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No Longer At Ease

Chinua Achebe

Chapters 15 and 16

Chapters 13 and 14

Chapters 15 and 16, page 2

page 1 of 2

Chapter 15

Obi begins his return to Lagos, but on the way back he gets into a car crash, swerving off of the road and colliding into a bush. Nothing, luckily, had happened to him, and he continues on his journey after several passengers on a lorry, who saw the crash, stop to see how he is.

Obi goes straight to Clara's house and tries to make the situation sound better than it is. He tells Clara what had happened at home, but he says, with false optimism, that it is only his mother's recent illness that has maddened her and that his father has practically turned over to their side. Clara does not believe him and tells him that she knew it would not work. The engagement is finally broken off, and Clara implies that she is pregnant.

Obi tells Christopher what has transpired, and Christopher says that he, himself, would never marry an osu. He also gives him a connection to a doctor where they may be able to get an abortion. Clara and Obi go to a doctor who says he cannot perform an abortion, and it is not until they reach a second doctor who says that he will perform the abortion (only for cash) that they are able to arrange everything. They are to arrive the next morning at the doctor's office with thirty pounds in cash.

Chapter 16

Obis is faced with the problem of where to get, first the thirty pounds for the abortion, and then the other fifty to repay Clara. He knows he cannot ask Christopher or the UPU and decides that he will ask Sam Okoli for it. Realizing, that he did not ask Christopher to keep a secret what he had told him about Clara, Obi calls him and asks Christopher not to say anything about what he has told him.

The next morning Obi drops Clara off at the doctor's. Obi has terrible thoughts and feels as though he is never going to see Clara again. The doctor tells him to come back at five o'clock and then drives away with Clara in his car. Obi drives around in torment until five o'clock at which time the doctor has not arrived with Clara. He asks the doctor's assistant where they may be, and she has no idea. After waiting an hour and a half, the doctor arrives and tells Obi he must come back tomorrow because Clara is under observation for complications suffered because of the abortion. Obi wants to see her but is told he cannot and that he must come back in the morning.

Obi goes home and reads more A.E. Housman. He finds the poem he had written long ago about Nigeria, while he was in London except that this time he does not smile at the sight of it, he crumples it and throws it to the ground.

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