Chief Book is a wild hunter. He hails from Umuegbe community. Umuegbe is a village located in the south east area of Nigeria. The people of the area started well. They love one and another and has a good respect for their elders. The people of the land are friendly; they feel very amiable and maintain a serene atmosphere. Some of them are farmers and local traders. Some went to the school; some travelled to the other states to work or do business. Umuegbe has complete village settings of mixed grills when it comes to events and happenings. They have well to do people. The people of the village had a lot of palm trees and green vegetation’s. They have their local masquerade which also serve as their traditional court that judges trivial matters. People travels from far and near to watch their masquerade festivals.
A person can do anything because he feels he had the freedom to do such but there is what is called the law of nemesis or a retributive justice which the maker of the earth had put into the earth to govern the people he had made.
Such may stand as a way of checks and balances to make a world a good place for the people there in. the people of Umuegbe are enjoying all this attributes. They produce the best farmers, hunters, and wine tappers apart from other social networks.
Where there is no justice evil prevails. Many families that were in the troubles of all the elders in their lineages have not done well.
But were restricted by the forces they know not about God is proved when justice is contravened against the weak by the strong as he offers impunity to thee unfaithful and the wicked. The families that had this and did not protest will continue to suffer the aftermath’s curse that follows. Chief Book has two wives and thirteen children. He is a great disciplinarian. All his children fears him. When he is returning from the hunting job, he will come with different types of animals tied or hung on his motorcycle. His Honda motorcycle is not really a new one but it can take him to any place he may want to go with it. He is a popular meat dealer at Udi market. Many people waits to buy meat from chief Book because he has a special offer to make as a current hunter. He has a den gun he used in his hunting business. He said he got the gun from his master when he walked at the railway corporation. It is what he use to protect himself from the bad people and thieves so when he retired, he decided to let Chief Book have it. Book saw it as a good tool to enhance his hunting expedition and it is working for him. His wives cooks good recipes that people envies his meals when he is eating. Assorted meats every time. Some roasted meats are served as a cola in his house to his guests so all this keeps visitors coming moment they hear he is in town. He is a palm wine tapper too. When he returns from his hunting business neighbors will come to his house to eat of the meats he has brought from his hunting business while he sells others. Chief book is a very jovial man. Whenever he is going to the market to sell his wares, he will make a lot of stop on the road to greet some people that he knew. Some will like to see the sample of the new meat he has in stocks. As a great hunter, he sells his meat cheaper than those in the market. He always has some grass cutters, Antelopes, and different types of meat his traps could catch or he could hunt down with his double barrel gun. Book can stay two to three weeks in the bush when hunting. The early meats he could hunt he will roast them in the bush till he is done for the trip. Then he will return with both the fresh and dried meats all hung on his motorcycle when he is coming back. Chief Book being a business man does not always stay at home so he did not know how his family are living. One day his motorcycle got spoiled and he did not go to his hunting expedition. Book built separate apartments for his two wives where they stay with their children.
Tonia the second wife of chief Book ran out of her house early in the morning and pushed a pot of water on the head of Lizzy the first wife of Book and the pot fell down on the floor and got broken.
Tonia held Lizzy on her blouse and tore it. Lizzy ranted, chai, Tonia what have you done she said, A fight erupted immediately. This has been the usual thing that had been happening in chief Book’s house. The children had all left for the stream to fetch some water for the day. Book was still struggling with his bike when he heard a noise from his wives.
