Cry, The Beloved Country Book 1, Chapter 3
Kumalo waits for the train to Johannesburg. Though this can be enjoyable-the countryside is beautiful, and the train is an interesting novelty-Stephen is preoccupied. How much will his sister's sickness cost? Is Johannesburg as frightening as he has heard? He knows of someone who was killed in traffic there. He waits for a train with a friend, who timidly asks him for a favor on behalf of a man named Sibeko: Sibeko's daughter went to Johannesburg to work for the daughter of a man named Smith. Sibeko has not heard from his daughter for a year, and asks Kumalo to find out about her. Kumalo asks why Sibeko did not ask Kumalo for the favor himself, and his friend replies that Sibeko is not of their church, so he was embarrassed. Kumalo tells him that he will help anyone in their community, no matter what their religion might be. Then, on the train, he mumbles to himself, trying to make the peasants around him think he often goes to Johannesburg. He wants to impress them. But he is afraid, as the train leaves the station. He fears what might be in store for him in Johannesburg, and he is disappointed in himself for trying to impress the humble people around him. He opens his bible, hoping to find comfort there.