Mr. Dogood Omagbe, the newly posted teacher to the Igodo Central school, soon finds himself being saddled with responsibilities other than instructing his pupils in the classroom. He becomes a social worker, a counselor, a medical adviser, and a political educator. He advises the people on demographic issues, telling them to give birth only to the number of children they are capable of caring for. He also advises them against the practice of marriage by proxy, encouraging young girls to have a say in their marriage arrangements.
But the people of Igodo are adverse to change and certainly do not welcome any intrusion into their cultural beliefs. They are superstitious, and when faced with calamities, they turn to a medicine man instead of the teacher to help solve their puzzles. To avert the impending doom hanging upon the village, the medicine man proffers a human sacrifice-though not in the strict linguistic sense of the word. A potent charm would be prepared in a wooden bowl; the bowl and its content would be transported on the head of a virile male and deposited into the village river. The male vehicle would be part of the sacrifice as he would either die or become insane within seven days of the sacrifice.
The teacher is unanimously chosen by the elders of the village as the most suitable courier for the charm, partly to rid the village of his menance, and partly because he is a foreigner. He gets a whiff of their conspiracy and bolted for his life. But at the brink of crossing over to safety, he makes the ultimate decision to surrender himself to the people as part of his sacrifice to the village.