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Smokey Breezes - Chapter 3

by BobCurby 

Posted: 26 May 2010
Word Count: 1400
Summary: James Mutaye's arrest and a call to Julius, his grandson, by Patricia, his worried wife, makes his grandson commence investigations regarding the arresting officer.

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Smokey Breezes
Chapter 3
By Joseph Adoyo

Julius Odinga, James’ grandson on his daughter’s side, was not only bright, but had an uncanny knack of hitting the nail squarely on the head. The head on his shoulders belied the truth about his age and many people reacted with surprise to learn he was under 25. He wanted to be a criminal lawyer, not just someone who deals with house sales and divorces, so Grandad James’ arrest was exactly the sort of action he wanted. He started his task by finding out what he could about Batwe, the alleged arresting officer. Now, it wasn’t as if the police didn’t want to give him the information, but rather more like not knowing what he was asking about.

He did a little research and was given two numbers he could call and see if anything he could make use of came out of a call to either. He dialled the first number he had been given. It was not a local number and he didn’t recognise the area code from those he was used to. After a few rings, he heard a voice answer.
“Bitungula five one seven three nine eight, who is calling?”
Bitungula, where the hell was that? Julius had never heard of it. He was running the name through his mind for a second time when the voice prompted him again, “Hello, is there someone there?”
“Er, sorry, I was trying to work out where that is, can I speak to er –“ he consulted a piece of paper in his hand, “—John Paris, please?”
“You don’t know where this is, and you want John Paris?”
“Yes, that’s correct, thank you.”
“Who are you and why have you phoned?”
“Oh, I am sorry, my name is Julius Odinga, and I have phoned because I have a matter I need to discuss with John Paris.”
“I am convinced he has information that I need.”
Julius was not happy at the response he was getting. He didn’t mind the questions, part of his training was around the principles of question and answer. He tapped his fingers in frustration. The man on the other end responded again.
“About what?”
“Excuse me sir, am I addressing someone who acts as the superior officer to John Paris?”
It was a long shot, but it went straight to the heart.
“Er, no, I am just asking so that I can give him the right information.”
Julius muttered under his breath, “YES!” – he’d hit a weak spot and congratulated himself on that question. Being ahead, he fired another shot at the man on the other end. His fingers were crossed.
“Right then, don’t waste my time, get me John and I’ll say no more about your insubordination!”

There was a slight sound of the phone being placed onto a tablecloth and Julius could hear some sounds in the background and muffled voices, “…. Man …. Julius something …. Knows your name …. Tried to find out . . . “
There were a few more sounds and then the phone was picked up.
“Listen I don’t know anyone called Julius Odinga, and this is a secure line, you have just twenty seconds to initiate a conversation that I might find I can respond to, otherwise, this call is terminated. It’s up to you.”
“John Paris? I’ll be brief. Do you know a man called Batwe, it’s important.”
“Never heard of him. You have seven seconds.”
“How about Abdullah Rahman Zulungazi?”
There was a short intake of breath, and then, composed, John Paris responded, “I have heard of him yes.”
“I think, sir, you have more than just heard of him, he’s responsible for your department.”
“Just who are you and why are you asking about Batwe?”
“So, you do know him then?”
“I didn’t say that I did.”
“You didn’t need to.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Do you just know the man, or is he one of your men?” Julius had his fingers crossed once again. He was asking for information from the Kenyan secret service.
“I would rather not answer that question.”
“OK, well, as he’s one of your men…” Julius took another long shot, “… perhaps you would like to ask him if he’s moonlighting, working for someone else when he’s off duty, because I have some very compromising information on Batwe.” He lied in the hope that it would trigger a response he could use. All the while, James was being handled by the men who had taken him from his home and Patricia his wife and Julius had a feeling he needed to act quickly.
“Are you prepared to offer that information?”
“Are you prepared to call him off?”

There was a long silence, and Julius was worried that the man might just hang up and he’d be no further than he was before he made the call.
“Call him off? I’m sure I have no idea of what you are talking. This has gone on long enough, I am terminating the call.”
“Wait! Sir Henry Gibson told me to ring you!”
“Hotel Miramar, Mombasa, tomorrow, 3 o’clock, buy a cup of tea from the café, and sit near the fish tank, we’ll talk then, goodbye.”
Julius went to reply, but all he would have been talking to was the dial tone. He thumped his fist down. “Damn! I can’t wait until tomorrow, I must get something sorted now for Grandfather!”
He looked down at the paper, at the second number he had been given. Sir Henry had warned him that the second number was for emergency use only, such as someone’s life being at stake. He was beginning to think that this situation had escalated to that level. He dialled the number.

He was about to replace the receiver on the twentieth ring, when suddenly the ring tone stopped and was replaced by a voice. “Government House, which department?” He had called the office of the President; he almost bottled out and hung up – but just managed to sustain his composure.
“My name is Julius Odinga, I am a junior legal partner in one of the Solicitor firms in the city, I need to speak to the Minister for Internal Affairs please?”
“On what subject please?”
“On the matter of national security and a breach in the confidentiality of those close to the President.”
Julius surprised even himself on that last ‘scimitar’ that cut deep into the cloak of secrecy, with which the ‘service’ had enshrouded the office of the President.
“One moment, I am getting Samuel Ndira, the minister of the interior.” There was a silence that was almost a living, breathing thing dancing in his ear, and Julius tried to imagine what was going on away from the phone.

A few seconds later, he heard the sound of the phone being lifted off the table.
“Mr Odinga, I am going to send a car for you to your chambers, can you give me the details of the address?”

Julius passed over his address and after the receiver clicked, he sat back in his chair and blew out a long sigh. He felt drained at the effort he had made to get some action on behalf of his grandfather.
He rose from the chair and went out into the hallway. He tapped on the door of the senior partner.
“Sir Henry, I am needed at Government House, they’re sending a car, that client of mine that was arrested this morning needs intervention by the minister of the interior, so if it’s OK with you, I shall go and wait downstairs for the car.”
“You rang the second number then?”
“Yes Sir, I did, the first number didn’t bear any fruit, well not until tomorrow afternoon – which I fear may be too late.”
“OK, well, good luck.”
“Thank you Sir.”
Julius went down to the lobby of the building, shared by half a dozen law firms, and sat in one of the waiting room leather armchairs. A few minutes later, the outer door opened and a stocky man in his mid thirties, immaculately dressed in a dark tailored suit, stepped into the lobby.
Julius stood up and the man looked briefly at him before he spoke.
“Julius Odinga?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“I’ve been sent to collect you, my name is Henri Batwe.”

© Bob Curby 2010.

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Comments by other Members

jim60 at 13:18 on 30 May 2010  Report this post
Hi Bob, another good chapter and I must admit, that I really liked this.
Julius came across as a very smart guy, I suppose 'sharp' would be a better word for him.
The conversations were very clever, well worked out and then the lead up to the cliff hanger, and I now need the next part.
Good stuff!

BobCurby at 00:04 on 04 June 2010  Report this post
Chapter 4 in progress.

BobCurby at 23:26 on 20 June 2010  Report this post
Chapter 4 uploaded
Chapter 5 completed
Chapter 6 in progress

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