Tonight, when Supt. Troon came home, he could tell he had questions to answer. Even though he was now retired, and even though he preferred to spend his days with family and friends, his wife knew he was still bothered by the fact that the Ouko murder had not been resolved yet.
She knew that her very professional, extremely dedicated husband would never find peace until Dr. Ouko's murderers were apprehended, tried and justice served.
What troubled her though was that over the last couple of years, the Ouko ghost seemed to have finally gone to rest.
In Nairobi, nobody talked about the case anymore - except one maverick MP from Ugenya.
In London, the powers that be were no longer interested in finding out who killed Dr. Ouko, if anything they had gone back to was putting relations between Kenya and Britain on a firmer bilateral footing.
She knew, her husband did not like that.
Then came this new Committee. And suddenly there was a scramble in Nairobo ti find out who filled the former Minister for Foreign Affairs.
.... is this the chance ? .....
As Supt. Troon took off his coat, he could feel his wife's eyes. They were on him. And as usual, very sympathetic.
....what's the matter, sweetheart ? ....
He did not have to ask that question aloud. Before he could grab his PJ's from the base of the walk-in-closet, his wife said, "I don't mean to spoil the mood, but I have some questions I need to ask."
He turned, "That's okay."
"Come sit here," she said.
"All right. Today you told me something that has been disturbing me since I heard it," She clasped her hands, "You conducted a throrough investigation in kenya. You got to mingle with the top leaders of that country." She sighed, "Do you believe they could have misled you in any way?"
His demeanour changed. He became more pensive, "Misled?" He shook his head, "I don't think so."
"You didn't find it strange that when you got to Nairobi, the people who met you were all government officials, including Mr. Anguka, whom you later even implicated in the murder? Given those strange circumstances, don't you think, you may have been compromised?"
"Why are you asking so many questions all of the sudden?"
She paused, "Or when you went to Oyugi's home and they fed you that garbage about Dr. Ouko committing suicide ..... didn't that bother you?"
"No ...... I went to Nairobi and did what any professional detective could do. I practically told the Kenyan authorities who killed Dr. Ouko..... what bothers me is that fifteen years later those murderers are still free ..... and are still killing more Kenyans ..... and even worse, continue pretending to be 'honourable' members of Kenya's political life ....... it's enough to make me go crazy!"
She shrugged, "I know, you worked hard .... so don't get me wrong .... but do you think, you could have been more categorical about who ordered the murder?"
Supt. Troon's jaws parted. He looked pale, "I still wonder whether I would have left Kenya alive if I had categorically said who killed him. But look, I as well as did it. I told the Gichery Inquiry that Biwott and Oyugi were the prime suspects. Knowing how Kenya works, there is no way in the world that those two could have killed Dr. Ouko without the Top Man's blessing. It's that simple."
"It's him who killed Dr. Ouko."
"Do you still think, I should go back to Nairobi to testify and say this?"
She shrugged, "No."
"You are scared?"
She stood up, "The last time you were in Kenya - at the Sunset Hotel - those goons almost killed you. That poison could have knocked you out if not for Dr. Singh's quick action. You were very lucky."
"I know I was. So you don't want me to go?"
"Do you think, it will do any good?"
"What if they try to kill you again?"
"I will be careful."
"You can't be careful enough. Kenya is still Moi's and Biwott's country. They may seem to be out of power, but they still call the shots with all the corrupt money they have collected. They are just as dangerous, sweetheart."
She sat next to him, "I am worried. I would like you going back to Kenya, tell the world in no uncertain terms who killed Dr. Ouko, but I would much rather you did it here." She rubbed his back, "Is there a chance the Committee could meet here in London?"
He looked glum, "I don't know."
"Look, sweetheart," she said, "All I am saying is - I fully support your desire to bring this matter to a close. I have seen how it is eaten into you, denied you happiness in your deserved retirement, but I am hoping you can ask the Kenyan authorities to hold hearings here in London. It doesn't hurt to ask."
"I will ask," he said.
"Do it early tomorrow morning."
"I will. But did I tell you that the business community in this city doesn't want to rock the boat?"
"And are not keen on this Committee's work?"
"You said so."
He scooted next to her, "That's what really troubles me."
..... I know it does. You have proved yourself over the years to be one of the best detectives at Scotland Yard. In Kenya, you worked like a tornado, turned everything upside down. I know, Dr. Ouko is proud of you ....
"That's what bothers me," he repeated.
After having told her husband how she felt, she draw the fuzzy comforter over her head and in minutes felt asleep.
As for Supt. Troon, it was the beginning of a strategic night.
He went on his back and looked aimlessly at the ceiling..... how can I persuade Chairman Sunguh to come to London? .... He flew back in time to the days he concluded the investigation.
Supt. Troon recalled how suspicious he was of the government handlers and most of the witnesses. How coached they seemed to be. How scared they all were to talk.
He remembered how everybody had been afraid of mentioning the names of Nicholas Biwott and President Moi..... could I have missed anything? .....
His wife turned .... searched for him with her arm.
..... Could I have been misled? ....
She put the arm around him.
..... If they misled me, could I have arrived at the conclusions I did? ....
He gently took his wife's arms away, slowly got up and then went to the living room. In there, he looked at the collection of family photos, some beautiful flower arrangement on the table. He sat on the couch and ran his fingers through his hair.
The question on his mind was: Are the Kenyans finally serious about dolling justice to Dr. Ouko's killer/s?
..... Tell the world who killed Dr. Ouko ....
"I definitely will," he said, answering that inner voice. The voice of his sleeping wife, "I have no choice."
And though he knew others were fully capable of picking from where he left off, the Ouko killing was one he was not willing to let go. The brutal nature of it troubled him. Christabel Ouko's anguish bothered him. Even worse, he knew exactly who killed Dr. Ouko. He had recommended arrests which were done - only for the killers to be let go for 'lack of evidence' ...... Shame on you, Your Excellency! ....
He got up and walked around. He wondered what more evidence the Kenyan authorities needed.
..... I would rather you do it in London .....
"I wonder what difference it will make," he growled. "I told the world that Biwott and Oyugi did it. You know what the Kenyans did? They arrested those goons .... kept them in jail for a couple of days ..... then let them walk free. If there is a shame here, it's on the Kenyan side, not mine."
..... Tell the world who killed him ....
"I must!" He inhaled sharply, "It's the only way I will ever enjoy my retirement. Besides, I owe it to Dr. Ouko..."
When Supt. Troon went back to the bedroom, he saw his wife smiling. Was she awake? He quickly realized she was dreaming. He tiptoed to bed, slipped in quietly, then drew the conforter over his head.
But just before he could switch the world out, he heard his wife talking, "You are my hero!"
..... Me ? ......