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

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CHAPTER 31

Kumalo prays for the restoration of Ndotsheni, but wants to do much more. He approaches the tribal chief and the school's headmaster, but they are powerless. Wondering whether his visions for the future were a delusion after all, he wearily works on the church accounts. He is interrupted by a small white boy on a red horse who does not seem to know about the usual stiffness between whites and blacks. They laugh together, especially when the boy practices his few words in Zulu. The boy grows serious, however, when Kumalo carefully explains why there is no milk for him-or even for sick black children who need it to get well.



That evening Kumalo's friend drives a cart full of milk cans to his door. Jarvis' grandson has asked him to send milk for the sick children. Speechless with joy, Kumalo doesn't seem to realize that the gift comes as much from his own courtesy to a small stranger as from the goodness of Jarvis. The friend goes off, so excited about driving the cart that he says his wife will think he has become a magistrate (the judge in a local court). Kumalo laughs heartily. His vision does not extend to black men holding the same roles as whites in his society.

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