THE UNLUCKY VULTURE

True to Andrea's expectations, El Capone is as furious as a wounded bull in an arena, when he was told of his men's death. He glared at his wife and then asked. "Are you satisfied that the mission failed and my men were slaughtered?"

"Dear husband, you should be grateful for my premonition, as am sure I would have been a widow now," Andrea muttered back with a sly grin. 

"Maybe I could have saved them."

"You can't, they were attacked suddenly and your presence won't have made any difference."

El Capone looked at his wife with anger for a while, then stormed out of her presence, and was seen shouting orders at his men. 

Andrea smiled as he stepped out, and was soon lost in thought.  

"The fish has taken the bait, now I need to plan on how to make use of this." She muttered to herself, and soon stepped after her husband, and saw him discussing with Banjo. 

"How can they know of our coming, I suspect there is a spy among us!" Banjo exclaimed. 

"Yes, my men were killed without firing a bullet, that means they were pre-aware of their coming." El Capone muttered back. 

"How can we catch the traitor?" Banjo answered back with a puzzled look. 

"I will think of a plan, in the meantime, let's bury our lost comrade-." El Capone pause his speech, veering toward Andrea, as she stepped close to them and let out. 

"Summon all the family of the bereaved, and settle them with enough wealth that will last them forever."

Andrea bowed at her husband, turn, and walked off their midst. 

"If someone else had stopped me from going yesterday, then I would have gotten the person's head off his or her shoulders this morning." El Capone whispered, as soon as his wife is out of earshot. 

"Yes, I was angry yesterday night when you instructed me to stay behind, but to say the truth, am glad I stayed," Banjo answered back. 

"But I trust Andrea, and I think someone is leaking our movement to my brother."

"So how can we catch the spy?" Banjo asked for the second time. 

"I will, let's bury our deceased first."

The two men walked into the open space, and at their front were thousands of men in red uniforms. 

"We will be having a week break to pay homage to our lost comrades, I want you all to go to your various houses, and spend time with your wives and children." El Capone announced to the men in his front. 

"Yes sir!" The men answered back. 

"Don't forget to come for duty when it's your turn to, and be available for urgent summoning from the crown."

"Yes sir!"

"Dismissed."

"You are dismissed," Banjo shouted after.

And the whole men in line, shuffled as each went into their various places. 

"Delay those who are on morning duty, we will be attacking the same spot tonight. But keep it a secret."

"Aye," Banjo answered back. 

Hours later, when El Capone informed Andrea of his mission, she grumbled for a while because of his lateness in informing her of his plan. 

"When did you start making decisions without me?" The sad lady asked in a moaning voice. 

"Am sorry, it was a spontaneous decision."

"You want to know if we have a spy among us?"

"Yes, none of the men is aware of our location, except Banjo."

"What if there is no spy, and it was just a coincidence?" 

"Whatever it is, I will know tonight." El Capone answered back, putting on his mafia suit, cowboy cap, and black shoes. 

"I won't allow you to go when next you make such a decision without my prior awareness." Andrea let out a sigh. 

"It won't happen again," El Capone muttered back, stepped close to his wife, kissed her on the lips, and walk out to join his awaiting men in red uniforms. 

Andrea watch her man as he hopped on his horse, then galloped after the rest of the column. 

She silently said some prayers for his safety. 

What else can she do?

Left with no chores, and aware that she won't even nod off until he returns.

She decided to play her piano, and her whole environment was soon enthralled with her angelic voice, as she sing the famous fable of the unfortunate vulture.

A long time ago, when animals can still speak. Great starvation descended on the land, because of the lack of rain to wet the grasses. 

So all the animals visited the oracle, and the gods demanded a ritual to be brought to the heavenly shrine.

After preparing the necessary ritual in a big calabash, an animal is needed to carry the heavy load to the heavenly shrine, and a poor vulture was chosen, because of its ruggedness and agility. 

For hours, the vulture flew with the loads on its head, reached the heavenly Shrine, and dropped the ritual.

 And at that moment, the whole sky became dark with clouds. 

The whole animals rejoice at the sight of the cloud, and the rain that followed. And they all forget the poor bird that risks its life for them. 

As for the vulture who became bald from the load, and lost most of its feathers from the heavy breeze. It was ashamed of its ugliness and decided never to return to the land of the animals, but to sojourn alone in loneliness and grief. 

"Gush," Andrea muttered aloud, then sigh and let out. 

"I pray you won't be like the unfortunate vulture, and you will always come back to me."

The men on the back of horses galloped for a while, stopped at the places where those who came earlier had stopped, hopped down their horses, and sneaked close to their destination. 

"I suggest we send some men ahead of us," A voice that belonged to Banjo whispered in the night. 

"Let twenty men step in our front." El Capone let out a whisper. 

Banjo quickly signal to some selected men, order them to walk quickly, and alert the others of any incoming danger. 

"Let's walk slowly after them." El Capone let out. 

The column at the front walked for a while, passed the section where their comrades were slaughtered and sudden terror overshadowed them. 

"This is where they were attacked." One among the men whispered with panic. 

"Yes, they were killed without firing a bullet," another frightening voice let out. 

"We have been on duty since morning, and now we are forced to embark on this suicide mission," the first-speaking mafia mumbled. 

"Who forces you? You can retire tomorrow, and start farming." 

"Or join El Ramon's gang."

Some of the men announced their opinions, and the speaking man replied. 

"I will rather die than join that betrayer." 

"Then you have no choice but to accept whatever you see here."

"Yes, I pray we all survive, and I vowed to slaughter a goat to the gods if I live till daybreak.

"Am afraid and don't want to die," one young mafia, walking with a limp mumbled in a whisper.

"Keep your fear to yourself."

Luckily for the men, they passed through the narrow route, and then emerged at their destination. 

Previous Chapter
Next Chapter