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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

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CHAPTER 16

The next day Kumalo goes alone to Pimville to see the girl. He tells her Absalom has killed a man, and gives her the newspaper for the details. Then, trying to find out her true nature, he begins a series of questions like those he asked Gertrude and Absalom. The girl wants to please him, but she doesn't know how. She hasn't had their moral training. He taunts her cruelly with having had other criminal husbands, but never before a murderer. He even traps her into saying she'd go to bed with him if he insisted.



Immediately more ashamed of his own cruelty than her response, he apologizes sincerely. He knows her answer was only what she'd learned to say to survive. They talk more, and she shows interest in Ndotsheni. When he leaves she is smiling, and he feels as if a heavy weight has been slightly eased. He stops feeling guilty for actually having laughed a little when he thinks it may be due to Father Vincent's prayers.

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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
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