Book 3, Chapter 32 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 3, Chapter 32

Soon four letters come: one from Absalom to the girl, one from him to his parents, one from Msimangu and one from Mr. Carmichael. Kumalo knows this last one will be about whether mercy has been granted. It has not. Kumalo sits silent until his wife comes to him, telling him it is not good act this way. The letter from Absalom tells them that he knows he will die, and he knows that if he were back in Ndotsheni, he would not leave it again. Kumalo and his wife look outside and see giant storm clouds. Then Stephen, watching the plain, sees Jarvis, the magistrate, and the chief all arrive at one place in the distance. They place some sticks in the ground, and it is clear that the chief doesn't know what is going on, but is pretending he does. No one is to move the sticks under any circumstances. The magistrate mentions privately to another man that Jarvis must be going crazy: soon, he won't have any money left. They all notice the heavy storm clouds. After a while, Jarvis comes to Kumalo and asks him if he can take shelter in his church. They go there together in the pouring rain, and wait in the leaky church in silence. Jarvis asks if there will be mercy for Absalom, and when he learns that Absalom is to die in two weeks, he says he will remember him on that day. Jarvis leaves, and Kumalo sits alone, silent.

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