We followed the description on your business card,'Deji responded, wondering.
Brother Jimmy had forgotten that he gave his card to the boys.
“That card is the old one,' he said deceptively.
'Though I was using this place before, my new shop is up there. Just a few weeks ago, some government officials came with a bulldozer and pulled down all the shops there including my own. So, I had to return here for the meantime.' He lied.
'We have come to see you, sir,'Deji opened up, business-like.
“Yes. What is it?'
one Without wasting time, Deji briefed Brother Jimmy on why they had come to see him. After his story, Brother Jimmy wanted to know how many video cassettes the boys wanted to sell to him. Deji said he was not sure but promised to bring at least fifty with some video compact discs. “They are near-new and you will see when you get them,' he concluded.
“Are they all Nigerian films or foreign?'
"Nigerian, English and Yoruba films.'
Brother Jimmy liked that. They were exactly the types of cassettes he did business with. his elder brother. “Why don't we tell him the amount we need. I mean five thousand naira.'
“How much do you want to sell them?
The boys exchanged glances. Aside, Leke told What we are giving him are worth more than that.'
'How much do you want to pay, sir?' Deji asked passionately Brother Jimmy's detective eyes flashed at Deji, then at Leke.
How much do you need? That way I would know how to help you. You need money, don't you?'
'We need five thousand naira, sir,'Leke said impatiently.
Brother Jimmy's eyebrows shifted and his mouth agape.
'Five thousand naira!'
"You can help us, can't you, sir?” Deji spoke quickly, his eyes pleading.
"That's if you first tell me what you need the Deji narrated with emotion how they went to Mrs. Redford for confession and forgiveness and how she misunderstood them. How she accused them of being responsible for the stealing in the class and thus made it compulsory for them to pay back all the stolen money. They both pleaded with Brother Jimmy to help
'I am ready to help you but on one condition,
Brother Jimmy stated emphatically.
'What is the condition, sir?' Leke asked with anxiety
“That you will allow me to investigate what you have just told me.
'We can't lie to you, sir' Deji said, swearing.
mum through Zaccheus, my friend who worked in mum's supermarket. So I wouldn't want to do anything that would put me or my friend into trouble."
The boys allowed Brother Jimmy to have his way.
They said they would bring the cassettes the next day while he promised to give them the money in school on Monday after confirming their story to be true. They
were very happy striking a successful deal with Brother non street where taxis plying their residential area were available. As they trekked on, Leke saw Yomi at the other side of the road. He called the attention of his elder brother to it. Yomi was dressed in a blue T-shirt over a stone-washed jeans. He brought out a textbook from his school bag and gave
it to a seller of old and fairly read books and magazines. The bookseller examined the book and nodded his approval. Then, he dipped his hand into his pocket and gave Yomi some money.
Yomi, after collecting the money, looked around briefly and then took his leave surreptitiously. Deji and Leke who were watching from the opposite side saw all this happening in less than five minutes.
'I suppose they are well-known to each other in the business,' Deji said, basking in the euphoria of surprise. He added, "Just look at it, no haggling, no bargaining... The transaction did not take five minutes!
said confidently, beating his chest.
“I think so too, 'Deji agreed.
'In that case, we must find out. Let's go to the man and pretend we want to buy some books.
Leke supported the idea. They both crossed to the other side of the road and walked down to the bookseller.
*Check for your books here, students,' the bookseller, a middle-aged man dressed in a black coat with food stains and dusted white baggy trousers, lured the boys.
As if it was his persuasive words that encouraged them and not that they had come to see the books themselves, the boys paused in front of the bookseller to have a look. school.
Leke was the first to see the book Yomi sold to the man. It was the English textbook they were using in
Leke asked pretentiously.
That was the name of the textbook. It was there I have it!' the bookseller responded, beaming with smiles, He handed the book to Leke. Deji came closer to have a look also.
*You can hardly tell the difference between it and a new one,' the bookseller cajoled.
Deji opened the book and saw the title page had been torn off. That was probably because the owner of the book had his/her name written there. A closer look also revealed that the edges of the book had been scrapped clean of the name of the owner. On flipping over the pages of the book to ascertain it was completely paged, Deji noticed some handwritten words and he quickly flipped back to the page. The boys could hardly believe what they saw. It was Seyi's name written in bold letters that they saw. Yomi did not see this, otherwise he would have cleaned it as he did to others.
‘Anything wrong? the bookseller asked suspiciously.