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He is a wealthy white man in South Africa whose son, Arthur Jarvis, is a renowned social reformer murdered by Absalom Kumalo during a robbery. When he visits Johannesburg for the funeral for his son and the trial of Absalom, James Jarvis learns more about the social work that Jarvis did on behalf of South Africa and eventually devotes himself to promoting social justice in South Africa. James Jarvis later befriends Stephen Kumalo when they meet by chance while Kumalo delivers a letter. Although a conservative man, James Jarvis eventually devotes himself wholeheartedly to social progress, donating ten thousand dollars to start the Arthur Jarvis Club, donating milk from his estate to help starting children during the drought and arranging for a dam to be built in Ixopo to prevent further droughts.
Arthur Trevalyan Jarvis
A notable city engineer in Johannesburg renowned for his charity work on behalf of blacks in South Africa, he is murdered by Absalom Kumalo during a robbery. The president of the African Boys' Club, Arthur Jarvis is the son of James Jarvis and the author of several papers promoting social work on behalf of blacks in South Africa. It is these writings, which James Jarvis discovers after his son's murder, that prompt James Jarvis to take a greater interest in social work for blacks in South Africa.
She is the wife of James Jarvis. After a long illness, she dies once she and her husband return from Johannesburg after the trial of Absalom Kumalo, prompting James Jarvis to move to Johannesburg to live with his family.