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How a hunter obtained money from his friends.
Start of Story
It was now about eight o'clock in the morning, and Okun, the hunter's
friend, having had his early morning meal, went out with his gun to
receive payment of the two hundred rods he had lent to the hunter.
When he got close to the house he heard a crunching sound, and, being
a hunter himself, he approached very cautiously, and looking over the
fence saw the leopard only a few yards off busily engaged eating the
goat. He took careful aim at the leopard and fired, whereupon the
leopard rolled over dead. The death of the leopard meant that four of
the hunter's creditors were now disposed of, as the bush cat had
killed the cock, the goat had driven the bush cat away (who thus
forfeited his claim), and in his turn the goat had been killed by the
leopard, who had just been slain by Okun. This meant a saving of eight
hundred rods to Effiong; but he was not content with this, and
directly he heard the report of the gun he ran out from where he had
been hiding all the time, and found the leopard lying dead with Okun
standing over it.
Then in very strong language Effiong began to
upbraid his friend, and asked him why he had killed his old friend the
leopard, that nothing would satisfy him but that he should report the
whole matter to the king, who would no doubt deal with him as he
thought fit. When Effiong said this Okun was frightened, and begged
him not to say anything more about the matter, as the king would be
angry; but the hunter was obdurate, and refused to listen to him; and
at last Okun said, "If you will allow the whole thing to drop and will
say no more about it, I will make you a present of the two hundred
rods you borrowed from me." This was just what Effiong wanted, but
still he did not give in at once; eventually, however, he agreed, and
told Okun he might go, and that he would bury the body of his friend
Directly Okun had gone, instead of burying the body Effiong dragged it
inside the house and skinned it very carefully. The skin he put out to
dry in the sun, and covered it with wood ash, and the body he ate.
When the skin was well cured the hunter took it to a distant market,
where he sold it for much money. And now, whenever a bush cat sees a
cock he always kills it, and does so by right, as he takes the cock in
part payment of the two hundred rods which the hunter never paid him.
MORAL.--Never lend money to people, because if they cannot pay they
will try to kill you or get rid of you in some way, either by poison
or by setting bad Ju Ju's for you.