Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary
The priest crosses the river and goes to the bungalow of the British family, the Fellows, where he had stopped several weeks before. The girl, Coral, is the only one who can help him without endangering herself.
He finds the bungalow empty with only an abandoned dog with a broken back to be seen. The priest examines the contents of the bungalow, trying to find some evidence of why the family left. He looks through Coral’s old schoolwork but finds no clues.
The dog has found a bone that still has some meat on it. The priest finds some wire and hits the dog with it, stealing her bone. He thinks that he will eat only part of it and let the dog have the rest, but he eats it all. He finds a book of poetry and sits on the veranda steps to read it.
He decides to keep walking, but it soon begins to storm. He runs to a village, which has also been abandoned. He feels that Fate has determined that he will be alone from now on.
He settles into one of the huts. He hears movement outside. An old Indian woman looks in. Finding him there, she scampers away. For some reason, this angers the priest, so he pursues her.
Unable to catch her, he returns to the hut, but the woman returns. He realizes that there must be something valuable in the hut. He searches and finds a child who has been shot and is barely alive. The woman lets him know that the boy was shot by the “gringo,” the American outlaw for whom the police are searching.
The priest begins to tend the child’s wounds, explaining to the woman that he is a priest. The priest begins to pray, although he feels his prayers are ineffectual. The child dies anyway. The woman wants to take the boy’s body to a church.
The priest and the woman, carrying the child’s body on her back, walk for two days. When they reach the church, the priest is surprised to see a grove of crosses. They are the first Christian symbol he has seen publicly...
(The entire section is 507 words.)