Stephen Kumalo, the pastor at the village of Ndotsheni in the Ixopo area of South Africa, receives a letter from the Reverend Theophilus Msimangu that demands that he go to Johannesburg to save his sister, Gertrude, who is extremely ill. In order to undertake the journey, Kumalo must use the cash meant to be used to send his boy, Absalom, to St. Chad’s for his education. Absalom had gone to Johannesburg himself, and has actually not been heard from considering that. When a good friend of Stephen Kumalo takes him to the train station to Johannesburg, he requests that Kumalo provide a letter to the daughter of Sibeko, who now works for the Smith household in Johannesburg.
When Kumalo reaches Johannesburg, he waits in line for a bus and is deceived by a boy whom Kumalo provides money to purchase a ticket for him. Kumalo lastly arrives at the Objective House, where Msimangu schedules him to stay in the house of Mrs. Lithebe. Msimangu tells Kumalo that Gertrude’s hubby has not returned from the mines where he was hired to work, and now Gertrude has “lots of hubbies” and was sent out to jail for making bootlegged alcohol and working as a woman of the street. Msimangu likewise informs Kumalo that Kumalo’s sibling John is no longer a carpenter, and now works as a political leader. The 2 men check out Gertrude in the Claremont district of Johannesburg. Kumalo chastises Gertrude for her behavior and for not considering her young child, and informs her bro that John Kumalo will know where his son, Absalom, resides in Johannesburg. Kumalo takes Gertrude and the young kid back to your home of Mrs. Lithebe.
Stephen Kumalo goes to visit his brother John, who tells him that his better half has actually left him which he is now coping with another female. John declares that he is more totally free in Johannesburg, for he is no longer topic to the chief and he has his own service. John tells his brother that his kid and Absalom had a space together in Alexandra and they were working at the Doornfontein Textiles Company. At Doornfontein, Kumalo finds out that Absalom was staying with a Mrs. Ndlela in Sophiatown. Mrs. Ndlela provides him a forwarding address, care of Mrs. Mkize in Alexandra. She likewise informs Kumalo that she did not like Absalom’s good friends.
Due to the fact that of a bus boycott in Alexandra, Msimangu and Kumalo should stroll to Alexandra. They reach your house of Mrs. Mkize, who seems undoubtedly afraid and claim that Absalom has actually been away from your house for almost a year. Msimangu informs Kumalo to walk to get a drink, and while he is gone questions Mrs. Mkize. He informs her that no harm will concern her from whatever he tells her, so she admits that they should talk to the taxi driver Hlabeni. From this cab driver, they find out that Absalom went to Orlando to live among the squatters in Shanty Town. On the way back to the Mission House, Msimangu and Kumalo see a white male driving black guests, and Kumalo smiles at the white guy’s sense of social justice, while Msimangu declares that the compassion beats him.
Kumalo goes to Shanty Town with Msimangu, where they fulfill Mrs. Hlatshwayos, who informs them that Absalom stayed with her up until the magistrate sent him to the reformatory. At the reformatory, a white man who works there notifies them that Absalom left the reformatory early because of good behavior and that he is now in Pimville, ready to marry a lady whom he got pregnant. At Pimville, they meet the woman, who admits that Absalom went to Springs on Saturday and has actually not yet returned. Msimangu warns him that he can do absolutely nothing about the woman, but Kumalo states that the lady’s kid will be his grandchild and that he is obliged. Kumalo gains from the white male at the reformatory that Absalom has actually not been at work today.
While the white guy at the reformatory undertakes a search for Absalom, Kumalo accompanies Msimangu to Ezenzeleni, the place of the blind, where he will hold a service. At supper, they find out of the murder of Arthur Jarvis, a prominent city engineer who was the President of the African Boys’ Club and the child of James Jarvis of Carisbrooke. Arthur Jarvis was renowned for his interest in social problems and for his efforts for the well-being of the non-European sections of the community. It is eventually acknowledged that Absalom Kumalo is believed of the murder of Arthur Jarvis, and Kumalo wonders how he stopped working with his child.
Stephen Kumalo tells John about his boy’s participation in the murder of Arthur Jarvis, and the two go to the prison together, since John knows that his son was good friends with Absalom and thus a possible accomplice. At the prisoner, Kumalo discovers his boy, and questions him about the different facts of the case. Absalom declares that he shot Arthur Jarvis merely because he was terrified, however did not plan to kill him. John Kumalo declares that there is no evidence that his son, who was associated with the burglary with Absalom and another pal, Johannes Pafuri, was included.
The young white guy from the reformatory sees Mrs. Lithebe’s home in order to talk to Kumalo about a lawyer, due to the fact that he does not trust John and thinks that he will attempt to put all of the blame on Absalom. He alerts Kumalo that no matter what occurs his kid will be significantly punished. The next day, Kumalo goes to the pregnant woman in Pimville and tells her what took place to Absalom. He questions her, asking whether she actually wants to enter into their family and whether she wants another other half. Kumalo eventually becomes convinced that the lady will include him and live a peaceful life in rural Ixopo.
