Brother Fowles's Visit until Murder Plot Revealed
Brother Fowles arrives in the village along with his Congolese wife and their children. The entire village is in an excited uproar over his visit, and the Price women are no exception. Brother Fowles clearly has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the native customs, and tries to explain to Orleanna that her neighbors are very religious people, with a keen sensitivity for the miracles of God's natural world. Orleanna, a former nature worshipper herself, is drawn to Brother Fowles and listens with an extremely sympathetic ear to his pantheistic interpretation of Christianity. Nathan then arrives at home, and the reception he gives Brother Fowles is cool at best. The situation degenerates when Brother Fowles's expresses feelings of fellowship for all the natives of Kilanga including Nathan's archenemy, Chief Ndu. The two men enter into a war of biblical translation, in which Brother Fowles calmly gets the better of Nathan. Nathan storms off, and the Price women trail longingly after the departing Fowles.
A drought in the region is leading to famine, and Ruth May's condition is steadily worsening. Tata Ndu begins to visit daily, bearing gifts, and Nelson must be the one to explain the purpose of his visits. He wants to make Rachel his newest wife.
To turn down Tata Ndu's marriage proposal would be hugely offensive, not only to him personally but to the entire village. In place of the majority rule of democracy, the Congolese believe that complete unanimity must be reached before a plan can move forward and so any official action Tata Ndu takes must have the viallge's unanimous backing. Rachel is beside herself with outrage and fear.
As Ruth May gets sicker, they decide to move her bed into the main room so that Orleanna can keep an eye on her during the day. When they move the bed away from the wall, they discover every single one of her quinine tablets pressed against the cement. They realize that Ruth May had never swallowed any of her tablets, and that she has malaria.
To avert any conflict with Tata Ndu the Prices decide to pretend that Rachel is already engaged to Eeben Axelroot. Rachel and Eeben have to sit out on the Price's porch to demonstrate their connection to the village, and the two of them begin to strike up a strained acquaintanceship. Eeben confides that he works for the CIA, but Rachel does not believe him. She begins to concoct a secret plan to win him over and convince him to fly her mother and sister home.