Arrow of God
by Chinua Achebe
Arrow of God Chapter 14 Summary
- While he eats the food Nwodika brought, Obika watches Ezeulu.
- Ezeulu goes out to check for the new moon in the night sky panics momentarily when the sky looks unfamiliar. Then he realizes that the sky in Okperi will not look the same as the sky in Umuaro.
- That night he dreams about an assembly of Umuaro elders gathered together. But his grandfather gets up to speak to them and they refuse to listen to him. They decide to drive him away.
- When Ezeulu wakes up, Obika asks him why he was shouting in his sleep, telling somebody that he would see who would drive the other one away.
- Ezeulu realizes that he has just had a vision. He takes out some tobacco so he could think about it. He realizes he feels some relief to be away from the village, on temporary respite from his duties as Chief Priest of Ulu.
- Ezeulu turns back to consider the vision. He realizes that the quarrel he has with the white man is nothing compared to the issues he has with his own people. Umuaro had not been listening to his warnings for years. They kept going too far. He realizes it would be a good thing if the white man detains him for an entire year, so that Ulu can seek some answers from Umuaro.
- Tony Clarke refuses to see Ezeulu the next day in order to teach him his place. He refuses to see him for four days.
- On the second day, he and Wade drive to the hospital to visit Winterbottom and stop to watch an elaborate sacrifice going on by the side of the highway. In addition to the usual stuff, two fully-grown roosters are involved. They are both startled to see an English florin in the sacrifice. Clarke wonders what it's about and Wade takes the florin. He tells Clarke he can't see the King of England, whose face is imprinted on the coin, participate in some African juju.
- Clarke is worried about this act. He liked Wright and Wade, in part because they didn't take everything so seriously. But he realizes that if Winterbottom dies and he takes Winterbottom's place, it will be up to him to defend Africans from thoughtless acts like this.
- Ezeulu tries to send Obika home and tells him to send Ugoye to come and cook his meals. But Nwodika says his wife will cook for him. Ezeulu can't refuse the offer, so tells Obika to go home and send foodstuffs instead.
- Ezeulu isn't sure about Nwodika. He comes from Ezidemili's village, Umunneora; that village is full of people who poke fun of Ezeulu. But he can see that someone who may be your enemy at home is your friend when you are both in a strange place.
- In Ezeulu's compound, the wives and children are anxious. Nobody works. Obika's wife Okuata moves into her mother-in-law's hut so she doesn't feel so lonely. Edogo waits in his father's hut. Everybody who stops asks for news, which makes Edogo angry.
- Obika returns in the middle of the second day and can't resist the drama. He falls to the floor and calls for cold water. Finally Edogo asks him where Ezeulu is and Obika tells them what he knows – that Ezeulu is well, that he is waiting to see the white man, that the son of Nwodika and his wife are taking care of him.
- When Akuebue hears that the wife of a man in Umunneora is cooking food for Ezeulu, he tells Edogo to pack his bags – they're going to Okperi. Though Obika protests that Ezeulu's mind is sound, he is not convinced.
- Anosi agrees that Akuebue should go, but he suggests that Ugoye also go so that they don't offend anyone.
- Akuebue wants to know why they should care if anyone is offended. Ezeulu's life may be at stake.
- Anosi agrees. There is no reason to swallow poison just because you don't want to offend anyone.
- Nwafo especially misses Ezeulu and now he will miss his mother, too. But he's glad Edogo is going. Since Ezeulu left, Edogo had taken the opportunity to take out his anger and jealousy on Ezeulu's favorite.
- He is especially worried about the new moon. If his father is in Okperi, would it wait for Ezeulu's return? He hopes it does.
- At dusk, Nwafo sits where his father usually sits. Then he sees the new moon. He starts to reach for the ogene to beat it, but he is too afraid and he stops.
- Ezeulu is eating when Edogo, Ugoye, and Akuebue arrive. Edogo advises Ezeulu to go home and wait for the white man to get well again. But Ezeulu does not want to make this trip again.
- Akuebue admits to Nwodika that until he saw it, he couldn't believe that a man from Umunneora was looking after Ezeulu. He mentions the war between the two villages at home, and Nwodika says that travelers shouldn't make enemies.
- Akuebue thanks him and says that he is a friend of theirs, no matter what is going on at home. He brings out a razor and kolanut, and Edogo and John Nwodika have soon tied a blood-knot and eaten a kolanut with each other's blood.
- Akuebue asks how Nwodika ended up working for the white man and Nwodika says his chi planed it. He had come to the dances at Okperi and discovered the friend he always stayed with was gone. It turned out his friend was working for the white man, and encouraged Nwodika to do the same. He said that other peoples had recognized the opportunities and were now in good with the white man, whereas the people from Umuaro didn't even realize that life had changed.
- Akuebue realizes why Ezeulu likes Nwodika so much – they think the same. But Ezeulu is hearing Nwodika's thoughts for the first time.
- Nwodika explains that he had hoped that when the white man called Ezeulu, it would be a good thing for his people. He had not realized it would turn out the way it has.
- Akuebue assures him it isn't his fault but Nwodika continues to claim the blame.
- When they are alone, Akuebue continues to express his suspicion about Nwodika to Ezeulu and Ezeulu continues to express his faith in the man.
- Ezeulu asks Akuebue to finish the story he was telling him about his daughter, Udenkwo. Akuebue said that she is just proud and stubborn. Her husband had been told to bring a chicken for sacrifice. When he got home, he pointed at a cock; it turned out to be Udenkwo's. She got upset and said she didn't understand why it was always her chicken that had to be taken, instead of the other wife's chicken. The real reason she was angry, Akuebue says, is that her husband hadn't begged her.
- Ezeulu says that though everyman has his own way of ruling his household, he learned something from his father. There comes a time in every man's life when he must beg his wife for a favor. But this thing should be done in private, and a woman with sense will keep that secret for the sake of her marriage and her husband's pride. So although Ezeulu always knew that his wife's chicken belonged to him, and he could take it when he wanted, he always asked.
- Akuebue admits that Ezeulu's words are wise, but they must be told to his son-in-law. As for his daughter, he doesn't want her thinking she can run back to his compound every time she has a problem.
- On his fourth day in Okperi, Mr. Clarke called for Ezeulu.
- When the interpreter asks Ezeulu if his name is Ezeulu, Ezeulu is angered. But he keeps his calm. Instead, he asks the translator to tell the white man to go and ask his mother and father for their names. The translator explained that the white man didn't mean to insult him.
- Finally, Clarke scolds Ezeulu for being disrespectful when Winterbottom first summoned him.
- Ezeulu says he is still waiting for his message.
- But Clarke gets angry at being interrupted. Then he spoke about the benefits of colonialism. He doesn't like the speech itself, but he feels compelled to make it. The longer he talks, the angrier he gets.
- Finally, he asks Ezeulu if he will be the warrant chief of Umuaro.
- Ezeulu is silent.
- Clarke asks if he will accept the assignment. He asks in such a way that indicates he knows he is bestowing a great honor on Ezeulu and of course, he'll accept.
- But Ezeulu says he will not be anybody's chief except for Ulu.
- Clarke gets angry at Ezeulu's insolence and asks if Ezeulu is crazy. Then he orders them to send him back to prison.
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