“We must prepare to meet with Caliban.” – Prospero
Writing in the latter half of the 19th century, Dostoevsky asked, “whether a man, as a civilised being, as a European, can believe at all, believe that is, in the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for therein rests, strictly speaking, the whole faith.”
When I went to divinity school at the turn of the century, the vast majority of my professors and fellow students believed that the answer to Dostoevsky’s question was, “Yes, a civilised European can believe in the divinity of Christ.” But by the time I was dismissed from my duties in 1950 I was virtually alone among my fellow clerics in my belief that a civilised European could still believe in the divinity of Christ. My fellow clerics had suddenly developed “problems” with every aspect of the Christian faith. We were supposed to redefine the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, which was based on the Bible, in order to “meet the needs of a changing world.” I fail to see in what way the world has changed that would render my belief and my ancestors’ belief in the Son of God an erroneous belief. But my fellow Anglicans did believe that airplanes, automobiles, and Charles Darwin made Christ an irrelevancy.
I was not dismissed from my parish at St. John’s because of my orthodox heterodoxy, because my parishioners were somewhat behind the clerics in their wisdom of the world. Having just survived a second world war in which they spent a good deal of time in bomb shelters and rebuilding bombed-out buildings, they still tended toward fairy tale beliefs in God, country, and beauty, so my “quaint” sermons, devoid of quotations from the modern Biblical exegetes and the demythologizers, struck a responsive chord in my war-torn countrymen.
And because I had forged such a close bond with my parishioners, I did not want them to think that I was leaving St. John’s at my own insistence. I was offered full retirement pay if I resigned voluntarily, but when I refused to retire I was dismissed, without pension, and I was forbidden to perform any service in the Anglican Church.
I have complied with that edict in a fashion. I have not performed an Anglican service in an Anglican church, but I do have a home in London, purchased with my own personal savings and the donations of my former parishioners. And what I do in the privacy of my own home, for the benefit of my friends, is my own business.
Though I had many quarrels over changes in the prayer book and the new Christianity, I was not ultimately dismissed because of what my superiors called my “hopeless provincialism.” That might have been a factor in weakening my reputation with my immediate superiors, but the final straw that broke the camel’s back was my criticism of the Anglican missionary outreach in Africa and my public support of my fellow Britons in Kenya and South Africa. Certainly my friendship with Peter Delaine, whose great-grandfather had had first-hand knowledge of the events in Haiti that came in the wake of the French Revolution, had helped solidify my opinion about the horrific, satanic nature of black-dominated nations. And before that there was Thomas Jenkins, who also gave me some insight into the growing menace of a liberal-induced, black plague which involved actual black natives rather than germs.
But ultimately I think I would have retained my English “prejudice” against the colored stranger, because of a basic Christian instinct to be true to my own and to resist the encroachment of the colored stranger who would, if I let him, destroy my hearth and my neighbors’ hearths. The conflicts of the Europeans in Africa are going to be the conflicts we have right here in Europe. In America it already has happened, under the guise of a false, universalist Christianity: the black barbarians and the liberal clergy men are making war on the confused remnant of white people who are at least trying to hold on to a Christian ethos even though they have lost their vision of the living God. No doubt that loss of vision is partly because their clergymen are marching around demanding, in the case of America, civil rights, and in the case of Britain, the wholesale extermination of the whites in Africa. Oh, they call it democracy and equality of the races, but in every African nation in which the blacks come into power, under the guise of democracy, the whites are slaughtered. As it was in Haiti, so it was in Kenya, and so it will be in South Africa if the South African people ever abandon apartheid and democratize their nation.
But it is of Kenya I want to speak, because it was to Kenya I was summoned, and it is in Kenya that Satanism in its purest form, certainly not pure in the good sense of the word, reared its satanic head. Mr. Anthony Jacob, my good friend, has pointed out in his book White Man Think Again that Kenya is very much the world:
Kenya, we must understand, is a microcosm of the entire West. Therefore let us ask ourselves, What would have been our general White position today if the world had consisted only of Kenya, with no other place for us to go to and no other form of government for us to live under? What then? We, the White race, would already have been obliterated or reduced to everlasting serfdom, would we not? Yet however fanciful it might still seem to the white peoples of the northern American states and occupied Kenya, for we cannot keep on being racially overruled and uprooted and moved on. Wherever we are now we are in effect in Kenya…
I concur with Mr. Jacob’s opinion; I saw the Mau Mau close up when I went to Kenya in 1953 and stayed there through 1955. I saw hell close up during those years, and I saw that white Europe must not perish or satanic Kenya will become the world. I’m writing this part of my memoir in the year of our Lord 1966. I was a man in my early seventies when I went to Kenya, and now, in my eighties, I have been asked why I bother to write so many unpopular things about the African menace to European civilization. Such questions puzzle me. I write because I love my people, because I love my God, and because I hate Satan. Are those not motives enough to keep striving in this world and the next?
My summons to Kenya came from a young man of 22 years of age. His parents had been fourth-generation farmers in the Kenyan Highlands, a very poor area for farming initially which the British farmers had somehow transformed into a prosperous, striving, agricultural community. They constituted five percent of the farming population of Kenya yet they produced 90% of the agricultural yield of Kenya. Of course, now that “independence” has come to Kenya and the white farmers have either fled or been exterminated there is virtually no agricultural production. The black Kenyans simply demand money from Britain and the United States, which they always receive. Considering what was done to white people in Kenya, you would think that the correct moral response from the colonial powers would be men with guns and bayonets. But it isn’t. The British equivalent of carpet-baggers have flooded Kenya as the great dispensers of “charitable relief.” Charitable relief for whom? Why, for the Mau Maus, of course, not for the white victims of Mau Mau terrorism. And let’s be clear about the Mau Mau uprising. It was a united effort; those black Kenyans who didn’t actually run with the Mau Mau – the house servants and the black workers on white farms – were all Mau Mau supporters. As it was in Haiti so it was in Kenya: there were no “good darkies.”
In previous pages of my memoir, which is not a traditional memoir, I’ve mixed the dramatic mode of expression with the novelistic mode of expression. In this case I’ve chosen to use only the dramatic mode, because that is how the story of the death of British Kenya strikes me, as a tragic drama.
Act I, Scene I
7 May 1953
The Montgomery farmhouse, Kenya Highlands
[William Montgomery has invited four prominent members of the Kenyan Farmers’ alliance to discuss the Mau Maus and decide whether they should act alone, forming their own private army against the Mau Maus or continue to rely on the colonial government to protect them. In addition to the four coalition members, Thomas Bennet, Sir Charles Belcher, Michael Green, and John Williams, are Christopher Grey, Edward Owen, Margaret Montgomery (wife to William), Susan Montgomery (daughter, age 18), Jennifer Montgomery (daughter, age 16), Ethan Montgomery (son, age 20), and Peter Montgomery (son, age 13)]
William Montgomery: I’m glad you all could come. We know what we’re here for, gentlemen, but let’s leave the serious business for after dinner. Reverend, will you do us the honor?
Christopher Grey: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life (in the which thy son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility); that in the last day, when He shall come again in glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and forever. Amen
William Montgomery: Thank you, Reverend. And I must apologize for not having you over to dinner sooner, but I hear you’ve been well taken care of by Edward.
Grey: Yes, he’s been taking good care of me.
Edward Owen: It’s more the other way around.
Margaret Montgomery: I understand you grew up on a farm yourself, Rev. Grey.
Grey: Yes, in Yorkshire, it’s a good countryside, right out of Constable.
Margaret: How do our Kenyan Highlands compare to Yorkshire?
Grey: That’s not a fair question, Mrs. Montgomery, nothing compares to the haunts of our childhood.
Susan: Even if you grew up in a city?
Grey: I think so. I’m not a born-and-bred Londoner for instance, but I’ve grown to love it like a native. A city, if it is a European city, can capture a man’s soul just as a European farm can capture his soul.
John Williams: I could never be happy in a city. My people have been farmers for more generations than I can count.
Grey: Many farmers feel that way. I know my parents did.
Susan: Why did you become a minister, then?
Margaret: Susan, I must remind you that we invited Rev. Grey for a dinner and not an inquisition.
Grey: I don’t mind. But it’s difficult to say, Susan. I suppose it was because I loved the parents who raised me on that farm so much that I became a preacher instead of a farmer.
Susan: I don’t understand what you mean.
Williams: Nor do I. For a man who has a reputation for straight-forwardness and clarity, you’re being very obscure.
Grey: I don’t mean to be.
Ethan: He probably just doesn’t want to hurl pearls before swine. He doesn’t want to waste his…
William Montgomery: Ethan!
Grey: I don’t see any swine here, Ethan, except for what’s on the table. I’ll answer Susan’s question:
Thy bosom is endearèd with all hearts
Which I, by lacking, have supposèd dead;
And there reigns love, and all love’s loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought burièd.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol’n from mine eye
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie.
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give;
That due of many now is thine alone.
Their images I loved I view in thee,
And thou, all they, hast all the all of me.
Jennifer: [addressing Susan] Are you answered?
Thomas Bennet: On a much more mundane level, let me say that the mutton is excellent and the pork roast even better. Mrs. Montgomery, there is no finer cook in the Kenyan Highlands or in Britain itself than you.
Margaret: I doubt that you’ve sampled all the cooking in the Highlands let alone all of Britain, but I thank you, Sir Thomas, for your gallantry. Ethan, fill Sir Thomas’s glass again.
Bennet: [raises his newly filled glass to Margaret Montgomery]
Sir Charles Belcher: I’m an Australian by birth and breeding, but no matter where I settle I’ll always be a Britain. I don’t think anyone here feels any different.
William Montgomery: I know what you mean. I feel British to the bone, even though I’ve never been to Britain.
Sir Charles Belcher: We’re both of the same blood. Nothing can change that.