Chief Book ran to separate his two wives from fighting. What is the matter chief Book asked? Nobody was able to talk. It seems the fight has not ended. Lizzy drew Tonia on her skirt and tore it leaving her only with her pant. Tonia is a tall woman, she used her height as an advantage to deal with Lizzy. Tonia held Lizzy on her matted hairs and was pulling them off her head. Chief Book was confused. He don’t want to bring neighbors into the fight not knowing that neighbors knows his home more than himself. The blouse Lizzy his first wife was putting on has been rented and was exposing her breasts and the skirt of Tonia his second wife was putting on was torn leaving her half naked. Will chief Book start to cover them first before calling people in to settle the fight. The two women were still fighting. When Book has succeeded in separating the fight, he asked Lizzy the senior wife, what is the matter with two of you this morning. Lizzy said to him ask this mad dog you have as a wife. Tonia retorted, who is a mad dog? You dirty pig. What is the matter I said, Book ranted angrily? Lizzy said, my husband, I did not know what is the matter, I was only coming back from the stream with a pot of water on my head and this Cow you brought in this place came and pushed the pot of water on my head down and the pot got broken. Tonia, chief Book shouted at her, what is the matter this early morning? Tonia said to chief Book, are you telling me you did not know the matter, you are asking me? You are always showing your partiality against me. Or do you want to beat me now? What happened I say chief Book insisted? Twice you came back from the hunting expedition did Lizzy not sleep with you? Have you forgotten that I have only five children while she have eight already. Is that not partiality. I know she is charming you that is why I want to beat that charm out of her this morning. Do you know my Laws about fighting in this house? Chief Book said. You will give me a white cock each for my launch this afternoon. Tonia said, I will not give you any white cock because you are guilty. Did you not remember when it is my turn and you are inviting her. Lizzy pressed her two eyes on her to mock her. Did you not see her now, did you not see her now Tonia complained to chief. Two times now she has taken my chance and you did not ask her to buy a cock and now instead of you to caution her you are asking me to buy a cock. Did you not realize she is your senior? Chief Book shouted at her. Tonia said, are you not the one that shared it, if you are not partial I would have had more children for you. I know you are impressed because of her big boots. Tonia turned to Lizzy and said, wicked woman every day you are painting yourself. You don’t want to respect yourself. This one is small, next time you will take my turn I will tell you they don’t do senior with turn. Have you prepared my breakfast this morning, Chief Book asked Tonia. It is that one you will remember my turn but you don’t remember when it is my turn to be treated like a woman. I know that evil spirit in your head has not left you, Chief Book said to her. I did not have evil spirit, it is Lizzy that has evil spirit. She has bad spirit that makes her to cheat on me. Two of you will not kill me in this house. I have said it, when a man Maries two wives it is two troubles. I am not the trouble Lizzy said, it is this rag tag woman you use your money to marry that is trouble. Who is ragtag woman, are you neater than me? Tonia said to Lizzy. Lizzy said to her. If you are neat as I am, chief will desire you all the time. Don’t you know you have a body odor, how can a chief love a woman with a body odor? Lizzy said, shut up, did I say that chief ranted at Lizzy. Tonia started to cry. Lizzy said to her, shedding crocodile tears will not help you this time, wait let my children return home today, you will meet a real fight, I made a mistake the other day and you were able to throw me on the floor because some banana peel slipped my leg. So this is how you people are living in my absence, fighting in my house? Chief Book is knowing the first time that his wives use to fight at his absence. Neighbors calls them army barracks for they fight wars all the time while the chief is on his hunting expedition. Anytime the children from the two women fights, the two women will fight or express some insulted languages on each other. Who cares, neighbors goes to chief Book compound to watch dramas. Fighting is no longer a big deal for the two women for it is what they does often. They had as a result of that provided for themselves their fighting knickers. When the children are fighting the two women will be fighting on their own. Soothsayer come to visit chief Book that morning, that was what made the two women walk into their huts. Soothsayer went with chief Book to his own apartment where he receives guests. Getting to the Parlor, chief Book served some kola nuts to Soothsayer. The soothsayer said that he will not take or eat anything for what has brought him is larger than a kola nut. Soothsayer had brought a complaint against Jerry. The junior brother of chief Book. Jerry has a parcel of land near the village square. The said land is a plot and half. Jerry has a son who has passed his school certificate and Jerry wanted to send Collins his son to America to further his education. When the visa for Collins to travel came out, Jerry did not have enough money to pay for the expense. He went to Soothsayer to borrow some money. Soothsayer told him that he cannot just lend him the money