THE SACRIFICE | Episode 4


Continues from where the immediate previous post, THE SACRIFICE | Episode 3 (in Category >Drama and Sub >>The Sacrifice) stops.

ACT TWO | Scene 2

[Day I: Noontide]

Balogun’s house. His sitting room.

 

BALOGUN is sitting and fanning himself with a straw hand fan.

 

ADEROPO:

[from outside the door.] Ago onile o!

BALOGUN:

Ago ya o! Who greets?

ADEROPO:

[loudly.] The lion that roars

And the jungle trembles!

The rock that crumbles

The foe and his fortress in wars!

Proud son of a devouring inferno maw

And he himself in no way feeble.

And as gentle as the lamb in brawls;

Yet as fierce as a lion in battle!

BALOGUN:

Ah, noble Prince of Adáiyélabálà,

The Arẹmọ of Baalẹ Ogunsola

Our worthy king and generalissimo—

Come right in,

Arẹmọ Aderopo.

[Enter ADEROPO and SOWANDE.]

You are welcome, Your Highness. Have your seat.

ADEROPO:

K’ara o le, Baba. May you be strong. [Sits down. SOWANDE too.]

BALOGUN:

[calls.] Adunke! Adunke o!

 

[ADUNKE, his youngest wife, answers from within.]

 

ADUNKE:

O! Baale mi!

BALOGUN:

[To ADEROPO.] Ha, Arẹmọ! I hope nothing is the matter, that you have come at this time when the sun is vertically above the head—oh, I see! You have come to greet me concerning the arrival of my youngest wife’s sisters, haven’t you?

ADEROPO:

Erm—yes!

BALOGUN:

Thank you, Your Highness!

 

[Enter ADUNKE.]

 

ADUNKE:

Here am I, my lord. [Sees ADEROPO and kneels.] Ah, Your Royal Highness! I am on my knees.

ADEROPO:

Oh, how are you doing, and the children, and your sisters?

ADUNKE:

We are all doing well, Your Highness. Thank you.

ADEROPO:

Olodumare bless you. Rise up.

ADUNKE:

Aṣẹ. Thank you, Your Highness. [Gets up.]

BALOGUN:

Adunke, bring a gourd of palm wine for His Highness.

ADUNKE:

All right, my lord. [Exit.]

ADEROPO:

Baba Balogun, we really have not seen each other since after the last invasion on Kurunmi’s Ijaiye that our host just returned from, allying Ibadan hosts of the brave and strong Baṣọrun Ogunmola. You remember I was on the king’s errand to the Chief Priest of Ogun in Ọyọ to remind him of our yearly sacrifice as I have the duty of doing every year. But how did our host fare in general? Pray tell me Baba Balogun, Captain of the host of Adáiyelabálà. [ADUNKE enters with a big gourd of palm wine and a wide calabash. She pours into the calabash for ADEROPO.] Aha! That is all right. [He sips a little from it. Then, to BALOGUN…] Who is the tapper of this palm wine?

BALOGUN:

It is Oduleke the palm wine tapper, who has his house five roofs away.

ADEROPO:

Bravo to him. [Continues to drink.]

BALOGUN:

He sure taps well. Erm, Adunke, call your sisters; the prince wants to see them. He has come this sunny midday to greet us for their arrival.

 

[Exit ADUNKE.]

 

SOWANDE:

[Aside to ADEROPO.] No doubt the beauty of your maiden that you saw at dawn will surpass that of all her sisters, Your Highness!

ADEROPO:

I really suppose so! I have never seen such beauty before, Sowande! [Gulps the rest of the palm wine down and cleans it off his moustache with his hand.]

BALOGUN:

How was it?

ADEROPO:

Satisfying; but not as much as seeing your beautiful sisters-in-law shall do!

[Both giggle.]

BALOGUN:

And maybe you might think of having the hand of one of them in marriage soon…?

