“The spirits have agreed to send your brother back to you, but some sacrifices must be made” The Chief priest suddenly said.
Great, that was the part i waited for, the price.
It had always been about the price.
“For the sacrifice” he continued, “You must return here in four market days, with A white cow, a white lamb and a white cock”.
The moment he mentioned the cow, i knew that i wasn’t returning there. My mind ran to Ichie Okafor Ude who had gone to Nsukka. He was most likely going to return with his own demands. He had only gone there to make enquiries. The Chief priest over there was going to make his own demands for sacrifice.
The way the Native doctors were making demands, it was only a matter of time before one of them asked for a human being as sacrifice. Of course it was going to be me since i seemed to be the closest thing to the missing guy.
Therefore it was important that i started to ignore their demands.
I needed to make them understand that i wasn’t going to be dancing to their tunes.
A white cow was going to cost anything more than or close to 100, 000 Naira. That meant that before i finished buying the other items he listed for us, i would be parting with over 200, 000.
And the Chief priest just gave us four market days to come up with the items.
We continued listening to him anyway.
“The cow will be released into the forest to replace your missing brother. The gods will take the cow and release your brother in its place” He said and hit his gong.
They all had gongs and bells, just like the fake Cherubin and seraphin Priests.
“You will bring a dog which will also be released into the forest to help search for him” The Chief priest continued.
I didn’t blame him. He had eyes and had seen how fresh i looked. He had seen how i carved my bears stylishly with an expensive dark eye glasses that made me look like a Hollywood actor. He had seen my almost new brand Mitsubishi lancer.
He must have know that i had money to buy all the items he listed.
“Are you his friend or brother?” The chief priest suddenly asked.
“He is his younger brother” Mr. Austin said before i could open my mouth.
I kept quiet and listened.
“From now until the four market days, you must not sleep with a woman in the same room. You must not eat anything cooked by a woman. You must not wear a cloth washed by a woman and you must not shake hands with a woman” He said.
I wanted to ask him ‘why’ immediately but Mr. Austin nudged me to remain calm; i obliged.
When the native doctor was done, i and Austin left the shrine and drove silently back to our own town.
Mr. Dan Nweke had a restaurant and Bar which he operated in the center of our town with his wife.
They sold all kinds of beer and Chicken peppersoup.
I wanted to pay Mr. Austin Off for his help; therefore i drove him straight to the restaurant and demanded for drinks and Chicken meat for both of us.
When the Meant was brought to us, it was done by Dan Nweke’s wife.
“Remember the chief priest said you must not eat what a woman cooked” Austin reminded me.
“Yes, how could i have forgotten that so soon” I replied him as i washed my hand and grabbed the Chicken leg She had brought for me.
“So, why are you eating the Chicken?” Austin asked as he grabbed his own and started eating.
“Well I am not sure a woman prepared the meat. He didn’t say i shouldn’t eat what a woman brought to me” I said.
“You must be careful and maintain what the Chief priest said” Austin said and washed down his meat with a sip of beer.
“Why should i maintain what he said?” I asked.
“If you dont maintain his rules, the sacrifice will not work” He said.
“What Sacrifice are you talking about?” I asked.
At this stage, Austin started to notice that i wasn’t going to make any sacrifice.
I wasn’t going to spend 200, 000 Naira and still yet, run away from women.
Why on earth did the chief priest singled women out?
Was it women that kidnapped my brother?
From the report i got from eye witnesses, no single woman was present during the kidnapping incident. Why did he single out women?
Ever since i was born, i had never seen a lonely cow in the forest. It had always been there with its owners.
How could the Chief priest believe that i would believe his silly sacrifice of releasing a cow into the forest?
My People seemed to be living in ignorance and darkness and at that stage, i felt that it was part of my duty to enlighten them rather than criticizing them.
They lived in the era where such things were believed to be happening by so many people.
Things were changing slowly, Christianity was taking over the idol worshiping.
Despite Christianity showing up with its own shortcomings, it was still far better than any idol worshipping anywhere in the World.
Christianity was light. Majority of its teachings were classic. The only issue i had with them was that most of its new generation Priests saw it as a means to enrich themselves and being a social critic, it was difficult to keep quiet.
According to history, There were old traditions that was destroyed by our immediate forefathers through their own method of religious and idol worshipping.
Then There was a time our people killed Twins. They believed it was an abomination to give birth to two humans at once. Christianity stopped that.
Christianity also over-powered the old idol worshippers through the ever evolving generational circles.
For some unknown reasons, i had overcome some Religious beliefs and was living my life as nothing, which i believed all of us were.
It was the reason why i gave chances to everybody to come up with his own way of solving my immediate problem, but so far, non of them had come up with anything.
They all wanted money and other items to Make sacrifices for me. They all wanted me to believe that it was only their method that would work perfectly but so far, nothing had worked because the missing Mr. Albert was still nowhere to be found.
Not even in Dreams.