for he is not a money lender. He needed a collateral for the amount of money Jerry was demanding to borrow from him and he must return it with interest. The amount was two hundred thousand naira. Jerry did not have another collateral to pledge to Soothsayer but the parcel of land at the village square. The deal was cast and the money was given to Jerry who had offered the parcel of land at the village square as his collateral. He is to refund the money in the next one year with fifty percent interest before he regains his land. When the son of Jerry got to the international airport, the immigration officers spotted that the visa stamped on the passport of Collins the son of Jerry is a fake one. He was arrested and detained by the immigration force at the airport police station. When the man that did the visa with four hundred thousand naira heard about the news that Collins has been arrested, he ran away from the town to an unknown destination. When Collins took the immigration officers to the office of the travelling agency that made the visa for his traveling, the man’s office was under lock. They sealed his office with their own seal declaring him wanted. Collins was still in the police custody. Jerry had looked for money here and there to bail his son Collins from the detention but could not get the amount they are calling for his freedom. Jerry went and contacted Chief Andrew, a popular chief at Umueke village to buy the parcel of land. After selling the said parcel of land. Jerry did not go to the soothsayer to refund the money he had borrowed with the sold parcel of Land. The tradition of the Umuegbe people is when a parcel of land has been sold. If the buyer wants to start any project on the land, the buyer will pay some money to the people of the land, settle the youths of the land and even the women organization. Going through all this process will prove the buyer the rightful owner of the parcel of the land. On the day of settling the elders of the Umuedge community, the buyer of the land will provide a big goat that they elders will kill on that parcel of Land and pour the blood on the said land to appease it and make a spiritual change of ownership according to their custom. The meat will be cooked with some tubers of yam on the same parcel of land where the indigenes will gather to eat and welcome the new land lord as part of their community. Before the feast will commence on the chosen day by the landlord. While the food is placed on the fire and prepared, the town crier will go out and make announcement that the land of such person has been sold and if anybody has any point against the sales of the said land the person should come forward and state his case. The person that want to make any objection will go straight to the town crier to tell him that he has an issue concerning the sold land and the transactions and refreshment should be placed on hold. That is very binding before the people of the land. If there is no objection, the Town crier will go round the community again with his native gung to make another announcement. The people of the community will start to prepare to eat the goat and drinks for the land. When the food is ready, the town crier will go round the third time in the community to make the third announcement which is final and then inform the people that the first and the second announcement was not countered so they should come out to ear and merry with the new landlord. Everybody will then gather at the new land site and will eat and drink the food presented to them. Then they will introduce the new person to the land according to their traditions and rites. Soothsayer heard that his land has been sold without the refund of the money to him. He knew that Chief Andrew that bought the land is a very influential man. Chief Andrew is an illustrious son of Umueke community. He is a very philanthropic man. He built a college for his community. Chief Andrew takes care of the widows in their old age at Umueke. He is very rich and shares money to people. He loved the village square land where Jerry had sold his parcel of land to him. He said he is going to build an eatery to develop the village square of Umuegbe land. The rumors had started to spread about the eatery chief Andrew has promised to build in Umuegbe land. They knew he is equal to the task. Soothsayer is an average rich man. He has money but not the type that Chief Andrew has. He did not know how to go about it. When Soothsayer went to the house of Jerry to find out if what he was hearing was the truth, he could not see him. He was told that he went to the city to bail his son from the police custody in the international airport police station. Soothsayer came to chief Book to lay his complaint. Chief book is not in the mood to answer the soothsayer at that time but said to him. A man whose house is on fire does not start to chase after the rats while his goods are burning. Soothsayer did not understand what he meant because the scuffle between the wives of Book has subsided. Chief Book told him to come back the next day that he is still around for now. Soothsayer said to Book. I have come to tell you something serious. It is said that if someone sees a case that is greater than a farm the person will sell his barn. Soothsayer narrated the business he had with Jerry the junior brother of Book. How he lent him some money to pay with an interest in a years’ time with fifty percent interest. Now Jerry has sold the land he used for collateral to chief Andrew of Umueke land. Chief Book asked