It was his last day. The early morning before sunrise the next day he would have been hanged. There was no miscarriage of justice as he himself pleaded guilty to the murder. He was calm and collected suffering no remorse. He had the dubious distinction of being the most orderly and well mannered death convict in the prison till date. He spoke to none and declined to meet all visitors including his wife. He had no children. All he did was to pace in the cell from one end to the other for want of any other vocation till he got tired.
The jailor himself came to his cell and spoke to him kindly”I am sorry for you but am helpless. Is there any last wish that you would like me to arrange if feasible? Any special meal that you wish to have?”
“Thank you sir. I am touched by your personal visit and concern. The normal meal would suffice but I would want a lawyer to help me in drafting my last will and testament. I own considerable wealth that I would like to distribute.”
“Surely I would send one in another hour. I pray to God for your peace of mind” the jailor said as he left after patting him on his shoulders.
After the jailor left, the prison chaplain came. He was an elderly man portly in build and with kind eyes.”My son, I have come to administer the last rites if it is okay with you. If you sincerely regret the sins you had committed, Jesus in His compassion would forgive you” the chaplain said
‘Thank you, father. I have committed a sin in the eyes of law but I do not regret it. I do not need any administration of last rites. Please do not take me amiss. I am a believer”
“I respect your wishes. If you desire you can tell me why you committed the sin and what the extenuating circumstances are for you not to regret. It will be a sort of confession and lighten your heart”
“There is no heaviness in my heart. Nevertheless I shall relate to you what had happened. I have a marketing management degree and was employed as marketing manager in a private company. I fell in love with a pretty secretary in the Chairman’s office and married her. She came from very humble circumstances and I gave her a life of comfort and riches. I was promoted to higher positions at frequent intervals with my salary going up steeply each time. We bought a posh apartment and made wise investment. The Chairman pleased with my work gave me stock options that witnessed a big jump in my wealth. The new responsibilities required me to undertake frequent tours both locally and to other countries. I found myself away for nearly 15 days or more each month of course with intervals. The Chairman was pressurizing me to do more. My wife who initially objected to my frequent tours reconciled herself to my absence and stopped complaining. I was grateful to my Chairman for all that he had done to me” he stopped to drink water.
“Lord has been so kind to you and where was the occasion to commit a sin?”prodded the priest.
“On the last occasion, my flight to London was cancelled due to some technical snag and I had to return home. I have a key of my own. When I went up the stairs to the bed room, I heard conversation of my wife with another man. Taken aback I overheard without the slightest noise.The man was telling ‘I have sent him away for ten days this time. We can have all the fun we both badly need.’ There was a giggle from my wife followed by ‘How sweet of you, my darling’. I could not contain my rage when I barged into the room to find them in most compromising position. I took the golf club that lay in a corner and battered my Chairman on his head till he was dead. My wife standing in fear in the corner of the room with some clothes scantily covering her was cringing “Don’t kill me, please. It was he who seduced me despite my protests”
He continued the narration after a while “You filthy liar, I would not tarnish my hands by killing you. I loved you so much and gave you a life you could have never dreamt of. See what you have given me in return.. Have no fear but be sure you will rot in misery” He told the chaplain that he rung up for the police and surrendered the golf club and himself to them after making a written statement of what had happened.
“I am very sorry to hear the turmoil you had to pass through. I shall pray for you. God bless you” the chaplain said and took leave of him just as the lawyer entered.
When the two were alone he requested the lawyer to make his last testament and will leaving all his wealth to certain charitable institutions. He requested the lawyer to exclude specifically his wife from any bequest as the entire wealth was self made. The will was properly made and signed in the presence of two witnesses.It was a small consolation but he felt at peace.
He started pacing up and down the cell looking forward happily to the break of dawn