Son of Benedita, from Alagoas, and the Negro Massu, Felício stands out for his beauty. The boy’s blue eyes cast some doubt on his paternity, fuelling the rumour that he must be the son of the blonde sailor, Gringo, or perhaps the clerk, Otoniel. Massu, however, has no doubt that the child is his; after all, he and Benedita did “roll about” a lot in the dunes.
One day Benedita disappears, intent on escaping her husband’s jealousy, but returns some time later, terminally ill. She turns up on Massu’s doorstep, out of the blue, and hands him the baby, only to take off again, almost certainly to meet her death.
Now almost a year old, Massu decides to have the child baptized. Tibéria is to be the godmother, and there are various candidates for godfather, but the orisha Ogum announces that he will assume the role himself. What are the chances of the divinity being allowed into the Rosário dos Negros Church in the Pelourinho?
A solution is found, but the day of the baptism still reserves an enormous surprise, not just for the guests, but for the people of the Lower City as a whole, and even for the warrior god himself.
A brief and vibrant narrative, Ogun's Compadre
keeps the reader enthralled right down to its disconcerting denouement. With humour and comprehension, the religious syncretism that juxtaposes Catholicism and candomblé is the cultural trait that allows differences to be overcome and conflicts to be resolved.