The lady returns with them to the house of Mrs. Lithebe. Unlike Gertrude, the woman takes pleasure in existing, while Gertrude behaves carelessly and dislikes living there. Kumalo sees Absalom in jail again and tries to set up a marital relationship in between his son and the woman. He learns that John Kumalo’s boy (likewise named John) and the other suspect, Johannes Pafuri, have placed the blame totally on Absalom. Dad Vincent, a white pastor, presents Kumalo to the lawyer Mr. Carmichael, who will take the case professional deo.
The second area of the novel takes the viewpoint of James Jarvis, the father of the killed Arthur Jarvis. James Jarvis learns from the authorities captain van Jaarsveld that his kid has actually been murdered which there is an airplane waiting at Pietermaritzburg that can take him to Johannesburg. Jarvis tells his wife Margaret as he organizes to make the journey to Johannesburg. When they get here, Jarvis satisfies John Harrison, the bro of Mary, the other half of the late Arthur Jarvis. He informs them that Mary and her kids have actually taken the news poorly, and that the police have actually been combing the plantations on Parkwold Ridge. Jarvis likewise finds out that his son had actually been composing a paper on “The Fact About Native Criminal activity” and confesses to John that he and his son did not settle on the concern of native crime. Arthur Jarvis had actually been discovering Afrikaans and thought about learning Sesuto, perhaps to help him stand as a Member of Parliament in the next election. Jarvis questions why this crime occurred to his kid, of all people, and laments that he never ever found out more about his kid.
During the funeral service at Parkwold Church for Arthur Jarvis, James Jarvis experiences numerous firsts. The service is the first time that Jarvis goes to church with black individuals, and it is also the first time that he shakes hands with one. Jarvis, wanting to learn more about his kid, asks John Harrison to take him to the Boys’ Club in Claremont where his kid did a great deal of social work work. Jarvis quickly learns that Richard Mpiring, the servant at Arthur’s home, was able to identify among the perpetrators as a previous servant. Jarvis reads through his kid’s manuscript, and is touched by his son’s criticisms of South Africa as a country that claims to be Christian yet practices few of the Christian ideals.
Throughout the trial, the offenders (Absalom Kumalo, John Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri) are each asked their plea. They each plead not guilty, however Absalom does so just since he can not plead guilty to culpable homicide. Absalom testifies that Johannes hit Mpiring in the back with an iron bar, which he shot Arthur Jarvis just due to the fact that of fear. The district attorney asks Absalom why he brought a crammed weapon when he did not actually mean to use it, however Absalom can not offer a satisfying response. After court is adjourned for the day, Stephen Kumalo exits the courtroom with Msimangu, Gertrude and Mrs. Lithebe. He trembles when he sees James Jarvis, wondering how he can take a look at the man whose son Absalom killed.
Upon returning to his son’s home, Jarvis discovers another work, “Private Essays on the Evolution of a South African,” in which Arthur composed that it is hard to be a South African which, although his moms and dads gave him a good deal, they protected him from the actual South Africa. In this paper, Arthur Jarvis composed that he dedicates himself to South Africa because he can not deny the part of himself that is a South African.
James and Margaret Jarvis go to the home of Barbara Smith, one of Margaret’s nieces. While they are visiting there, Stephen Kumalo visits with the letter from Sibeko. When Jarvis sees him, Stephen Kumalo trembles and almost falls ill. Jarvis conveniences him, and asks what is wrong. Kumalo confesses that there is a heavy thing between then, and finally informs him that it was his child who murdered Arthur Jarvis. Jarvis tells Kumalo that there is no anger in him. Kumalo and Jarvis gain from the Smith child that Sibeko’s daughter was fired due to the fact that she began to brew alcohol in her space, and that she does not know nor care where the lady is now. When translating Smith’s words into Zulu, Jarvis overlooks the part that she does not care where the lady is. When Kumalo leaves respectfully, Jarvis confesses to his other half that he is disturbed because of something that came out of the past.
Throughout a conference in the public square, John Kumalo offers a speech demanding greater reparations for blacks in South Africa, however in spite of the possibility that he may trigger discontent and even riots, John Kumalo restrains himself, for he does not want to be detained, just out of the pain that it might trigger. Jarvis is also at the rally, and listens as John Kumalo speaks.
Mrs. Lithebe and Gertrude argue over Gertrude’s habits, for Mrs. Lithebe believes that Gertrude connects with the incorrect kind of people and cautions her not to hurt her bro any even more. Gertrude lastly suggests that she wishes to become a nun, and although Mrs. Lithebe is happy at the change in Gertrude, she asks her to consider the small kid. Gertrude lastly asks the pregnant woman if she would look after her boy if she were to become a nun, and the lady eagerly concurs.