Soothsayer, where is Jerry now? Have you contacted him? Soothsayer said no, he has gone to see Jerry and discovered that he has gone to the city to bail his son that is in a police custody. Chief Book is hearing for the first time that Collins the son of Jerry his junior brother was held by the police. He was not even informed that Collins his brothers son is about to travel to America. Jerry has committed a double offence. Chief Book is an intelligent man. He did not allow it to be seen in his countenance that Jerry his only brother will be sending his son Collins to America without informing him. He said to Soothsayer, I did not see my junior brother Jerry and he has not told me he borrowed any money from you so there is nothing I can say than to report to you anytime I set my eyes on him. Soothsayer told him that this is an urgent matter because Chief Andrew he knew has taken some workers to the land to clear the land for the land goat killing ceremony. Book told him that for now there is nothing he can do or say for he has not heard from his brother Jerry. Of a truth I am hearing this for the first time. Soothsayer raised his shirt up, take it to his mouth and use his teeth to tear his shirt and got up and left with anger. When Jerry heard that Soothsayer is angrily with him, he stayed back in the city and refused to show face in the village. Soothsayer went to see chief Book on the same issue again. Book told him that he was not there when they transacted a deal. Did I not hear when you said that he will pay you in a years’ time and pay your money with interest. The soothsayer said, that was our agreement. Book asked him, is it yet a year since you lent him the money. Soothsayer said no, it is just three month. Book asked him, and what happens to the next ten months that are left. The soothsayer felt defeated. Book told him that whoever is owing must surely pay someday. On the day of the goat killing for the land according to their traditions, Chief Andrew gave the community seven goats to kill as against the one goat their traditions recommended. The people were very happy and jubilating. Many cartons of beer and malts were brought by the Hilux van owned by Chief Andrew. When the people saw this drinks and goats for their refreshment to welcome Chief Andrew to be part of them as a landlord in their midst. Many people had turned to a town crier carrying the news to all the corners of the community. The youths came and waited on the land saying that Chief Andrew has not given them their own rights so he will not be allowed to enter their community that day. Chief Andrew moves with police escort. He is a very wealthy man. Chief Andrew alighted to the place the youths had converged waiting for his arrival. The youths were saying he has not settled them so he is not welcome. There Chief Andrew gave the youths a sum of one hundred thousand naira and all of them were jubilating and made their way to the feast ground. The soothsayer went to the town crier to tell him to stop the announcement for the land has an issue and the entertainment should stop. The youths don’t want to hear such for they had collected their money. The youths don’t want Chief Andrew to hear about Soothsayer’s agitation so that he do not demand for the refund of his money from them in discouragement. The youths went to the soothsayer’s house and used a rope and tied him on his hands and legs. They also used a cloth and covered his mouth that people will not hear him to come to his rescue. The youths locked the door of Soothsayer from outside while he was inside. When the wife of the soothsayer returned from the farm and saw the condition of her husband, she alerted the police but the whole youths took to their heels. Soothsayer told the police to go and stop the occasion and arrest the Chief Andrew, buyer of the land. The police told him that he should better go to the court for it is not there duty to judge such matter. Chief Book did not go to the occasion because he don’t want Soothsayer to feel that he is siding his junior brother against him. Nobody knows tomorrow, Chief Book said. The following morning, chief Book went for his hunting expedition.
When Chief Book has gone far from the house, there was a large outcry in his compound as if somebody has just passed on. Tonia told her first son how Lizzy had torn her skirt and fought with her. Her son Bobby went out from his room and went straight to confront Lizzy in her apartment. Getting to the hut of Lizzy some of her children had gone to fetch the early morning water from the stream. Tina the first daughter of Lizzy was sweeping in front of their hut. When she saw Bobby coming to their hut in a strange mood, she suspected that all is not well. Tonia is a kind of woman that does not forgive someone.
If you offend her, be sure she will surely come for a revenge. She was embittered that after the quarrel the other day, that did not make Chief Book her husband to invite her to his apartment during the night. She wants to download the whole anger on Lizzy. She was not sure if Book invited Lizzy for the night but she has concluded within her that the reason for Book not inviting her was Lizzy.
She wanted the fight to continue after all Book is not around to separate them. While Tonia sent her son Bobby, she is getting ready to fight because she knew there will be a retaliation when Bobby launches an attack. Tina is a year older than Bobby. Tina blocked Bobby jokingly saying, as you frown your face, I hope all is well? I did not come well Bobby pushed her aside. You pushed me?
