For several days the six boys continue walking. They are Ishmael, his brother Junior, their friend Talloi, and the three boys from Mattru Jong, Gibrilla, Kaloko, and Khalilou.
They sleep in abandoned villages and eat whatever food they can find. But they get hungry and feel they have no choice but to return to Mattru Jong.
They creep back to the nearly deserted town that the rebels now control. They see dead bodies in the street.
Khalilou’s house has been looted, but they find some money there and decide to return to the swamp and make their escape. Along with some others, they make a difficult escape, trying to evade the attention of the rebels on guard.
The guards spot them and open fire. One boy is killed—not one of Ishmael’s group—but the others make it safely to a village.
They are disappointed to find that there is no food for sale, and they are so hungry that night that they steal the food of others.