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Book 2, Chapter 18 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 2, Chapter 18

Above the hills of Ndotsheni, James Jarvis watches his fields being plowed. He is unhappy with what he sees: there has been no rain for a long time, and the soil is hard. He considers the problems of the village below. The people are ignorant of farming methods, and their oxen are weak so they plow downhill, even when they shouldn't. But if the people were educated, they would not want to work on farms. Also, the white people need black farmers to work their land, but no black man would do this if he had the choice. James thinks about his son Arthur: he wanted him to take over the family farm, but Arthur had other ideas, and has done well for himself in Johannesburg. James looks over the hill and sees the police chief coming up to meet him. At first he thinks little of it, but then the chief tells him he has bad news. James knows immediately that his son is dead. He asks if they caught the native yet, then wonders, "What does that matter?"Chapter 18, pg. 133 He is in shock, and worried about how his wife, Margaret, will deal with the terrible news-she is not strong to begin with. The police chief has arranged a plane to take James and his wife to Johannesburg immediately, if they want to go. James agrees, and goes to tell his wife the news privately. As the police chief calls to signal the plane, he hears her crying in the next room.

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