ADEROPO:

[laugh delightedly.] Ha-ha! Really, you mean you will love it if I should venture and ask it?

BALOGUN:

With all pleasure I shall support, in fact!

ADEROPO:

Ha-ha! I actually thought to ask in the first place!

BALOGUN:

Then I guess you wouldn’t be asking in vain, because you shall have me to support in your wish, Arẹmọ. [The ladies, three, file in along with ADUNKE.] Here they come—my beautiful sisters-in-law! [ADEROPO looked keenly to see ‘his own maiden’. To sisters-in-law, BALOGUN speaks, patting ADEROPO on the shoulder.] This is Arẹmọ Aderopo, great Prince of Adáiyélabálà.

ALL SISTERS-IN-LAW:

[kneel.] Your Royal Highness! We are on our knees.

ADEROPO:

I greet you, wonderful sisters. Rise up; may the gods of our ancestors keep you.

ALL SISTERS-IN-LAW:

Aṣẹ. Thank you, Your Highness. [They get up.]

 

BALOGUN:

And Your Highness, these are the sisters of my youngest wife, Adunke. [Points to them one by one.] Meet Ojuolape; and meet Adunola—and this is Morenike.

ADEROPO:

[gasps.] Are these… all of them? I mean, isn’t there anyone left?

ADUNKE:

Yes, Your Highness—one. She just finished taking a bath—Eniola. She’s on her way, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

What do you call her name again?

ADUNKE:

Eniola, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

[dreamily.] Eniola…!

ADUNKE:

[calls out to backstage.] Eniola! Come on, hurry will you? [To ADEROPO.] Permit me, your Highness. Let me hasten her on her way… [Exit.]

ADEROPO:

[To the other ladies.] Oh, sisters, it is our pleasure to have you in our land at this time. I believe you have been enjoying your stay.

ALL SISTERS-IN-LAW:

Yes, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

You may kindly go.

ALL SISTERS-IN-LAW:

[kneel.] Thank you, Your Highness. [Exeunt.]

BALOGUN:

Is there anyone you take an interest in, Your Highness?

ADEROPO:

Not yet, Baba Balogun. Not yet.

 

[Enter ADUNKE with ENIOLA. ADEROPO immediately looks at the lady ENIOLA. She is a young lady with ample build. She displays effusive flirtation in her walking style, movement and her manner. She only ties a wrapper around her body and is without a top. ADEROPO and SOWANDE exchange a questioning gaze, noticing that this is not the maiden they saw at dawn.]

 

BALOGUN:

Oh, here she is. Eniola.

ENIOLA:

[walks with smooth gait to ADEROPO and kneels.]

Great Prince of this great land;

Conqueror of lands by the score

And people by the hundreds,

And never conquered by any man!

Ever invincible; never succumbing!

ADEROPO:

[rather flatly.] I greet you sister.

ENIOLA:

O, would that my lord the prince

Let his heart be conquered…

By a woman!

ADEROPO:

[with a cutting edge to the tone.] And what does that mean?

ENIOLA:

Ah, I do not mean to offend my lord.

What your handmaiden ask, Your Royal Highness,

Is that you give her a place in your heart,

Your Royal Highness. [Bursts into tears.]

 

BALOGUN: [shifts in his seat, embarrassed.] Howu…!

ADEROPO:

It is enough, Eniola. Rise up. That is enough.

ENIOLA:

[sniffing.] Thank… thank you. Thank you, Your Highness. [Gets up.]

ADEROPO:

But you see, Eniola, it is not so done in the culture. No woman woos a man. If I wanted to marry you I would have wooed you myself. [Pauses.] You may go.

ENIOLA:

[surprised.] Your Highness?

ADEROPO:

You may go.

ENIOLA:

[with some disbelief.] You… you mean, I… I—

ADEROPO:

May go!

 

[Exeunt ENIOLA and ADUNKE, the former embarrassed.]

 

BALOGUN:

So, there is none you do like among them?

