CONTINUED FROM; DECISIONS #14
By Mutebi Wilson
Yes, it was a brilliant idea that I had conceived but how feasible was it?
The holes? Indeed, the holes were an answer to this but was their size adequate? Could all the food and gourds fit in them? Besides, I knew that I was the only one involved in this.
And then it hit me that there was also Walumbe. He knew of my pledge to aid Nambi’s fragile darling. He was not about to sit back and watch all the drama unfold in a way that did not bend to his favor. He was probably watching me like a hawk, trying to decern my every move, and father could be on his side as well. After all, what I intended to do, would be an atrocity against the the almighty. It was as clear as daylight that Gulu wanted Kintu to fail.
I had to be fast at laying down my scheme if my plan was to succeed. This meant that I had to look for the place where the food and beer were to be placed.
I had to look for the head of the servants within the palace. First, I headed to the kitchen thinking that it would be where I would find him preparing the next task. However, the chaos of the chattering maids stuffed the air with unwelcoming tales of Ssebo Ddungu’s latest conquests.
At this point, it was obvious that he wasn’t close by. He wouldn’t have the tolerance for the nonsense that spilled out of their lips.
Father’s fields would be the next possible option. The trek to the fields was long, a journey that tore at my soles as the thoughts wandered to Ddungus mighty exploits; he would not be an easy man to decieve. He was a great hunter, the kind that wears the night like a cloak. It was said that Ddungu’s arrow never missed, however, it was his spear that stood as his greatest strength in hunting and warfare. He, was the embodiment of the god of hunters.
I finally found him among his hell hounds, five voracious red eyed dogs that snarled and barked at anything that moved. He’s hands stroked their fur coats in an attempt to soothe them. I always thought they were hidedous. How could such vile creatures be kind to their master?
He and Musisi were the two beings that I feared most besides my old father, Gulu. Musisi was the kind whose mere steps caused the earth to quake as he walked. He was a giant, the rumor went but in reality I had seen him and his size was as ordinary as anyone else’s in the palace.
I stood before Ddungu, mind focused as that of a soldier getting ready for war. The wheels spurn in my head as I broke down the scheme to the simplest detail. Perfect execution would get me the information I wanted; knowledge of where the task was going to be. Besides that, I did not want to get involved in a fight with the great hunter of heaven.
“So what were you telling me?” he asked.
“I was wondering if you know where Kintu’s next task will be,” I replied.
He raised his eyebrows and looked at me sternly. What was he thinking? Did he know what was running through my head? And if he knew, or had a suspiscion, what was he planning to do?
“Why do you want to know?” he demanded.
It was obvious that he was already suspecting something. However, I knew I could beat him at his own game.
I found the question disturbing and looked at the ground in a bid to find the perfect response. With what was happening, I only had to blunder slightly and I wouldn’t get away with it. It was then that I realized Ddungu intended to keep people like me from accessing that place.
Yet, if I was on his side, he would not keep me away. I looked him in the eye knowing that the answer had to be fast enough to prevent him from suspecting that I had been preparing a lie.
“I thought that it would be wise if someone could help to ensure that there is no cheating as far as the execution of the task is concerned,” I replied, “Think of it, that man has tore a rock apart with his mere hands and an axe and yet he is just a human being. Don’t you think that someone is helping him pass his tasks?”
Then there it was, the grin on Ddungu’s face. I felt a sense of relief, but kept my face stoic as I stared at him.
“Then we shall talk,” said Ddungu, “You know your father’s rage towards those who act against his will. I do not want that to happen either to me or to you.”
“Yes,” I answered calmly.
It wasn’t long until the two of us started to walk towards the place where the task was to happen. I had been right; the head of servants knew where the place would be. But how about the holes, was I right about them? And as for Walumbe, wasn’t he already following me?
It was then that I realized how slow I had already been.Walumbe was not following me. He was already ahead of me. He had already told Ddungu about my deal with Nambi.
That was the only reason why Ddungu had been reluctant to tell me where the place was. Ddungu was my friend and surely he would have given in without a doubt but that had not been the case. How far and for how long would Walumbe be ahead of me? Could I eventually lose to him as well?
But no, I was never going to quit at the genesis of the entire thing. I had to take my chances and this was definitely one of them.