Chapter 18 Summary

The camp is put into order in preparation for Mary’s return. As Hemingway wonders what this new day will bring, the Informer arrives. He tells Hemingway that he believes a massacre is planned for Christmas. Hemingway dismisses this as more of the Informer’s nonsense.

Hemingway, Ngui, Mthuka, and Arap Meina drive out to the airstrip to wait for Mary to arrive in Willie’s plane. Chano also shows up because he is Mary’s gun bearer. Hemingway tells them that he dreamed the night before that they should pray to the sun as it rose and set, but Ngui says he will not kneel down like a camel driver. Hemingway says kneeling is not necessary.

Mary arrives and everyone greets her warmly. She has brought a great load of supplies with her. They haul them back to camp. Mary asks about the leopard. She tells Hemingway that she enjoyed Nairobi and went out every night. Willie asks if there has been any trouble. Hemingway deflects the question. Soon Willie flies off.

Mary and Hemingway take baths and get ready for bed. Hemingway asks Mary how she is feeling. She tells him that the doctor gave her the same medicine she is now taking and some bismuth. She tells him all she did in Nairobi to keep entertained. When Mary asks what happened at the camp, Hemingway is vague. He says Keiti was difficult, but about what he cannot remember. They read the newspapers and then go to bed. They make love several times, and then Mary goes back to her own bed.

The next morning they both wake up in a good mood. Mary says she saw G.C., who sent a message to Hemingway that he is to stick to the schedule they planned. After breakfast they drive out to find their Christmas tree. They read the animal tracks but hunt nothing, being more focused on finding the tree. They find a tree they want and dig it up to plant back at camp. They go back a different way with fewer turns and run across fresh elephant tracks.

Back at the camp, they plant the Christmas tree in front of the tent. Debba and the Widow arrive with gifts of food. Hemingway shows Debba the tree, then Mthuka drives her and the Widow back to the Shamba.

Mary and Hemingway talk about the upcoming Christmas with their guest, Wilson Blake. They plan to have Willie fly Mr. Blake over the area because he is unlikely to enjoy the bar scene of the village.