Henry looked ahead and standing on a big cut off tree stump in the middle of the village was a young. Her laced white dress hung loosely on her shoulder, her dreadlocks a stark contrast to the dress. There were two boys each about eighteen years old, one on her right and the other on the left. Both were bare chested, their pants were cut off at the knees, their feet covered with sand and red mud. Another girl stood next to them, she wore a brown dress, made from a course material. Henry came to a stop in front of the young woman in the white dress. She had big hazel eyes, her face was the shape of a full moon, and her smile looked like it was painted by one of the great master painters. He was taken aback by her beauty and the innocence in her eyes. She waited as Kwao pushed Henry towards her; the others were silent as she looked at Henry intently,
“Who are you and where did you come from?” She asked, the crowd mumbled, she raised her arm and they were silent. Henry looked around the huts; they were in no particular order, just encaged into the lush trees. Two of them were burnt to the ground smoke still floating out of the rubble,
“Speak Kindoki or did Djab take your tongue?” Henry jumped as Kwao poked him with the spear. He felt his back becoming raw from the constant poking,
“Akosua is speaking to you.” He shouted, Henry looked around at the inquiring faces then spoke,
“My name is Henry we were on our way to a new plantation where my father was to work. A storm hit our ship, I was thrown overboard and here I am,” he said, still looking around.
“Lies lies, he was sent by the Ligaroos. We should skin him and take him to Congo Savanne so he can grind him up and eat him.” The villagers screamed, some hitting the ground with their spears.
“Silence!” Akosua shouted. There was immediate silence, not even the animals made a sound. Akosua spoke,
“We don’t practice in black magic here, we need to consult with Rada, the good spirit, he will tell us what to do,” There were groans from the assemble as Kwao spoke up,
“What if he is from that island? What if the Ligaroo King did send him?” He asked, and the villagers cowered at the mention of the Ligaroo King. Adofo stepped forward,
“Kwao you are always so negative about everything. Would you rather we consult the evil spirit Pedro, well would you?” Adofo asked.
“At least I think for myself,” Kwao retorted, a low guttural growl escaped his mouth, Adofo turned to the crowd,
“Akosua is right, we need to show some compassion I say we follow her instructions,”Adofo said, Kwao looked at Adofo with a smirk on his face,
“Lets do what she says, but don’t blame me when you wake up in the morning, and the Ligaroos have sucked the blood from your body,” he jeered, Akosua raised her hand
“Then you keep an eye on him Kwao, and be sure that no harm comes to him until we figure out what to do.” Akosua said
“Don’t worry, I will be like a fly in his coconut porridge,” Kwao said taking a step to Henry. The frightened young man stepped away from him and Kwao growled his dreadlocks swayed from side to side, his bloodshot eyes casted an evil stare at Henry.
“We will discuss this further in the morning,” Akosua said and stepped off the tree trunk. The crowd dispersed, some stopped to take a closer look at Henry,
“Kwao, take him to the dining hall and feed him,” Akosua said. Kwao hesitated,
“Now Kwao,” Akosua insisted. He pushed Henry and they walked to a big hut at the end of the village.
Henry stopped at the door and Kwao pushed him inside. Crude sculptures lined the walls. Long bamboo tables sat in perfect rows from one side of the hut to the next. Two small children sat at a table on the far end of the hut eating. They looked up as Henry walked in. Flies buzzed around them and dogs sat next to the table waiting for scraps. A girl approached them looking at Henry like he was a threat to her, but still, she showed her pearly teeth in a forced smile and pointed to a chair. Henry sat down and Kwao stood next to him, the boy looked at Kwao,
“What are you looking at Kindoki?” He barked, Henry looked away, and was startled by the girl who suddenly stood next to him,