- Jomo: Enemy Circles (Novel) – Season Two, Episode 15
- Jomo: Enemy Circles (Novel) – Season Two, Episode 16
- Jomo: Enemy Circles (Novel) – Season Two, Episode 17
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 18
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 19
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 20
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 21
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 22
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 23
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 24
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 25
- Enemy Circles – Season Two, Episode 26 – Finale
Jomo, a young nomadic man was betrothed to a fellow clan’s girl, Bonajo, and they were to be married during the merriment of reuniting at the designated reunion camp in mountains of central Africa. Unfortunately, a huge war campaign was to prevent that simple thing from happening until after more than three years.
Bonajo did not know for how long she had been staring at the fountain. Everything in the palace seemed to captivate her attention. The whole way of life here, from the beautiful architecture of the building, the exquisite veils and jewelleries the harem women wore, to the least of the kind of food eaten here. Everything was too perfect to be true. She thought life was very lazy here. For example, the women in the harem practically did nothing besides beautification, shopping, screaming at each other and resting, which seemed to be constant and non-stopping.
The harem was part of the bigger newly built and uncompleted palace of al-Badi in Marrakech, the power seat of the Maghreb kings. It incorporated all the women quarters in the palace, including their maids’ and servants’. At a corner was a special market that caters for the demands of the harem and its occupants. It was a piece of bizarre artistry that Bonajo’s simple mind found extremely difficult to relate with. Arches upon arches linked hallways to courtyards, chambers, gardens and numerous rooms of the splendid palace. Intricate calligraphy adorned archways and hall entrances, not to mention sweet music by melodious exotic musical instruments floating non-ceasing, only punctuated five times during the day by the timely calls to prayer.
The harem women were another collection of beautiful pieces of work of art. You can almost tell they are certainly not from the same race – different shades of skin, traits and hair colour and texture. The glittering jewelleries and expensive materials worn by the women further enhanced the charm of the harem beyond imagination. Sometimes their perfumery is too strong one can’t tell who is wearing which. They did nothing besides resting most of the times, everything was done for them – particularly the senior harem women or those favoured by the chief eunuch – Moalama.
Bonajo remembered Moalama, the chief eunuch. He could pass for an elderly plump woman. He was a man of high tastes and had a great deal of a sense of perfection. What she didn’t know was that he was an important figure in the harem’s politics. The king never questioned his choice for a suitable girl from the harem to sleep with; his most important duty and the one he never played with. And when it comes to the supply of jewels and other niceties for the harem women, the trust of which was put in the hands of Moalama, the king paid lavishly for it. First of all he made sure that the woman to visit the king’s chambers was pretty enough and adorned exquisitely enough to turn a whole army of men into a muted array of terracotta statues; that he never failed to work out.
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Those women Moalama thought of as not beautiful or worthy of the king’s bed would spend their lives in the harem without ever seeing the king or later turned into harem maids. The dread of that made even the favourites go out of their ways to please Moalama, in an effort to make sure that such calamity didn’t befall them. To say that the women respected the chief eunuch would be an understatement. In the harem Moalama was a king himself. They did all they could to please him so he could take them closer to the king or to those closer to him.
Bonajo never talked with Moalama since she arrived in the palace as a captured slave to be converted into palace maid. She was not expected to. She was considered a natural slave by virtue of her skin colour, and so the only position she stood to occupy was not that of having anything to do with Moalama, but rather that of a maid by the topmost luck from her side. Her black skin automatically qualified her to the one and only duty of serving. There was no way she could compete with the white Arab and European senior women even if she was asked to. She saw many black girls running errands about the harem. She herself was once asked to perform such errand but the language barrier soon made it a difficult task, and was left alone for the time being, to learn enough Arabic in preparation for a full duty of servitude later on. She was happy with that, though. She wanted nothing to do with the palace or whatever going on within and outside its walls.
Since she arrived at the kingdom’s capital she never stop thinking and scheming ways that would see her escape and return back to her lands. But she came to understand that in the harem there was no success greater than becoming the king’s concubine. According to her, being a concubine equals to being a whore; it contradicted her concept of a woman’s life, dignity and morality, and is entirely in contrast with the values of her culture.
