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Out of Africa

Isak Dinesen

Book Four, Farewell to the Farm: From "Farah and I Sell Out" to "Farewell"

Book Four, Farewell to the Farm: From "Hard Times" to "The Death of Kinanjui"

Book Four, Farewell to the Farm: From "Farah and I Sell Out" to "Farewell", page 2

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Summary

Farah and I Sell Out

The new farm owners allow the narrator to stay until she is ready to leave. She sells almost all of her furniture, except for a few beloved items. Farah helps her with everything, wearing his most regal Somali clothing as they manage affairs on the farm and in Nairobi.

The narrator gives her horses and dogs away to friends. Pooran Singh, the farm's blacksmith, weeps when he finds that the farm is truly closing. The narrator buys him a ring with a red stone as a parting gift. He then heads back to India since he no longer wants to work in Africa and has not seen his family for many years.

A week after Denys's death, the narrator wakes up and finds herself wishing for a sign that would give meaning to her current situation. Outside, she sees a white rooster suddenly come upon a chameleon, which roosters like to eat. When the chameleon sticks his tongue out at the rooster, his only defense, the rooster grabs the tongue and pulls it out. The narrator thereafter chases the rooster away. Because she believes the chameleon will starve with no tongue, she kills it with a stone. Later the narrator decides that with this incident the great powers of the world were laughing at her and suggesting that this is not a time to be coddled.

The narrator's Swedish friend, Ingrid Lindstrom, who runs a nearby farm, comes over in the final days. Together they stroll through the farm slowly, noting each item that the narrator is losing. The narrator decides to give all of her calves to her houseboys.

The fate of her squatters is also heavy on the narrator's mind. The new owners have given the natives six months to get off the land. The natives do not understand, as many of them have lived on the land for their whole lives. They are not allowed to own property under the colonial laws. The natives want to be able to move together, with all of their cattle, to some other place. The narrator spends months begging the colonial offices to honor this request. Although they think the natives' demands are unnecessary, such as staying together, after several months they suddenly decide that the squatters can all move jointly to a large space on the Dagoretti Forest Reserve.

The natives take the news quietly. The narrator considers the strangeness of not being able to control their own land, although it is so much a part of their selves. With the native resettlement finished and the coffee harvested, the narrator thinks that it might well be time for her to go.

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