Book 2, Chapter 25 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 2, Chapter 25

One of Margaret Jarvis' favorite nieces, Barbara Smith, married a man from Springs (this is the woman who brought Sibeko's daughter to Johannesburg). Margaret and James spend the day with them, and then they go to town and leave James alone at their house. There is a knock at the door, and Stephen Kumalo is outside. When Kumalo sees James he sits down on the steps, as though he is ill. James does not know what is happening, but he sees the man is a parson and so tries to be kind to him. Kumalo finally recovers, and asks about Sibeko's daughter, but Barbara Smith is out with Margaret, so she cannot be asked where her servant is now. Jarvis recognizes Kumalo as the parson who lives near him in Ndotsheni, and when he mentions this, Stephen nearly collapses again. He chokes on his words. Jarvis urges him not to be afraid, and Kumalo tells him, "this thing that is the heaviest thing of all my years, is the heaviest thing of all your years also." Chapter 25, pg. 180 Jarvis sees this is about his son's death, but he does not understand until Kumalo tells him that Absalom killed Arthur Jarvis. Jarvis tells Kumalo that he is not angry with him. Barbara Smith comes back, and Kumalo says he came to see her-he had no idea, of course, that Jarvis would be there-and then James asks him how he recognized him. Kumalo says that he has seen him riding past the church. He has seen Arthur also: "there was a brightness in him." Chapter 25, pg. 181 Jarvis agrees; he is so moved that he wants to end the conversation quickly, and calls Barbara Smith in. She says in English, not knowing that Kumalo understands, that Sibeko's daughter was good at first, then started behaving immorally and had to be sent away: she does not know or care where she is now. Jarvis relays this information to Kumalo, leaving out the part about her not caring. Kumalo leaves, and Jarvis finds his wife, who walks like Kumalo-like she is old and beaten by life.

Topic Tracking: Kindness 8

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