Book 2, Chapter 29 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 2, Chapter 29

Kumalo, the girl and the others go to the jail for the marriage ceremony. They talk aimlessly about nothing, and agree it is good for Absalom to be married, and then Kumalo says, "I shall care for your child, my son, even as if it were my own." Chapter 29, pg. 205

When he realizes what he has said, he nearly bursts into tears, but Absalom changes the subject, telling his father about some money he has saved. He says he would like his son to be named Peter. Then he mentions the other two boys: they are being tried for another case, but he is the only one going to Pretoria (to be hanged). He begins to weep uncontrollably, so that when Kumalo has to leave, he and the prison guard must pull Absalom away from his father.

Stephen goes to see his brother John. He tells him that he is not there to reproach him, and John denies having done anything wrong. Stephen avoids this topic, asking instead about his brother's politics: does he hate white people? John denies it, but not very convincingly. Then Stephen feels the urge to hurt his brother. He tells him that he has heard someone was sent to his shop to spy on him-a lie. John is afraid, then Stephen draws a parallel between someone who would spy while pretending to be a friend, and what Matthew did to Absalom. John is furious, and throws Stephen out of the shop. Stephen is ashamed and angry with himself: he went there to reconcile with his brother, not to hurt him.

The Harrisons take James to the train station, and James gives the young Harrison an envelope, telling him to open it when he is gone. Harrison is amazed at the sight of a ten thousand pound note, and a letter telling him to do everything he and Arthur wanted to do.

Kumalo and his newfound relatives are leaving the next morning, so there is a small and somber party at Mrs. Lithebe's house. There are many speeches about the goodness of everyone there, and finally, the evening ends. Msimangu privately tells Kumalo that he is forsaking all of his worldly possessions, and since he has no dependents, he is giving his money to Kumalo. Kumalo bursts into tears, saying that he has never known anyone like Msimangu. Msimangu says, "I am a weak and sinful man, but God put His hands on me, that is all." Chapter 29, pg. 215 Kumalo goes home and prays for a long time. The next morning, he wakes to find that Gertrude is gone. She has left her son and the clothes Kumalo bought her behind.

Topic Tracking: Kindness 9
Topic Tracking: Kindness 10
Topic Tracking: Redemption 11

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