Ansa…The Return

19 Mar

CHAPTER THREE

They faced each other, Osei and Ansa.

By the time Osei and Mensah met up with Kwame and Akan, the latter already had a girl in custody.

‘We’ve been waiting for ages,’ Kwame complained as soon as Osei and Mensah arrived at their rendezvous point.

‘Stop exaggerating,’ Osei snapped irritated. ‘It only seems like ages. We’ve been away for just a few hours.’

‘And who is this one?’ Mensah asked pointing to the girl they had tied up.

Akan smiled gleefully. ‘This, my dear friend, is another promising catch.’

Osei turned the girl over and jumped back in shock.

‘Nyame! he exclaimed. ‘This is the daughter of…’

‘Dankwa,’ Akan finished for him.

‘The plot gets thicker,’ Mensah observed as he realised they were getting deeper into trouble.

Kwame looked from Mensah to Osei. ‘Am I missing something here?’

Mensah exhaled noisily. ‘The boy we have in custody is Ansa, son of Anan by Nana.’

He paused before delivering the greatest shocker. ‘We just came from visiting his mother.’

‘You are joking right,’ Akan said looking around furtively. ‘Are you sure you were not followed?’

‘Come off it,’ Osei replied irritated. ‘We have to leave this place now!’

‘What is the hurry?’ Kwame asked as he hastily pulled up the girl, who in turn stumbled before regaining her balance.

‘It is because this whole business may land us all in big trouble since you have here in custody Mosa, daughter of Dankwa,’ he said between clenched teeth.

‘What is so special about her?’ Akan asked still not getting why Osei of all people was so apprehensive.

‘Kofi, her brother, is the one leading the search party for Ansa,’ Osei replied. ‘Do you realise what would happen when he finds out his sister has gone missing too?’

‘I think we should put enough space between us,’ Kwame commented.

‘What an enlightening idea,’ was Osei’s sarcastic reply.

‘For now, everyone thinks Ansa must have suffered some accident during his hunting expedition,’ Osei continued as they all proceeded from their make-shift camp. ‘When Mosa is discovered missing, it wouldn’t take a soothsayer to work out what has happened to the two.’

They continued their trek until they arrived at the shack where they had dumped Ansa. It was pitch dark and they could barely make out Ansa’s form on the floor.

They had debated whether they would find Ansa here when they arrived, and Osei had assured them that Ansa had too much pride to roam the forest naked with blindfolds on and his hands secured.

Mosa was shoved in to join him and she stumbled on Ansa before collapsing on him.

‘I would rest easy when this is over and done with,’ said Mensah.

‘We shall succeed’ Osei said much for his own benefit than to reassure Mensah. He had believed his plan was foolproof until Mosa came into the picture. He was not so sure anymore.

‘I have to do something really quick before this whole thing blows out of proportion,’ Osei thought aloud.

‘I hope you don’t intend going back to see Nana again tomorrow?’ Mensah asked.

‘No,’ Osei replied. ‘We need to get as far away as possible from here,’ he said. ‘That would be our top priority. Maybe head as far as Akropong.’

He smiled to himself in the darkness. “Nana can wait, like they say, grief never killed anyone,” he thought. He could almost envisage their marriage now. His only obstacle was out of the way…well almost.

‘What do you suggest our ultimate destination should be?’ Mensah asked, and checked to see that Akan and Kwame were really asleep.

‘Wassaw,’ Osei answered. ‘Kofi Obutu would be glad to have them.’

‘Remember that Akan and I have some additions to make when we get to Akropong,’ Mensah mentioned. ‘I hope we find them intact, we have left them on their own for two days now.’

‘It is imperative we get to Wassaw before nightfall the day after tomorrow,’ Osei reiterated. ‘That way I would not be away for too long on my supposed mission to rescue the boy.’

‘You would have to sound very convincing,’ Mensah observed.

‘My plan is foolproof my friend,’ and he proceeded to outline it to him.

‘You are an evil genius,’ said Mensah as he nodded his head to the effectiveness of the proposed plan.

‘I’ll do anything for love.’

‘You have a twisted mind,’ Mensah pointed out. ‘It is time I catch a few moments sleep. I don’t intend to sleepwalk tomorrow.’

‘Go ahead’ Osei agreed. ‘I would join you soon.’

Mensah leaned against a sturdy tree and was soon asleep. Osei on the other hand sat there contemplating how their movement would be tomorrow. He had to tread carefully for it was obvious he did not have Mensah’s full support.

He was about to settle down himself when he heard distinct movements, moving cautiously in their direction.

‘Wake up,’ he tried to rouse Mensah with the most minimal noise.

‘Hmm?’ Mensah mumbled opening his eyes.

‘Shh,’ Osei tried to quieten him. ‘Someone is coming this way.’

Mensah was fully awake now and using his feet, he roused Akan and Kwame. The latter were awake instantly. It was obvious they were men trained to get a move on within the shortest notice possible.

‘Hey keep it low’ Mensah whispered, but the command in the whisper was quite distinct. ‘Someone is coming.’

‘Do we shut the door to the shack?’ Akan asked.

‘No,’ Osei answered. ‘Nothing arouses suspicion more than a closed door.’

Turning to Mensah he said, ‘I would handle this.’

Osei walked cautiously forward and called, ‘Who goes there?’

The movement stopped for a heartbeat, then resumed. This time whoever it was proceeded without much caution.

When the sound drew near enough Osei called out again, ‘Show yourself, we are armed!’

‘And so are we,’ was the answer before Kofi, son of Dankwa and brother of Mosa appeared with a group of men. It was the search party lead by Kofi.

Any other man would have faltered under the circumstances, but not Osei. With a straight face he welcomed Kofi.

‘My brothers, any news about the missing boy?’ Osei enquired.

Kofi shook his head. ‘No, it is even curious now that even my sister has equally gone missing.’

‘It cannot be,’ Osei said with obvious shock. ‘Come and rest up in the little shack we have here.’

Kofi glanced at the shack. He knew his men were tired and the thought of rest would have been highly welcome. But the shack itself was dark and forbidding and Kofi decided that the search for his sister should take priority.

‘Thanks for the offer, but we must carry on our search,’ Kofi told him.

Others in the group murmured their thanks.

‘We would continue our search after resting up a bit,’ Osei said. ‘At this rate we may find both of them together.’

‘I don’t think so,’ Kofi disagreed. ‘Ansa had been missing for a full day before my sister.’

‘It’s okay,’ said Osei nodding. ‘I may not return until I get a positive report for Nana, so if you get back before me, give her my regards.’

They said their goodbyes and Kofi’s group departed.   

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