It was not a hard life here, she was largely ignored for contempt sake, which was fine by her, and had not been doing anything else besides learning the obligatory Arabic language and Islamic religion. The maltreatment and contempt was, though, clear enough to manifest across language barriers, but then she was not expecting anything different. Other than that, she spent her days thinking about her scattered and mostly killed clan’s people. It was devastating for her to lose everything when she believed she became something. She was about to get married to the most desired bachelor of her world. It seemed like it was a dream – everything else she knew was no more. Life was simple, and then all this happened. Now she is in a middle of nowhere, with an uncertain future. Unconsciously, she reached for the leather pouch around her waist. Its texture reduced her loneliness. Having something familiar that belonged to her world was more precious than anything she could find within the palace or even the capital at large.
She was so engulfed in her thoughts she didn’t know when somebody was talking to her.
“Stand” the order was repeated with more clarity in case it wasn’t heard the first time. Moalama’s voice sounding so loud at that proximity startled her. She turned, frightened, and looked at the heavily kohl-lined eyes that were critically piercing her to the core. Dressed in fine coloured silk and jewelled sleepers, he looked like he was on his way to a wedding of his friend’s daughter, where he was an important figure in the entourage. From the gesture the half-man-half-woman was displaying, she understood he meant that she stands up. She did so.
Moalama looked her up from head to toe, with only his eyes moving and his diamond earrings dangling every time he turned his head to have a better look. He went around her like she was a cow in an auction, his mouth twisted to one side. The left wrist always bended and held towards his ribs, he called out orders in a rapid Arabic and went ahead out of the harem without as much as look back to make sure whatever orders he gave were executed. Perhaps he is in a hurry to attend a wedding, Bonajo thought.
Bonajo felt like she was just being abused. She became conscious of her body of recent, noticed how she was rapidly growing and forming curves. Sometimes she got so nervous coming out in scanty clothes, but knowing that probably no one cared, she stopped worrying. In the slaves’ quarters, she remembered some girls talking and looking at her. She could pick little Arabic, even before she started learning it here. She could tell they were discussing about her body. Something she took as not good.
She did not see herself as beautiful. She remembered her mother, though, telling her that someday she will turn into a beautiful woman because she inherited her type of body, but she never believed it, or even knew what that type of body it was. She saw herself as too thin, with legs too long to form a beautiful lady. Marra always emphasized her slenderness by trying to make her believe that only boys are supposed to be tall and lanky. It was a sad memory. No matter how many times her friend always tried to belittle her she knew she would never have a friend like her. Tears begin welling in her eyes. Her heart ached at the thought of her best friend, recalling the last time she saw her and would ever see her.
Bonajo didn’t know what was happening with Moalama’s order, as her thoughts brought these emotions that began taking a toll on her resolve not to be enticed by anything in the palace. However, from the way he looked her up, whatever it was, she could guess it was about her body.
As soon as the huge eunuch was out of the harem, a deadly silence befell the premises, and more than a dozen pairs of even deadlier eyes stared at her. Now, Bonajo was being given a genuine reason to be afraid. She never knew silence since she arrived at this place. It is always noisy with all kinds of noises, especially that coming from women laughing or high-shrill quarrelling. If it was not about her body or even if it was, was she going to be killed? Why is everybody looking at me like that? She witnessed jewellery theft dramas among the women several times, with the convicted being punished by the chief eunuch. It couldn’t be that she was suspected of such a thing? She never got closer to anybody, talk less of their possessions.
As she was planning to tear up in a mad run, a very beautiful, slightly grown woman with silky raven hair and glassy eyes that sparkled with the reflection of the down pour of the fountain water at the heart of the harem, and which Bonajo came to fear and thought of as the queen or something, left the gawking gathering and reached her. Bonajo’s heart skipped a beat. Help me Allah, she prayed. The pretty woman wore very transparent chiffon underneath of which she had on some extra tight tops and skirt. Nobody needed to explain to her who the woman was. She might not know her name or even her rank, but she knew that she was one of the most important women in the palace, if not the topmost.
“Well, well, well, am I not surprised?” The woman rather sang sweetly in Arabic with a melodious voice that competed with the flute playing at the background, as she took the same tour the eunuch took around Bonajo minutes ago.
“A black slave to grace the king’s chambers, Moalama must be getting slow.” She continued as two other beautiful creatures joined in, from the gawking onlookers.
