Chapter 17 Summary

Mrs. Lithebe, the woman with whom Kumalo and his sister Gertrude are staying, does not normally let strangers live in her home. She accepted Kumalo only because he was a priest, and Gertrude because it was right to get her out of her former life. Over time, Mrs. Lithebe has developed a great respect for the priest and a tentative friendship with his sister. However, Mrs. Lithebe worries about Kumalo these days. He always wears an expression of “suffering” on his face, and he seems to be aging before her eyes.

Today Kumalo seems particularly quiet and upset. After brooding alone for a long time, he approaches Mrs. Lithebe to ask a favor. He explains about Absalom’s pregnant girlfriend and asks if it would be...

(The entire section is 515 words.)