The Major and Mrs. Ali arrive at the rocky beach where they first met Amina and George.
Lots of people like to jump off these cliffs to commit suicide—so many, in fact, that there's a suicide squad on patrol every night.
The Major and Mrs. Ali find Abdul Wahid on a nearby cliff, and the cray-cray old woman with the knitting needle is with him.
Mrs. Ali and the Major confront the old woman, who says that the family asked her to stab Amina. She's some sort of family assassin, taking care of matters the family doesn't approve of and then getting paid with "a small goat or a piece of carpet" (24.54).
Mrs. Ali taunts the old woman into a rage, and when the nutso old broad lunges at her with her knitting needle of death, the Major whacks her in the head with the butt of his gun, knocking her out. We can't make this stuff up, folks.
Unfortunately, Abdul Wahid still wants to kill himself. He feels that would be best for the honor of his family.
The Major thinks this is crazy talk, so he stands between Abdul Wahid and the cliff, hands him the gun, and tells him that if he wants to die, he'll have to take the Major with him.
Abdul Wahid doesn't want to shoot the Major, of course, so he tosses the gun aside, which is rule #2 in what not to do with a loaded weapon (rule #1 is not to look into the barrel).
The gun goes off, hitting the Major in the leg, and he falls over the cliff. He grabs a concrete stanchion to keep from tumbling to the rocks below… talk about a literal cliffhanger.