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Chapter 7

  • The journey went on without trouble. The canoe captain was nice to him. The river's waves were docile all the way. Crocodiles observed courtesy. And the guardians of the empire's doors were very helpful.
  • The lumberjack entered Okunde through its north gate as he had schemed. He checked the pocket of his white men's gown to grasp the magical empty white paper. He brought it near to his face, and to his great astonishment, the image of the young maiden reappeared. And like the first time, it became clearer and clearer.
  • This time she had on her the popular traditional wax-made women's gown, the Kaba. She was wandering across the streets. She walked past Mobu street, Madi street, Kada street, and Sanka street to the grand statue of the reigning Batang Emperor, his Majesty Batang V, the fifth ruler of the Batang dynasty.
  • Babida had not recognized the streets the young maiden was passing by but his attention was caught when the miss went past the Emperor's statue. It was one of the most famous monuments in the whole empire and it was situated nowhere else but in the center of Ekule village.
  • "What? So she lives in Ekule." Babida exclaimed, stunned, referring to the young maiden.
  • "I must go to Ekule right away." He told himself while hasting.
  • He walked in the direction of Okunde's west gate. From there he stepped inside Ekule through its east door. As he moved forward he glared at a wooden house. It was a chalet. It seemed to him colloquial. He felt like he had seen it already but could not remember where. And then…
  • "Oh, wait a minute! The magical blank white paper!" He shouted as he was recovering his memory.
  • "Yes, that's the house I saw in the image. That's the young maiden's hideout." The lumberjack uttered undoubtedly.
  • He started to stretch his neck, then his feet in an attempt to peep inside the house but it was hermetically locked. There was no opening. He paused for a moment to think about his next move. While doing so, he placed his hands on each of his waists, lowered his head slightly, and glazed the sand on the floor.
  • Then, for no specific reason, he turned to look in his back and could not believe his eyes. Another house but entirely identical to the previous one. A twin house. The only difference was that the window was open and he could spot from a distance the moving shadows inside.
  • Like a frog, the woodsman leaped over the tiny fence in front of him, and like a snail, he crawled quietly to the opened window. Yet, he was not tall enough to spy through comfortably. So he took a brick that was laid on the floor and placed it against the house plank wall, then climbed on top of it.
  • Unfortunately, his weight was too overwhelming for the poor brick which failed to resist and dislocated.
  • BAMM!!! The sound of the noise he made when he landed hard on his back.
  • And then an angry voice was heard.