn’t a surprise to anyone in Hilltop Valley that Kingsley’s death was caused by alcohol overdose. Most had expected that alcohol would have done him in, long before now. No one doubted the police report because it was logical enough. No one but the Author.
Before he left Kingsley’s table, after confirming his death, he had taken the last bottle of cocktail that Kingsley had drunk, on a whim. He took the bottle to a lab and had the bottle tested for possible poisons.
True to his doubts, trace amounts of cyanide were detected in the bottle. ‘I would have made one hell of a detective’, he had said to himself when his doubts were confirmed.
The confirmation of The Author’s doubts only succeeded in increasing his paranoia. ‘These murders are not just coincidences. Somebody is definitely trying to either help me in my mission or they’re trying to quieten my targets so they don’t tell me something that should stay hidden. Lilian has already said that she has nothing to do with this. This can only mean that there’s another party in play now. Until I can ascertain the intentions of this party, I’ll have to watch my back from now on’, the Author thought. He knew very well that it didn’t take much for someone to change from being ‘the hunter’ to ‘the hunted’.
‘In truth, there are also other plausible motives for murdering Kingsley. He owned a very popular bar. It’s possible that the bartender was paid by the competition, to eliminate him. The bartender must answer for himself though. I need to put the pieces together before I move to eliminate Chisom’, he said to himself.
Okey had expected a low customer turnout as a result of Kingsley’s death but the customers proved him wrong by turning up in their numbers. ‘Even with the police report, these people are not cutting down their rate of alcohol consumption. Well, it’s good for business though’, he shrugged. He had been afraid that the police would discover the cocktail bottle and question him about it. The discovery of the bottle would have led the police to report that Kingsley either committed suicide or that he was murdered, and that would have been bad for him and the bar. ‘I wish I could meet whoever removed that bottle. I would like to show my heartfelt gratitude to that person for saving the day’, Okey thought as he closed up for the day.
He had no idea that his wish had already been granted.
The Author watched Okey from the shadows as he closed up the bar. He was dressed in an all-black t-shirt and jeans. He wore black combat boots to complete his camouflage. ‘I have to be careful with Okey. I made the mistake of underrating Johnbosco and it almost proved a fatal one. Once beaten, twice shy. I have a foolproof interrogation plan that would make Okey to spill his guts and I intend to execute it to perfection’, the Author thought. He put on his mask and moved towards the bar.
Okey had finished closing the side doors and windows. He had switched off the lights was about to lock the main entrance when he felt the muzzle of a gun at the back of his head. ‘If you so much as move a muscle, your customers will meet your splattered brains at this door, tomorrow morning’, the Author said. Okey stiffened. ‘Just take the money and go’, he said. ‘Shut up. Raise your hands and move inside’, the Author said. They moved inside and the Author closed the door. He switched on the light and asked Okey to take a seat and face him.
As soon as Okey saw the mask, a wave of fear gripped him. He immediately fell on his knees. ‘Please don’t kill me. I did exactly what you asked me to do. I didn’t tell the police anything. Remember that you gave me your word that if I obeyed you, you wouldn’t harm me or my junior sister’, Okey pleaded.
The Author was taken aback by Okey’s sudden outburst. Okey had clearly mistaken him for someone else. He was thankful for the mask; had he not been masked, Okey would have seen the look of confusion on his face. He decided to play along. ‘I’ll be the one to judge your performance not you. You should have gotten rid of that bottle’, he said. ‘Forgive me Sir. I’m guessing that one of the two men you sent with me took away the bottle. Help me, thank him Sir’, Okey said. ‘The Author smiled inwardly. He had gotten the answer he was looking for without asking any questions.
‘I’ll let you off the hook but if you ever speak about our dealings with anyone, I’ll mail your junior sister to you piece by piece’, the Author said. ‘Thank you Sir. I would never speak of this’, Okey said. ‘Now, use this rope and tie your leg’, the Author said and tossed a rope to Okey who immediately tied his legs. The Author then left the bar, walked a distance to his car and drove off.
‘I know what I need to do. I’m going to use Chisom as bait to draw them out and finish them off, if need be’, the Author thought as he drove off.