• Tembo finds out the hard way never to trust a woman called Isabelle
Mrs Tembo is furious at learning that a Jiji Ndogo citizen who just died of Covid-19 had three wives. Having thwarted the Inspector’s attempt to escape back to Nairobi in the hearse, she confronts him.
“Three wives? Is that what brought you to Jiji?”
“I hadn't talked to a single woman before you came,” Tembo says.
“So I came just in time, huh?”
I excuse myself and head for the door.
“Oh, no!” Mrs Tembo pulls me back. “All witnesses remain in court. Didn’t I catch you all in a threesome in your house when I came?”
“Boss was hiding from you,” I say. “The pregnant woman in my house is hiding from her father. And her boyfriend.”
“Everyone comes to hide in your house? Are you running a refugee camp?”
“You could say that. Actually, I want her out. She has me running errands for her cravings and as a grown man I can’t take it anymore.”
“Where are my pickles, Makini?” a voice yells from the door.
We all turn. It's Millicent, the said woman living in my house.
“We had a funeral today,” I explain. Meekly.
“Then go get me some. Now!”
“I thought you were a grown man,” Tembo says, laughing. “I’ll take you.”
“I’ll still be here when you get back, Matumbo,” Mrs Tembo says. “Today, you'll know why they say hell hath no fury.”
Once we’re outside, Tembo says, “Imagine going home to that every day.”
“That’s why you got a mistress?”
“Every soldier needs a second weapon, son.”
“So, where is yours?”
“I wasn’t finished. But the soldier has to make sure the second weapon won't blackmail him.”
“Word of advice, son. Never trust a woman called Isabelle. Especially if her last name is Wanjiku.”
“I doubt there’re many around with those exact names, sir.”
“Wrong! They’re everywhere. You stop them for speeding. They offer to pay you in other ways.”
“She bribed you?”
“Not with money. Let’s say the transaction took place in my official police car.”
“But Boss, how could you?”
“It wasn’t easy. First, we tried the front seat, but with my kitambi? Not happening. So, we moved to the back seat. Then…”
“I don’t mean that! I mean accepting a bribe.”
“What can I say? Temptation is a woman in a mini skirt and high heels.”
“How did she become… your other weapon?”
“She showed up at my office a month later. Said she was pregnant.”
We get to Dr Selitol’s shop. Buy the pickles. Head back towards the Post.
“Then what happened?” I prompt. Curious.
“I offered to do the right thing and marry her. She agreed. I was a happy man. I’d go by my second home after work, get pampered by Isabelle before going to my first home to get yelled at by the Dragon. Oh, those were good days.”
“Sounds good, but I have a feeling there is a ‘but’ in there somewhere.”
“Yes, there is, son. Six months later, Isabelle gave birth to a healthy baby boy.”
“But that’s good news, isn't it?”
The Inspector gives me a hard look. Then I realise my mistake.
“Oh shoot! Six months? She was already pregnant when you two met.”
“Not just that, the baby was half-Chinese. Slick hair, slit eyes, everything. When I dumped her, she threatened to tell my wife and my superiors about us. That’s how come I’m here.”
When we get to the Post, Mrs Tembo is holding up Inspector Tembo’s phone.
“When were you gonna tell me about Isabelle?” she asks.
“Dammit!” says Tembo. “How did she know?”