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The Crabs of Bangui

Linus Asong

Publication Year: 2010

Every man lives for himself, using his freedoms to attain his personal aims, and feels with his whole being that he can at any moment perform or not perform this or that actionÖThe higher a man stands in the social scale, the more connections he has with others and the more power he has over them, the more conspicuous is the predestination and inevitability of every act he commits. Upon this philosophy, a former banker, Hansel Bolingo, suddenly finds [or makes] himself the regional representative of a Chinese firm that deals in crabs in Bangui. This catapults him into a position of instant wealth. His mouth-watering affluence draws immediate attention while his hypnotic powers cause hundreds of [not-so-honest]citizens to clamour for shares from which he builds up a huge fortune. But he soon discovers that he cannot deceive everybody all the time.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi


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p. vi-vi

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-14

After sailing over the city ominously and menacingly for three days the rain finally came down with all its fury, in rapid waves, as though it had decided to come and stay. It started with a gentle breeze that blew all night, ...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 15-21

Over the months all traditional and official rites were fulfilled. And then the big event, the church wedding! It took place on a Saturday in September. The weather was perfect. An early morning rain had added ...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 23-26

Sister Angella-MacDonald did not need to know about his past tribulations. He would approach her officially and look for an opportunity to see the final year students and make his choice from there. He knew that ...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 27-40

The circumstances of their meeting notwithstanding and the rumours in the air of many failed engagements in the past notwithstanding, Marion and Hansel had a happy and exemplary marriage. To the core ...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 41-51

One day at about noon a black Land Cruiser drove up to the kerb in front of the bank and stopped. Peeping from his window from the first floor, Hansel saw two men climb down and enter the building ...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 53-56

Since they had extended landed property (two coffee farms at Barombi Kang, a large cocoa farm at Kake III and another large farm near the railway terminal, the crisis would have been vastly mitigated if he went up to ...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 57-63

On a very damp and rainy day ten days after they returned from Kumba a letter came into Hansel’s possession which changed his life for good. He had been offered a very lucrative International Job with a very ...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 65-70

Now that we are talking about God and church, Prince, tell me, what do you really have against the church? You talk so well about the scriptures and about God. But you refuse to listen to anything concerning ...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 71-78

For your sake, Salomey, I will review my stand. Consider me a church-goer as from next Sunday, for your sake. If ever there’s anybody to make me change my mind on anything, it’s you. So Church, here I come. Where do ...

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 79-81

Armed with the letter, Hansel began to reap the fruits of his ingenuity almost immediately. He needed to travel to Bangui as soon as possible, as the appointment letter indicated. That entailed money, a lot of ...

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 83-90

From Kumba he left for Douala. It is said that good deeds are never wasted, that they are like money in the bank which you could call on when the going is tough. This was precisely what happened to Hansel as he ...

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 91-96

Hansel meant to take Bamenda by storm as far as his company was concerned. One way of attracting responsible public attention, he thought, was to erect an eye-catching building at a strategic location in ...

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Chapter Thirteen

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pp. 97-101

He went to CLUB 49 fairly regularly to play either draughts or snooker. He was not a competitive player in either game, but he was very dedicated to both. He had not been there for a month or so since the ...

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Chapter Fourteen

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pp. 103-105

Let me show you round, sir,” Hans said when the man met him at the veranda. Under his tutelage Mr. Limen Isidore proceeded on a careful inspection of the house. They followed the corridor adjacent to the garage ...

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Chapter Fifteen

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pp. 107-113

You’ve struck it rich, Mr. Bolingo, you have struck gold,” Mr. Limen addressed him formally by his second name for the first time. “Your office alone tells it all.” Hans smiled to himself. Unlike most Cameroonians, Hans ...

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Chapter Sixteen

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pp. 115-122

It is hard to tell for how long this rigmarole of a jamboree would have lasted, but it was one of those ironies of fate that it met its end just where its very survival depended. Since there was no real operational side to the ...

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Chapter Seventeen

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pp. 123-129

Members of the Inner Circle of Investors – those who owned 10 shares and more, now numbered about 40, after only a few months’ operation. At the instigation of Limen Isidore, when they got their first ...