Ethan: Do you think we’ll be allowed to keep the Kenyan Highlands British?
Michael Green: I don’t see why not. My family fought in both wars, and we’ve lived and died on our land here for four generations.
Edward Owen: That doesn’t make any difference to MacLeod and company. They’re here for one reason: to turn the Kenyan Highlands over to the Mau Maus.
William Montgomery: We all sympathize with what you’ve been through, Edward, but the Mau Maus are an aberration. They do not represent the average black Kenyan. I grant you that the Mau Maus are inhuman beasts, but I hardly think that the rest of the black Kenyans have any sympathy with them.
Edward: You knew our kind and faithful black butler, didn’t you, Mr. Montgomery?
William Montgomery: Yes, but…
Edward: Well, he was one of those “good darkies,” wasn’t he? And he held my 12-year-old sister down while they…
Grey: Perhaps we can leave that for after dinner, Edward?
Edward: [glancing at Margaret Montgomery and lowering his eyes] I’m sorry, I guess I’m not capable of polite dinner conversation any more.
Susan: Why shouldn’t we discuss the Mau Maus right here and now? Is it because you don’t want to offend the ladies? Why should we be spared the gory details?
William Montgomery: Because that’s the way I want it, and you’ll abide by my wishes [followed by a stern glance at Susan].
Susan: Yes, Father, I only meant to say that since the Mau Maus seem to have a particular hatred for white women that we should be included in the discussion.
Grey: I’m sure your father will include you in many discussions of the Mau Maus, but he does not want you involved in a detailed discussion of their atrocities. And I agree with him.
Margaret: So do I Susan.
Edward: I didn’t mean…
Green: It’s not your fault, son, it’s these filthy times we live in.
Peter: Is it true, Reverend Grey, that you’re the strongest man in the world?
Grey: [laughing] Who told you that?
Peter: Edward did.
Edward: [also laughing] I told him about your one-hand clean and jerk of 300 lbs. the other day.
Grey: I’d prefer that story didn’t become too well known. It indicates a neglect of my pastoral duties. People will think I’ve spent my entire life lifting weights.
Margaret: I doubt that anyone would accuse you of neglecting your pastoral duties or any other duty, Rev. Grey. We are not as ignorant of English affairs as the English are of Kenyan affairs.
Grey: That’s certainly true, and I hope that changes. What you’re doing here, what happens here, is vital. I hope Britons will come to realize that before it is too late.
William Montgomery: We’ll get through this crisis somehow; we always have in the past.
Ethan: This time it’s different.
Green: How is it different, Ethan?
Ethan: This time the colonial government is against us and so is the government back in London.
William Montgomery: Now you’re beginning to sound like Edward.
Ethan: I agree with him. Our government is going to sell us down the river, a river of white blood.
Margaret: Now we’re getting back to the Mau Maus again, which is really why you gentlemen are here. Why don’t you adjourn to William’s study and I’ll bring the dessert in there?
Grey: Nothing for me, thank you, Mrs. Montgomery, I couldn’t eat another bite after that excellent meal.
William Montgomery: We’ll skip dessert, Martha. Somehow I don’t think cake and pie mixes well with a discussion of the Mau Maus.
[The men, minus Peter, adjourn to the study. William Montgomery takes Ethan and Edward aside before entering the study]
William Montgomery: You both are welcome to sit in, but please keep in mind that I know your opinions on the Mau Maus already. I want to hear those other men’s opinions so I can properly represent the farmers’ coalition. All right? No offense taken?
Edward: No offense taken.
Ethan: I understand.
Act I, Scene II
Bennet: I don’t really see that there is anything to discuss. None of us are military men any longer; we’re farmers. I say we work closely with the colonial government to help them stamp out the Mau Maus, but I don’t see the need for our own private army.
Belcher: It worked in South Africa for years.
Green: This isn’t South Africa. We have our own set of circumstances.
Belcher: The issues are the same. Are we going to accept black rule?
Williams: Nobody said anything about black rule. I understand that there is going to be a coalition-type government with blacks and whites and that we will still be allowed to own our farms.
Belcher: Do you believe that?
Williams: Of course, I do. What could be gained by confiscating the white farms and the white businesses? The whites are needed here, particularly the white farmers: we own 5% of the land and yet we produce 90% of the food. No, I can’t believe a coalition, government, or even an all black government would take our farms and businesses.
Belcher: I wish I could feel as confident as you do, but it seems, from the conversations I’ve had with Macleod’s people that we are heading to a coalition government, and then to a black government. And I do not have any hopes in a black government. Should that happen, well, I have friends in South Africa. I’ll probably go there.
Green: I don’t think the powers that be in London or Nairobi would permit black rule in Kenya. They might let a few blacks into the government as a token gesture, but they wouldn’t turn the government over to them; that would be insane. What do you think, Reverend?
Grey: I don’t think you’ll like my opinion. And after all, I’m not a land owner in Kenya.
William Montgomery: I invited you here because I wanted your opinion, Reverend.
Grey: All right, you shall have it. What I’m going to say might sound a little fantastical, but just consider how fantastical our lives here on earth are and then consider what I have to say.
I do not believe the Mau Mau rebellion is an aberration. I think Mau Mau is black Africa. The blacks will refrain from murder, rape, and bestiality while the white man is strong, but when the white man falters, when he doubts that he is the Christ-bearer, then what you call Mau Mau and what I call the normal, everyday activities of blacks who no longer feel the need to refrain from their devilish activities, will come to the forefront and make Kenya a living hell.
William Montgomery: Then you’re telling me that the blood red tide of the Mau Mau will be loosed if we cooperate with the government and form a multi-racial government?
Grey: Yes, Mr. Montgomery, that is precisely what I am telling you. There can be no amicable union between the sons of Ham and the Europeans. There can be the benevolent rule of the white man, which is best for black and white – look at Kenya before and after the white man came here – or there can be black rule, which means extermination of the whites and a return to barbaric bestiality for the blacks.
Williams: I don’t agree. A multi-racial government can work so long as we get the right blacks in place.
Bennet: With all due respect for your office, Rev. Grey, I must agree with Mr. Williams.
Belcher: [addressing Green] Do you agree with Williams?
Green: Absolutely, I don’t think the powers that be would permit an all-African government to squeeze out the white farmers.
Belcher: Then you’re a fool; you’re all fools if you think there can be a coalition government of blacks and whites. The Reverend is right: whites must either control blacks or be exterminated by them. I plan to present my own petition to Macleod and company. Quite probably they’ll spit in my face, but at least I’ll feel like I’ve done all that I could.
William Montgomery: I respect you for that, Charles, but I still think we can work out some compromise.
Owen: No, there can’t be a compromise. What you’re proposing is a capitulation.
[Owen, young Montgomery, and Belcher exit]
Grey: I’m sorry this couldn’t have been settled more amicably, gentlemen. I still wish you’d reconsider.
Montgomery: We still have more to discuss, but I think we’ve settled on our main course of action.
Grey: Well, Owen is waiting for me [exits].
Williams: You can’t take any of them seriously. They’re biased, and that so-called ‘Reverend’ is the worst of the lot.
Green: What do you mean by “so-called Reverend”?
Williams: I mean that he was defrocked. He really isn’t a Reverend.
Montgomery: That’s not fair, John, he was not defrocked, he was suspended from his parish duties, but he remains an Anglican clergy man.
Williams: But why was he suspended?
Green: I believe it was for expressing opinions about blacks and whites like those he expressed right here tonight.
Montgomery: He’s a good man; I have nothing against him. I just don’t think he fully understands our situation here in Kenya. If we don’t show ourselves willing to compromise, I think we’ll lose everything.
Bennet: And if we do compromise?
Montgomery: Then I think we’ll be allowed to continue living and working in the Highlands.
Green: Amen to that.
Bennet: [addressing Williams] What’s wrong with you, isn’t a multi-racial government what you want as well?
Williams: Yes, certainly, but I think there is something more behind this Reverend Grey character.
Montgomery: How so?
Williams: He’s supposed to be a man in his seventies, isn’t he?
William Montgomery: Yes.
Williams: Yet, he looks to be a man in his mid-forties. And by all accounts he still possesses incredible physical strength.
Bennet: What are you driving at, John? There have been some remarkably strong men who retained their strength into their seventies and beyond. It’s unusual, but not unheard of.
Williams: Are you sure of that?
Green: Say what you mean outright.
Williams: I am talking about demonic possession: these High Churchers are all Rosicrucians and Templars.
Montgomery: You are ridiculous, Williams. I’m not a church-going man myself, but I can recognize a good man when I see one. And Reverend Grey is a good man. Just because we disagree on a political stance of his does not mean we have to demonize the man.
Bennet: Williams is a crazy Methodist, what can you do with him?
[Williams charges Bennet, but Montgomery and Green hold him back]
Montgomery: He was joking.
Williams: Well, I don’t like that type of humor.
Bennet: I’m sorry if I offended you.
Green: Grey’s all right, John, he’s just a little too mystical to be consulted on practical matters.
Montgomery: I’ll present our views on the compromise to Macleod.
Act I, Scene III
[Edward Owen and Reverend Grey are driving back to Owen’s farm. Owen is at the wheel]
Grey: They’re not bad men, Edward, in fact they’re good men and true. That is the problem: “Their natures are so far from doing harm that they suspect none.”
Owen: They could deal with the Mau Maus in a fair fight, but they can’t deal with a British colonial government and a government in London that hates their own people. Belcher is the only one who knows what is going to happen. They’re all going to lose their farms, and some will lose their lives.
Grey: Where will you go from here, Edward? Do you plan on keeping the farm?
Owen: No, I kept it this long to see if we were going to be allowed to stay here in the Highlands. And by ‘stay here’ I mean stay here as white men who took land that was supposed to be impossible to farm and made that land the most prosperous land in the country. You heard what Green said at the meeting: Five percent of the land and 90% of the food supply. What will happen when the government breaks up the white farms and forces us to “co-manage” them with the blacks?
