Vincent compared Blacky’s number and the number that called Stella’s phone. Vincent was convinced when he found out the truth.
“But why did he call you knowing fully well that you are already dead? Vincent asked.
“Don’t go there again. He isn’t dead. I believe God is working out something great.” Sophia reassured him.
“Leave God out of it!” Vincent told them.
Sunday was about to respond when they saw the unwillingness of Stella James to go with them. It was written on her face but Sophia discouraged her and complimented her efforts so far. Vincent wasn’t convinced by his wife’s sudden cold attitude. He took her aside to know the reasons.
“I’m feeling dizzy. I cannot explain exactly what came over me. You know I’m interested in this family but my body isn’t cooperating.”
Vincent told her to take her time to rest at home. The following day, he promised Sophia to go with them. Nevertheless, Sophia’s encounter with him that night hasn’t left her. She dreaded staying alone with him but Sunday’s presence gave her assurance that all would be well. Before they left, Sophia held hands with Sunday and Stella as they prayed to God for His protection and guidance. Vincent stood apart watching them as they prayed. His wife was a Christian and her efforts to win him has yielded no visible fruits.
According to Vincent, religion is a scam. One of the major reasons was what happened before their wedding when the officiating minister asked them privately to give him a huge amount of money to secure special God’s blessings on their marriage. He kicked against it but his wife’s readiness to stand by whatever the Minister had told them won. It brought a strain in their relationship and he vowed never to do anything with church or God again. He once reminded his wife to prove if that minister’s money-induced prayers ever worked after waiting for three years for the fruit of the womb. She however believed God is always faithful to His promises not the promise of a man.
Vincent had wanted to make mockery of their prayers but his wife stopped him. Based on his previous arrangement and counsel, he sought the support of plain clothes police officers through the help of his friend. Sunday led the way to the outskirts of the city where there was an abandoned old house. Few meters away from there was a narrow path hidden from the prying eyes of people that led to a narrow flowing river. People hardly come there but deep inside the forest was the hiding place of these traffickers.
The officers took knowledge of the place as they had been informed before of likelihood of hideous activities taking place there. Sunday gave them signals to follow and the warning traps on the way. They hadn’t gone far when the overpowering stench of a dead animal permeated their nostrils. Vincent couldn’t stand the rigours of navigating through the unfamiliar terrains with them. He felt dehydrated in no time and demanded for water. Sophia tried to encourage him to forge ahead. The officers were vigilant as they advanced into the forest until they began to hear some voices.
They hid behind a big tree until the men passed. From their conversations and appearances, it showed they were hunters. Hardly had the men passed when Sophia looked behind them and saw two people lying on the ground covered with dried leaves. She drew the attention of the security officers who swung into action immediately to uncover them. Sunday reached there first to remove the leaves and cried out when she saw they were young women.
Two of the men stood their ground fully armed watching and guarding them. Sophia couldn’t recognise them but on a closer look she saw two piercings on the earlobes of one of them. Fortunately, they were still alive but totally worn out. When Stella opened her eyes, Sophia shouted for joy. She cautioned herself when she saw the countenance of the officers. The shape of Stella’s earlobes was one of God’s added beauty to her body. Without wasting time, they lifted them up. With little strength in them, they were guided along as they tried to escape.
Sophia’s joy knew no bounds as she stood beside her sister. They were fortunate to discover them before going further into the camp of the enemies. It was obvious they had made an attempt to escape from the hands of their captors. When they got to the river, they discovered the moveable wooden bridge had been removed.
Sensing the danger ahead, the officers warned them to be at alert and follow their instructions. Vincent was the first person to express pessimism and was fearful but Sunday rebuked him. He reminded him of his bravery and the need to wear it at that crucial time. Vincent ignored his untimely piece of advice. Moreover, the two ladies had been strengthened a bit because of their miraculous escape but still needed to be guided by Sophia and the other officers.
Drawing from the well of his past activities, Sunday lifted his eyes and pointed a way out to them.
“Let’s quickly run towards that huge tree down there and take cover. They’re approaching us. I know their tactics. Quick!” Sunday advised them.
The officers hastened them and pulled the ladies who were still dragging their feet. The tensions rose as they fled. As they were fleeing, one of them fell into the river. Before they could rescue…
To be continued in Episode 28.