What happens in Chapter 9 of The Water Is Wide?

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In chapter nine of The Water is Wide, Pat notices that the boys enjoy playing basketball at school each day. To this end, he arranges to take them to a Harlem Globetrotters game when he discovers that they are coming to Charleston for a performance. Pat, Barbara, and Bernie work together to bring most of the boys to the arena, where they thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Pat, ever committed to teaching the boys about life beyond the island, brings in a number of his friends who are themselves interested in life on the island. This includes his sister, who spellbinds the children with numerous skits. Even among these sources of enjoyment, Pat reflects grimly on the tendency of the children to abuse animals, and their general indifference in the face of violence.

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In Chapter 9, Conroy is amazed at the children's lack of familiarity with the world outside of Yamacraw after taking a group of boys to see the Harlem Globetrotters in Charleston.  To expand their knowledge of life beyond the island, he brings in friends to speak to the students and share their particular areas of expertise.  The speakers include Dick, a dentist from Boston, Conroy's sister Carol Ann, an aspiring actress who does such a good job presenting a scene from MacBeth that the children are convinced she is a real witch, and the students' all-time-favorite, Richie, who performs traditional folk and rock songs for the class and engages them in a session of rousing gospel singing.  At the end of the chapter, Conroy muses on the children's propensity for cruelty to animals and seeming callousness toward suffering, and the prevalence of violence in their individual family lives.

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