Chapter 7 Summary
The next morning at breakfast, Mary asks Hemingway if they are making any progress with the lion. Hemingway says that sometime the lion will make a mistake and Mary will shoot him. That afternoon they shoot baboons for population control. When they return to camp, G.C. has arrived. He gives Hemingway a copy of their operation orders, saying they are the only thing keeping his morale up. Mary comes back to camp after having shot a wildebeest.
G.C. is glad to be back at camp. He loves his job as a game warden and believes in its importance. Hemingway reminisces, telling G.C. of the last time he saw the British writer George Orwell alive in Paris in 1945.
G.C. does not sleep well and stays up most of the night reading. Several days previously, the Widow in the Shamba told Hemingway that she does not like G.C. because he smells like a White man; Hemingway, however, smells like the Shamba. Debba told him that she wants to be a useful wife to him. Hemingway shoots several baboons, which brings several people down from the Shamba. The Informer is also present, and he tells Hemingway that his heart is broken because the Widow has rejected him and chosen Hemingway as her protector instead. He says the village is critical of Hemingway for letting Debba hold his gun. Hemingway’s response is that the village should shut up or he will withdraw his protection. He gives the Informer some money to buy the Widow a present. As he leaves, he fells badly about the Shamba and the Widow.
Hemingway tries to read a book suggested by G.C. but finds it too pious. He listens to G.C. and Mary talk about London, a city he knows nothing about. He is very familiar with Paris, where he lived in the 1920s as part of the expatriate community of the Lost Generation. The cafés were better than clubs, and he did much of his work there. A friend of his, Mike Ward, knew all the best secret places in Paris and would take Hemingway with him. He also thinks of the concierge of his apartment, with whom he slept. Thinking of this, he vows to “straighten things out” at the Shamba and to be a better husband.
During the night, Hemingway hears the lion roar several times. In the morning, Mary does not feel well but does not want to cancel the hunt. They decide to wait, however, because Mary’s pain becomes worse. Hemingway and G.C. go out to inspect the area. They are concerned that Mary is too short to hunt in the tall grass. They talk about having Mary shoot from the car, but that is illegal.