ACT III: Call to the fake chief
I decided to call the fake “village chief” whose number “Ferdinand” had given me. Here is a translated version of our conversation, which was in French:
Let me introduce myself. My name is Alexandre Capron. I am calling you on behalf of Ferdinand who gave me your phone number… Are you the chief of the village of Eboro?
Yes! I am the chief of the village of Eboro. (mumbles) Ferdinand said you would call me so we could make a deal.
: Exactly. I am calling you to find out what your council decided.
Yes, my child. There is no problem. See, we have problems here in the village, so we decided to send you the statues so you could give us the money.
Ok, ok. So you are ok for me to buy the statues?
Yes, my child, there is no problem. We’ll just need the commission.
Ok, what is your name?
: Mr Ondula.
Ok, well, I was told that the chief of the village was called Andreas Obiong and that he died a week ago.
(long silence) I am the chief of Ebora village, Mr. Ondula.
Ok, but you aren’t dead? You are sure?
(Silence followed by mumbling)
Listen, I am going to check with Ferdinand and I’ll call you back later.
Chief: (Silence) Ok, call me back.
Ok, ok. Goodbye.
When I told him that I knew that the village chief had died, the impostor suddenly became uncomfortable. He launched into a host of incomprehensible explanations, all the while calling me “my child.”