Leah, staring at the chicken house, hears a sudden gulp—it’s Ruth May, who’s secretly been climbing the trees above the chicken house. Ruth May falls down, and Nelson rushes to her. He notices that she’s swollen and sickly-looking, and sees two small puncture wounds in her skin—she’s been bitten by the green mamba snake. Leah is terrified by this sight, to the point where she’s too frightened to move, even when Nelson screams for her to get help.
This is arguably the climax of the novel, as Ruth may falls from a tree for the last time, and the forces in Kilanga who wanted to destroy the Prices have their revenge. Tragically, Nelson shows his love for Ruth May in this moment as well, but it’s now too late.