Summary

The short story “The Moment Before the Gun Went Off” by Nadine Gordimer focuses on an accident which resulted in the death of a black man in South Africa.

Marais Van der Vyver, the farmer responsible, worries that the accident will be mistakenly reported in the papers and will fuel the fire of the activists. He confesses that the dead farm boy, Lucas, was his friend and says he will look after his wife and children. After he arrives at the police station with Lucas’ body, Van der Vyver cries. In his statement, he explains the circumstances of the accident. 

Earlier that day, he set off in his car to kill a Kudu on his farm and took along Lucas, a 20-year-old farm hand. Lucas hopped in the back of the truck. Van der Vyver’s old rifle, which be...

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