ADEROPO:

Really, there is none I do not like among them—

BALOGUN:

[interrupting.] Uh? So why—

ADEROPO:

Pray listen, Baba.

BALOGUN:

All right.

ADEROPO:

I like every one of them, but I do not find one I think I’m in love with.

BALOGUN:

[sighs.] Hmm, I see… [Pauses a bit.] All right then, Your Highness, come over to the captives’ prison house [points to the backstage suggesting behind the house] and see the captives the host brought from the Ijaiye war—you have not come to see them since we returned. Come along.

ADEROPO:

Baba Balogun, I am afraid I don’t think I am in a good mood for that now; maybe some other time I shall come around to see the new captive slaves. But for now, I’m afraid I am not in a good mood.

BALOGUN:

Why, Arẹmọ Aderopo? Is it because—all right, I understand; but at the same time… [He holds him up and speaks to him aside] Arẹmọ, a man does not say he is downcast; a prince does not show it in his visage; and a warrior never even feels it!

ADEROPO;

Oh, I remember! I remember! But I am afraid I’m not in a good mood today; I shall certainly come back tomorrow, around this time, to see the captives we brought from Ijaiye. By then, I trust I would have got over some worrisome thoughts in my head now, Baba Balogun.

BALOGUN:

All right then, tomorrow!

ADEROPO:

Tomorrow Baba.

 

 

[LIGHT FADES.]

 

 

ACT TWO | Scene 3

 

[Day II: Noontide]

 

The captives’ prison house.

 

Action in dance and mime.

 

The captives—young and old, male and female—work in slave labour. They are dressed in work uniform, black upon black. Two slave masters—one in-charge of the males and the other, the females—whip them from time to time. There among the slaves are ENIAFE and ABEKE!

 

Enter BALOGUN and ADEROPO. The former shows the latter round as they inspect the slaves. Suddenly, ENIAFE is whipped by the female slave master and she yells and falls down, so much that it attracts ADEROPO to that side. ADEROPO bends to touch the slave on the shoulder and their eyes meet… (Drums and mime have a sudden stop.) ADEROPO springs back.

 

ADEROPO:

Huh! Who is this!? [Sighs. ENIAFE rises very slowly, looking at him menacingly. And ADEROPO sighs…] Eniafe! Eniafe!

BALOGUN:

You… you know her? You knew her before?

ADEROPO:

[turns to BALOGUN and speaks jerkily.] She’s… a captive?

BALOGUN:

Aw, what kind of question are you asking? Of course, everyone you see working here is part of the captives—or what has brought this kind of question, by the way? Or is she a relation of yours, or perhaps you had known her before we went for the war, uh?

ADEROPO:

[sighs.] No… No …

BALOGUN:

Ah, is the prince certain he is all right? [Calls him aside. Sighs.] Arẹmọ, I presume you are greatly affected by what happened in my house yesterday, namely, that you could not find anyone your heart loves amongst my sisters-in-law. Or what is it that troubles your heart, Arẹmọ Aderopo? Or then, have His Highness forgotten that he must never succumb to anything whatsoever? I do not see a reason why he should allow this mean situation to affect him this much! Your Highness, this mood is never characteristic of you at all. Or perhaps the Prince did not remember that heroism in war is for us manly men—but honour worship to women is for a womanish man! You are never womanish, War-lord of Adáiyelabálà!

ADEROPO:

Thank you, Baba Balogun, for reminding me those philosophies of ours through which we have conquered lands… [Nods.] I trust they shall be useful this time again, to combat valiant passion on its assault against my heart!

 

[LIGHT FADES.]

Watch out for Episode 5 | Posting  Mon May 11 …

Send private comments and enquiries to Kayode Taiwo Olla via kayodeolla@gmail.com, or simply text or put a call through him via the number +2347062280424.

[All Rights Reserved. Copyright owned by Kayode Taiwo Olla, 2014.]

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