Things Fall Apart
“One thing is clear,” said Mr. Smith. “We cannot offer physical resistance to them. Our strength lies in the Lord.” They knelt down together and prayed to God for delivery.
“O Lord, save Thy people,” cried Mr. Smith. (22.15-16)
“The body of the white man, I salute you,” he said, using the language in which immortals spoke to men.
“The body of the white man, do you know me?” he asked.
Mr. Smith looked at his interpreter, but Okeke, who was a native of distant Umuru, was also at a loss.
Ajofia laughed in his guttural voice. It was like the laugh of rusty metal. “They are strangers,” he said, “and they are ignorant.” (22.24-27)
Mr. Smith said to his interpreter: “Tell them to go away from here. This is the house of God and I will not live to see it desecrated.”
Okeke interpreted wisely to the spirits and leaders of Umuofia: “The white man says he is happy you have come to him with your grievances, like friends. He will be happy if you leave the matter in his hands.” (22.29-30)