Things Fall Apart Chapter 23
Okonkwo was finally pleased with the actions of his tribe members because they had not cowered like women, but burned the Christian shrine. For several days after the burning, the men of the village walked around armed, determined not to be caught unaware as the people of Abame had been. When Mr. Smith went to speak to the District Commissioner, the men of the tribe paid no attention. And when the court messengers came and invited the leaders of the tribe to a meeting at his headquarters, they thought nothing of that either because he often called them together to talk. Okonkwo and five other leaders met with the Commissioner and were trapped into imprisonment there for several days until the tribe paid two hundred cowries for their release. The corrupt court messengers who guarded the men and demanded the ransom not only kept the men without food or facilities to relieve themselves, but they also whipped them and upped the ransom to two hundred and fifty cowries so that they could receive a share of the money.