Chapter 19 Notes from Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God Chapter 19

Janie and Tea Cake discuss what they should do now. Tea Cake goes out looking for anything, especially some of his old buddies from the Everglades. Two white men find him and make him help bury all of the dead bodies. The dead white people get coffins and the black people just get thrown into a ditch.

Tea Cake runs away from the job and makes it back to Janie. He suggests that they leave immediately and go back down to the Everglades. They make it back to the muck and Tea Cake finds many of his old buddies. He and Janie practice shooting more.

Odd things start happening to Tea Cake. He gets a bad headache, he's hungry one minute and not the next, has a nightmare, and throws a glass of water on the floor. Janie gets nervous and gets a doctor. The doctor thinks that Tea Cake was bit by a mad dog, and he warns Janie to stay out of his way when he gets in a fit of rage. He gives her some pills to give to Tea Cake and says that he's going to order the serum that Tea Cake should have had immediately after being bit. Janie will do or spend anything to make Tea Cake better.

Tea Cake's condition worsens. Janie leaves to see the doctor; he says that the medicine will be there in the morning. Tea Cake hears that Mrs. Turner's brother is in town again, and he thinks that Janie ran off to see him. Janie assures him that she just went to the doctor to see about his medicine.

When Janie goes to fix Tea Cake's bed, she feels a pistol under his pillow; he has never slept with a gun before. That night, he has two attacks. Janie is about to leave for the doctor again, but Tea Cake gets angry. He goes to the outhouse, and Janie quickly checks the gun. It is loaded with three bullets, and there are three blank shots. She fixes the gun so that if Tea Cake does happen to shoot the gun, he will shoot three blanks before actually shooting a bullet. She also gets the rifle and hides it in the kitchen, just to be safe.

Tea Cake, in a fit of rage, comes into the kitchen and questions Janie on why she doesn't sleep in the same bed as him anymore. He has the gun at his side. He aims at her breast and shoots three blanks. Before he fires the third shot, Janie grabs the hidden rifle and they both shoot at each other. Tea Cake's shot comes a second after her shot. She kills him and he falls into her arms. Janie thanks Tea Cake for giving her the chance to love.

"Janie held his head tightly to her breast and wept and thanked him wordlessly for giving her the chance for loving service. She had to hug him tight for soon he would be gone, and she had to tell him for the last time. Then the grief of outer darkness descended." Chapter 19, pg. 175

Janie is sent to jail that day and a trial is held for her. Whites and blacks from around the area fill the courthouse, all against her. She pleads for her innocence, and the jury finds her not guilty, since the murder was accidental and justifiable. Later, at a boarding house, Janie overhears some of the men talking. They say that if she had killed a white man, she would have been hung.

Janie has a funeral for Tea Cake in West Palm Beach. All of their friends from the Everglades attend. Janie goes to the funeral in her overalls, not fancy robes and veils like at Joe Starks' funeral.

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