However, the hospitality and friendliness of the previous village was gone. I wandered about, and no one invited me to eat with them, not even Sego. I walked up to one campfire and made signs of eating. Actually, I was no longer hungry, but I wanted to see if they would give me any food. They handed me some, but did not ask me to sit down with them. I went off and sat down alone. Soon, Aidee and Grinny came over and started a fire. Nearby was a thatched roof hut with a small doorway, but no door. I sat down near the fire, facing the moon. Aidee and Grinny took up positions on the other side of the fire, across from me. They stared at me without any emotion and made me feel as though I was being stalked. To show nonchalance, I started to sing every popular and college song that I could think of. I was determined not to show any fear or concern. Earlier that day, Aidee had conveyed the idea that he had been to the coast and was a more worldly person than the rest. As we sat around the fire, he pointed to the moon, perhaps to indicate that I had arrived at the wrong time. Next, the two men arose and approached me slowly. They sat down on either side of me, brushing my sides. This was too close and threatening, so I stood up immediately. I believed that they wanted to subdue me. Looking around for some way to lessen the tension and give them a reason to leave, I headed for a nearby hut and crawled through the doorway. I crouched inside the hut, hoping they would go away, but they didn't. Aidee and Grinny approached the hut, reached inside and tugged at my shoulders, indicating they wanted me to come out. I thought that perhaps these natives were envious of my attentions to Sego and his little boy, so I stepped outside. Immediately, several natives, including Aidee and Grinny, closed in around me. They all carried spears or bows and arrows. Without actually jabbing at me with a spear, they prodded me up a path that led to a small incline. Soon, we reached a circular hut. In the dim light I could make out a small stick device fastened above the doorway. Resembling the strange sticks I had seen at the first village, it presented a disturbing sign. My escorts gestured for me to go inside. Having little choice in the matter, I bent down and entered the hut. Four natives followed me, bringing along a firebrand with which to start a fire and the ominous bamboo blood tube. My heart sank lower as all of the signs were most foreboding. Someone started a small fire in the middle of the hut; another gave me a grass mat, suggesting I lie down and sleep. "I always sleep sitting up," I said, knowing that they couldn't understand me. Talking aloud gave me confidence. Sitting on my mat, six feet away from the doorway, with my back against the wall, I realised that I was in a most vulnerable position. Even if a melee ensued and I shot some of them, those remaining could block the door and prevent my escape. I pressed my hands against the bamboo wall and concluded that I couldn't break through. After a while the hut filled with smoke, as the roof had no opening. Seizing on the situation, I began to cough and wave my arms to indicate to them that the smoke was too dense. One native stood up and tore a hole in the roof, to allow the smoke to escape. This created the diversion I needed, and from my crouching position, I bolted for the opening and emerged just in front of the door.
As I came out, I drew my pistol and charged it, putting a bullet in the chamber. The hammer was now back, ready to fire. I then slipped the safety switch on and dropped the gun back into its holster. More natives appeared outside, so I elected not to make a run at that time. Those inside the hut came out, bringing the fire and the bamboo tube with them. Again, by mutual consent it seemed, we moved down the path away from the execution chamber to another hut. This one was rectangular, with a porch-like extension, and open on three sides. We stopped, and I was escorted inside the covered hut, given a grass mat, and told to lie down. Taking the mat, I sat facing the interior of the enclosure, with my back vulnerable to the outside darkness. The natives then stacked their weapons against a post, still playing it pretty cosy. They started up the fire again, and once more we sat eyeing each other. Some of the men decided to smoke or chew some betel nut. They made some square motions with their arms, as if to say, "See, I have nothing to harm you with”. They wanted me to see that they weren't making any overt moves. So, I let them smoke and chew. Most of the men who chewed took betel nut with some lime from a small gourd. They would put a little lime on some leaves, chew up a bit of betel nut, and then spit it out in their hand. Every once in a while, they would put the betel nut combination back in their mouth, after looking at it. The headman chewed with great dignity. He had a little fibre bag which contained a broken mirror. After chewing for a while, he would reach into his bag and pull out the mirror. Then he lay out the mess on his tongue and looked at it to see if it was the right consistency. Because he had the mirror, he did not have to spit out the betel nut into his hand. That made him kingpin. While we sat in the hut, I did not like having my back to the outside. Sego and his little boy were inside too. The boy's job was to keep the fire going. It might have been a sort of initiation ritual for him. The boy was only about six years old, and he was there against his will. He kept crying. Suddenly, Aidee took a brand from the fire and stuck it right in the child's face. After that the little boy stopped crying and kept up the fire real well. That didn't make me like Aidee any better. The contingent inside the hut included Sego, his son, Grinny, Aidee, the headman, and a lookout who sat in the back. I could hear more natives rustling around outside the hut. I was afraid that if we sat there long enough, someone might stick me with a spear from the outside. If I could just get in the
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