Study Guide

Out of Africa Part 3, Chapter 4

By Isak Dinesen

Part 3, Chapter 4

Old Knudsen

  • Old Knudsen, a Dane, came to the farm sick and blind and stays until he died.
  • But before he kicks the bucket he tells the narrator to burn charcoal and sell it for extra money. She does and he helps her, but their kilns keep catching fire and burning up all their product.
  • Old Knudsen also helps make the ponds on the farm, by building a dam on a spring and later they build two more.
  • He also concocts a plan for stocking the pond with fish, but they have a hard time finding the fish. The old rascal has a plot for that too, that involves going alone in the middle of the night with some buckets to steal them from another pond, but when the Baroness asks him whose fish they are he drops everything and they never speak of it again.
  • Later the Game Department does help her stock the pond, but it's after Old Knudsen's death.
  • The police come in a rainstorm to pick up his body, and can barely get through the mud with his casket, which the narrator thinks Old Knudsen would have liked.