The short story "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe tells of a poverty-stricken family of five attempting to survive in the aftermath of the Nigerian Civil War. The father, Jonathan Iwegbu, is always positive, determined, and resourceful despite the many difficulties. First he digs up the bicycle he had...
buried in the yard and starts a taxi service with it. After having a carpenter repair their small house, the family moves back into it. The mother cooks and sells food, the children pick and sell mangoes, and Jonathan buys palm-wine, mixes it with water, and opens a bar.
Jonathan receives a large payment from the bank for some rebel money he turned in and is very careful bringing it home. However, he is uneasy and has trouble sleeping.
The people who show up at Jonathan's door that night are thieves. The leader of a rather large gang carrying firearms pounds on the door and talks to Jonathan. He and his family shout for help but nobody comes. The gang leader demands 100 pounds. Jonathan pleads with him. He says he doesn't have that much money. All he has is the 20 pounds that he received at the bank earlier. The leader of the thieves decides to accept this amount. Jonathan gives it to him, and the gang goes away.
Even after this frightening incident, Jonathan and his family maintain their optimistic attitudes and do their best to provide for themselves.