Professor, a forger of driver’s licenses and the proprietor of a rest stop for truckers and of a used-parts store for all sorts of vehicles. He was removed from his position as lay reader and Sunday school teacher because a naïve, naturalistic explanation that he gave to his class was deemed blasphemy. He spends much of his time looking for the “Word” in places as diverse as the betting sheet of the local newspaper and traffic signs, all of which he collects and saves. His establishment is within sight of the church, against which he speaks cryptically of going to “war.” During the climactic appearance of the egungun (the mask of an ancestor), he fuels the frenzy of celebrants with palm wine. In the following confrontation, he is stabbed fatally by Say Tokyo Kid.
Kotonu (koh-TOH-new), the driver of the passenger vehicle “No Danger No Delay.” Foreseeing an accident on an approaching bridge, he allowed another truck to pass; it broke through the rotten boards and crashed, killing all aboard. Unlike other drivers, Kotonu does not happily run over dogs; he avoids them even at some risk, thus depriving the bloodthirsty god, Ogun, of his appointed sacrifice. This continued sacrilege is repaid when a drivers’ festival celebrating the feast of Ogun crosses in front of the truck and Kotonu runs down the mask. When the drivers, whips in hand, come seeking their mask, Samson persuades Kotonu to don the costume and become the...
(The entire section is 627 words.)