The other one with beautiful brownish hair, green eyes and smooth honey skin laughed pleasantly, looked at Bonajo with intense contempt, her overflowing velvet gown lavishly caressing her body contours as she moved. She turned to the first one.
“Well, that should tell you something. You always think you are the most beautiful around here. Now we can compare you with your competitor”. The brownie laughed when she registered the sting of her words in the eyes of her victim.
“Of course I am the most beautiful around here,” the first one said deliberately, and rather coquettishly. She threw her hands in the air, sending her chiffon flying like wings. The other women pulled back, grimacing like a disappointed audience, watching the worst of stage plays.
“The king said it himself. He said it is something to do with the Arab blood.”
“Come on, give it a break. This is not the first time you lied so.”
The last one to join the scandal circle – an equally masterpiece of beauty, with gold, blond hair, translucent skin and delicate features retorted in a not-so-perfect Arabic. She dressed in an off-white satin, the colour further lightened her up, making her look even fairer.
“The king would sleep with a goat if Moalama said she is suitable. Besides, I should claim that the king loves me the most, considering the fact that I am the woman that frequented his chambers the most. He used to say I remind him of the ‘hurul-ein’; the women of Eden, if you know what I mean. But that was before you ladies buy your ways with Moalama.” She ended with a pout on her lips as she mentioned the eunuch’s name – apparently they were not best of friends now.
“Buy our ways!” The first one echoed theatrically. “Who can ever buy out that creature? So you are telling us that this dump-of-a-heathen too bought her ways with Moalama?” she asked, pointing a well-lacquered finger, carrying snaky designs of red henna at Bonajo’s direction. Bonajo looked at the fingers and thought they were cute.
“God, you are so confused, woman!” she finished angrier with the Blondie than the situation at hand.
Bonajo was caught up in this whirlpool of verbal war that was definitely about her; because she could only catch a little from the frenzy wordings coming out of the women’s mouth. The only Arabic words she knew better and could recognize, no matter the speed with which they were spoken, were the ones she prayed with. Now she was more confused than previously. The only thing that prevented her from resorting to her earlier decision of running away was the fact that the three women encircled her, and allowed no enough breathing space.
The three beautiful creatures continued their charade, throwing daggers and spears of jealous words at each other; an event they seemed to be used to, and one which Bonajo is getting suffocated, for she lacks an understanding of what it had to do with her. Then suddenly the three fell silent. Bonajo said thankful prayers, not caring if they were struck by lightning to make them all shut up.
The eunuch appeared unexpectedly and glared at the women. Without a word they all dispersed to their respective corners, into the comfort of their personal maids, but not without reciprocating glares in Bonajo’s direction. A soft music that gave up to the noisy tirade resumed with soft tunes.
Bonajo felt relieved to a certain degree. She also noticed that the eunuch returned with two other junior ranking eunuchs. To her surprise one of the newly arrived eunuchs spoke to her in Fulfulde. He spoke with another dialect but it was more understandable than any sound she heard around here.
“What is your name my lady?” He asked with a charming voice that carried a husky afro tune.
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That was the first time she heard someone spoke the Fulfulde language since she departed from her family clan at the Djenne battle. The sound of it in the middle of this jungle was almost as reassuring as her leather pouch.
“Bonajo.” She answered with unintentional enthusiasm. Why didn’t she find this man before, if he lived in this palace? She could have found some solace from him. Perhaps he too was from a cousin clan, even though he had a strange accent to his dialect. She really didn’t care and couldn’t hide her happiness; she is no longer the mute black girl.
Moalama smiled with an exaggerated glee, he then told the dark eunuch to tell the girl that she is lucky she had been chosen by the chief eunuch.
Bonajo’s happiness was frozen at the translated message. Being chosen to be sacrificed to some ancient spirit or what? She knew her captors were Muslims, meaning that they share common religious belief, so nothing out of ordinary should be expected with regards to the mode of worship. Even though she couldn’t justify what they did to them as fellow Muslims back in Songhai. She decided their Islam had to be different from hers. She wouldn’t be surprised if they do such a thing as slaughter a black girl for rain or something. Whatever being chosen, with her as the chosen one meant she immediately concluded it wouldn’t be at her best interest.
When she looked at Moalama, the eunuch still had that girlish smile on his face. They are definitely going to kill me. Bonajo looked at the black eunuch; tears started brimming in her big eyes. He had to help her.
