The boys were often mistaken for rebel boys and are chased or even attacked by villagers
In return for food and shelter, the boys look out for rebels. After a month there is still no sign of the rebels, and despite the boys’ protests, the townspeople order the boys to farm.
The rebels come into town suddenly, in the middle of the last prayer of the day.The imam wouldn’t tell the rebels where everyone was hiding. So the rebels tied him to a post and set him on fire. Ishmael walks for five days, alone, without encountering anyone.
For two days Ishmael walks without food and sleep. However he walks in circles. He is completely lost. In abandoned villages he encounters mutilated bodies, whose images haunt him. On the third day he finds a stragnge fruit and eats it.
Ishmael encounters six boys, three of whom are from Mattru Jong: Alhaji, Musa, and Kanei. The other three are Saidu, Moriba and Juthey. They head to a village called Yele to the south, where the army is supposed to be stationed.
The boys find the ocean. They play in the sand on the beach, forgetting their troubles. Then villagers with machetes and fishing spears spring from behind the huts. The villagers rip the clothes the boys used to cover thfeet and chase them onto the sand, which burns the boys’ feet.