God of Hunger
While Daudi was dancing the night away in Grahamstown, a tragedy occurred
at home, in Arusha; KK had died. There was no one to witness the event. And
this caused a problem. Blame would be apportioned. Scape-goats would be
found and sacrificed and, unless well handled, the death of this man of
importance would result in nothing but problems for his major domo, Kicheche
This man about the farm had a healthy regard for figures of importance even
when they were dead and the corpse of John Kostas Kokopoulos was no
exception to this primary rule of survival.
Kandowere demanded to be well briefed on the event and soon discovered that
it was only when Martini came into the house to prepare breakfast that KK was
found seated on the side of his bed, dead.
When alive, that’s where he was each morning: On the side of his bed
contemplating the hour and the contents of his trolley table.
Each night Martini would set it out with a thermos of tea and a plate of Marie
biscuits. Leaning up against the trolley, whose wheels were locked, stood KK’s
loaded twelve bore. At the point the barrel touched the trolley stood a torch on
the tray. Also a box of cartridges. These items were a just in case the Somali
gangsters who had been terrorizing the area should wish to interrupt KK’s
wakeful night. He mainly slept during the day in his armchair. On the verandah.
Overlooking the estate and the two mountains: Meru close by and Kilimanjaro
in the distance.
He did not keep awake at night for fear of intruders. KK was fearless and so
were his pack of dogs. The shotgun and torch were a long established habit
forged over decades in the bush. Threatening things could happen in the night;
dogs were poisoned or carried off by leopard or hyena. Thieves took their
chances. Murderers and assassins prowled in the thin light of stars. Mischief
was abroad. Yet never had he felt threatened. But just in case some danger
came close it would find hot lead in greeting. Many was the time at his farms in
Dongobeash and Magara that he would sense a prowler and shoot through the
door in anticipation of an attack. And each time the dawn would reveal a corpse
of a once deadly animal; though never a human, Man had more sense than to
test KK’s senses in the dark.
Martini found him in death as he was in life at that time of day. Sitting on the
side of his bed by the trolley. Words were never exchanged as Martini took the
tray away to the kitchen. KK rarely looked up at his servant. But he would give