One reason it had taken them so long to move away

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One reason it had taken them so long to move away from Mukenko was that they were obliged to avoid General Muguru and his troops. Whenever they came across jeep tracks, Munro led them farther west, into the depths of the jungle. “He’s not a fallow you want to meet,” Munro said. “And neither are his boys. And they’d think nothing of cutting your liver out and eating it raw.”
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253 Dark ash on wings and fuselage made the giant transport look as if it had crashed in black snow. Off one bent wing, a kind of waterfall of ash hissed over the metal down to the ground. Far in the distance, they heard the soft beating of Kigani drums, and thumping mortar from Muguru’s troops. Otherwise it was ominously quiet. Munro waited in the forest beyond the wreckage, watching the airplane. Ross took the opportunity to try to transmit on the computer, continuously brushing ash from the video screen, but she could not reach Houston. Finally Munro signaled, and they all began to move forward. Amy, panicked, tugged at Munro’s sleeve. No go, she signed. People there. Munro frowned at her, glanced at Elliot. Elliot pointed to the airplane. Moments later, there was a crash, and two white-painted Kigani warriors emerged from the aircraft, onto the high wing. They were carrying cases of whiskey and arguing about how to get them down to the jungle floor below. After a moment, five more Kigani appeared beneath the wing, and the cases were passed to them. The two men above jumped down, and the group moved off. Munro looked at Amy and smiled. Amy good gorilla, she signed. They waited another twenty minutes, and when no further Kigani appeared, Munro led the group to the airplane. They were just outside the cargo doors when a rain of white arrows began to whistle down on them. “Inside!” Munro shouted, and hurried them all up the crumpled landing gear, onto the upper wing surface, and from there into the airplane. He slammed the emergency door, arrows clattered on the outer metal surface. Inside the transport it was dark; the floor tilted at a crazy angle. Boxes of equipment had slid across the aisles, toppled over, and smashed. Broken glassware crunched underfoot. Elliot carried Amy to a seat, and then noticed that the Kigani had defecated on the seats. Outside, they heard drums, and the steady rain of arrows on the metal and windows. Looking out through the dark ash, they glimpsed dozens of white- painted men, running through the trees, slipping under the wing. “What are we going to do?” Ross asked. “Shoot them,” Munro said briskly, breaking open their supplies, removing machine-gun clips. “We aren’t short of ammunition.” “But there must be a hundred men out there.”
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254 “Yes, but only one man is important. Kill the Kigani with red streaks painted beneath his eyes. That’ll end the attack right away.” “Why?” Elliot asked.
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