As soon as Bade saw the policemen coming from a distance, along with the men who had gone to fetch them, he abandoned his exercise. Running towards the other two, he placed his right hand on Koko and his left hand on the accomplice, and within seconds, they disappeared into thin air. The policemen and the other people with them were so shocked, they froze on the spot. How were they going to arrest a man who had literally vanished before their very eyes?
The people who had gone to fetch the policemen walked away and the policemen themselves retreated to their station to tell the tale of the man who had vanished with a baboon and another man. Nobody knew where Dotun was or what had become of him.
* * *
It has been three weeks since Dotun disappeared from Sabo market in broad daylight, but the town of Isare-Remo is still abuzz with the tale of a young boy who mysteriously appeared on his father’s farm on a Saturday afternoon. There had been no okada, no bus, no car, not even a bicycle that had transported the boy all the way from Lagos to that town. But he had returned nonetheless.
In fact, if not for the boy’s father who, at that moment, was climbing down a tree where he had gone to tap fresh palm wine, and who had actually seen the boy appear on the ground beside his tools, nobody would have believed the tale. Some people still do not believe the tale. They think Baba Dotun made it up to make his son into some sort of modern day marvel, which interestingly, he has become. But, he and Dotun know the truth. He has vowed never to let his son return to Lagos to work for anyone again.
Mrs. Phillips now lives with her elder daughter, and whenever she is asked about the only houseboy she ever had, she tells people that he ran away. The person who brought Dotun to work for her reported seeing the boy in Isare-Remo, working with his father, happy and content as can be. Nobody knows what happened to the basket of food Dotun was carrying that day.
And if you visit any market in Lagos, and you see a man with a pink-tutu-wearing baboon called Koko, you’ll know that the man beside him, performing magic tricks is Bade. He is still making people and things disappear.
– THE END –