Chapter 16 Summary

Kumalo is learning how to get around in Johannesburg, so he goes alone to visit the girl who is pregnant with Absalom’s child. When he arrives at her house, he informs her that Absalom is in prison for “the most terrible deed a man can do”—killing a white man. The girl begins to cry.

As the conversation continues, Kumalo asks if the girl wants to marry Absalom. She says she will, but she phrases it in the customary Zulu way, essentially saying that she will do whatever she is told is right. This answer frustrates Kumalo, who presses her to tell him what she actually wants. “I do not wish to take you into my family if you are unwilling,” he says.

This statement fills the girl with hope. It is...

(The entire section is 580 words.)