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~~~~ CHAPTER  FOUR~~~~


    Chief Mgborogwu took Omenuko and his brothers and sisters as his own. Chief Mgborogwu made Omenuko his spokesman, because this Omenuko was no unimportant man. Above all, he was a very wise man. He was a talented speaker, and he understood things very quickly. This is why he was made spokesman for Chief Mgborogwu.

    The chief did him various favors so that he would be content to live with him and not have second thoughts about it. By way of pleasing Omenuko and his brothers, the chief did not treat them as strangers. He gave Omenuko and his brother Okorafo a place where they could build their houses near his own. And he gave Nwabueze a place to live within his own house.

    This chief, Mgborogwu, was an important and popular chief. He had a lot of money and yams and many cocoyams, likewise goats and chickens. But one thing he lacked, over which he constantly lost sleep: he did not have an adult son. He had male children but none of them was fully grown. He had married several wives but none of them had had a child in time. This caused him not to attach much importance to his wealth, because what the people of our land call wealth is the wealth of one who has money, marries, and has a son who will take his father's place when he dies. This is the kind of man our people consider to be a rich man.

    After several years had passed, this chief Mgborogwu fell sick. Traditional healers great and small came and prepared medicine, but to no avail. Finally the illness that gripped the chief was no minor thing. He therefore summoned those of his people who he thought would be able to keep all of his instructions to themselves until his death occurred. He then instructed his people, saying, "This will be so-and-so, that will be such-and-such." He also told them that when he died, they should not allow his Warrant [document of authority issued by the British colonial masters] to be lost because his child, his oldest son, had not yet reached maturity. That first son had been named at birth Obiefula Mgborogwu.

    Mgborogwu then said, "I would be very happy if you all would see to it that Omenuko would take the Warrant and hold it for my son, Obiefula, until such time as he is able to govern my land. I say this providing that the District Commissioner will agree."  These words saddened the hearts of the Mgborogwu people, because no chief speaks words like this carelessly. Things like this cause our people to quote the proverb, "If a wealthy man makes a will and then does not die, he will suffer the shame of [wrongly predicting] death." But finally the chief died. Omenuko had him buried in a way that pleased everyone.

    The chief was buried like someone who had a grown son, and so his people did not become a laughingstock. They were not embarrassed. This will show us that Omenuko's residence there was very useful to Mgborogwu.

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