The Investigation of Mac'leaffy Roner: The Mektoub Affair - Part Two¶
Every Tryker in the neighbourhood rushed to the stable. They looked questioningly at their neighbours wondering who could be guilty of this heinous act. The stable boy continued to scream robbery at the top of his lungs, uncaring who he accused. As for the Mektoubs' owner, he was huddled with the guards, hoping vehemently that he would gain justice for this crime.
My uncle stood in the middle of the crowd, with a strange expression on his face as he gazed into nothingness. Looking at him, you would have thought him uncaring of all the fuss, as gradually a faint smile spread across his visage. Around him, conversations flowed and broke with strange theories and wild assumptions:
"The wind must have carried away the Mektoubs!"
"It was a big Kami who did it and teleported away!
I'm sure that my explanation is correct – no you are quite wrong!”
Slowly the talk gelled and some names began to appear on peoples lips:
"It's Aesken the merchant who has taken them! I saw him riding a mektoub during the storm earlier”
"Aesken? But he is an honest homin! His prices are more than
moderate. Besides, he has his own mektoub whereas Eoxy haven't got
"Yes that’s so true and yet I heard a rumour that he was also riding one... strange isn't it?"
"Stop that innuendo! Eoxy is a good homin, simple and discreet. How can you imagine him doing such a thing? You would do better to
look at Gether's activities. I don't trust him at all. And after
all, he has been seen riding a mektoub too. What could he be doing during the storm?"
Speculation surged through the crowd, the Trykers enjoying the disturbance and the guessing games. Even the guards began to listen closely to the tide of surmise.... Ropan, the chief of guards, ordered that the three main suspects Aesken, Eoxy and Gether, together with the owner and the stable boy be detained for a closer examination.
But the result was as uninteresting as we could have guessed. The stable boy had only noticed that there were Mektoubs missing as the storm raged overhead. So he could have told his boss just half an hour after the last blast of wind. As a matter of course, the owner corroborated this version. And none of the three suspects confessed to being the thief.
It was at that moment that Mac'leaffy Roner commenced his new vocation; that which was to bring him such success in life.
As it was obvious that no one was going to be able to resolve this case, he decided to come to grips with the story. Taking a small notebook from his pocket, he inspected the crime scene. He believed as always that his close friends the details would cry out to him, bringing him the explanation. Carefully he ran his hands lightly along the ground, as his eyes flickered here, there and everywhere; searching the one vital clue. He stood serene, an island of calm in a lake of turmoil, unconscious and uncaring that he looked a fool indeed.
He wrote: "Two dusty Mektoubs. One injured mektoub." His look was almost mischievous as with as smile and a flourish he added:
"Aesken: guilty. Eoxy: guilty. Gether: guilty."
And yet, Roner knew that he hasn't found the real culprit...not yet. He mulled over all the conflicting stories he had heard. But of course!
Now he only needed one last, but by no means least, proof.