Grey: The blacks will turn on the whites and murder them. Then the farms will become non-productive again, as they were before the whites came.
Owen: Precisely. I’m selling before the government orders me to work with the Mau Maus.
Grey: What will you do?
Owen: [grimly] I’ll stay here in the Highlands.
Grey: You’re still a young man, Edward. What are you – 22 years old?
Owen: I’m 23; I’ll be 24 in a few months.
Grey: I’m not going to preach to you, Edward. In fact I think what you’re planning to do is noble. But I’d hate to see you simply rush into martyrdom. Sometimes the duller, plodding, everyday martyrdom is what is needed.
Owen: I’m not going to rush into martyrdom, but I’m not a farmer any longer. Before the Mau Maus wiped out my family, I never thought of myself as anything but a farmer. Now I see myself as something else. I’m not going to let my family go unavenged.
You’ve never preached non-violence to me, Reverend, and I appreciate that. And I’ll never be able to thank you enough for coming here in response to my letter. I never dreamed you’d actually come to Kenya. I thought, considering your views on the subject, that you’d send me a letter to help me persuade the compromising dunderheads like Williams that they can’t trust their government, but you came here in person and did all you could to turn them away from their suicidal surrender.
Grey: I’m afraid I wasn’t very persuasive.
Owen: It wasn’t for lack of trying or a lack of eloquence. They just don’t want to believe you or me. But something else has been bothering me. I should have told you that I was not a Christian when I wrote. And then when you came here, I still couldn’t bring myself to tell you. I guess it’s because I was afraid you’d leave, and I wanted you to stay. But there it is: I’m telling you now. I have no stomach for any of the ‘God is love’ rot. I loved my family; now they’re all gone, tortured and murdered by the Mau Maus. All I care about is killing Mau Maus.
Grey: Then kill Mau Maus, Edward, kill as many as you can.
Owen: [visibly startled] I didn’t anticipate that from you.
Owens: Because you’re a Christian pastor.
Grey: Maybe I’m a rather poor one then, because I don’t see anything intrinsically wrong with killing members of a tribe of men dedicated to torture, murder, rape, and bestiality. What I hate to see is a waste of life. You’re the last of your line; are you sure you couldn’t resettle somewhere else and continue what your father and mother started here in Kenya?
Owen: You mean cut and run?
Grey: No, I mean what I said. Continue the work your parents started.
Owen: If you were in my place, would you go and start a farm somewhere else and let your parents, your brothers, and your sisters lie in their graves unavenged?
Grey: [after a long pause] No, I would not. I’d do what you are planning to do.
Owen: Thank you.
Grey: For what?
Owen: For not lying to me.
Grey: What’s that?
[Owen pulls the small truck off the road as a small band of Mau Maus, about fifteen in number, fresh from a torture and murder raid on a white farm, stand athwart the road, firing at the truck with their assault rifles. Owen grabs two assault rifles, handing one to the Rev. Grey, and then both men head for cover in the ditch beside the road. The Mau Maus, expecting a quick kill, are surprised by the sustained fire from the ditch. Without any cover, they are standing in the middle of the road; they are all killed by the sustained fire of Owen and Grey. When the firing ceases, Owen and Grey leave the ditch and examine the bodies of the Mau Maus]
Owen: You see that?
Grey: The scarf?
Owen: Yes, that is the type of scarf Jenny Williams wore. [He breaks down in tears] As God is my witness, I don’t take any satisfaction in this. He was the loudest against us, but I didn’t want this.
Grey: [patting Owen’s shoulder with his hand] I know you didn’t, son.
Owen: And I don’t take any pleasure in this either [pointing to the dead Mau Maus]. I never shot anyone before. What should we do now?
Grey: I think we should pull the bodies off the road and burn them. It was self-defense, but we’re liable to be charged with murder if we report this.
Owen: That seems like the best thing to do. I’m sorry to get you involved in this, Reverend.
Grey: You didn’t force me to come here, Edward. I knew what I was coming to.
Owen: How could you know?
Grey: This devil’s work is not new. The blacks belong to Satan. Whenever the white man tries to impose white culture and white ethics on the black man, Satan rears up in defense of his own.
Owen: Is it possible to believe in the devil without believing in the Christian God?
Grey: Some men claim it’s possible, but I don’t think it is.
Owen: I do think it’s possible.
Grey: [laying his hand on Owen’s shoulder again] Stay true to your house and your people, Edward. That will do more for your faith than any sermon I can preach.
Owen: The fire has done its work.
Grey: Let’s leave.
Act II, Scene I
2 months later
Offices of the Kenyan colonial government, Nairobi
Macleod: Ruth! Ruth! Where is that damned woman. Ruth!
Ruth: Yes, sir?
Macleod: Where have you been? I need those papers on the Kimaru release. Have you typed them up yet?
Ruth: They’re ready, sir, all you need to do is sign them.
Macleod: Good. Leave them on my desk.
Bureaucratic Sycophant #1: Won’t the whites give you some trouble when you release Kimaru from prison? After all, Governor Ranison once called him “the African leader to darkness and death.”
Macleod: I’m well aware of Ranison’s comments; they were ill-timed. This is what London wants, MacMillan wants it, and the British press want it very badly.
Ruth: The whites are afraid that the Mau Maus will become worse if Kimaru becomes the head of Kenya.
Macleod: Possibly, but then maybe Kimaru will help put down the Mau Maus. But what the whites want is unimportant. They have no choice; they must work with the blacks if they want to stay in Kenya. And Kimaru is going to be in charge of Kenya.
Bureaucratic Sycophant #2: [addressing BS #1] He’s already released Bunda and Kuanda, why shouldn’t he release Kimaru?
BS #1: I’m not saying anything one way or the other. I just think the Kimaru release is going to ruffle some white feathers.
Macleod: I don’t care about white feathers. I care about Macmillan and the British press. The whites are supposed to share power with the blacks, and anyone who doesn’t like that can sell his farm or his business and leave Kenya.
Ruth: I think a lot of whites will leave rather than become bond slaves to the blacks.
Macleod: We’re not talking about bond slaves, we’re talking about sharing – is that too hard for you to understand?
Ruth: [under her breath] Sharing with blacks means slavery for the whites.
Macleod: What was that?
Macleod: Look, this thing will work if the whites cooperate.
Ruth: Sir Charles Belcher is here again. It’s the 14th day in a row. What should I tell him?
Macleod: Tell him that I’m still too busy to see him.
BS #1: Maybe now that the Kimaru deal is set, you should see him. It might help relations with the farmers in the Highlands. You can appear sympathetic to their plight.
Macleod: All right, send him in.
Act II, Scene II
Macleod: Sir Charles, I had no idea you were waiting so many days to see me. There must have been some secretarial mix-up.
Sir Charles Belcher: Undoubtedly.
Macleod: But now that you’re here, please let me know what I can do for you.
Belcher: I’ve come here to try and stop a process, which might already be nearing completion, that I believe will be ruinous for the whites in Kenya. It will also be ruinous for the blacks in Kenya, but they are not my main concern.
Macleod: What is this dangerous process?
Belcher: The process by which the whites are forced to turn over their farms to the blacks.
Macleod: Sir Charles, no one said anything about confiscating white farms and handing them over to the blacks. It would be unrealistic to expect the blacks to run the farms. What we want to see is whites helping blacks to become self-sufficient.
Sir Charles: First off, blacks are incapable of being self-sufficient. And secondly, you have no right to make white farmers slave away for blacks while the blacks, through their Mau Mau brethren, try to slaughter the whites.
Macleod: Sir Charles, I really must…
Belcher: Let me finish and then you can be done with me. The Kenyan Highlands are a miracle of British heart and British ingenuity. The liberals claim the whites have exploited the black Kenyans, but the facts tell us something different.
If you look at the soil, temperature, and rainfall of the Highlands you would say that the entire area was unfit for farming. But starting from scratch, over approximately the last seventy years, British farmers, who own only five percent of the land – and not the best land either – have produced nine times as much per square mile as the African farmers have produced on their land. And what little success the African farmers have had has been due to white support. Yet you want to turn the Highlands over to the blacks. For what purpose? To please the college professors in London and New York? Don’t do this thing. For the love of God, for the love of Britain, don’t do it.
Macleod: Sir Charles, I always am glad to hear from you, and I respect your opinion, although I disagree with you, but you must realize that the process, as you call it, is already completed. Cooperation is a fact of existence in Kenya.
Belcher: Next you’ll be telling me that Kimaru is going to be governor of Kenya.
Macleod: Well – and this won’t be announced officially for a couple of days – he is going to become a kind of co-governor of Kenya in preparation for making him the first black governor somewhere down the line. All the white officials at every level are going to be eased out that way.
[Belcher walks out, too stunned to say a word]
Act II, Scene III
Macleod: Are you sure the house is ready?
Ruth: I’ve been there myself. It’s fit for a king.
Macleod: Good. How about the reporters? Have they been informed?
Ruth: Yes. And Cardinal Lejeune will be there, along with the Anglican Bishop and several of the ministers from the reformed churches.
Macleod: Any word of protestors?
Ruth: No, but there is a Reverend Grey here to see you.
Macleod: That man! He’s killing me with those “Kenyan reports” he’s sending to the London papers. Fortunately they’re all against him except for The Guardian.
Ruth: He’s not here to protest the Kimaru release, he’s here to talk about the John Williams’ case.
Macleod: Williams is the nut who went around shooting people.
Ruth: He claims they were Mau Maus he shot.
Macleod: Why must you always defend my enemies?
Ruth: I didn’t know you considered every white in Kenya your enemy.
Macleod: They threw 30 silver coins at me when I passed through the Highlands. I’ll teach them to respect me.
