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Two Hangmen, One Scaffold Book II

In The Hangmanís Shadow

Basil Diki

Publication Year: 2012

When a correlation emerges between a prophecy and a police investigation, and a kidnapper maintains his presence at a crime scene, a woman dreads the passage of time. She cannot understand why a man set an innocent teenager on fire and kidnapped her son. The kidnapped boyís father knows when two warring hangmen stand on the same scaffold, one must bow to the other or die. Into the fray comes a game ranger, an ex-decathlete expert at tracking man-eating crocodiles. However, a Senator twice his age counting her fertility days desperately wants him in bed. She isnít aware her sweetheart is in the belly of a world no criminologist can understand. As mayhem takes centre-stage in a community suffering the brunt of a veiled matrix of calamities, is the ranger further bait, a weapon or a sacrificial ram between crouching outlaws?

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. iii-iv

As stated in Book I, Baiting the Hangman, actual events inspired Two Hangmen, One Scaffold. Because Book I technically ended in a catastrophe, In the Hangman’s Shadow is not strictly a sequel to Book I per se, but a pertinent continuation of the story. (NB: In pursuance of an editorial recommendation, I had to split the tale into two, ...

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pp. v-xv

Matipa found it uncustomary to stand erect in the doorway when a respectable man was squatting. She sank on her knees, her hands clasped respectfully like his. However, when she looked over the men’s shoulder at the apostolic men under the mango tree, she learnt their number had more than doubled. ...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 1-6

His brow puckered, Bomani Kumanda woke up in the night recalling his Catholic past. Recollections of Roman priests, archbishops and cardinals in their immaculate robes and skullcaps, the Vatican and its vaults, irritated him to the point of clenching his fists. ...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 7-10

At 9:05 pm on 7 December, Nomathemba handed a ten-dollar note to a cabdriver and asked him to keep the change. A porter opening the door for her, she stepped out self-consciously, one high-heeled foot charmingly after the other like a Hollywood celebrity arriving at an Oscar presentation ceremony; ...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 11-22

Because in the afternoon a technician took apart some components of the gold mill for maintenance work in the interim as terror reigned, the night was quiet aside from the cries of birds, especially owls. However, the community perceived the continued hooting of owls as an evil omen. ...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 23-36

Nomathemba had been lying on her back for many hours now, resigned to Nicolson. Strangely, he had placed a translucent sheet beneath her that overlapped the bed. She knew him as a man who didn’t care whether they soiled the bedding or not. To her knowledge, he had never cared for anything except perverted intimacy and sadism. ...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 37-58

After the mysterious disturbance in the middle of the night, Matipa lay on the bed frightened and bewildered. For hope and an assurance her life wouldn’t end that night, that something grand awaited her in the future, she recalled the prophecy delivered at the apostolic shrine on the eve of the New Year: ...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 59-70

Binga Jochoma turned off the shower resolved to return to his family. Gillian and his loss, over five thousand dollars, were his preoccupation. Every time it crossed his mind he was suddenly penniless, he sighed and clenched his fists in anger. ...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 71-78

Waking up to find parts of the compound and the footpaths somewhat cobbled with human relics, including skulls, was a bad omen for the compound dwellers. Matipa believed the exhumed bones were hording calamity. When the orderly struck Madzibaba Tinashe repeatedly in the chest and blood poured from his mouth and nose, ...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 79-94

“Go say that in a Synagogue,” she erupted, swinging to her side and grabbing a boot on the floor, which she flung in a rage at Bertha, but the young sister ducked. The boot hit the wall, missing her head by a few inches. ...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 95-102

For about half an hour after Evans Emedhi ran out of a neighbour’s hut brandishing the axe, bloodshed and mayhem reigned in the mine compound. Danger lurked, in the air and physically, trapping Ivy in the Mujas’ house. After the commotion, Madzibaba Tinashe and Gogo Belemina lay dead in the open, ...

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Chapter 10

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pp. 103-118

Bomani Kumanda was completely naked and smeared in ashes, soil and charcoal. Tears mottled his cheeks, having washed away the dirt as he cried to his Gule Wamkulu gods and spirits to mount a palpable presence at Sakis Mine and will Binga to return to his family. ...

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Chapter 11

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pp. 119-124

By 2 pm of December 9, Matipa was sitting before Det. Sgt Ronny Tizora and three of his men in an office at Kadoma Central Police Station. The furniture was old and plain. A telephone handset stood on a solitary desk around which the five of them sat, though the plainclothes were a detached segment on one side. ...

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Chapter 12

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pp. 125-132

A week after the discovery of the desecrated grave, Bomani received eight hundred euro from Benita through a bureau de change in Lilongwe. He took his mother to a government hospital in Salima. A doctor diagnosed her as suffering from acute fatigue and dehydration, and gave her a blood transfusion, ...

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Chapter 13

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pp. 133-138

A crow was supposed to fall and die before him, confirmation of the success of the ritual he had performed since last night. He needed a sign. He thought of Jesus of Nazareth. When the worried disciples pressed Him for a sign He would rise from His death, He gave them the sign of Jonah. ...