He saw her fear and quickly started explaining.
“I was betrothed.” She told him pleadingly, after it was explained to her in the most vivid images what was expected of her as the king’s concubine or chosen as of now.
Moalama left the job of telling and explaining the golden luck of being the chosen one among the harem women to Jango, the black eunuch. He was to prep the naïve girl for her new duty.
Jango was touched by Bonajo’s unwillingness, but he knew better than to encourage her about it. This was her fate and her life; and if she was lucky (which by all means she seemed to be), a door to fame and fortunes stood before her; within, and possibly beyond, the walls of the palace. He tried to explain that to Bonajo instead.
“I know how you feel my lady, but there is nothing you or I can do to change the course of things. Your betrothed might very well have been killed in the war. And here, you seemed to have a big luck.” He smiled, flashing strong white teeth. “I think Moalama is up to something, because you are the first black girl to visit the king’s chambers.” His excitement raised a degree higher.
Bonajo was not sure this was luck. She also knew that her betrothed was not killed; at least that was her strong subconscious belief. Sometimes she thought she feels his connection through his father’s talisman inside the leather pouch, which she carried all the time. Deep down inside of her she believed he lived. “He can’t be dead.” She declared solemnly.
Jango put his two hands on Bonajo’s shoulder and sat her down on the fountain bench. He too sat and crossed his legs like a fine lady would do and began talking, throwing his fingers and touching his heart like two girlfriends sharing secrets. “You don’t know about that. A lot of people were killed during this war, you saw it yourself. I don’t want you to keep clinging to where there is no hope.”
The sympathy Jango felt for Bonajo was sincere and brotherly – or sisterly. There were more than a handful amount of black maids in the palace. A black skinned maid or slave was always treated with contempt by the super racist Arabs. As a black slave you know your place and try to stay within its confinement.
Bonajo on the other hand is not aware of that. While the black tribes that lived amongst the Arabs accepted their superiority and wanted to be identified with them, she wanted nothing to do with them. And it was not just because they were the enemies during the war that claimed the lives of her family; she truly wanted nothing to do with their cultures and ways of thinking, they were not brave in terms of real bravery. They were just cowards with a lethal weapon. She was very clear with her opinion and Jango found that brave, it gives him a reason to be proud of who he is secretly.
Bonajo kept quiet, torrential thoughts flooded her mind. For one reason, she couldn’t imagine any man from her clan’s people being a warrior. War had not been their way of life and this was the first time it affected them. She heard stories of Fulani tribes that conquered cities and settled down, but that was always told with contempt. It was not seen as the right thing for a true Fulani blood to do. The only thing in the world that was important to a true Fulani breed was feeding their cows and drawing the wealth that comes from that.
Jango could not have come close to understanding all this. It was true she never knew this betrothed personally. In fact the leather pouch she was carrying was her only way of tracing him and him her, if he lived and if she was in the location where such was possible. What hope of escaping did she have now, and what hope of her betrothed coming to Marrakech to rescue her was there? Jango could be right, her hopes were baseless. She looked at Jango, held tears magnifying her clear eyeballs.
“I don’t know. He could be. I have to find him. I have to escape from here.” She admitted with the anguish of the hopelessness. He could be alive, she stubbornly thought. If he was dead then her life was worthless, because it was only made more miserable with this new job she was just offered, of being a concubine, or rather commanded to undertake.
Jango abandoned all his feminine theatrics and faced Bonajo with a serious face that made her cringe some few inches away.
“Now listen, young girl, if you are as mistakenly as let this notion out of your mouth at the wrong place, you will call upon yourself untold sufferance and disgrace. In this place, it will be considered immoral of you to mention that you have another man you love beside the master you are expected to serve. This betrothed you are talking about ceased to exist, even if he does; now that you belong to the king he is no more. If the king decided that you become the horseshit cleaner that is who you will be. We all belong to him. That is the way it is around here.”
Bonajo began having a rethink about this person she thought could make a good friend. Suddenly he was so cruel. Has he no pride to say such a thing? He was definitely not a Fulani. No wonder he speaks the language funnily.
Jango cleared his throat, seeing that he was frightening the girl, and resumed his coquettish acts once more.
“I know that you missed your family so much.” Jango said, moving an inch to close the new gap Bonajo created between them.