Tina reacted. Yes I push you, what can you do. You asked what I can do. If you near me now I will deal with you Bobby said. Deal with me? Did you dream about me last night Tina said? While both were talking on top of their voices, Lizzy was disturbed by the noise and came out to see what the problem was. The moment Lizzy came out of the door of her apartment, Bobby ran to her and tore the wrapper she tied on her chest. Hoo, Tina shouted, you naked my mother? She ran and took a broken block and landed it on the head of Bobby. Blood was flowing down his head like where one opened a tap. Tonia heard when Bobby shouted my head, my head, she ran out with her mortar to fight Lizzy. When she lifted up the mortar to hit it on the head of Lizzy, Tina collected it from her and used it on her waist and she fell down on the ground. The noise attracted a crowd from the neighborhood. Neighbors quickly came in to separate the fight. Bobby was rushed to a nearby chemist for some first aid treatment. Tonia was defeated again by Lizzy and her daughter. A message was sent to fetch Chief Book from his hunting field. Book was not happy with Tonia at what has taken place again when he went out for his business. Neighbors advised Chief Book to separate Tonia and Lizzy so that they will not kill themselves. For that reason Book decided that he will stop his hunting expedition and do with Palm wine tapping. Book decided to be hatch with Tonia and closer to Lizzy his first wife. That did not help things but aggravated the situation. Palm wine tapping and selling does not keep him away from the house for the whole day like hunting expeditions. Hunting gives him more money but the kind of family he has had become an obstacle to his hunting prowess’s. He called a meeting for all his household one early morning. He asked them what is it that is making them fight one another all the time. Have they forgotten that they are of the same blood? The children said their own parts. He tried to correct them and resolve the bone of contentions. When two elephants are fighting, it is the grass that bears the pain. He told them that a mad person does not shame but his relations feels his shame. How can this kind of things be happening in the house of chief Book. He was called Chief Book because he saw the importance of education on time and embraced it so people calls him by that name book. He said he don’t like illiterates for their characters looks queer. He told his children they are fighting like illiterates. What proves that you are the children of Book he said to them? I have gone through this community and had seen all the characters of the people, it seems that my children’s characters are worst. That is an evidence that your mothers are not training you people. Hold it there Lizzy challenged, what do you mean that their mothers are not training them well. Is it women that trains children? You were busy inside the bush trailing animals and bush meats and now you are apportioning blames on your mothers. Is it your mother that trained you? Lizzy reacted angrily. When Book saw the situation he said that the children should go out for their domestic duties. Book is a smart man. He don’t want his wives to challenge him before his children. He says that is an insult to a chief. When the children has left, it was left himself and his wives. What is the matter my dear, Book said? Nobody answered him among the two women. I said what the matter is or is there some water in my mouth that you cannot hear me well? Chief Book repeated. You are the matter Tonia said. How, Book asked? Tonia did not say anything. I say how? Book repeated. Is your name not book again? Do you need someone to teach you? Haber she said. Lizzy still kept quiet. Am I not giving you people enough supplies of food and meat Book said angrily? Is it only food that is used to train person Lizzy asserted? What is food, are we starving before we married you that you are saying food to threaten us, Tonia said. There are three basic necessities of life we were taught at school. They are food, clothes and shelter. Are you lacking any of them answer me the wives of Chief. That is what you learn in your school Lizzy said. Did they not tell you that the greatest is love? Tonia added. Oh that’s wonderful, did I not love you my wives? Love Tonia hissed. What kind of love do I deny you? I hunt the best meat for you, at least in this community nobody eats the best meats than you. So eating the best meat means love as your teacher taught you my dear? Tonia responded. That is why you neglect your home? Lizzy said. Neglect my home, how? If you are man enough you will not be asking me this question Lizzy said. What do you mean Book said looking for something to throw at her. This is the fruit you have planted in your home, fighting with weapons Lizzy said, don’t worry let me get you one to throw at me. My lover man she hissed. The two wives of Book was against him in the meeting. No one is talking in support of him. Could it mean they are tired of me and this marriage Book said in his heart? When he see that he is not getting his deserved respect, he said, you people have not understood Chief Book of all people. Do you realize that in this community after the King is me? We do realize my husband, but we know that the king is not training his children and home like you do, Tonia said. How does I do the Chief tried to express in a friendly way. You should understand Lizzy said. When you start ruling over your family we should know. How, Book shouted at her? Being a husband does not mean impregnating a woman Lizzy said. So you mean I am a husband on bed? Only on bed? Chief Book ranted the more. You women has not told me what you are unto he said. When I came to marry you people you were