What was Salva doing when he heard the gunfire and ran into the bush?

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The novel A Long Walk to the Water by Linda Sue Park opens to the main character, Salva, sitting in school, trying to pay attention to the teacher but mostly just daydreaming about food and looking out the window.

Suddenly, a loud bang comes from outside and interrupts his train...

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The novel A Long Walk to the Water by Linda Sue Park opens to the main character, Salva, sitting in school, trying to pay attention to the teacher but mostly just daydreaming about food and looking out the window.

Suddenly, a loud bang comes from outside and interrupts his train of thought. First, he and the other students aren't sure of what the sound was, but they fall quiet, turn towards the window, and wait cautiously for an explanation. Maybe it was just a car backfiring? Soon, however, the gunshot is followed by several more bursts of firing, and the teacher yells for everyone to get down and then checks that the scene outside the window looks clear. Then he confirms that it's safe enough he insists that all the students run out and hide in the bush.

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