The judge issues a guilty decision int eh case for Absalom Kumalo, but finds no legitimate proof that John Kumalo and Johannes Pafuri were present and therefore discovers them not guilty. The judge discovers no mitigating scenarios, and sentences Absalom to death by hanging. When the court is dismissed, the young white guy from the reformatory leaves court with Kumalo, hence breaking custom and exiting along with the black guys, an action that is not taken lightly.
Father Vincent performs a wedding ceremony at the prison, marrying Absalom and the pregnant woman. After returning from prison, Kumalo visits his brother’s store and they argue when Stephen recommends that he might have some reason to be bitter towards his bro. Wanting to harm his brother, Stephen suggests that there might be somebody in his household who wants to betray him. When John regrets having such a good friend, Stephen says that Absalom had buddies who betrayed him. John throws Stephen out of his shop and shouts at him in the street. Stephen feels embarrassed for provoking his sibling, for he only wished to tell his brother how power damages which a man who fights for justice must be pure.
Before Jarvis leaves, he provides John Harrison a letter requesting that John continue Arthur’s work, and consists of a check for 10 thousand dollars asking him to start the Arthur Jarvis club. Prior to Kumalo leaves, Msimangu hosts a celebration at Mrs. Lithebe’s house in which he praises her for her compassion. Before they leave, Msimangu informs Kumalo that he is quiting all his worldly possessions and gives Kumalo cash for all of the brand-new duties he has used up. Before leaving for home, Kumalo discovers that Gertrude has left, presumably to end up being a nun.
Stephen Kumalo returns home and tells his wife the verdict and the sentence. He learns that the area where they live has experienced a drought for a month. Kumalo provides his first preaching considering that his return, in which beseeches God to provide ran and prays for Africa. Kumalo marvels whether he can remain as pastor considering his family. Kumalo decides that he should talk to the chief and the headmaster of the school about the state of Ndotsheni. When Kumalo speaks with the chief, the chief uses little aid. Kumalo suggests that they ought to attempt to keep as many individuals as possible in Ndotsheni. When he returns home, a little white young boy gos to Kumalo and wants to learn some words in Zulu. The kid requests milk, which prompts Kumalo to inform him about the dry spell and about how little kids are passing away from it. The young boy swears to visit Kumalo once again. After supper, Kumalo’s buddy asks if a little white young boy visited him today, and tells him that he has milk to distribute to the little kids. The milk is probably a present from the Jarvis estate.
Kumalo receives letters from Johannesburg, including one from Absalom to his wife and moms and dads, one from Msimangu, and one from Mr. Carmichael. Carmichael writes that there will be no mercy for Absalom, and that he will be held on the fifteenth of the month. Kumalo’s partner recommends that Kumalo distribute milk to the children in order to distract him from the pain. Kumalo sees Jarvis, who meets with the magistrate and the chief. Although Kumalo can not hear their discussion, they appear to be going over an important matter and use stays with discuss their plans. Jarvis stays after the others leave. As a storm methods, Jarvis and Kumalo remain in the church together. Jarvis discovers that there will be no mercy for Absalom.
The small white young boy go back to the house to find out Zulu, and satisfies Gertrude’s child and Kumalo’s wife. When he leaves, Kumalo goes to the church and satisfies Napoleon Letsitsi, the new farming demonstrator. He states that Jarvis has sent him to teach farming in Ndotsheni, and tells Kumalo that there will be a dam so that the livestock constantly have water to consume and therefore produce milk.
Kumalo’s good friend informs Kumalo that Mrs. Jarvis is dead, and Kumalo composes a letter of acknowledgement to James Jarvis, despite the worry that she may have died of grief which a letter might be unsuitable. When the Bishop gos to Kumalo, he suggests that Kumalo retire as pastor, but Kumalo states that if he were to retire his post and leave Ndotsheni, he would pass away. The Bishop says that he should leave because Jarvis lives nearby, but when the Bishop finds out that Jarvis is sending out milk for the children, he agrees that Kumalo can remain as pastor.
A brand-new sense of excitement gets rid of the valley concerning the brand-new advancements. On the day that Absalom is to be carried out, Kumalo decides to increase on the mountain, as he had actually done in various other times of crisis in his life. On his journey to the mountain, Kumalo sees Jarvis, who tells him that he is relocating to Johannesburg to cope with his daughter-in-law and her children. While on the mountain, Kumalo thinks about numerous reasons to appreciate, such as Msimangu, the boy from the reformatory, Mrs. Lithebe, Father Vincent, his better half and friend. He wonders why Jarvis has been so kind regardless of their history, however he likewise considers those who are suffeirng and marvels when South Africa will become emancipated from fear and chains.