A Long Way Gone

When Ishmael arrives at the fortified village of Yele in chapter twelve, what do you discover about the way he began his military career?

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One day, Beah notices the atmosphere of the village becomes tense. Lieutenant Jabati calls his soldiers to order and exhorts them for several hours. Later, Beah is caught looking at Lieutenant Jabati, who calls him to him. Jabati briefly discusses the book he is reading, Julius Caesar, then goes off into a reverie of his own. Beah leaves, mystified.

That night, the soldiers leave to confront the rebels. The next morning, significantly fewer soldiers return to the village. After several days of these skirmishes, the lieutenant gathers everyone in the village to the central square. There he informs them that the rebels are near and the military needs the help of able-bodied men or boys. He says those unwilling to join the military are free to leave, but they will have no more food or supplies from the village. The boys discuss their options and realize they only have one choice: join the Sierra Leonean army. To leave the village is to die.