Rachel describes how Nathan flies to Stanleyville with Eeben Axelroot to pick up more quinine pills (necessary for treating diseases like malaria). Rachel, unlike Ruth May, is careful to always take her pills—she’s too vain to risk catching a disease.
It’s not clear what’s going to happen after the Congo gains independence from Belgium—will Axelroot still be around to take care of Nathan, or will the Prices have to find other ways of getting supplies?
Rachel notes that Nathan is angry with the Underdown family. They send him supplies every month, but they also send him a letter ordering him to prepare to leave the Congo on June 28. Nathan tells Orleanna that he refuses to leave. Orleanna insists that Nathan is endangering his children’s lives, but Nathan ignores her.
In a way, Nathan isn’t saying anything that he hasn’t already implied. Nathan was always more interested in spreading Christian doctrine than in keeping his children safe—if this weren’t the case, he would never have moved to the Congo in the first place.
The election has just occurred, and Patrice Lumumba has been elected the new Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo. Orleanna asks Nathan if Lumumba is a Communist, and Nathan answers that he’s not sure. Rachel imagines Lumumba leading the new parliament, which consists entirely of people like Tata Ndu. Rachel is so sick of the Congo that she can’t wait to leave.
Rachel’s impressions of the Congo’s future are actually pretty insightful (definitely more so than Nathan’s). She realizes that Lumumba’s new regime must be built upon the current one: he’ll have to rely on traditional structures of power, like tribal chiefs.