“E don do…nor
dey cry again…” The tenants comforted my mother.
“All de money
wey dey for inside draw ehn….which kain wahala be dis one na?” My mother
“You don ask
ya sales geh? All dese small gehs nor dey use eye see money ooo..” Another
person spoke.

“I don ask am
tire…nor be she  stand for dia?” My mother said pointing at the sales girl
standing at the corner and crying.
The prophet
my mother had invited stood at the center o the compound ringing the bell and
speaking in some kind of tongues.
“Wetin dey
happen hia?” My father asked.
“My shop oooo…my
money ooo…” My mother cried.
“Ehen? Wetin
happen?” My father asked, feigning innocence.
“Dey money
wey remain for my shop na only one thousand five hundred naira and my sales geh
talk say na eight thousand dey for inside drawer yesterday.”
“Na lie, na
six thousand five hundred.” My father said.
“Wetin you
talk?” My mother asked.
“ I nor
talk anything ooo…” My father said quickly, he had almost shot himself in the
foot. “Abosede,
abeg come make we go count de yam wey dey for inside kitchen. Dis one wey thief
don full everywhere so…” My father said to me.
“Stop!” The
prophet shouted.
My father and
I stopped in our tracks.
“I was being
tolded to make sure we all swore.” He said.
“Ehen?” I
said in shock.
“Yes, we must
all sweared before anyone left here.” The prophet said.
“I nor follow
for swear ooo…” One of my neighbours said.
“Which kain
swear be dat…abi we resemble thief?” Another neighbour fired.
“If prophet
talk say we must swear, we must to swear.” My mother said quickly.
Everyone shouted.
“Prophet abeg
start…make dem swear…” My mother said.
The prophet
brought out a white chalk from his bag and drew a small circle around his legs.
When he was done, he placed candles around the circle and lit them.
“Everybody is
to enter these circle and came out, when 
they comes out and the candle doesn’t offed, they didn’t steal.” The
prophet said.
“Which kain
prophet you be sef? De prophet I know dey pray ooo…nor be to dey draw circle
for ground.” A neighbour said.
“I am neither the
usual sort of prophet. I am a descendant of the greatest men in the holy books.” The prophet said.
My mother
looked at her tenants who were staring at the circle in fear.
“Oya, first
person…enter.” She said.
landlady…abeg my church nor dey allow swearing.” A female tenant said.
“If you nor
enter dat circle, I go increase ya house rent.” My mother said.
The tenant
was scared, she quickly jumped into the circle and just as she entered, she
jumped out. The candles didn’t put out. She heaved a heavy sigh as other
tenants clapped at her progress. The sales girl was the next to jump in and the
candles stayed on. Soon, all the tenants jumped in and jumped out and nothing
happened. The only people left were my father and I.
“Oya, una
turn don reach.” My mother said to us.
“You nor fit jump enter? You nor know say pesin fit dey accuse pesin and na dat pesin wey be de accuser fit be de crime committer.” My father said.
My mother eyed him and stepped into the circle, all the candles stayed on. It was time for my father to go in.
I could see
my father making some silent incantations with his mouth as his lips moved and
no words came forth. My father prided himself at being the first son of a
native doctor and he claimed he was as powerful as his late father.
He entered
the circle, making his incantations and soon left the circle, the candles
stayed on. My mother was already crying as it meant she was nearing a dead end
as no one was the culprit.
“Prophet, you
sure say dis na de correct way? All de candles just dey kampe like say breeze
nor dey touch am.” My mother said.
“Let the
lastest person enter the circle.” The prophet said.
I was the
last person, so I stepped into the circle. As soon as I got in, a strong wind
blew and the whole candles went out.
“Oleee!!!” My
neighbours screamed.

To be continued next week….


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