Study Guide

Little Bee (The Other Hand) Chapter 4

By Chris Cleave

Chapter 4

  • Sarah narrates this chapter. After they walk home from the funeral, Sarah asks Little Bee to tell her story. (Sarah blends her own memories with what Little Bee is telling her.)
  • [<em>Just as we made it back to the present, we're returning to the past. Got it?</em>]
  • Little Bee flees her village, running and hiding for six days. When she finds the beach, she hides in a patch of jungle that goes all the way to the sea. Her older sister Nkiruka, who has also been running, finds her. They choose new names for themselves, since their old ones aren't safe anymore. Nkiruka picks Kindness, and Little Bee (whose real name we don't know yet anyway) chooses Little Bee.
  • The sisters hide behind some palm trees and watch Sarah and Andrew together on the beach.
  • Soon, the sisters hear people yelling and dogs barking. They know the men chasing them are near.
  • A guard comes and tells Sarah and Andrew that the beach isn't safe. They need to stay in the hotel compound. Andrew tries to bribe the guard to let them stay on the beach. (Yeah, who wants to stay in a compound on vacation? No, thank you.)
  • When the sisters hear the men and dogs coming closer through the jungle, they emerge from their hiding places and ask Sarah, Andrew, and the guard to help them.
  • Little Bee explains that the men are chasing them because they saw the men kill the people in her village. Andrew thinks it's a "scam" (4.213). Soon, the hunters and dogs arrive. Not a scam.
  • The leader has a terrible neck wound.
  • He tries to take the sisters, but Sarah won't let them. So the leader kills the hotel guard.
  • Andrew offers the leader money to let the girls go. The leader says he's close to death and doesn't care about money. He says,
  • "White man been giving me this finger all my life. Today you can give it me to keep. Now cut off your middle finger mister and give it me" (4.294).
  • Sarah tells Andrew to do it, but he can't.
  • Sarah puts her hand on the sand, picks up the machete, and chops off her middle finger.
  • The leader turns and sees what she's done. He says that in exchange for Sarah's act, Little Bee will live. But – her sister will still die.
  • [<em>End memories.</em>]
  • All that happened two years ago. After telling Sarah her story, Little Bee falls asleep.
  • Sarah calls Lawrence. When she tells him Little Bee is here, he freaks out. He wants Sarah to call the police. He's afraid Little Bee is dangerous.
  • Sarah is confused, but she knows one thing – she needs hear the rest of Little Bee's story, to find out what happened after she and Andrew left the beach that day.