Okonkwo and the others are set free. Watchful clansmen don't welcome them but move out of their way. Okonkwo's male relations and companions assemble at his hut, however, they see the whip marks that had remained on his back, and no one talks with him apart from Obierika.
A meeting has been scheduled for the following day. In great expectation, Okonkwo can't rest, the "bitterness in his heart ... now mixed with a kind of childlike excitement." Okonkwo is getting ready for war, and he swears retribution. On the off chance that Umuofia will battle, he will go along with them. If not, he will retaliate for himself.
People come to the gathering place "from every quarter of the nine villages." Okika, one of the six detainees, addresses the group, complaining that their gods are unhappy and are sobbing since some tribe members have joined the British. He pledges that they have to battle, despite the fact that it implies that they will have to "shed the blood of a clansman."
The gathering is interrupted by court messengers who have come with orders requiring the meeting to stop. With his machete, Okonkwo slashes and kills the leader of the group on behalf of the gathering. However, the villagers provide an opportunity for the other messengers to escape. Okonkwo now understands that there will be no war.