| Quote #7
[Ukpaka:] "The white man thinks we are foolish; so we shall ask him one question. This was the question I had wanted to ask him this morning but he would not listen. We have a saying that a man may refuse to do what is asked of him but he may not refuse to be asked, but it seems the white man does not have that kind of saying where he comes from. Anyhow the question which we shall beg Unachukwu to ask him is why we are not paid for working on his road. I have heard that throughout Olu and Igbo, wherever people do this kind of work the white man pays them. Why should our own be different?"
The pride of the men of Umuaro is hurt by the fact that they are being forced to give free labor, while the nearby region, Okperi (their enemy), is paid for labor. They wonder why they are treated so disrespectfully. But the final question suggests that they also wonder if the white man has a legitimate reason. Is this treatment an act of revenge?
| Quote #8
"It is so," said Akuebue. A man can swear before the most dreaded deity on what his father told him."
Ezeulu uses the saying that "a man will not lie to his son" to criticize his own son Obika. Ezeulu suggests that he would seek revenge on Wright if only his son did what was required of him, namely listen to his father. Apparently, there are certain rules governing Ezeulu's ideas of revenge. He will seek revenge for his sons if they fulfill their duties to him as their father. If they don't, however, he refuses to help them.
| Quote #9
Ezeulu took out his ground tobacco and put a little in each nostril to help his thinking. Now that Obika was asleep again he felt free to consider things by himself. He thought once more of his fruitless, albeit cursory, search for the door of the new moon. So even in his mother's village which he used to visit regularly as a boy and a young man and which next o Umuaro he knew better than any village – even here he was something of a stranger! It gave him a feeling of loss which was both painful and pleasant. He had temporarily lost his status as Chief Priest which was painful; but after eighteen years it as a relief to be without it for a while. Away from Ulu he felt like a child whose stern parent had gone on a journey. But his greatest pleasure came from the thought of his revenge which had suddenly formed in his mind as he had sat listening to Nwaka in the market place.
Ezeulu thinks about his revenge on his people with pleasure and longing. They hadn't respected him as chief priest, they hadn't listened to his advice, and now they are going to get what they deserve. Ezeulu will frame his revenge in terms of the Feast of the New Yam, and his obligations as the chief priest. If Ulu's chief priest isn't in Umuaro, he can't perform the functions required. And if the chief priest can't perform the functions required of him, Ulu will exact his revenge on the people of Umuaro. It just remains to be seen how he will do it. In this sense, it seems like Ezeulu's revenge is indirect.