Study Guide

Out of Africa Part 2, Chapter 1

By Isak Dinesen

Part 2, Chapter 1

The Shooting Accident

  • Part 2 is called, ominously enough "A Shooting Accident on the Farm."
  • On December 19th, the narrator walked out of her house to look for rain and notices how beautiful the sky is. Some of the young men from the farm walk by, on their way to a dance.
  • She hears a single shot, and waits for the second one. She goes to bed, but two minutes later a motorcycle screeches to a stop outside the house and the manager of the coffee mill, Belknap, beats on her window. She goes out and finds out that there has been a tragedy.
  • Belknap's cook had the day off, and so the kitchen Toto, 7-year-old Kabero, decided to have a party in the kitchen. Kabero got out Belknap's gun to show it off to his friends, and acted out a hunt. Unfortunately, though, he aims straight into the group of guests and fires, hurting three kids who run away and killing another couple, probably.
  • The narrator, Belknap, and her servants go running to help. Wamai, one of the victims, lies on the floor almost dead. Another one, Wanyangerri, screams and spouts blood from his face, which is missing its lower jaw.
  • The narrator calms the boy down by putting her hands on his head, which she takes to mean that she healed him by laying on her hands. Farah goes for the car to take the children to the hospital.
  • Kabero, after having fired the fatal shot, had left a rupee he owed Belknap and taken off running.
  • The road is very bad, and the car is in pretty poor condition, too, but they make it to the native hospital. Wamai is dead when he arrives, but Wanyangerri makes it. The narrator and Belknap leave the two boys there and go to the police station.
  • They have to wait for a white police officer to come, and he doesn't seem to be too worried about the case at all when he gets there. They go home.
  • The next morning the old men of the farm gather outside the narrator's house and she knows that they want to hold a Kyama, an assembly of the elders, and that they will want her to come to give final judgment.
  • She rides off on her horse to get away from them.