Corruption in the Congo (Finale)

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"We need to go to Bulawayo...and Obawe will be our guide." Jed said confidently.

"How come you so sure? You act as if you..."

"I SAID," Jed broke in "We are going to Bulawayo and Obawe can take us there!"

This seemed to shut Ngubu's mouth for the moment as the two walked to the other side of the village where they could meet Obawe. After Ngubu explained to him what Jed wanted, Obawe shook his head and spoke fervently, waving his hands.

Ngubu explained "Obawe says that the Jabarus are nowhere near Bulawayo!""We're going to Bulawayo." Jed said a final time and with this, the three set out.

As luck would have it, Bulawayo was only a few hours away. Jed was relieved. After everything he had been through, he was anxious now to find his father and get back to the US.

Upon entering Bulawayo, Jed was surprised to see such a domestic setting. He had a mental image of warring tribesmen and war-paint, of blood and sacrifices. What he found instead was basketry, weaving and children playing water games. Obawe began asking some nearby men some questions. In response, they pointed to an elaborate hut in the center of the small village.

When the three walked in, a soft voice spoke up "Jed, is that you? Ha! Yes it is!" In the center of the hut sat a very regal, Jabaru tribesman, obviously the chief or close to it. However, standing next to him, soon running over to Jed, was an elder white man - smiling and wrapping his arms around his son.

"Father!" Jed exclaimed and likewise wrapped his arms around the frail man. "What happened? I don't understand. I thought you had been captured!"

Joseph explained. "I WAS captured, but not by the Jabarus. Jaru, our final guide, led us right into a sacred territory of the Galinkas. They took us captive - all except one. They told us at that time that we were to be given away as slaves to the Jabarus. I talked them into letting Obawe, our other guide, go so that he could wait at the village for you to arrive. I just knew you'd figure your way there! I just thought that it would have taken you a lot less time to do it, though! Anyway, Charles and Joseph escaped. I thought that they were going to bring back help. However, once they found out about the gem mine, they must have given in to their greed and come back for them. Well, it doesn't matter now. You're here, and that is all that is important!"

Jed broke in "But what about Millie...and Charles...?"

"Oh, didn't I mention that? They arrived here yesterday. It seems that the Galinkas spotted the both of them! They remembered Charles and immediately took them captive. When I heard about it last night, I went to the village to speak with them. They told me everything in hopes that I would help free them. I guess there was some note that Charles sent Millie in code. She couldn't find his notes in order to translate it. She thought that she could ask you to translate it and then beat you here to leave with the gems before you found me. Actually, she told me that she thought that you would have never come here - that you just didn't have the fortitude to brave the mission...And, if that didn't work, she hired some poor, greedy guide to lure you into the jungle and leave you there to die..."

Jed just looked at the sheepish-faced Ngubu. Then, turning to his father again, "Enslaved? I wished I brought something to barter with..."

"No need, Son. Once I heard the story last night, I knew you were close and I decided to collect on an old favor. I learned the symbol writing system of the Galinkas while captured by them. When sold to the Jabarus, I told the Chief that I knew their writing and would freely translate it as needed. I agreed to teach some of his subjects the writing on the condition that once my son came to the village to bring me home, that I was free to go. The Chief agreed and I then waited...and waited. Until now...So, I am ready. What did you arrange? Boat? Plane?"

Jed shrugged "Dad, let's just get back to Beira. We'll worry about the rest later..." With this, the four headed out, led by Obawe and Ngubu.

A little later, Jed asked "What ever happened to Charles and Millie?"

"Well, I tried to talk to the Galinka Chief, but he wouldn't see me. I am afraid that they are facing the future that they thought they were leaving behind for me..."

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