“My parents were from the black tribe of Mauritania. They and their parents had been in servitude of the kings of Morocco a long time ago. I was born and raised in this palace and I know no any other life besides that of the palace.” Jango’s voice took a sad note. “Before my mother died she told me that her father was caught and brought to the palace where he was made a stable boy. He was commanded to marry a fellow black slave maid and they had my mother. It was more like breeding us so that the palace never ran short of black slaves.”
Banajo could tell that Jango felt humiliated. She decided maybe she was wrong about him not having any pride.
“After my mother was commanded to marry my father, he was taken away from her only a week after their marriage.” He continued. “As it turned out I was conceived within that week before my father went to fight for the king and died in the course. My mother died four years later from a disease she contracted during my birth. She was twelve when she gave birth to me.”
Jango’s story subdued Bonajo’s emotions. She listen attentively, sympathy written all over her face, she felt sorry for him. Jango noticed that and decided to make use of the opportunity.
“The palace life wasn’t bad, you will soon understand. I am educated here; even the princes are not more educated than I am.” Jango’s eyes widen in excitement. “I learnt several Sahelean languages from a sheikh in the city. And almost all the time the harem women were thought I was around, which, as you might have guessed, learning any sort of knowledge is the last thing they would want to do.”
They laughed together.
Jango continued pursuing, seeing that he was making progress with the girl. “Moalama encouraged me to break the language barrier. That is how I become very useful around here, because I can speak more Saharan and Sahelean languages than any other person in the harem.” He added proudly.
Bonajo was impressed with his achievements. Even then, she pitied him for having his knowledge restricted within the walls of the palace. With his knowledge, she knew, he could be a respectable Mallam in the Songhai. People will travel from thousands of miles to seek his knowledge of languages, he could even be appointed a government official, and make tons of wealth. She remembered the Mallams in their large decorated mud-brick mansions in the city. He could easily be one of them. But here, in spite of that knowledge, he was still a slave.
“Many times I was even called to the king’s court session to interpret a conversation or a letter. I remember, a long time ago, envoys from Songhai came here. After the court session of which I interpreted for the king, he commended my knowledge, some even called me Mallam”. Jango continued, as if reading Bonajo’s thoughts.
“I am almost always the first person to be consulted when it comes to interpretation, particularly when it involves maids and slaves who speak such languages no one understands. So you see, we can be the black race meant to serve the Arabs, but we can still acquire such a position of knowledge and importance that they would have no choice but to recognize that.”
Bonajo smiled softly at Jango. “You have no idea how valuable your knowledge is in the Songhai. They value knowledge a lot.”
Jango smiled back, feeling a bond with his new apprentice. “Thank you.”
“But don’t you always want to be free? With your knowledge you have a lot of things to discover and impart in this life. But that will be only as a free person like I used to be.”
“Even if I wanted I can’t.” Jango said simply.
“It is my destiny; it is our destiny as the black race to serve. But what can we do to our destinies? I suggest you relax and have the best of your time, someday you might have the privilege to visit your place, who knows? And from the looks of things we are not having the worst of luck around here, as I just told you. You are not going to be bred with some black as my mother was – it is with the king himself. What else do you want in this world? You can achieve a lot, my sister, it all depends on you.” Jango was sure his words were making an impact on Bonajo.
No good will come out of being a slave – king or not. She taught. But it was also true that there was no escape from the fate at the moment. Bonajo also told herself that Jomo was not a fantasy that belongs to a life she wished to live, but that can never happen within the realm of reality. He was real and alive, and she would find him as she promised his father. Finally the tears she had been holding back all the while flooded her eyes and gushed down her cheeks.
Jango brought out a silken handkerchief and handed it over.
“I will help you through all this and make sure that you have the best time around here, I promise. Just play along, someday you will thank me for that.” At that he suddenly changed the subject, with a new found excitement that startled the weeping girl.
“Do you love jewelleries? Which type, gold, silver, emerald, ruby..? I have in mind what will bring out your beautiful dark complexion. I am glad this is happening, it is about time those white drama queens realize the beauty of black skin.” Jango’s eyes were twinkling like the gemstones he promised.
Bonajo was anguished enough, seeing how a man could be subdued to captivity and still be happy about it, while there is all the freedom waiting outside the world. Jango was kind and softhearted, atop his knowledge, he would make a fine man and a respected community elder, but in the harem he was just a creature lost between the two genders. Looking at him excited like a teenage girl, she felt sorry for him.
