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Chapter Three

Rachel and the other children are having an usual morning at school when Miss Johnson, their teacher, announces that they have a visitor. Mr. Wyckoff is from the Board of Health, and he walks down the aisles among the children. Sometimes he just glances at the children and sometimes he touches them, as if inspecting their hands or faces. Some of the children whisper and call Wyckoff a "bounty hunter." When Wyckoff approaches the desk of Harry Woo, he pinches Harry's ear. Harry does not flinch in pain, and Wyckoff asks for the boy's name and address. Rachel notices that Harry does not come to school the next day or any other day. A classmate of Rachel's whispers that Harry has the "separating sickness."

Dorothy convinces Henry to accompany the whole family to church, and during the sermon the preacher says that leprosy is a disease that comes from immoral behavior. He says it is just like the venereal diseases syphilis and gonorrhea, and that if Hawaiians continue to act in an immoral manner they deserve leprosy.

Over the next couple of weeks, Rachel hears her parents arguing often. Usually the arguments consist of Dorothy trying to blame Henry or Pono for Rachel's condition.

One day at school the children are making fun of Rachel for wearing shoes. Sarah joins in and Rachel gets even angrier. The two begin to fight, and Sarah yells, "Leave me alone, you filthy leper." Rachel is embarrassed, and Sarah regrets what she said. When Rachel arrives home from school, Health Inspector Wyckoff is waiting.

When Wyckoff arrives with Rachel at the Kalihi Receiving Station, he collects the ten dollars he gets for each leprosy suspect. Rachel has her first examination, and she is terrified.

The day after Rachel arrives in Kalihi, her mother and father come to visit. They must remain separated by a wire screen. Rachel is saddened to discover that she won't be going home right away. After the visit, Rachel is more depressed and doesn't want to talk to any of the other children at Kalihi, most of whom have more advanced signs of leprosy. Another little girl named Francine tries to befriend Rachel, but Rachel is terrified of Francine's diseased hand. Rachel runs to her bed and cries. She is unwilling to speak to anyone until she hears a familiar voice. When Rachel looks to the doorway of her room, she sees her Uncle Pono.

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