Corruption in the Congo (Part II)

After the long flight, those first 20 steps off the plane in Beira, Mozambique felt fantastic to Jed. But how in the world was he ever going to find this, Ngubu?

Luckily, the small airport was built right next to the equally small seaport dock, where any incoming ships would have come in. The walk was nice, the air even nicer. All the while, Jed kept a single question on his mind - "Why hadn't my father gone on to Beira from Madagascar with everyone else?"

His puzzlement was broken and a smile of relief adorned his face once he came to a small hut right off the central dock. The sign read "Ngubu's Guides. We speak English." With any luck, he thought, this had to be the same Ngubu that was mentioned in the note.

He walked in, glad for the shelter from the rising sun, to find a very dark and lanky man yelling to someone in a local tongue. Whatever he was saying, he seemed most impatient and frustrated over the conversation. Once he saw Jed, though, his salesman smile reigned over his face and said "Welcome to Beira. Ngubu will take you anywhere - the only guide you can trust within 100 miles!"

"Actually, I am hoping you can help me by answering a few questions.." Jed interrupted his pitch.

Ngubu's smile dropped, seeing that he probably won't be making a sale.

Jed started in again. "About three years ago, a boat arrived carrying three English anthropologists. One of them was named Charles Whitlow." At this name, Ngubu's face winced - as though the name was familiar. "Do you remember three Englishmen coming in here asking for a guide?"

"How am I to remember who came where, three years ago?!" Jed realized that Ngubu was now getting impatient with him and would soon be of no help. "I have much work to do."

"Well, if you DID know of this man, I would need a guide who knows the area well enough to help me locate him..."

Ngubu's smile returned. "Well, now we're talking. Ngubu will take you wherever you need to go. I've never lost a..."

"Charles Whitlow." Jed interrupted again. "Does the name sound familiar?"

"Yes, only there were THREE others with him. Yes, four men there were. They asked me many many questions about the local tribes and one deep into the heart of the Belgian Congo. These must have been important men, no? You're here to find them, too?"

"What do you mean, 'too?' " Jed raised an eyebrow.

"Just yesterday an older lady come to me asking questions about the same men."

"What was her name?"

"She did not say, but I must have reminded her of someone else because she kept calling me a different name. I must look a lot like someone named 'dear.'

Millie! Why would she come all the way out here when she knew that Jed was making plans to come out as well? And why hadn't she told Jed before she left? These questions and more began to flood Jed's brain.

Jed and Ngubu took a walk to a local whiskey hut to speak to some locals who might know more about what happened three years ago. Ngubu spoke to several men, all in his native tongue. Some had a little to say...most shook their heads and went back to their drinks. After speaking to everyone in the bar, Ngubu explained - "It seems that the men were guided by a different guide each day for four days, Monday through Thursday. There were four villages that they thought they must visit first before entering the jungle - Quelimane, Nampula, Inhambane and Nacala. The only other guides in Beira that could have taken them were Gwaru, Zwilongwe, Banu and Zulawayo. I suppose that if you found out where they went on Thursday, someone there might know where they might have gone to from there?"

"Well, according to this map, those four villages are spread all over the entire country of Mozambique!" Jed was beginning to feel the pressure of timing closing in.

"Do not worry, my friend. The men here have told me what they know. Perhaps we can figure it out without having to go to each village. Here is what they have said:

* Two days after returning from Inhambane, they set out with Gwaru.

* Banu talked all about his long trip to Quelimanu. * Zulawayo went with them on Wednesday. and

* On Thursday, a river flooding made a trip to Nacula impossible.

Based on the information provided by Ngubu, can you figure out where the men headed on that Thursday and the name of their guide?


CLICK HERE FOR PART II SOLUTION

CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART III

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