What seemingly harmless thing did the elders of a village do to Ishmael and his companions which turned out to be a terrible punishment? Explain. Who helps the boys and cares for their feet and how do the boys in turn help him ? Chapter 9
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The villagers have heard rumors that a young band of rebels are in the area, and accuse the boys of being hostile. After interrogating them, the fishermen take the boys’ shoes and send them away.
Walking across the burning sand, the boys realize that their shoes were taken as a means of punishment. Despite the pain, they keep walking until sunset end eventually come upon an unoccupied hut. The boys take refuge in the hut and begin to treat their injured feet. The owner of the hut arrives, nearly leaves when he sees the boys, but remains when he notices their suffering. He stops Musa from pulling the grains of sand out of his blistered feet; instead, he offers them a treatment of steamed grass to ease their pain. For the next several days, their nameless host comes from his village to the hut in order to nurse them back to health with regular treatments and food. When Beah asks the man his name, the man replies that they need not share their names: “This way we will all be safe” (p. 63).