Study Guide

Cry, the Beloved Country Chapter 25

By Alan Paton

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Chapter 25

  • One of Margaret Jarvis's nieces, Barbara Smith, lives pretty close to the courthouse. So when the court is not in session with their son's murder trial, the two Jarvises—James and Margaret—hang out there.
  • Someone comes knocking at Smiths' door, and Jarvis answers it. It's an elderly black priest, who looks visibly frightened when he sees Jarvis. What the what?
  • The elderly priest has come to this address to ask after the daughter of a man named Sibeko, from Ndotsheni. Wait a sec. This is definitely ringing a bell.
  • Apparently, the daughter used to work for Barbara Smith, but Sibeko hasn't heard from her (the daughter) in twelve months.
  • Jarvis can't help but notice that the elderly priest seems terrified of him.
  • Finally, the elderly priest admits why: "It was my son that killed your son" (2.25.48).
  • The elderly priest (that would be Kumalo, for those of you who weren't paying attention) tells Jarvis that he feels terribly sad for Jarvis and his family.
  • Ouch. This conversation is beyond awkward, for both the men. So before things take a turn for the worse, Jarvis brings out Barbara Smith so that Kumalo can finish his errand for Sibeko.
  • Barbara Smith tells Kumalo that the girl was arrested for brewing moonshine and sent to jail for a month. But she doesn't know what became of her after that.
  • So Kumalo says farewell to Barbara Smith and Jarvis, and probably does a fair amount of ugly-crying in private.

Cry, the Beloved Country Chapter 25 Study Group

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