But he succeeded in captivating her attention, nonetheless. She loved making up and adorning, no doubt. She remembered her mother’s promise to buy her a tiny piece of gold earring if the wealth they were expecting was realized – the promise she carried to her death. Now, here she was with the promise of possessing the most expensive and classic jewellery in the world, but with no mother, father, Marra (her best annoying friend) and her betrothed. The mentioning of all that jewelry sounded curious too, though.
“I … I don’t know. What are those?” She stammered.
“Don’t you worry, my lady, leave everything to me. You have until next month before you visit the king’s chambers. Until then, it is going to be one beautification session after another. You will love it, I promise. It is every woman’s dream in this harem.” Jango enthused.
Every woman’s except mine. Bonajo thought.
Openly she said. “I have until next month…why? I thought it is…like tonight.”
Jango laughed a feminine laughter, emphasizing it with exaggerated hand theatrics.
“My lady, this is not how things work around here. Why do you think we are still in business? We give the king the best. And now that the chief entrusted you in my hands it is also my time to shine. Besides, the king is not in town.” He added dreamily. “Who knows, I might be the chief eunuch someday.”
Bonajo was a bit relieved to find out that there was no eminent encounter with the king soon. She was sure she couldn’t endure it. This was not the life she was meant to live, she told herself. At the bottom of her mind she promised herself to find out about any possible way to escape from the palace before the king returns. And if Jomo still lives she would find him, even if she had to walk barefooted across the desert separating the two lands. It all depended on her, as Jango puts it.
She smiled at the bleak hope she got from that hopeless thought.
Jango giggled girlishly seeing Bonajo’s smile at that juncture. “My lady, you made the right choice, and take my words for it, you will have no regrets.”
The chief eunuch returned just as Jango was gearing up into a chatter. Two royal slaves carried a big ornate chest. They dropped it at Jango’s feet with a thud that translated its heaviness, by virtue of its contents.
“I can see you guys are having good time.” Moalama was delighted. He gestured for the two slaves to open the chest.
Bonajo’s heart skipped a beat. The box was one treasure of all kinds of jewellery and clothing she never dreamt of. The biggest gold piece she ever set her eyes on was the size of a small wire earring. Now, she was witnessing heavy collars made of pure gold. Many other golden jewelleries in the box she had no idea how they were worn or if they were even meant for wearing. Exotic stones twinkle in the darkness of the chest, creating a magical night sky within. Yet more, there were materials made from the finest cotton and silk neatly folded, and numberless miniature bottles containing liquids of different viscosity and colour. This was simply not true. She couldn’t touch these stuffs.
Moalama smiled sincerely at her awe. “Tell her Jango, it’s all hers. You are to take charge of all her beauty routines, which I will entrust to you only because you can communicate. I expect not less than excellence at the end of thirty days maximum. And remember, I would have done this myself if not for the language barrier. Therefore, I will supervise your work every other day.”
Jango’s smiles were genuine. He could only nod.
The chief eunuch looked at Bonajo again, like he was having second thoughts.
“You must not fail me.” He added seriously.
Jango bent forward in greeting and gratitude. “I will do my best, chief.”
“You better. This is my black doll.” He then put his hand inside his hanging silk bag and brought out a crystal bottle of essence that looked like it was cut out from diamond. “Start with the skin purification today. This, here, is a concentrated liquid bath salt”. Moalama extended the beautiful bottle to Jango, whose hands were shaking to take, as if it contained the fountain of youth.
“Be careful it is expensive enough to cause war between two kingdoms. Her skin tone is not even as you can see. I don’t want you to use olive on her, use milk rather, with honey, lime and turmeric to soak up those unsightly dark spots. Afterwards use only shearbutter as the body cream, and she must not enter sunlight at all. For the hair, loose these God-awful braids and wash the hair with coconut milk. You can condition the hair with a mixture of shear butter and olive. Do that three times between today and tomorrow.”
He paused to catch his breath, which he seemed to be running out of, fanning his powdered face with his palms.
“Do you understand?” he asked the listening Jango, more to his authoritative advantage than for the sake of understanding.
Jango was out of breath with excitement himself. “Yes, chief.”