Ruth: I’ll tell the Reverend you won’t see him.
Macleod: On the contrary, send him in. I have something to say to him.
Rev. Grey: Thank you for seeing me.
Macleod: I know why you’re here, Rev. You want me to pardon John Williams. But before you do something you’ll regret, let me read you parts of a letter sent to the Nairobi Times. I’ll read you the part pertaining to the Reverend Grey: “What is this man doing in Kenya? I’m told he’s as old as Methuselah and as strong as Hercules. Can such things be? There is something terribly wrong here. Sent from God, to help us? I think he was sent by some other power, to destroy us not help us. We must cooperate with the plans for a new multi-racial…” The letter goes on for another page – it must have been a slow news day – but there’s no more about you. The man who wrote that letter was John Williams. Do you still want him pardoned?
Grey: Yes. The man came back from a meeting, a meeting in which he spoke out for the inter-racial cooperation that you recommend. When he returned home, he found his wife, his two daughters, and his three sons had been tortured, raped, and murdered by the Mau Maus. From that moment on, he set his heart on one thing: killing Mau Maus. He didn’t just go out and shoot the first negroes he saw. He found out where the Mau Maus were, and he killed as many as he could. And he’d still be out there, doing what your troops should be doing, if the British army had not arrested him.
Macleod: We can’t have people taking the law into their own hands.
Grey: If the law won’t help white Christians defend themselves against black heathens, then it is not the law. It is a satanic monstrosity that must be fought with all our heart, mind, and soul.
Macleod: If you keep on in that vein, Reverend, I’ll have you locked up.
Grey: Do it.
Macleod: No, I won’t give you the satisfaction of martyrdom.
Grey: But you still plan on executing Williams?
Macleod: Yes, I do. He’ll be executed on the same day that Kimaru gets out of prison. Both actions will show we’re serious about white and black collaboration.
Grey: Some whites don’t see it that way. The ones who threw you the thirty pieces of silver, for instance.
Macleod: I can’t be concerned about a few lunatics. I’m doing what Macmillan wants, I’m doing what the UN wants, and I’m doing what the Christian church men want. You should be on my side.
Grey: You’re doing what the church men want, but not what the Christian Europeans want.
Macleod: I don’t think we have anything else to talk about, Rev. Grey.
Grey: May I see John Williams?
Macleod: [after some hesitation] Yes, I’ll get you a pass.
Act II, Scene IV
John Williams’ jail cell
Williams: It’s kind of you to see me, Reverend, considering what I’ve said about you.
Grey: That’s past, John, no need to dwell on it. Let me read from the Gospel.
Williams: I’d like that, but not yet. I do need to dwell on what I said about you. You see, I convinced myself that you were some kind of demon priest because I wanted you to be wrong about the compromise. I was a farmer, not a soldier, and I just wanted to continue farming in the British Highlands and taking care of my family through that farming. You and Owen upset me with your talk about the Mau Maus not listening to reason. That has always frightened me, the idea that there are people so intent on evil that they cannot be deterred by reason. What I’m stumbling all over myself to say is this: I was wrong, wrong to accuse you of demonism and wrong not to support you at the meeting. When I saw my wife and children after the Mau Maus got through with them, I saw just how wrong, how sinful my cowardly evasion of the truth was.
[At this point, John Williams breaks down and sobs uncontrollably]
Grey: John, you didn’t cause your family’s death. Whether you were for or against a compromise with the Mau Maus you would have been at the meeting.
Williams: No, it won’t work, Reverend. I thank you for trying. But I could have put my sons and my farm hands on the alert before I came to the meeting. I can honestly say I’m not afraid to die, except for the fact that I’ll have to face my family after what I did to them.
Grey: No, John, they’ll be no reproaches on their faces. There will be joy, the joy of seeing their father and husband, and the joy of knowing you’ll be with them and Him for all eternity.
Williams: Do you know that to be true, Reverend?
Grey: Yes, I do. I’ll stay right here with you tonight and in the morning I’ll walk with you to the gallows. Through it all look at me and say those blessed words from the Gospel with me right to the end: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
[John was executed at 8 a.m. the next morning. If ever a man was at peace with death, it was John Williams. One look of gratitude toward me, one quick smile of contentment, and it was over]
Act III, Scene I
Vatican City, the Papal Chambers
Messenger: Monsignor Bontini is outside.
Pope John: Send him in. [Bontini enters] Monsignor Bontini, I’m so glad to see you. You’ve done such excellent work to put all in readiness for the ecumenical mass with Kimaru. I’m looking forward to it. The Church has been much too negligent in the past. We did not reach out to our black brothers.
Bontini: It’s the Kimaru mass that I want to talk about.
Pope John: [visibly upset] Something hasn’t gone wrong? I want so much to concelebrate with Kimaru.
Bontini: Nothing has gone wrong with the details, everything is ready, Holy Father.
Pope John: That is a relief [smiling]. Why do you try to upset me?
Bontini: There is not a problem with the details of the mass or with Kimaru’s people, but there is a problem: it’s my problem, it’s something in my soul.
Pope John: Tell me about it, my son.
Bontini: It’s a dream I had, Holy Father. Now, I know we are supposed to disregard such things—dreams are so disjointed and illogical – but I cannot shake off the effects of this dream. It haunts me.
Pope John: What was the dream?
Bontini: It was about Kimaru and the upcoming ecumenical mass.
Pope John: Now I see, the dream has caused you some uneasiness about the Kimaru mass.
Bontini: Yes, Holy Father. If I could talk with you about it maybe I could come to terms with my conscience.
Pope John: By all means, tell me about the dream, my son, and don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll be able to ease your conscience.
Bontini: It’s going to seem silly – most dreams do when you tell them in the light of day – but I never had a dream of such vividness before.
Pope John: Go ahead, my son.
Bontini: It was day, I think the late afternoon, and I was preparing the cathedral for the upcoming Kimaru mass. I was alone, and I was on the altar facing the Eucharist. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned, quite startled, and saw a hooded figure with no face. He might have had a face – the hood covered something that was shaped like a human head, but there were no discernible features of a face inside the hood – no eyes, nose, or mouth.
The figure raised his hand: for some reason, I thought of the figure as a ‘he’ even though I could not see his face. He pointed to a side door leading out of the cathedral and made it clear I was supposed to follow him out the door. I did as he wished.
Once we exited by the side door, we were faced with an unbelievable horror. There was a vast field covered with what seemed an infinitude of mutilated bodies of men, women, and children of both sexes. All the bodies were white. Some just lay there, seemingly dead. Others were walking or crawling around, screaming in agony, often carrying their severed heads or a limb, as they moved about, screaming. And in the midst of the multitudinous sea of agonized white people was a giant negro with normal size black servants. The giant negro was Kimaru, and he was in the process of hacking white people to pieces. I could see that those white people were new arrivals, because they formed a long line behind Kimaru. They were just waiting to be slaughtered. And I heard a voice near me saying, “In so much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.” I turned to look at the hooded figure and for a split second I thought I saw the face of Jesus Christ within the hood, but then the face vanished and the hood once again had just the face of darkness.
Then I saw Kimaru grow to even greater proportions. He stopped hacking the white people in pieces and started gobbling them up whole. After each gulp, he smacked his lips and smiled at me. Finally he spoke. “I am your child, Bontini, are you proud of me?” And then he laughed again. “Look there,” he pointed to a large hill overlooking the slaughter, a hill which had not been there before. On the hill was Satan in a golden chariot. He had on all the papal vestments and held the mitre. Riding down the hill into the carnage of the open field, he blessed Kimaru and called him “My son.” And then suddenly I was no longer in that terrible field of carnage, I was back in the Cathedral, and Kimaru was there, a normal-sized Kimaru, and he was receiving your blessing, but when I looked at your face, it was no longer your face: it was Satan’s. And Kimaru started laughing and pointing at me as if he and I shared in some great devilish work. And lightning struck the Cathedral, and I saw the earth open up under my feet as I, the assembled clergy, Kimaru and his followers, and you, Holy Father, went tumbling down into hell.
In the last part of the dream, I was in a desert so hot that my skin was burning up and falling off in layers onto the dry desert sand. I thought, “A man only has so much skin, so I will be a skeleton soon, and my bones will rot here.” But then a little child came to me and started cooling and healing my body with some kind of miraculous salve. When he had finished restoring my body, He became a man, and I knew the man: He was Christ. “Take care of my people, Francesco Bontini, take care of my people. Do not suffer that man to kill my people while invoking my name. Do you understand me, Francesco Bontini?”
I answered him, “Yes, Lord, I understand.”
Then I was back in the Cathedral moving chairs and setting up the microphone, and when I awoke, my bed was soaked with sweat and blood, and I had open, bleeding sores in my hands and on the side of my body where the centurion’s spear had pierced our Lord’s body. Naturally, I went to the doctor, who said my wounds were not deep, so he put some disinfectant on them and some bandages and sent me on my way. But the wounds are deep, Holy Father, they have penetrated into my soul. Please help me to know what I should do.
Pope John: That certainly was a vivid dream, and I can understand how it could upset a man like you, a sensitive man, so much that he could self-induce the wounds of Christ upon his own body.
Pope John: Let me finish, my son.
Bontini: I’m sorry.
Pope John: You must remember that this was a dream. I repeat: it was a dream. No matter how vivid, no matter how real it seemed, it was a dream. And dreams of that kind seldom come from God, they come from our own psyche. That is what the psychiatrists tell us, and I think they know whereof they speak. You obviously have been speaking to someone who was defaming Kimaru and exaggerating the evils of the Mau Maus. You absorbed that information into your subconscious, and it came out in that vivid dream. Now, think back; did you come into contact with a racist, an individual who simply wanted to defame Kimaru and exaggerate the Mau Mau excesses simply because he hated blacks?
