Study Guide

Out of Africa Part 2, Chapter 4

By Isak Dinesen

Part 2, Chapter 4


  • The narrator goes to see Wanyangerri in the hospital in Nairobi. The first time she had gone he was a real mess, totally terrified. The next time he was more collected though.
  • Over time and with surgery his face is patched up, but it is still badly damaged and he's left without a chin.
  • One day at the hospital the narrator runs into three new patients, a man and two boys, who are all bandaged at the throat. She wants to know what's up, and an orderly tells her.
  • The men were soldiers in the King's African Rifles, musicians, actually. The man was a horn-player and the boys drummers. The horn-player had lost it over some problems in his life and also the fate of the Natives, and opened fire in a barracks. Then he took the two boys into a hut and tried to cut all three of their throats.
  • The three listened to the story with lots of interest, correcting the orderly to make sure the gorey details were all right.
  • Sometimes the narrator would take a couple of patients out for a ride when she was in town, and once promised the musicians to go out and see some lions that were caged up and ready to be shipped to the London zoo.
  • On the way back, one of the boys told the horn-player that the lion was as villainous as him.
  • Meanwhile, the case continues back at the farm. Farah explains that Kabero, the shooter, is not actually dead but is hiding out with the Masai, the tribe many of his sisters have married into.
  • Kaninu is afraid that if anyone finds out that his son is alive they will hang him, but Farah thinks that Kabero will come home one day and cause a ruckus.
  • The narrator goes out to talk to Kaninu, and asks him straight up if Kabero is alive, and tells him to bring him home, because he won't be hanged.
  • Kanino makes a big crying show, but the narrator promises him that his son will be safe when he comes home, but that she will be in charge of dealing with him.
  • Five years later, Kaninu comes up to the house and announces that Kabero is back from the Masai. They have to go report his presence to the police because of a new law that registers Natives.
  • Kabero comes back a grown-up Masai warrior, (which seems to be the narrator's type based on how long she goes on about how majestic they look). The police officer that comes to register him thinks it's unfair that Kaninu had to pay, but it's too late to do anything about it legally.
  • But back to the case. Wanyangerri comes back to the farm from the hospital, and his father, Wainaina, and his grandmother show up at the house. They ask for some milk from the narrator's cows while they wait for the case to be decided.
  • Meanwhile, Kaninu starts to get very sick, and it turns out he has already paid ten sheep to Wainaina, who is also demanding a cow and calf from him. He's planning to do it, which the narrator doesn't understand because there hasn't been a judgment yet.
  • Well, it turns out that Wainaina's mother was a witch and had cast a spell on Kaninu, and has also blinded his cows.
  • The narrator decides to send for Kinanjui to put a stop to all of this. (Who's Kinanjui? Don't worry…that's in the next chapter.)