the handcuffs snapped as they should and that no amount of tugging would open them; having reset them he put the key in the small pouch attached to his belt.
There is little twilight in Africa. Soon after the sun sets it is dark. He could see Chiromo's fire and, in the glow of it, Chiromo sitting on a low stool.
Presently the night sounds began. Someone was beating a drum at a distant village. A jackal barked far down the valley. Something rustled in a bush near by. The frogs set up their shrill chorus. A dog in the village began to howl, but stopped with a yelp as some woman threw a stick at it.
After a while the fires burnt down; there was silence, and Mokorongo judged that the time for action had arrived.
He came down from the high ground and skirted the village until he came to the path from Sijoba. Then he turned and walked boldly towards the cluster of huts. The dogs began to bark loudly but it didn't matter now: was he not a stranger travelling from Sijoba to Katora?