Bontini: Possibly. I did have lunch with that Anglican priest, Christopher Grey. He asked for a meeting with me, because he heard I was in charge of the Kimaru mass.
Pope John: I knew it. He is not even in good standing in the Anglican community. They are good men; they are our brothers in Christ, but he is an outcast man because of his racism.
Bontini: But I must say, Holy Father, that he impressed me as a very good man and very sincere. He made a case, citing many incidents that he had witnessed, against Kimaru and the Mau Maus. He has been to Kenya and seen such…
Pope John: He is a racist; you can’t trust a word he says. I know that Kimaru is a Christian. Some of his followers have killed, that is true, but you must remember that they killed because they have never known compassion or mercy. The white man has only dealt with them by the use of whips and chains. They are not to be blamed for the few incidents when they shed blood, but are instead to be commended for their great restraint, because in most cases they did not shed blood. If we embrace them, take them to our hearts with loving charity and forgiveness, they will never kill again; in fact, they will show us the rare phenomenon of natural men who are infused with grace. That is a miracle, a miracle which should be celebrated; that is why we are celebrating Kimaru’s journey to Rome. And you have done well in preparing for his visit.
Bontini: Have I done well?
Pope John: I have said it; that should be enough for you. [Monsignor Bontini exits]
Act III, Scene II
The Press Room of the Vatican
[Members of the press from all the European countries and most of the African countries are present. Kimaru is standing up at the podium with several of his followers seated behind him]
English reporter: Does this move by the Vatican make you feel less hostile to Christianity?
Kimaru: I have never been hostile to Christianity. I am a Christian. I believe in the teachings of Christ. I follow the line Jesus taught. I think it helps me in many ways.
Italian reporter: How does it help you?
Kimaru: It helps me forgive those who imprisoned me unjustly and it helps me govern Kenya.
English reporter: What about the Mau Maus? It is said that they are still murdering whites.
Kimaru: They are not still murdering whites, because they never did murder whites. When blood was shed, it was shed in self-defense.
Italian reporter: Will you concelebrate with the Pope? Generally a non-Catholic does not concelebrate.
Kimaru: I am a special case: I will concelebrate the mass with Pope John. Black people have been kept away from the inner chambers of the church for much too long. [he raises both hands in the air] Now the time has come for black people to regain their rightful place in the Kingdom of God.
English reporter: Could you mention something about the reforms you’ve instituted in Kenya?
Kimaru: We’ve returned Kenya to the blacks. Previously whites exploited the blacks; they used them as laborers and slaves. Now the blacks rule Kenya, and the whites are our helpers, not our slaves. No white business has been destroyed; no white farm has been confiscated. We have simply put black people in charge of Africa, for the benefit of blacks and whites.
Italian reporter: What made you accept the Holy Father’s offer?
Kimaru: Excuse me, in my nation there is no Holy Father; we call a man by his name. The man called John wanted to recognize my mission before the world so he invited me here. I accepted.
Italian reporter: Is that what happened, your Reverence?
Pope John: [stepping up to the podium] Yes, that is what happened. I have followed Kimaru’s career and have admired his work on behalf of his people and his efforts to bring peace and cooperation between whites and blacks in Kenya. I think Kenya can be a model for the rest of Africa and even for the rest of the world. The black race is the most Christ-like race of people; they have borne their suffering nobly and have much to show the rest of the world.
American reporter: Your Holiness, there are reports of terrible things, of torture, murder, and rape, atrocities directed against your people, against nuns and priests. What do you say about that?
Pope John: I say what I have said before. There have been atrocities on both sides of this terrible racial divide, but the great majority of atrocities have been committed by the white race against the black race. It behooves us, the Catholic people, and especially the Pontiff of Rome, to reach out to the blacks in loving charity and forgiveness and tell them how deeply sorry I am for what we, as Christians, have made them do. That is my answer to the so-called atrocities of the Mau Mau and other black tribes.
Papal Representative: Gentlemen, they’ll be time for more questions after the mass when we all have dinner together. Right now, we must prepare for the mass.
Act III, Scene III
A small restaurant in Rome on a side street near, but not too near, the Vatican City
[Monsignor Bontini, Rev. Christopher Grey, and Edward Owen occupy a corner table in the restaurant. Bontini has spoken with Rev. Grey before, but this is his first meeting with Edward Owen. We join them at the beginning of their dinner after the introductions are over]
Bontini: I hope you don’t think my joining you for dinner means I agree with your views on Kimaru.
Owen: I don’t know what Rev. Grey told you, but my views on Kimaru are quite simple: I think he should be killed. And if it takes him a long time to die, that is all to the good.
Bontini: The Rev. Grey told me of your family, Mr. Owen, and I sympathize with you. But surely you cannot mean what you say. Vengeance is always wrong, but blind vengeance, where you merely strike out blindly against men whom you do not even know are guilty, is the worst type of vengeance.
Owen: Save your sermons for your parishioners, Monsignor. I’ll do what I must do.
Rev. Grey: I don’t think Edward is wrong, Monsignor. But I’m curious as to why you requested this meeting. You seemed to be adamantly opposed to my views on Kimaru when we talked last week.
Bontini: I’m still opposed to your opinions, but I can’t help but have a certain affinity for your… well, for want of a better word, for your passion. You love your people; I can see and admire that. And I asked you to bring Mr. Owen along so I could hear more from the other side and maybe convince Mr. Owen and you that our side is in the right on this issue of Kimaru and the Mau Maus.
[Owen gets up to leave]
Bontini: Please stay, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you.
Owen: You haven’t offended me. It’s just that I’ve heard all the pro-Mau Mau propaganda I can stand. There’s no point in listening to more.
Bontini: If you stay I promise you’ll hear no more propaganda from me. I’d like to listen to you and Rev. Grey.
Owen: All right. [he sits down again]
Rev. Grey: It’s as I told you last week, Monsignor. This issue of Kimaru and the Mau Maus cuts right to the heart of existence. Is Christ the living God and did He become incarnate in the culture of the European people? Despite all their sectarian differences, despite the wars, an infinitude of all the human fragilities, did Christ come and abide with the European people?
Bontini: Yes, he did.
Grey: Was He incarnate in any other people?
Bontini: No, He wasn’t, but surely you’re not suggesting that God only came to save white men.
Grey: No, I am not. I am saying that the Europeans are the Christ-bearers, that the way to Christ is through the hearth fires of the European people. If you destroy those hearth fires and the people who dwell there, you will have effectually cut off mankind from the living God. Can we know God by abiding with the Asians? With the Indians? And certainly not with the blacks. Kimaru attacks the whites because he is fueled by a satanic hatred that he doesn’t even understand. But his life is like it so he follows his vision of hatred and destruction – hatred for the white race and the destruction of every last vestige of Christian European culture.
Bontini: While I sit here with you and listen to you speak of Kimaru, I feel one with you. I want to strike out against him and his Mau Mau followers; I certainly don’t want to celebrate Mass with them. But that feeling is only here and now, and when I leave you, I hear other voices and I’m subject to other influences.
Owen: You said that you didn’t approve of blind vengeance, Monsignor. My vengeance is not blind, it is directed at the Mau Maus and most particularly at Kimaru and my family’s black servant who now serves Kimaru as a manservant and chef. He not only participated in the mass murder of my parents and my brothers, but also held down my baby sister while his fellow Mau Maus raped her. Then when they had finished with her, he plucked her eyes out of their sockets and ate them. He bragged about it later. What would you do to such a creature?
Bontini: I’d kill him, but would I be right in doing so? [he looks at the Rev. Grey]
Grey: Yes, it would be and it is right to kill such creatures. The “charity of honor” that Burke spoke about demands that we do so.
Bontini: Those policemen are coming toward our table. Believe me, Rev. Grey, I said nothing to anyone.
Grey: [placing his hand on Bontini’s shoulder] I believe you, Monsignor.
1st Officer: Rev. Christopher Grey?
1st Officer: You are under arrest as an undesirable alien. You will be put on a plane and deported to England immediately.
2nd Officer: Edward Owen?
2nd Officer: You will also be sent to England with Rev. Grey.
Owen: On what charge? [He rises and appears to be ready to strike the second officer. A third officer attempts to hit Owen with his club. Rev. Grey leaps to his feet and grabs the third officer’s arm, forcing him to drop the club]
1st Officer: That’s enough of that, Rev. Grey. [turning to the third officer] Leave off, they’ll come peacefully.
Bontini: By your leave, officers, I’d like to accompany these men to the plane.
1st Officer: I’ve no objection to that, but we must leave now.
Bontini: Please, no handcuffs.
1st Officer: All right. [exit the officers, Rev. Grey, Bontini, and Owen]
Act III, Scene IV
Rome Airport waiting room
[Bontini, Grey, Owen, and three police officers]
1st Officer: [addressing Monsignor Bontini, who obviously has more influence than Rev. Grey or Edward Owen] You understand, Monsignor, that I just follow my orders; I have nothing personal against you or your friends.
Bontini: I understand that, officer, and I appreciate your not treating them as criminals. You know how the political winds shift. At another time, they might be welcome guests in our country.
1st Officer: You’re right, that’s why I don’t like these assignments. Somebody obviously does not want your friends around, somebody with political muscle, but I wish whoever it is would not use the police force to settle their quarrels with political opponents.
Bontini: You could do me one more favor, officer. If I could speak privately for just a few moments with my friends, I would greatly appreciate it. We could sit right over there where you can still see us.
1st Officer: [glancing across the room at the vacant chairs] All right, go ahead. [Bontini, Owen, and Grey go across the room and sit down]
Bontini: I feel responsible for this.
Grey: We don’t blame you, Monsignor.
Owen: Of course not.
Bontini: But you see I am somewhat responsible because I did tell Pope John that I had been speaking to you [glancing at Grey] when he was trying to find out why I had misgivings about my part in the preparations for the Kimaru mass. I know he is the one behind your deportation. In his mind, he is protecting me from evil influences.