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Chapter Eighteen

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pp. 131-137

The day ended on a very tragic note. At about 8 0’clock when everybody had virtually dispersed, a customer at the bar looking through the transparent walls thought she saw somebody drop into the pool. ...

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Chapter Nineteen

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pp. 139-141

During the month following the burial of Chamba, Hansel made another urgent and memorable trip to Bangui and on his return brought back a red pickup truck for the company, fully immatriculated with the ...

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Chapter Twenty

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pp. 143-144

The idyllic life interrupted by the dismissal from the bank continued unabated until one day an enemy broke through Hansel’s defences, or rather, the scales fell from his wife’s eyes, peeling off that veneer of ...

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Chapter Twenty One

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pp. 145-148

The epoch-making letter from China which catapulted Hansel into the pinnacle of fame and wealth came in on the 15th of August 2001. Hansel had yielded to Salomey’s persuasion and had promised to be a church goer ...

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Chapter Twenty Two

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pp. 149-152

After seeing the children for herself, perspiration burst in every pore on her face and she had to hurry the children home. At home, and in a state of mind dithering towards mental breakdown, she began to see her ...

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Chapter Twenty Three

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pp. 153-161

That day Salomey did not report for work and did not call her boss to say she would not be coming and why. When Hansel phoned her at ten that morning she said ...

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Chapter Twenty Four

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pp. 163-168

One of the very first things to cross her mind as she sat silent was the Encounter Anthem which Hansel memorized the very day they left Futru and which he recited every ...

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Chapter Twenty Five

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pp. 169-173

The timing may have been wrong, but the accusation was just. And whoever it was that had revealed the secret to Salomey had not done so unjustifiably. Hans and Salomey had been in love since 1992. Precisely how it ...

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Chapter Twenty Six

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pp. 175-179

The school mate known only as Sir Lawrence, announced in the bar one day in 1995 that he had won the American Lottery and would be leaving soon. This gave people very much to laugh at, although it ...

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Chapter Twenty Seven

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pp. 181-182

The reason for this sudden change of heart in her attitude towards her husband’s betrayal stemmed from a visit she had paid to her erstwhile good friend, Appolonia. This, too, was as a result of a challenge Hansel ...

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Chapter Twenty Eight

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pp. 183-189

Shortly after his memorable trip from Bangui with the company pickup truck, Hansel did several things concerning the upkeep of the company: he raised the question of an AGM (Annual General Meeting) at the earliest ...

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Chapter Twenty Nine

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pp. 191-197

The trip had all the hallmarks of young boys and girls going on a safari, which, in a sense, though unwittingly, it turned out to be, and very little about the actual business on hand. As they stopped at the fuel ...

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Chapter Thirty

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pp. 199-206

Before they left Kekem Cranford announced, to the excitement of everybody: “The Abakwa boys are on the podium today. They play Union Douala in Akwa stadium.” ...

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Chapter Thirty One

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pp. 207-215

Hansel had inwardly planned to keep all the stockholders together. They must not stray too far away from his watchful eye lest they ran into information that might rock his boat. The weather kept ...

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Chapter Thirty Two

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pp. 217-221

The actual explanation of what had happened was so bizarre that it was as difficult to believe as the completely unexpected circumstances by which the facts suddenly dropped into the laps of the astonished ...

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Chapter Thirty Three

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pp. 223-227

For Madam Genevieve, the fault was not in her but from her husband, a man, she said, who had never thought of encouraging her. For anybody who knew the woman very well, and there were very many people both ...

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Chapter Thirty Four

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pp. 229-237

The Bangui International Airport might indeed be a beautiful place, but the visitors had no urge to walk round and see what the airport building or its environs looked like while they waited for their return flight. In ...

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Chapter Thirty Five

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pp. 239-242

The crook was certainly not in the country. As a matter of fact, at that moment when they were worrying about where he could be hiding, he was having supper with his family in Washington. He was one of the passengers ...

Titles by Langaa RPCIG

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pp. 243-244

Back Cover

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p. 256-256

E-ISBN-13: 9789956578016
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956616619

Page Count: 254
Publication Year: 2010

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