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During Aunt Jimmy's funeral, Cholly goes down to the river with a girl named Darlene. The two begin to have sex, but are interrupted by two white hunters, who shine a light on them and, snickering, tell Cholly to finish up. Humiliated but also powerless, Cholly keeps at it until the hunters grow bored and leave. Curiously, Cholly's hatred is directed at Darlene.
The events by the riverbed are important: note that Cholly's hatred is not directed at the white hunters, but at Darlene. The white hunters are out of his reach; for all intents and purposes they are invincible (although later, as a grown man, Cholly learns to hate and kill white men). He despises Darlene because his inability to protect her destroys his sense of his own masculinity. He goes from being the young lover to the naked black boy, forced to go on with sex while two bigger and stronger men watch.