For Randolph Vigne and Christine Hawes, Ken and Myrna Mackenzie, and for Bosele Sianana, with love
It seemed almost incidental that he was African.
'We have a full docket on you. You must be very careful. Your mother was insane. If you're not careful you'll get insane just like your mother. Your mother was a white woman. They had to lock her up, as she was having a child by the stable boy, who was a native.'
She wasn't sure if it applied elsewhere, but she was essentially a product of the slums and hovels of South Africa. People there had an unwritten law. They hated any black person among them who was 'important'. They would say, behind the person's back: 'Oh, he thinks he's important', with awful scorn. She has seen too many people despised for self-importance, and it was something drilled into her: be the same as others in heart; just be a person.
It is never clear to Elizabeth whether the mission school principal's cruel revelation of her origins is at the bottom of her mental breakdown. She has left South Africa with her son and is living in the village of Motabeng, the place of sand, in Botswana where there are no street lights at night.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:08 -0400)