“He rests in the inner tent…” Said the Queen.
“He rests!?”, exclaimed Auta and Tanko simultaneously. They looked at each other, as what she said knocked them both down with a feather.
The Queen raised her eyebrows and continued,
“yes, and he should not be disturbed”.
“Should not be disturbed? How do you mean, dead men can’t be disturbed, can they? Forgive me, but sometimes, my queen, you can be as clear as mud. Like right now.” Said Tanko, now liefer shocked but taking Auta’s worries more seriously.
Auta was dumbfounded, he couldn’t believe his fear was dancing before his very eyes. He took another bite from the kola nut.
“You regard me as your queen, Tanko. But we’re are friends. As Queen, I would command anything of you and should you refuse, I would order you to be tied to a horse and dragged on the ground… But as friends, I would seek your support. My People at Zauzzau will not smile at me bringing a husband from a land I conquered. Especially Zaria. I might be a conqueror, but I cannot change tradition. The elders, Zaria, my sister, they will think it’s an insult to my pride, their pride… (she said, looking at Auta and Tanko who just stared at her as she spoke). But this one does not feel conquered. He challenges me… I don’t think anything has been insulted”.
Auta then cut in again, “You want him by your side as you rule Zauzzau?”
“Yes… I want it to be him, and no other. If it comes to be to so, I would forfeit my habe seat and hand over to my sister, Zaria.” She said.
“To what use? Your flower is dried up and you can no longer produce fruits! Oh, wait… How good was he last night?” Auta asked.
“He was as good as a fresh log of wood. We haven’t consummated the marriage yet. He treats himself like a King even in my presence. He does not bend to my wishes.” The Queen said.
“He’s huge and fine and resists your old beauty on a first night…” Auta wondered out loud, then he asked the Queen,
“what did you show him during the night? Everything?”
The Queen didn’t understand his question, so she asked,
“what do you mean?”
“Well…” Auta sought to continue, and Tanko, knowing what direction he was going with this, attempted an interruption,
“Auta, shut up.” Said Tanko.
“No, Tanko, I’m going somewhere with this…” Auta said to Tanko, who then shook his head in disappointment. Then Auta faced the Queen and continued,
The Queen quickly predicted his next words,
“All naked for him?” She jumped in,
“well, yes… were you?, Auta asked.
“Yes, I was.” the Queen boldly spoke.
“And he wasn’t moved?” Asked Tanko out of curiosity.
“No… He didn’t look at me twice. He gave me a dagger and suggested I stab him if I wanted to with some signs… I don’t speak his language and he can’t speak mine, so we could not communicate and I don’t know why he did it…”
The Queen replied looking at Tanko, but she looked glad as she let out the remaining words,
“he is brave and doesn’t fear death…”
“Ah, praise! He is neither brave nor does not fear death, he’s just impotent, do away with him… You have found a castrated slave”, Auta threw the words out.
Amina called on the soldier who stood by the entrance of the tent. He came closer and she said,
“lead him outside to cut off his tongue when next he speaks foul of anyone during this discussion.”
She said, although she did not mean it, even the soldier knew this.
Tanko laughed harder at this.
“Please, help me teach him, Tanko, our Language and religion… Help me teach him the ways of the Zauzzau King, Auta, and you must not refuse”. The Queen requested.
Tanko and Auta gave a stare to each other. It was now that Tanko reached for a kola nut on the table. Auta thought first to drive a wedge between the Queen and the Idah man, but soon after realized he had no other choice than to dance to the queen’s tune.
To be continued…