We had trekked well into the interior of the bushland, the guide and I, before he stopped and told me that he was to go no further. I was to take the remainder of the journey, about a kilometer, without him. He pointed me in the right direction, then bid me farewell.
For the young prince had summoned me and me alone. I had spent two years serving as interpreter between he and the American diplomat. We were trying to form an alliance with the tribe in order to drill for oil on tribal land. He had often commented that I had their tribal features and even seemed to have their best interest at heart. Now, he had sent word that I was to meet him for an "initiation," a sort of honorary membership into the tribe.
My heart pounded heavily and my palms were moist and clammy, as my mind played images of similar rituals I had seen in movies or on television. I wondered what horrid acts I might have to endure. It became abundantly clear, as I walked out of the bush and saw the future chieftain as he waited for me at the foot of the mountain.