Grey: So you actually did have some misgivings about the Kimaru mass?
Bontini: I didn’t think I did, but I had this dream – it was terrible but also moving. The Holy Father dismissed the dream, but still it has filled me with doubts. And meeting your friend here and talking to you again has only increased my doubts.
Grey: Neither Edward nor I think we have it in our power to stop the Mau Maus without other men joining us, but with or without help from anyone else we both are committed to do what we can to fight them, because we believe they are from Satan. There is nothing more I can say to you. We’ve given you our witness, and you’ve heard and seen Kimaru. You decide.
Bontini: I pray that I do what is right. Will you pray for me?
[The Rev. Grey goes to his knees]
Grey: Lord abide with your servant Francesco Bontini and help him at the moment of truth to decide to fight for your reign of charity. In Christ’s name, Amen.
[Both Grey and Owen walk from the waiting room and board the plane]
Act III, Scene V
Rome, the Cathedral
[The Kimaru Mass is in progress. Kimaru and the Pope are concelebrating with many cardinals and dignitaries in attendance. Kimaru is dressed in his African tribal robes. Sitting in the front row are five of Kimaru’s wives, four black and one white. The four black wives are topless, and the white wife is in an African-styled gown. Monsignor is seated four or five rows back. He has made all the arrangements for the mass, so he now has nothing more to do than to sit back and watch the results of all his handiwork. The Pope has done the readings, and then he allows Kimaru to give the homily]
Kimaru: This is a great moment for Africa, and it is a great moment for the people of Italy and all of Europe. I am Mau Mau, and Mau Mau is Africa. It is not just a political movement, it is a religious revival. Once, the black man ruled Africa and Europe too. Then came the great deceivers, the white men, and they destroyed the great black kingdoms by treachery. Now I, Kimaru, and my fellow Mau Maus will restore the Kingdom of Africa. There shall be no more white deceivers on the earth. The great Jesus Christ once tried to eliminate all the black people from the face of the earth. But he failed, and now it falls to me, the black Messiah who is greater than Christ, to bring the Kingdom of Mau Mau to completion. Never shall we, the black nations, again submit to white rule. The reign of Mau Mau is here.
[The mass proceeds. After the Pope completes the consecration, he first kneels before the Eucharist and then turns and kneels before Kimaru. This is too much for Bontini, who rushes toward the altar]
Bontini: Stop this blasphemy, this must not go on! [He reaches the altar, leaps on Kimaru, knocking him down, and starts to strangle him. The Italian police pull Bontini off Kimaru and take him out of the Cathedral. The Pope steps up to the podium]
Pope John: Please be seated, Monsignor Bontini has been suffering from a troubling illness. Let us go on with the mass.
[The mass proceeds although half of those in attendance have left]
Pope John: [as the mass ends] The mass is over, go in peace to love and serve the Lord and make a vow to love and serve your black brethren, whom our brother in Christ, Kimaru, has represented so wonderfully here today.
Kimaru: Mau Mau now and forever, amen.
Act IV, Scene I
London, Christopher Grey’s home
[Rev. Grey has a visitor, one Inspector Chambers from Scotland Yard]
Grey: Edward Owen resides in Kenya now; I haven’t seen him since he left Britain some six months ago.
Chambers: I know that. I didn’t come here to question you about Edward Owen. There was some interest in Mr. Owen after Kimaru’s manservant was found murdered in his apartment right here in London about eight months ago. The manservant had been a butler in the Owen household when the Mau Mau butchered his family. Owen accused the man of participating in the massacre, so it was only normal police procedure to check out Edward Owen.
Grey: How did he check out, as you call it?
Chambers: There was no compelling evidence against him. At least no compelling evidence that was brought forward.
Grey: I’m not certain I follow you.
Chambers: I’m not playing cat and mouse with you, Reverend, although it might appear that way. I know for a fact that Edward Owen killed that loathsome creature, but I’m the only man outside yourself and Edward Owen that does know it. I can see you suspect a trick, and I understand that. But I’m a man first, and a police inspector second. I would have done what your friend did if I was in his place. He did what was right, and I wasn’t about to turn him in for it.
Grey: I’m afraid I can’t comment one way or the other on your rather surprising information, Inspector Chambers.
Chambers: I don’t want you to, but I’m going to lay all my cards on the table about this whole Mau Mau business, and you can believe me or not believe me after I’m finished. I’ll think you’ll believe me when I tell it all.
Grey: By all means, Inspector, tell your story.
Chambers: You’ll remember it was about eight months ago when Kimaru was visiting England. He met with the Prime Minister, he met with the Queen, and he met with the Archbishop of Canterbury. You name them, and he met them. And we, Scotland Yard, were charged with providing him security, because we were told he was a Mau Mau and there were those in the country who didn’t hold with the Mau Maus. I didn’t know a thing about the Mau Maus at the time. I had heard some things, good and bad, but hearing something is not the same as knowing something. So I had no definite opinions about Kimaru and the Mau Maus before I was put in charge of their safety while they were in England.
Once I got to know Kimaru, I didn’t like him, but I still couldn’t believe some of the things his detractors said. How could they have let him out of jail if he did half the things they said he did? But I kept telling myself I was a police officer; my personal opinion of Kimaru didn’t matter. But he was a handful. He took offence at just about everything. If you walked in front of him, that was an offense to his dignity. If you didn’t address him as ‘His Highness’ that was an affront to him and his people. Yet he never stopped insulting everything white, English, and Christian. I needed all my self-control to keep from punching that fat, bloated monstrosity. And his wives – they all acted like Scotland Yard existed solely to cater to their whims.
Well, he made the rounds and was courted and petted by the English press and the English royalty until his main toady, Mugo, the man who used to work for your friend’s family back in Kenya, was found murdered. It was a clean job; he was knifed through the heart in his hotel room. Whoever got to him had climbed up to the window from ten stories down. Of course I now know that it wasn’t somebody, it was Edward Owen.
I had been briefed on Owen before the murder. He, along with you, was listed as a person we should keep away from Kimaru. In terms of physical violence we were more worried about Owen. You had that column you wrote for the Guardian; it didn’t seem likely that you’d try to kill Kimaru after excoriating him in print. Of course, I was wrong, but I’ll come to that later.
Owen wasn’t seen anywhere near the hotel where Mugo was murdered, but he also couldn’t provide me with an alibi. But still, the fact that he was known to have hated Mugo was not enough to arrest him. We had him in the station for over four hours of questioning before we released him with instructions not to leave London until we told him he could leave. I was certain we’d have enough evidence to arrest him within the week.
The next day I was called into the commissioner’s office. He said, “I got a call from Kimaru. He says he has some evidence regarding Mugo’s murder that he’d like you to see.”
“All right, I’ll go out there and see what he’s got for me.”
Kimaru, when he wasn’t in London, was living in a big country estate about ten miles west of London. I had no idea what the evidence might be, but it was my case, so I headed for his estate as soon as I left the commissioner’s office. I don’t need to tell you what a fuss the papers were making about the poor innocent negro who came here on a peaceful diplomatic trip with Kimaru and was then brutally murdered. I wanted to clear the case up quickly, but I also didn’t want to be railroaded into making an arrest before I had enough evidence.
Kimaru was scheduled to go back to Kenya in a few weeks, but he had certainly fixed up the place as if he planned on staying there forever. Inside it looked like a pleasure palace of one of those Arab potentates. He was surrounded by a large circle of scantily clad women and numerous black toadies, all of which I had come to expect when dealing with Kimaru. He cleared the room and bid me sit down.
Kimaru: I have incontrovertible evidence that Edward Owen murdered my servant Mugo.
Chambers: If you have such evidence, I’d like to see it.
Kimaru: [responding to a bell, two of his men wheel in a film projector, and Kimaru dismisses them] Flip the switch on the lower right corner, and then watch the film, Inspector Chambers.
[What I now saw was Edward Owen climbing in a window – you couldn’t tell it was Owen until he turned on the light – and confronting Mugo. The film also recorded their speech.
Owen: I’ve come to send you to hell, Mugo.
Mugo: You won’t touch me, white filth. You haven’t the courage. You’re too afraid of Mau Mau to do anything against its power.
Owen simply walked up to him, knocked him down, and plunged a knife through his heart. Then he left by the window he had come in by. It took less than five minutes. When the film was over, Kimaru turned the lights on and addressed me]
Kimaru: Will justice be served, Inspector?
Chambers: With that film as evidence, I think justice will be served.
Kimaru: I think Owen should be handed over to me for Mau Mau justice, but I don’t suppose you will do that.
Chambers: No, we won’t. He’ll be tried in a British court.
Kimaru: Will he die for his crime?
Chambers: I don’t know, that is not up to me.
Kimaru: I suppose his lawyer will bring up that old story about Mugo’s massacre of the Owen family.
Chambers: Yes, I’m sure that will be brought up.
Kimaru: Do you believe his story?
Chambers: What I believe doesn’t matter.
Kimaru: Oh, but it does matter what you believe, Inspector Chambers. You see I attended one of your English universities, and I know about your jury system. If the jury feels that Owen was acting out of a justifiable rage over the massacre of his family, they might not exact the death penalty; they might be much too lenient. So I ask you, as a typical Englishman, do you believe what Edward Owen told you about Mugo and Owen’s young sister and the rest of the family?
Chambers: Before I answer that question, let me ask you a question. Why did you film Mugo’s room that night?
Kimaru: Because I was hoping that we could catch Owen in the act of killing Mugo.
Chambers: So you knew that Owen was going to kill Mugo that night?
Kimaru: I didn’t know which night, but I was sure he would try.
Chambers: Did Mugo know that he was being filmed, did he know that he was being set up?
Kimaru: No, of course he didn’t.
