Eunice Kokoi thought that Atanasi Sapat had put her in a difficult situation. In the first case, even if she has not wanted to continue any liaison with the soldier, she now found out that she could not avoid it; thanks to the report to the Editor. He, the Editor, now knew about her involvement; and to him it was a matter of a scooping story. It therefore concerned her job and effectiveness as a news reporter. If she failed, without a convincing reason, it would put her in bad books with the Editor; and he might not trust her in future with any intractable story. On the other hand, if she did well, it could spell kudos to her career.
It put her in an unenviable situation, because now, she would have to seek out the Sergeant Major. This in his mind would probably indicate that she, too, was interested in an affair with him, which to her, at this point, was far from her mind. But this contact had the advantage of breaking the story, if there was any reason to believe that Colonel Chokoler was actually a put-up of the army to hide its nefarious activities against the people.
Now, the other difficulty was creating a legitimate reason for contacting the soldier, far from amorousness. Also, it had to be circumspect enough for the soldier not to suspect that it had to do with Col. Chokoler; because if it was true that the army had anything to do with the attack on the convoy of the Prime Wife, the chances was that the soldier would have an idea about it. Kokoi did not want him to suspect anything to do with her work.
She ruminated over this; and began thinking of the ideas of how she would con the Sergeant major on her reason to see him. The first idea that came to her mind was that she would tell him that she had lost one earring; and that she thought the earring had dropped in the club. She would tell him that it probably dropped when she had gone to the toilet to release herself; and when she was straightening her hair, she probably inadvertently brushed it off, and she did not realize when it fell off her ear.
Moreover, her ears were not pricked like most girls’ ears, so, her earrings were those that one had to clip on. They were not the type you just inserted in the hole of the earlobe; because if it had been like that, she would have realized it from the pain of its being inadvertently yanked off.
But she also considered some of the questions the Sergeant Major might pose about why she did not realize, either when it fell off, or that why did she take some time to tell him about it, whereas she would have done it the next day. She was not able to come up with a convenient reasoning if it came to that; so she considered another option.
The second excuse she thought was telling him that; as was her habit, she put her small notebook in her bag and would pull it out to scribble some information she thought was important for anything she would conceive as a story. She would tell him that, even in public places, when she was not on an official assignment, she would do that. So, she thought she would tell him that, very unlike her, she had probably forgotten her notebook on the seat when they left the club, especially as it was dark inside; and she did not think of having a second look at her seat when they left.
Again, however, she posed to herself questions that the Sergeant Major might ask. One of them was that he did not notice her pulling out a notebook when they were sitting together, since they were near each other. She thought that she might fob him off by saying that she was circumspect about it. Another question she thought the fellow might pose is that: he himself did not see any notebook when they left the army club.
Kokoi considered other options, but these two kept sticking in her mind; and she kept raising questions and objections about the efficacy of this one, or, that one, would be the best option to tell to the Sergeant Major. Eventually, she settled on the issue of the earring because it had a better ring of being explained, especially since there was an element of femininity it. Besides, as she had been going to the toilet on-and-off as they were drinking, it was not easy for the Sergeant Major to have consistently followed how she was dressed – especially taking into account that these are female things that men should not keenly inquire into. In any case as the evening wore on everybody was getting inebriated, so could not observe everything.