In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

101 21 Levi came round in the thick of night four days after being shot. On the fifth day the door of the brick-walled hut creaked open and lights stormed his sunken eyes. He did not have the force to speak, so he moved his body painfully forward as if he wanted to rise from out of the mound of dry blood in which he was buried. The first warder who came in noticed a corpse move, at which he dashed his own load to the floor and crashed out, knocking against the comrade behind him and who, picking up the cue, flung his own burden at the door of the hut and turned round in contagious flight. By this time Levi had managed to drag himself on his left side to the door of the hut left open by the fleeing warders. His right breast plate was swollen right up to armpit level and he could feel where the bullet was lodged. If he was operated and the bullet removed, he could recover and resume active life. The worst was over, he thought, especially now that he was sure the fleeing warders would alert the authorities who would come and find that he was not a ghost but a wounded prisoner whose life could yet be saved. And Shechem, how was he? And Teacher Efuet. The two must have built a new, stronger relationship in the face of the adversity. And Yolanda, did she know that he’d been shot and abandoned to rot among other corpses in a lonely hut? Surely, the news must have been taken to her. Now that he’d survived the killing attempt, he would give her the baby she had so much longed for. He would take her to a good gynaecologist who would detect the cause of the miscarriages. She had suffered three of them in just as many years of marriage. He would do everything to have a baby stay in her stomach until delivery. He wanted to father a child and hold it in his arms too the way Shechem and his other colleagues held theirs and made him look like a misfit among married men. But all this depended on how she received him when he returned from his stay among the dead. Maybe she would flee the day she saw him. He would have to convince her that he was not a ghost but her husband who had mysteriously survived a shooting. Yes, he’d approached the main gate in a manner which could have left anyone with the suspicion that he wanted to jump jail. But he’d never contemplated such a cowardly thing. Jumping jail did not look like him. Such an act would not be different from caving in to evil. He could not jump jail because even in the event of success, he would be 102 saddled with the life of a fugitive with the risk of a higher sentence if he was caught, and the permanent threat of ridicule if he wasn’t. And all that for what? He would never give Motine Swaibu one minute of jubilation. The flame of guilt had to be kept burning in the fornicator and embezzler. He’d actually run towards the main gate with the intention of provoking the team on guard to action. He did not want to jump jail but to be killed. He really wouldn’t have minded dying. Sanko had become too weird for him. Not that he bothered that much about being in prison. But when the prison spun off its own internal tragedies, ate up inmates like a monster, it was better to die and be seen to have died rather than just disappear the way the others had disappeared. Too bad the shot didn’t end all that agony. How could a trained warder aim at close range and do such a bad job? The overzealous warder just needed to take his time and aim correctly. But that was all behind him now. He’d survived. That was the essential thing. He would return to the worries of life. A family. Motine Swaibu. His job. Each of these compartments needed him in its own way. His family especially. He had to build one. Yolanda was a good wife who hungered for the joys of motherhood. He did not know why babies did not want to stay in her stomach. That blight will be fought. If modern medicine failed...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.