A Snake In The Office!
There Were Certain Days When I Used To Remain In The Office Well After Office Hours; one such occasion was when I was relieving the Cashier who was away on local Leave at the time. I can well remember the evening — everyone had left to go home except that faithful old the evening — everyone had left to go home except that faithful old completed some last-minute Cash checking. I had Just finished paying off a whole group of tribal Policemen who had returned from Safari; Illegal though it was, I had also given small advances of salary to several Policemen who were going out to replace these men, and was keen on balancing the Cash Book In readiness for the Dc’s Inspection the following day.
I had got through most of my work and asked shalle to start locking Up the office. While he was thus engaged, I shut the safe and the filing Cabinet which held part of the unpaid wages and also unused tax/license receipts, and was on my adder in fact, wriggling his way into office. I rushed back inside and took a defensive position on top of one of the filing cabinets which was located not far from the entrance.
Shalle Hirbo, to whom I had previously bid good-night, hearing the commotion, and wondering why I had returned, hobbled back into the main office. (At the time of my returning, he was locking up the Dc’s side of the office) Seeing me on top of the filing cabinet he asked what was happening. With my finger pointing nervously at the snake, I shouted nyoku (snake)! Shalle asked me to stay where I was while he went to the DC’s office and brought back a spear. This weapon was in fact an exhibit in a murder case. While Shalle was in the adjacent office, Inspector Jim Cable happened to be passing by on him way home from work, and noticing the window of the DC’s office open, peered in and wondered what was going on. When I explained the situation, he asked me to stay put while he returned with him revolver. Meanwhile Shalle came with the spear, and stretching across from a safe distance, passed it to me.
While all this was going on, I was conscious of the danger that Shalle, a cripple, was exposing himself to. Without wasting any more time, I managed to land the spear on the snake’s head and kept him tightly pinned down in this fashion. By increasing the pressure on the spear, and turning and twisting it while it was still lodged in the snake’s head, I was able to restrict its movements. Jim Cable arrived shortly afterwards, but there was no need to use the revolver. A few hard strokes with Shalle’s walking stick and the snake was dead; we later disposed of him. I was thankful that Shalle had stayed behind. Had he not been there that evening, things might have turned out quite differently. I was also grateful to Inspector Cable for his offer of help. The next morning, the news of my heroic deed had spread among the staff and the locals. Everyone kept asking me about the incident and were pleased that I had come to no harm. Personally, it is an incident not easily forgetton!