Cry, the Beloved Country

in what way is kumalo cruel to the girl

chapter 16

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Kumalo tells the girl that Absalom is in prison for killing a white man, and she shouts at hearing this. He shows her the newspaper with the article about the killing, and asks why she wishes to marry Absalom. He tells her that he wants to know, because he does not wish to take her into his family if she is unwilling. She looks at him eagerly and says that she is willing. She tells him that she has had two husbands already, both of whom were caught. Stephen wishes to hurt her upon hearing this, and shouts that now the third is caught, asking if she has ever had a murderer before. She shrinks away crying, and he asks if she will now take a fourth. He asks her how old she is, and she thinks that she is sixteen. Stephen asks her if she could live at a quiet church, but she says that quietness is what she desires. She tells him that she is from the Church of England, and he laughs at her simplicity. He insists that if she repents of this plan, she must tell them and not run away as she did from her mother.