A little girl comes to Kumalo with a letter that would change the course of the story. After receiving this letter Kumalo generously offers the girl some food which shoes his good character. He then proceeds to read the letter which invites him to come to Johannesburg because his assistance is needed by his sick sister, Gertrude. He needs money he and his wife set aside for their son's education, and his wife reluctantly gives it up.
As Kumalo rides the train through Johannesburg he is overwhelmed by the buzz of the city. He is anxious about being there because he knows some who go to Johannesburg and ever come back, but he is even more anxious about his ill sister. As he gets of the train he is welcomed by a thief stealing from him.
As Kumalo goes to see Gertrude he is first kept waiting by her outside which already had Kumalo annoyed. On top of that, when Kumalo spoke to his sister he found that he illness the letter had poke about was prostitution, Alcohol, and other unholy things. Kumalo ridiculed her and said that she brought shame on their family. Gertrude broke down and said she wanted to repent.
Kumalo goes to visit John and John shares that he is no longer taking part in the church and felt like the church back home was restricting him. Kumalo was appalled by this even though John seemed happier than ever.
On the search for his son, Absalom, Kumalo first asks a nurse for his whereabouts.(top slide). She directs him to the reformatory(bottom slide). Still with no trace of Absalom, Kumalo is distressed.
Kumalo and Msimangu travel to Ezenzelini were Kumalo's sons mistakes weigh in. This makes Kumalo very distraught and Msimango comforts him. The idea of his children doing crimes and having children out of wedlock was very trying on his heart.