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doostep, with four-year old gl seeping on her Kes. To Naw ors eye, the was enviably atracive, young looking, aod €or Fecchy siomp with the Kind of roundaess that realy sulted 2 fwomaa, his woman cadated peace and satisfaction, a stsfaction hae was obviously having a ealthy Incoce on her equally wel ded Guid Sh was dk, hs woman, shiny Black, ad not £9 iL Her hale wo plated the latest fashion, and when she filed and introduced herself 25 “your ne wife” the humiiy ‘femned abit inconsistent. Nau Ego fe th he shoul be bowing fo this perfect creature — she who had once bees acclaimed the ‘host beautiful woman ever een. What had happend co her? Why fd she become so haggard, ro rough, so worn, when this one Tooked like a pol that had sll to be disturbed? Jealousy Feat Bek angeeacaed Now Ego i tune. She ated this eye of woman, ‘Stoo would fatter a man, depend on him need him. Yes, Neale Would ke that He had insincelydiiked her own Sndepend- ocr, hough be had gradually been forced co acept her. But cow there wae this new drat. “Don't worry, salar wife wil ake the market thogs infor you. You go and sit and look after the babes. Jot show me where ihe cooking pace i, aad I wil ge you food ready for you." Tigo ave athe, She hed so lst contact with her people ce ofthis peroo adening her a “ecor wife” made rot enly ld But completely out of touch ashe was an uteae. She reseated it He was on ching to e ths addressed in hues where people guned a great deal by senior: hee, it TLogor, though the same belief still held, t was to « diferent ‘Seee. She ws wed to blog the sole woman ofthis house, wed fe having Neuf all to herself, planing with him what ro 40 with the lide money he cared, een though he had become slightly ‘eusv since he went to Fernando Po — a result of long elation, he had thoughe, But now, chs new menace. "What was abe to do? Te had been all ight wen this was est a proopect Not hearing seything deft from home, she had begs cel herelf that maybe the seni Owalum's wives had decided lgainst coming, Forse had sent messoges to Ibu to let Noa’ ‘People know that things were difcle in Lagos, that Lagos was hace where you could gee noting free, thst Naf’ job was not tery secae,dhat ae had to subsilse eet ving with er meagre robs She could maine cis creature hearig all about aod 8 laughing to her, “I 1s bd why a she thee? Does ‘he oot want me 0 ine?" ex ws ve, Nou Ego had ast seated her to come. What ed Neale wit? She had borne ie eh a ye bl ued Alen he wl sotag many cen wo write he ew Sid eon anton woe Wo tr aeody Ginkog tha sow the wes 3 ae in Lage she won| "Not Ego Bnew that her fater coud ot ep a, He wou say tbe thom ng hars re ne yo Teed {Soe o them, four oered cn the Sats fate, out sober was oly «mses who ref To ay. So why do for weet to sued our huanfs wey? Pees drat Gags So cise os tit opie. Whee Gna amet et BE troman tha to boa othr, and now you ax meter nee ‘ccghers who wil mary and go ba of goo looking healhy fons sad they ar he Sint sen f your hss sd you ee Be fae ad seaoc wile. Why do you wis Bhar Ike 3 woman trough op fn oot Rouchld?” And all hi fra buband she ad not woted inte Depining! ‘A hsband fo whoa se bad Sovod iar ye ss a cs be Hn oe he io seid tenty ad Sede cnders to Rint ho ait tment 90 was Seny eed povod belied Ee acy. New be tr lng wcghe cus of woking bad athe open he ter tien dd a Toa, alle loked yoga: than sf. wide he No Ego was oon td folg ery ld afte he bith of oly thee cen, The whole eng a 0 ua. ‘he rel daprty contol br ela to pron plese sot tae, tobe replicon tn ye sal etc ese Mromae ac her Looe: but she cold ot She hated ti lng {alld de Esopean wy, there people elled Chicane agit hata man must may Gy oe We Now bere was Newt tt ttre Bat pacing ts hae mart tec ou GE to cua frre, Yer se Hae the ogy be wold he Berto Foy his depaare fom monogamy. He would sty "7 dx frock for Dr Mews aay more. eck ar us-core for Oa igedae Refey Deprten, sad ey eifey many Medes nd eve pene” He had oly Ben gol Chitin to lng at IMP retool with Dr Mer depend o wa recy that (work wien Gey bed oon aco rey day a aga ng ‘nad made her to dependent on Noafe. She had bee in Lagos now or more tha seven yer, snd one could not change the habit of fe many yeas in two mites, humiliating as was to know that {his worn fesh from Tuna was watchg he ley ceding all ‘Be stroples and deletions going or Sa her mind. Adak Ihowever, was able to diguse any dlagst she fel by wearin faine snide which nelther developed Into a fll smile