Nwabueze was also fond of consulting Dike whenever he had a problem and always left satisfied. Dike, speaking in his quiet voice; always managed to make Nwabueze feel good whether or not the
problem was solved. It had even been Dike who said something that Nwabueze had never forgotten.
“Listen, Nwabueze,” he had said, “You’ll make good money from this job but don’t be too extravagant. You save at least fifteen percent of what you earn every month.
Understand? If you are ble to do this, you will make up
within a few years’ time without realizing it.”
Nwabueze had adhered strictly to this advice. It seemed sensible enough, and he liked it. He bought a steel box and every month when he got paid, he put twenty, instead of fiteen, per cent of
his remuneration into the box
which he hid somewhere in his house. There were time when the money proved to be very helpful.
There was that business of his brother who had to have one thousand naira or got to jail. Then there was the sickness of his mother which also left him almost bankrupt. But over the years the money grew to a sizeable sum, and the last time Nwabueze unlocked the box, he was surprised to see two thousand naira in it.
As the money was mounting, the box was getting too full of naira notes for his comfort and Nwabueze started to wonder whether
to invest it in something or not. It was when he thought of seeking Dike’s advice on the matter that he first noticed that something seemed to be weighing heavily on his mind.
He then decided to lave him alone untill he was in a better frame of mind. That was some weeks ago.
Dike drove in silence to Otike’s office, a large air-conditioned room with a big table, beautiful chairs and flowers. Otike believed in luxurious living and his office was
superbly furnished. He owned a fleet of cars, including Mercedes Benz 450 SEL which he rarely used and 280S which he used often. His friends admired him for being extravagant and still wealthy. But for all his wealth and extravagance, he was shrewd and calculating
and would hunt down any man who tried to cheat him of his money.