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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

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CHAPTER 21

The funeral astonishes the Jarvises. People of different races come to honor Arthur, and it's the first time Jarvis has shaken hands with black people. The experience moves him deeply, and he begins to look at blacks as simply people like himself. After the funeral he has another talk with Harrison. He says he is sending Margaret, Mary, and the children back to High Place, but that he will stay to take care of Arthur's affairs. Harrison's reaction to Arthur's death is an indignant call for better police control of blacks. He then gets sidetracked to another issue, arguing that blacks have excellent treatment in mine compounds. Jarvis comments only that he wishes he could have heard Arthur argue with Harrison-a clue that Jarvis may not entirely agree with his host. When he turns to John Harrison to say he'd like to see that African Boys' Club in Claremont, John volunteers that he would be happy to take him. He had helped Arthur establish it.



The next morning Harrison tells Jarvis that the police have traced one of Arthur's attackers to Doornfontein Textiles, and have a lead on his friends. We are once again hearing about police work we've already followed-but this time from another father's point of view. After breakfast Jarvis picks up Arthur's manuscript on crime, the one he was working on when he was killed. If you've ever said "If only," you know the pain Jarvis feels when the wish passes through his mind that Arthur had never gone to investigate the noise. But he doesn't dwell on the past. Instead he reads the manuscript so he can better understand his son. He is deeply moved by Arthur's way of explaining that much of South African civilization is not truly Christian. The ideas send him again to the Lincoln book, and this time he reads the Second Inaugural Address. Again he sits, thinking and smoking his pipe. When Margaret comes, he gives her Arthur's manuscript, even though he knows that she, too, will dwell on the broken-off words, "Allow me a minute."

Arthur never got that time. NOTE: LINCOLN'S SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS

Again we don't know exactly which lines moved Jarvis. The following are the best known: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the war [the Civil War] we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." You might want to review the famous speech yourself in order to determine what other sentences might have had an effect upon Jarvis.

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Barron's Booknotes-Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
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