Chambers: So you just let him be killed?
Kimaru: Of course, what is one man compared to the cause of Mau Mau? I would sacrifice 10,000 Mugos in order to destroy an enemy of Mau Mau. Owen is an implacable enemy; he needed to be destroyed. Of course most of the damage has already been done. He brought that priest into the picture.
Chambers: You mean the Rev. Grey?
Kimaru: Yes, he has done harm to the Mau Mau cause, but not much. Only a few of your English commoners believe what he says. Your politicians, your clergy, and your professors all support Mau Mau.
Chambers: And what is Mau Mau?
Kimaru: It is everything Reverend Grey says it is. Mau Mau is dedicated to the complete destruction of the white race, by torture, murder, and rape.
Kimaru: Because we worship Satan and hate Christ. You British should pay more attention to history. Before the white man came to Africa there was Mau Mau, and now that the white men are being driven out of Africa, the Mau Mau will resurface. And not just in Africa, we will occupy all of Europe, your professors and politicians will invite us in, and then…
Chambers: You’ll torture, murder, and rape.
Kimaru: Yes, Englishman, I think you’re beginning to understand. But I understand you as well, Englishman. I know you won’t lie to me. Will you submit this film as evidence against Edward Owen knowing that Mugo was indeed the key conspirator in the torture, murder, and rape of Owen’s family?
Chambers: No, I will not submit that film as evidence. I’ll take that film and destroy it.
Kimaru: I knew you wouldn’t lie. You have the mark on you. You’re what they call a true bred Englishman. But you know this means that you must die.
Kimaru: Unfortunately I can’t have my people do the usual mutilations, because your body must be found, and it must appear you were killed by Edward Owen. But I still think we can find some other way to make your death as painful as possible without leaving any marks. You can see why I asked you to leave your revolver at the door.
Act IV, Scene II
Still in Rev. Grey’s home
Chambers: You know what happened after that, Reverend. He had his henchmen take me downstairs to his homemade torture chamber. Every Mau Mau should have one. He told me grisly stories of what he had done to whites in Kenya and what he was going to do to them when he got back to Kenya. He also told me of the white slavery rings he had started right here in Britain. Then he gave orders to his henchmen to start in on me. But they never started. A masked figure, just like in the Zorro and Bulldog Drummond books, suddenly appeared. He put a bullet through each of the henchmen’s heads and then he walked up to Kimaru and strangled that 400 pound monstrosity, after which he cut me loose and left.
You had no way of knowing about the film, Reverend, or that I had already decided to destroy it, so you didn’t reveal yourself. But let me assure you that I destroyed the film; it perished in the fire, which according to my report and that of the fire commissioner, was started by faulty wiring. It was a shame that Kimaru and two of his colleagues were burned beyond recognition. The rest of his people got out safely. No doubt they’ll return to Kenya and attach themselves to another Mau Mau dictator.
Grey: Yes, the death of Kimaru doesn’t end the Mau Mau uprising. In point of fact, the Mau Mau element we shall always have with us. It can be contained and controlled if whites are strong, but it will always be there, lurking in the subterranean recesses of the black man’s soul, ready to surface whenever white Christians lose faith in their people and their God.
Chambers: You might think I was negligent in not reporting what happened that night, but I knew they wouldn’t believe me. Torture chambers and a mysterious masked man? They’d have locked me up as a murderer and a madman.
Grey: You did what was best. Now, you can still keep an eye out for the Mau Mau movements right here in Britain.
Chambers: We’re in for it, aren’t we?
Grey: I’m afraid so.
Chambers: Something to do with reaping what we’ve sown?
Chambers: Well, I’ll be heading back to my flat.
Grey: Inspector, before you go…
Grey: It’s possible that you didn’t destroy the film and still mean to use it against Edward Owen, or possibly there never was a film and you want to bluff me into implicating Edward. I don’t believe any of that. I believe everything you told me, but I have no right to violate another man’s confidence, so I’ll not say anything about Edward Owen.
Chambers: I understand.
Grey: But I will say something about that masked figure. Of course it was me. I’m glad I got there in time, and I was proud to stand with a true bred Englishman. If you’ll let me, I’d like to shake your hand.
Chambers: [shaking Grey’s hand and then kneeling] I’d like your blessing, too.
Grey: Everlasting God, which has ordained and constituted the services of all angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant, that they which always do thee service in heaven, may by thy appointment succor and defend us in earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Act V, Scene I
The Papal chambers, Rome
Paul VI: Welcome, Monsignor… I mean, welcome, Francesco. [Bontini bows but does not kiss the proffered ring] I hope you do not blame the pontiff of Rome for your troubles.
Bontini: I don’t blame anyone but myself for my troubles. There are some lines from that great English playwright Shakespeare that describe me:
“Had I but serv’d my God with half the zeal
I serv’d my King, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.”
In my case, it was the Pope, but the result was the same, and the fault was mine, not for attacking Kimaru – I’m proud of that – but for putting the Pope’s will above God’s will.
Paul VI: You’ve strayed far from the true faith, if you can say such a thing.
Bontini: I’ve spent three years in prison dwelling on this thing we call faith, and I don’t think slavish devotion to an organization that has completely abstracted itself from Christ and His people constitutes “The Faith.”
Paul VI: You’re just bitter against the Church, because of your time in prison.
Bontini: Why would you say that, your Reverence? It was not the church authorities that had me imprisoned, although you could have used your influence to get me out sooner.
Paul VI: I asked you to come here, to welcome you back, and to assure you that the Holy Father loves all of his children, even the wayward ones.
Bontini: But especially the black, wayward children, if “wayward” is what you call torture, rape, and murder. Your predecessor had nothing but “loving forgiveness” for the Mau Maus that tortured, raped, and murdered Catholic priests and nuns. One of those nuns came from my village; she was a second cousin. And I still went ahead with the Kimaru mass. There is blood on my hands and blood on Pope John’s hands as well as on your own, Montini, because you continued your predecessor’s policy of betrayal. To you, a white man is nothing; he is just grist for your satanic mill of negro worship. I don’t know what your ultimate aim is, nor, I think, do you. You are just following the liberal winds of the times. You don’t want to Christianize the blacks, you want to worship them. I saw this at the Kimaru mass, and I see it in your so-called evangelization efforts in Africa. Christ loves us all, but does He hate the white race enough to sanction what you are doing? Is He willing to play second fiddle to your black gods?
Paul VI: [infuriated] I asked you here in loving forgiveness, and this is how you respond. Now we will speak, and our voice is that of the Church. You will cease and desist with your newspaper articles against the Church’s outreach to Africa and the other colored lands.
Bontini: Or else?
Paul VI: Or else we will be forced to excommunicate you.
Bontini: I’ve already been defrocked and I haven’t been to mass in three years, so do your worst.
Paul VI: I can also have you fired from your job on the paper.
Bontini: I suppose you can, but I still say do your worst. I’ve had it with you people. You’re very good haters when it comes to white people, and you have no real warmth for your abstract little black gods. Good day, Montini.
Act V, Scene II
A road in Kenya
[A band of Mau Maus, over fifty in number, are on their way to massacre a white family who have been labeled as white oppressors, for their failure to turn all of their profits over to the official Mau Mau-dominated government. As they near the farm of the recalcitrant whites, a hooded figure appears. With his long gray beard and glittering eyes, he looks like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner or some Hebrew prophet from the days of old. In point of fact, he calls himself Ezekiel]
Ezekiel: Stop! The wrath of the Lord has come upon you. [He starts firing]
Mau Mau Leader: It’s that mad prophet. Kill him… [A bullet rips through the Mau Mau’s body and he falls down dead]
Mau Mau Warriors: Run or he’ll shoot us all down like dogs!
[Ezekiel keeps up a steady stream of fire. The Mau Maus try to run in the opposite direction, but they run right into gunfire from Edward Owen, William Montgomery, and Ethan Montgomery. Caught between Ezekiel’s gunfire and the other men’s gunfire, all the Mau Maus are cut down.
William Montgomery: [Looking out over the dead bodies] It’s a sickening sight, isn’t it, Ethan?
Ethan: Yes, it is, but I’d sooner see dead Mau Maus than you, or Peter, Mother, Susan, or Jennifer lying there.
Owen: He’s right, Mr. Montgomery. It had to be done.
William Montgomery: I know that. It just sickens me that I have to be one to do it.
Ethan: He’s gone. I’d like to thank him; he warned us the raid was coming. How did he know, Edward?
Owen: I don’t know, but he always seems to know when they’ll strike.
Ethan: Even though there were more guns firing at them from our side of the ridge, they still ran away from him and toward us.
Owen: That’s because they’re afraid of him, they don’t believe he’s mortal. They think he’s some sort of ghost, an avenging ghost.
William Montgomery: They’re partly right.
Ethan: What do you mean by that, Father?
William: Ezekiel is mortal, but unless I miss my guess, he’s also a ghost of a man. It was about five years ago that he first started appearing at the most opportune moments for whites and the most inopportune moments for the Mau Maus. He seems to have a sixth sense about their movements. He anticipates where they’re going to strike, and then he strikes first.
Owen: Who do you think he is?
William Montgomery: I think he is Thomas Cooper. His family was massacred by the Mau Maus in the same month that John Williams’ family was massacred. He almost never set foot off his farm, but on that particular day he was at a neighbor’s farm to look at a prize bull and some heifers his neighbor was selling. His whole family, his wife, his four daughters, and his three sons, were all murdered.
He wouldn’t let anyone else touch their mutilated bodies. He piled them in a truck and drove off into the jungle. The truck was found a few weeks later, but there was no sign of him or the corpses of his wife and children.
Before John Williams died, he said something to me that I didn’t understand at the time. He said, “Ezekiel still lives.” I now think that Williams teamed up with Cooper after his family was massacred. They caught Williams, but Cooper has kept on fighting, learning more and more about the Mau Mau ways and putting that knowledge to good use.
