Book 1, Chapter 8 Notes from Cry, The Beloved Country

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Cry, The Beloved Country Book 1, Chapter 8

The next morning they leave the Mission House and start out for Johannesburg. But when they start to get on the bus, they meet Dubula, one of John Kumalo's friends. He asks them not to take the bus, because the government has raised the fares, despite the low wages the black people who ride the bus earn (white people mostly own cars). They agree, even though Kumalo is old and the trip is far to walk. Msimangu tells Kumalo that if John is the one with the voice, Dubula is the one with the heart: the government fears him, because he is not afraid to really try to change things. After a while, a white man picks them up and takes them to Alexandra. They see that he went out of his way to do it, and are amazed. Msimangu begins to talk again about the problems in Johannesburg and its surrounding towns: the crime is terrible, and sometimes even old women are robbed and killed. Yet there are good things too: one night, two friends of his heard a knock at their door. Outside they found a white woman who had been beaten and abandoned by a white man. The couple went to a nearby house where a white man lived, and asked for his help. Together they helped her. Msimangu explains that Alexandra is not entirely a bad place. When they find the address they are looking for, Mrs. Mkize opens the door. She is sullen and afraid, and tells them that Absalom and Matthew left a year ago, but will say nothing more. Msimangu tells Kumalo to go up the street, then secretly returns to the house. He tells Mrs. Mkize that he knows she is not telling him something. Finally, she tells him that Matthew and Absalom brought stolen items to the house late at night. They left, she thinks, because they were going to be caught soon. She says they were friendly with a taxi-driver, and tells Msimangu where this man lives. Thanking her, he finds the taxi driver, who is afraid, but tells him that Absalom has moved to Orlando to live in a small neighborhood called Shanty Town. Kumalo and Msimangu take the taxi home together. They see many black people walking home from work because of the bus boycott. They also see many white people driving the black people, even though they are threatened by the policemen. Kumalo is pleased to see it, and Msimangu is overcome with emotion.

Topic Tracking: Kindness 2
Topic Tracking: Race Relations 2

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