behaving like a good person and now I can see you are the opposite, Book said to both. Sir, Tonia said, do you know a man makes a woman to love him? That means you did not love me? Book said. I did not mean that, Tonia said. I mean you should understand, Tonia said, I am yet to see that Book in you. That darling I married. There should be a bother line between education and illiteracy. Tonia said politely. Oh hoo! Book said, when a woman begin to show herself a man will run. Run to where? Lizzy said. Run, not in this house. You are already getting what you have bargained. Lizzy hissed. I can see, you two are like an atomic bomb that has been prepared to explode one time, but it is not for Chief Book. You will know that I do not answer Book just like that. Be man enough Lizzy said, make you home and let people see the book you answer in your home not in your name for goodness sake. When I was a youth I use to be hot, when I was in school I am always taking the first position so why am I not man enough? It seems the razor is no longer sharp Tonia said. What do you mean, what is it that I am lacking? Book said. You are not lacking anything but there is no peace in your home let me ask you what is greater than that? Tonia said with a loud voice. A mad person does not feel ashamed but his people. Book pulsated and bent down speechless, the key of his bike fell from his hand as he kept nodding his head. I can see, I can see he said. That is why when I went for the hunting expedition you will turn the whole of my compound to a war front? Book ranted. Are you not ashamed of yourselves? When I had two of you in the house I did not know I have nobody. You mean I am nobody Lizzy said to Book. You called me nobody Chief. Have you forgotten when you were chasing after me begging me to marry you? Now you call me nobody. That mouth you use to call me nobody you will see, she slapped her right hand on her lap. Men of this days, Tonia added, now you have destroyed my beauty and I am nobody to you. Marry a young girl and throw away the old woman, let me tell you, the old woman was once a young girl. If I knew you had married before I would have not married you. I am nobody, you rented a flat for me and lied to me that you had not married even when you already had three children with your wife. Does that make you somebody? Tonia asked. I hate liars, Tonia cried, if you had not come to me with lies I would had made a right choice. You mean I am a wrong choice, chief book is a wrong choice? Book slapped his chest two times with his right palm. Women cannot be trusted Book said. What did women do to you? Lizzy shouted, Is your mother not a woman? Is your father not a man Book shouted back at her? Why are men liars Lizzy said? You are now denying me. Of all I did for you? Book. Oh, she wiped some tears from her face too. If I know you are like this I will not agree with you. She said. Book never knew the meeting he had tagged peace making will go weird like this. Well everybody has said his and her opinion. When the children were hearing their parent’s voices going up and down all of them went near the wall to be peeping and listening if there is a fight going on so they can recruit as usual. Lizzy came outside to clear her nose and saw all the children hiding by the wall listening to their discussions shouted at them what? Will you all go to your domestic works now? Like father like children. You children are too lousy. The whole children ran from the wall and near the door. Lizzy went back to meet with Book and Tonia. Book knelt down to apologize as he saw that being hot could not restore peace to his home. Tonia rushed him and said, get up Daddy, you cannot kneel down for us. You are a title holder. We are only telling you your past mistakes. The earlier you correct them the better things will get for us. Be pleased to accept our weakness and correct us when we had done wrong, she said. We are your wives. You had married us. We have been living together for the past twelve years, so why would we not amend our mistakes and be fine. Lizzy added, holding Chief Book up to his sit. Chief Book could not believe he has an intelligent wives like this, for this is the first time a woman can defeat him in argument. He remained quiet for some time. He said in heart he could learn something from this meeting. He said in his heart that he could confess he never see his wives being so reasonable. He was proud of them again. But could this bring a lasting peace to his entire home? He said in his heart. He loves hunting expedition but fighting and continuous quarrels in his home had made him want to give it up. Palm wine tappers can be rich if they are serious he said in his heart. While he was quiet and not talking, Tonia touched him and said, Chief are you here? Immediately Book realized himself and said, oh dear. Lizzy said, let us pray. All of them held hand together and prayed fervently to God to restore peace and love again in their home. Chief Book concluded the prayer by making some positive pronouncements upon his entire house hold.
A great music was playing at the market square. It was orie day. Orie is a market day out of the four market days in Umuegbe community. The culture of the people of Umuegbe demands that Orie day is a free palm wine drinking day in Umuegbe community. Nobody sells Palm wine in that Community on the last orie market day of the month. It is a day they celebrate the freedom of their land after being through so many wars with other communities and were victorious. Orie market day is a very colorful day in Umuegbe. All the palm wine tappers will bring all the palm wines tapped on that day for everybody to drink as you like. There is no take away, you will drink and fall inside the gutter if you like.