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Marguerite Poland


Chapter 10 & 11:
Questions to challenge you!

Keith Tankard
Updated: 4 March 2014
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Three incidents occur in Chapter 10:

  • At a sports day hosted by the mission, Harold Stanbridge explains the philosophy behind recruitment for the goldmines;
  • Walter Brownley gives Victor a dressing down for his insulting attitude towards Rev. Brompton;
  • Finally, we learn a little more about that fateful night when Frances was trapped into having sex with Victor.

Rinderpest then strikes the Eastern Cape and the mission. The government announces that soon all the roads will be closed. Victor and Crispin have to leave quickly for Johannesburg and Grahamstown.

Benedict and Mzantzi go with them by wagon to bring back supplies from King William's Town -- and are humiliated into being dipped as if they were animals.


The period from 1890 through to about 1903 was a time of excruciating drought in the Eastern Cape -- certainly the worst drought in more than 60 years.

At the peak of this drought, the rinderpest broke out. This was a deadly sickness which struck ruminants, especially cattle.

The rinderpest decimated the herds of cattle in the Eastern Cape, triggering an intense campaign of quarantine and inoculation.

Because the Whites and the missionaries tended to respond more quickly to a government call for quarantine than did the amaXhosa, their cattle tended to survive the inoculation.

It is natural, therefore, that the amaXhosa became deeply suspicious. Many believed that the rinderpest was merely the Whites' deliberate attempt to destroy the Black people's herds.

Have you looked at the questions
in the right column?
Read the left column and then answer
the following questions:


Explain carefully the philosophy behind recruitment for the goldmines. (5)

[Need help?]

Which of the following attributes BEST describes Harold Stanbridge? Explain your answer.
  • A. Colonialist
  • B. Racist
  • C. Capitalist (30)

[Need help?]

When Frances follows Walter into the church, it is clear that she intends to open her heart to him.
  • What stops her from doing so? (4)

[Need help?]

  • How will this affect her future relationship with Walter? (5)

[Need help?]

To what extent was Frances responsible for the loss of her virginity that fateful night? (30)
  • NOTE: Be careful to analyse the text of your book carefully and not jump to false conclusions. Indeed, if you place any blame on her whatever, you probably have not understood Victorian morality -- or Frances for that matter. Make sure you have read the commentary to the previous chapter to find a further discussion on this topic.

[Need help?]


"Benedict Matiwane had been reborn at the rinderpest dip. Baptised -- not by fire -- but by water and carbolic."
  • Comment on the irony of this statement and what it means to Benedict. (6)

[Need help?]

What tendencies did the dip overseer exhibit? Explain your answer.
  • A. Colonialist tendencies;
  • B. Racist tendencies. (4)

[Need help?]

Examine the difference between Victor and Crispin's reactions to the overseer's boorish behaviour. (4)

[Need help?]

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See also:
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