Ethan: He saved our family.
William: Yes, he did, for now. But I think it’s time to get out of Kenya, son. I’ve been talking it over with your mother, and we can’t see any other option. British Kenya is dead. We’ve thought of buying land in South Africa, but we’d soon be facing the same thing there that we faced here.
Ethan: But won’t we be facing the same thing in Britain if somebody doesn’t fight here?
William Montgomery: Yes, we will, but not right away, and I’d like some peace for a change. A farm in Scotland will give me more breathing space than one in South Africa [looking at Edward]. I suppose you think I’m cutting and running.
Owen: Not in the least, you can only do so much. I’d hate to see any member of your family the victim of the Mau Mau.
William: What about you, Edward? Why have you stayed so long in Kenya? There’s nothing left for you here.
Owen: What’s left for Ezekiel?
Ethan: The war against the Mau Maus?
Owen: Precisely. I’d like to meet this Ezekiel and see if he really is Thomas Cooper. And whether he is Cooper or someone else, I’d like to join him.
William: God bless you, Edward. But my war ends here. Let’s burn their bodies.
Act V, Scene III
Christmas Eve Day 1964
London, Rev. Christopher Grey’s house
[The door bell rings and Francesco Bontini answers it. William Montgomery is at the door]
Bontini: Won’t you come in? The Rev. Grey is not in at present, but I expect him back shortly. My name is Francesco Bontini, and I’ve been residing here for the last three months. The Reverend tells people that I’m here to help him with his pastoral duties, but I’m really here because I’m not welcome in Italy. My mother and father, who were so proud of me for becoming a priest, are now ashamed of me for getting myself defrocked. So I’m taking an English sojourn until I can decide where to go and what to do with the remainder of my life.
William Montgomery: I’ve heard about your story from a mutual friend, Edward Owen.
Bontini: Ah, Edward, the man of passion. How is he now? Is he still in Kenya?
Montgomery: Yes, he’s still in Kenya. And I suppose you could say he’s well, at least as well as a man who has chosen Edward’s path can be. But I might as well wait before I say anything more.
Bontini: Why is that?
Montgomery: Because Edward is the reason I’m here. He sent me a letter that he wants me to give to Reverend Grey. He sent it through me in case the Rev. Grey’s mail was being checked.
Bontini: That was a wise precaution. The Reverend has many, many friends, because his life has been a life of charity, but he also has many enemies in the government who would like to see him in prison.
Montgomery: It’s all madness, the Labour Party’s hatred for all things white and British.
Bontini: It is madness. But my own nation is suffering from the same madness. Only in my nation, whose history is so tied up with the Roman Church, the Pope has given religious sanction to the hatred of the white race.
Montgomery: There’s no real difference between our two nations regarding the love of the negro and the hatred of the white race. In England the state church removed Rev. Grey for being a “racist,” and the leaders of the Scottish kirks have recently abandoned the commandments in favor of the one great commandment, “Thou shall not be a racist.” Which of course translates to “thou shalt love the negro with all thy heart, mind, and soul, and thou shalt hate the white man with all thy heart, mind, and soul.”
Bontini: Are you living in Scotland now?
Montgomery: Yes, but I’ve brought the family down to stay a week in London. I’ve got a few hired workers that can take care of the farm until I get back.
Bontini: You and your family will be here for dinner tonight, won’t you?
Montgomery: Yes, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was kind of Rev. Grey to invite us.
Bontini: You know the Reverend is even busier now than when he was the official pastor at St. John’s. Now he is the unofficial pastor of the entire city of London. So many lost souls are drawn to him, trying to find something, or perhaps I should say someone, to keep them afloat in this terrible modern world we live in. There he is now.
[The Reverend Grey enters the room and walks over and embraces William Montgomery]
Grey: I know that’s a very un-English welcome, but I’m so very glad to see you.
Montgomery: I wanted to come sooner, but the farm I bought needed a lot of my attention. I haven’t felt confident that I could leave it until now, when there isn’t a whole lot to be done.
Grey: No apologies necessary. You forget I grew up on a farm.
Bontini: Mr. Montgomery has…
Montgomery: Please, I’m not a ‘Mr’ to my friends.
Bontini: All right then. William has a letter for you from Edward Owen. He sent it through William for reasons of security. [Montgomery hands the letter to Rev. Grey]
Grey: If you’ll excuse me for a moment, gentlemen, I’ll read the letter. [Grey exits the room]
Act V, Scene IV
One-half hour later
Grey: I’d like to share – I have Edward’s permission – some parts of this letter with you. Let me start about one page in, right before he meets Ezekiel.
“Even though I was sleeping light (I’ve learned to sleep light since the Mau Mau business started), I still didn’t hear him come into my camp. He left me a little map; without it I never would have found his cave, which was covered by underbrush too thick for anyone to see through.
“I was surprised how vast it was inside considering how small the opening and the initial passage to it was. When I got to the larger part of the cave, where I could stand upright, I couldn’t see anything. Before my eyes could become accustomed to the semi-darkness, I heard a stern voice, ‘Stay where you are. The footing is treacherous over there. I’ll come and get you.’ He turned on a large flashlight and came to my side. ‘Come this way.’
“I did as I was told and we soon entered his main living quarters. There was a small stove, one chair, a box of books, a radio, a large supply of water and food stuffs, and a sleeping bag.
“‘Now, Mr. Owen, what do you want from me?’
“‘I’m not here to inform on you; my family was massacred by the Mau Maus too.’
“‘I know that, otherwise I wouldn’t have invited you here.’
“I smiled. ‘How did you manage that?’
“‘There are things I’ve learned to do.’
“‘Listen, the long and the short of it is that I’d like to join you in your fight against the Mau Maus.’
“He spread his hands out and bid me look at his cave. ‘Could you live here?’
“‘No, not for more than a few weeks.’
“‘I’ve lived here for over 10 years. Some nights when I go out on a raid I sleep out, but this has been my home.’
“‘Surely there must be something I can do to help.’
“‘You’ve done many things to help already.’ He pointed to the radio. ‘I hear things. You’ve gone to Britain to kill Mau Maus.’
“‘Yes, I have.’
“‘The Lord will bless you for it.’
“‘I’d like to know more about you – are you Thomas Cooper?’
“‘I was Thomas Cooper, a lukewarm, worldly Christian. Now my name is Ezekiel.’
“‘Why take the name Ezekiel?’
“He took me to another section of the cave. What I saw took me aback, but I was not shocked. Ezekiel’s manner kind of prepared you to see things that were out of the ordinary. ‘This is my family.’ He said this and pointed out his family in the most natural way imaginable. And he wasn’t pointing to gravestones, he was pointing to eight skeletons, the skeletons of his seven children and his wife. He stood in the midst of the skeletons and quoted from memory, ‘“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”’
“Then he stared at me and spoke in a voice of ecstasy, ‘I shall be allowed to die in this cave; though pierced with Mau Mau spears or shot by Mau Mau rifles, I will come back here to die and I shall see those bones, the bones of my wife and children, come together and live and breathe again. And we shall be a great army that goes against the Mau Maus, who are the devil’s own. I have seen him at their rituals; he is their lord. But my Lord, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, will go forth and send the Mau Maus and the devil to eternal hell. And I will embrace my family again.’
“I’m not fully conveying the passion of this man called Ezekiel. If you picture King Lear in the storm you might get an idea of what he sounded like, and how I felt as I listened to him.
“Is he crazy? He didn’t appear crazy. And really, is there anything he said about his family that isn’t in keeping with the Christian faith, at least the true faith that Europeans used to believe? He loves his family and his people, and the Mau Mau massacres of his family and his people have made him a raging apostle of the God who raises the dead to life.
“I once thanked you for not preaching to me, Reverend. But I now realize you were preaching to me in the only way that I could understand. Christ is our holy defender, and the cult of the Mau Mau, which is the cult of Satan, has one foe who hates that devilish cult more than Ezekiel and Edward Owen hate it. Christ hates Mau Mau because He loves us. There are so many Europeans, the only ones who I respect and love, that have borne witness to the Christ who is ‘the grave where buried love doth live.’ He is their Savior and He is mine. But then I guess you always knew that.
“How could you not know it; you always knew my heart.”
Grey: He goes on to tell how he keeps an eye on Ezekiel, but he does not meet him at his cave, because he doesn’t want anyone to follow him there. Twice a month he lets Ezekiel find him, and he passes on some food stuffs, ammunition, and reading materiel. Ezekiel did not want any ‘secular’ reading, but Edward persuaded him to take a copy of King Lear and Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel. Ezekiel says King Lear’s journey is his journey – “I let my family down, because I didn’t know the Lord enough to recognize the devil, who was in the Mau Maus, when I saw him.”
Montgomery: I’m sure Ezekiel will live and die there in Kenya, but what about Edward? I don’t like to think of him staying there.
Grey: He mentions South Africa; I think he’ll eventually settle there.
Bontini: And who knows, maybe I’ll join him there.
Grey: Not so fast, I need you here.
Bontini: [laughing] All right, I guess we do make a good team. You’re kind of a religious version of Sherlock Holmes, and I’m your Italian Doctor Watson.
[The phone rings and the Rev. Grey answers it]
Grey: It’s for you, William.
Montgomery: [takes the phone] It’s my wife; she wants to know if she and the girls should dress formally.
Grey: They can if they want to, but they’ll put the rest of us to shame if they do. I’d suggest informal attire. There will be a service, then dinner, and then some festivities, all very un-Cromwellian. On this blessed night we’ll forget all about the Mau Maus and concentrate on the Lord of the feast.
[Montgomery relays the message and then hangs up the phone. Grey kneels, as do Montgomery and Bontini. Grey prays]
“Almighty God, which hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and this day to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.”