noc generated into a frown. Tike someone sodden awakened from a dep sleep, Nou Ego rushed pase ber and, standing by thee dooe wit the key polsd, {ald howsly. "Conte on in, and bring yout child with you. “Adaka, tied from ber long Jourrey, bit on her lower ip so hard ‘hate almost bled. Wichout saying a word, she carded the tleping child into the darkroom, then weat back tothe veranda torbiag in he things sad, as expected of ee. Nu Egos groceries. ‘She had peepred Berl for reluctant welcome something like this: and what alrernaie aid she hare? After mourning nine tole months fo thei husband, the had had enough of Towa at Teas for wile, People had warmed her that Nn Ego would be a Gifcle pecon to Bre with yet elther the acepred Nasi or pent the rest of her hfe struggling to make ends mec. People ‘home had sen er off co Lagos with ll thee Blessing, bu ehis ‘Beughter of Agbad so resented her, Na Ego wa lek there was to Tbuta man oe woman fo wees this kindof un-Tbo Ike con- dots many people would nr have believed i. Adaku dd ot cae, though; all se wanted was « home foe her daughter and her future cldren She did noc wast more then one home, 2s sme women did who maried ovtede he fanales of thee dead hus- Baads: No ir was worth some Romtion to have and kep one's Gilden together in the tame fay Foc he ow cies sake the war going to ignore this jealous cat. Who knows, se od her- (ell, Nnalle ght even Uke her. She only had to walt and ee, ‘Noaife wat delighted at his good forme, Beaming Uke child ‘preseted with anew toy, he showed Adsk, ar hie new wife ound ce yard He pointed oct this tnd that ober, ond be bought ‘ome pal wine to rast he safe ace. He took her daughter 26 fin and vowed to his dead brother that he would look ater his {analy se hia ows, He called Ona and introduced he lie gl ‘Dutt to him as Kester. Oshla, who suspected that hi other id got lke tht new ster ander ther, asked: 10 “when will they go back to where they came from, Father?” [Nose reprimanded him, calling hi 3 elich boy and saying thac if he was not careful he would row ito aelleh man who a ‘oe would help wea he was in dieu. Neale pot the feat of ‘the Devil ino Osha by eling him a ory which bead pened ‘on the ship, of a white man who died ‘minding hs owe busines. # ma . a ay pet! 2i7 Fey mt du wey i aE2Be Lae allay eH ee hyd Hie AE ‘Rind of here, busied herself throughour the evening to se the tears ashe prepared her own bed as good thing she war determined go i Ego fought back ‘od Adc ie sag HEAE PE ot: “Tim go and oo fess ‘he burried ia and, to ake em cetetaining people wo came nee forme 1A Hi gg% chic; the other members ase wu il saying hes om i of the family wer eating sting onthe foo. “You se, my brother's death mas bing changes am now the head, and you are the heals wale. Ad Peet ere eterse eer eee Ee aoe scare et or by ai ct rem i 3 i ‘Adin, when they all Tay downto lep. Far before the lst guest If, Nazfe was already ting Osha to go to bed because fe was geting ate. bat we cml stay vp longer than chi Fates “Don't argue with your father. Go and spread your mat and lee you too, out new daughter Dumb.” “The neighbour who had come to welcome the new wife took the hint and left. Did Naaife have to make Rimself so obvious? WH it Ht Ve BL e i F it L ib nh r ‘Te was a good thing she bad prepared herself, ‘tured out t0 be coe of those shameless modern ‘Now Ego didnot ike. What did she think she wat ‘think Naaife was her lover and nother husband, joyment 20? She tied to block her ears, yet could ‘Adaku's exaggerated carrying on. Now Fgo tased in tanger ll sight going through inher imagination what place behind che curtained bed. Not that she had to {imagining because even when she tried to Sgnore what ‘on, Adsku would aot let her. She giggled, she squeaked, sb exed td she Laughed ia turn until Nau Ego was guite convinced that i was all for her benefit. At ove point Nou Ego sat bolt upisht looking at the shadows of Nmaife and Adaku. No, she did not Ihave to imagine what was going on; Adsku made sure she knew. “When Naw Ego could stand ic no longes, she shouted at Oshia who supeiagly was lerping though 1 al: “Osby ‘There was silence from the bed, and then 2 burt of laughter, [Nau Ego could have bitwen her tongue off; what hurt hee most ‘was hearing Naaife remark: “My senior wife cannot go to sleep. You must learn to accept your “quietly, my new seife Adaku. Your seloc wife is ‘ike a white lady: ehe does not want noise.” m4 if iE i tine ine ie HE

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