Welch entered the bank. Another police captain at the teller line sixty feet away turned his back and ran to bathroom. Welch shrugged. When you got to go, you got to go.
Where had he seen this guy before? That fella was so over the hill. Man, heâ€™d started to age, but not as bad as that guy. He walked up to the teller counter.
The redheaded banker smiled. â€œWas there something else I could do for you, sir?â€
Something else? The banker hadnâ€™t done anything yet.
Welch handed over the affidavit. â€œI need to get this notarized.â€
The banker waved across the room to a cubicle. â€œSure, take a seat.â€
Welch sat across from the desk. The banker took his seat and got out his notary book. â€œIâ€™ve always wanted to go Africa. Donâ€™t know about Nigeria, but Kenya would be nice.â€
Why had they hired blathering idiots to work here?
On Welchâ€™s way out, the banker called, â€œHope you enjoy your Nigerian home!â€
Welch rolled his eyes. What a moron.
Paul Galroni stood at his bankerâ€™s teller window.
The banker tapped his fingers together. â€œMr. Galroni, this 46,814,271 nairas is quite a wire transfer.â€
â€œI want 167,000 nairas, and the rest in US dollars.â€
â€œYouâ€™re forgetting about your bank fees.â€
Uh-oh. Galroni narrowed his eyes. â€œWhat fees?â€
â€œConverting this into US currency and receiving the wire for you will be 1000 nairas. In addition, we require 500,000 nairas for covering this up in our ledgers, and 1,000,000 nairas for not reporting you to Interpol.â€
â€œYouâ€™re a cheat.â€
â€œSo are you.â€
Galroni grunted. â€œFine.â€
He exited the bank, eyes darting around. He clutched the briefcase that held $300,000 in US dollars tight against the pocket with the sack containing the 167,000 nairas.
Back at the apartment, he slid the briefcase under his bed and removed from his pocket the sack with the nairas that his friends expected. He eyed Olumide and John as they played poker. Good. Neither had noticed the briefcase.
Olumide glanced up and said in their native tongue, â€œGalroni, you rascal.â€
He just wanted to know what his take was. Galroni sat at the table. â€œOlumide, you snake, deal me in. I got 167,000 from an American fishing boat captain.â€
Olumide handed over the cards. â€œFantastic.â€
Abena entered with her head freshly shaven and glanced at Galroniâ€™s bed. â€œWhatâ€™s this?â€
Stupid nosy female. Galroni jumped up and grabbed the suitcase. â€œItâ€™s mine!â€
She sent him a puzzled look. â€œI was talking about the blanket. It looks new.â€
Galroniâ€™s cheeks grew warm. â€œOh. It was sent by my aunt.â€
Olumide frowned. â€œWhat is in the briefcase?â€
â€œI will not tell.â€
Sharp cold steel pressed against the back of Galroniâ€™s neck.
â€œOpen it.â€ John withdrew the knife and stepped into view.
Trembling, Galroni opened the briefcase.
Abenaâ€™s eyes grew round. â€œHow much is in there?â€
Galroni gulped. Enough to pay for his funeral. â€œ$300,000 US dollars.â€
Three sets of eyes glared at him. Olumide said, â€œYou were holding out on us. You were going to go to America and leave us here to risk our lives alone.â€
â€œHeâ€™s greedy.â€ John flicked the knife blade. â€œLetâ€™s split the money three ways.â€
â€œHold it right there!â€ demanded someone behind them in English.
The four turned. In the door stood a man wearing a black and emerald green suit and a gas mask. Coughing seized them. The world faded away.
Continued Next Tuesday
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