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Chapter 14

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pp. 139-144

How Binga Jochoma would recover part of his money was crystal-clear in his head. As the sun went down, he knew darkness would aid him. He needed it because what he intended to do was taboo and condemned by all tribes and peoples throughout the world. ...

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Chapter 15

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pp. 145-158

Kadoma Central Police Station was at the only robot-controlled intersection in the small city. Matipa left the police premises at sundown and walked westwards away from the city’s dysfunctional robots. West was the General Hospital and Jameson High School. ...

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Chapter 16

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pp. 159-168

By noon of the following day, 10 December, the Department of Social Welfare with the forced assistance of a dozen convicts was burying the twelve corpses. The bodies of Madzibaba Tinashe and Gogo Belemina were among the dead. The venue was the local graveyard on the western fringes of Sakis Mine near the obelisk. ...

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Chapter 17

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pp. 169-172

When Binga Jochoma looked down at Sakis Mine, his heart thumped. Hundreds of people were in the open space where Peza and his age mates normally played soccer. In the midst of the people were a lorry and several cars. The vehicles, especially the Mercedes Benz sedan, were in sharp and ill assortment to the dilapidated structures of the dwellings. ...

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Chapter 18

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pp. 173-180

A hearty gush of warm air swept through the compound as Matipa made her way out of the compound to the office building. This day, 10 December, just like 29 November, was painfully unforgettable to her. She couldn’t believe five paramilitary officers had just interviewed her at gunpoint in the privacy of her house, ...

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Chapter 19

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pp. 181-194

The sun was scorching when Bomani Kumanda told his men he was going to spend the rest of the afternoon in meditation and prayer at a hillock to the north. He took his leave. ...

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Chapter 20

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pp. 195-204

After supper, Matipa sat tacit in a sofa, thinking. One thing was clear in her mind; she wasn’t going back to adulterous Pastor Ojo Ojele’s tabernacle in Kadoma, whatever the eighth verse of the second chapter of Jonah implied or meant. Outside, an owl hooted continuously. ...

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Chapter 21

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pp. 205-216

South African Airways Boeing 747, flight 1971 from Johannesburg, broke from a clouded sky and touched down at the Harare International Airport at exactly 7:00 am on 11 December. With a deafening hum, the aeroplane taxied to the movable disembarking ramp connected to the terminal. ...

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Chapter 22

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pp. 217-222

By 9 am on 11 December, Jasper was speeding on the seventyseven kilometre-stretch of smooth curves and even tarmac between Zimplats Platinum Mine and the carriageway farming settlement of Selous. He was hopeful his fiancée would return that day and wanted the Senator to find him waiting for her at the farmhouse. ...

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Chapter 23

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pp. 223-230

Remegio’s body lay unclaimed in a mortuary. In the compound twelve people including an entire family of the Tembos, except for one escapee, were dead. Gogo Belemina and Madzibaba Tinashe were dead. Bomani Kumanda kidnapped Peza, all because of him. ...

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Chapter 24

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pp. 231-242

In less than half an hour, the couple had debriefed Jasper indoors of the kidnapping and the subsequent deaths at the hospital and in the compound, and their sudden unpopularity in the community. Matipa did most of the talking as her husband sat beside her in the lounge, cracking his knuckles. ...

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Chapter 25

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pp. 243-264

The passage of four years hadn’t blurred Bomani’s face in Binga Jochoma’s mind. As he trudged in the woods and underbrush of the western outskirts of Patchway Mine, Bomani’s face kept flashing on his mindscape, but he brushed it aside with thoughts of Peza and reminded himself his son was the issue, not the devil of devils. ...

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Chapter 26

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pp. 265-268

Two hours after her husband and Jasper sped away, a marked van from Kadoma Central Police Station arrived with four armed police officers and a battered stainless steel coffin. The container was bloodstained and lidless. The police covered it with a soiled and tattered red blanket, an improvisation for the lid. ...

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Chapter 27

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pp. 269-276

The drive from Harare to van Praaah Farm in Kadoma took Lisa Gororo’s chauffeur an hour forty minutes. Throughout the drive, Lisa tried in vain Jasper’s number and became frustrated and exasperated. It didn’t feel good not to know with certainty exactly where a fabulous young man who could charm many women ...

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Chapter 28

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pp. 277-286

Binga steeled himself against showing his repulsion of what was cooking in a used five-litre tin of paint on a log fire around which he, Bomani and one of his men sat. On all fours, the man fanned and blew the fire religiously, an assignment his master gave him. ...

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Chapter 29

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pp. 287-296

Matipa was restless. Having spent the night alone and every minute expectant of hearing the sound of the Land Rover approaching, she had covered herself with a blanket and fallen asleep on a sofa. She slept fretfully, dreaming of the two returning and waking up thinking a car, a knock or footsteps had roused her. ...

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pp. 297-310

Because Matipa prevailed on Binga Jochoma to acquire a gold claim and dig, he dug on her insistence on 21 March, thirteen weeks after he fled Sakis Mine. The controversial prophet specified neither where he had to dig nor the mineral. ...

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956727254
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956726462

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2012