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Marguerite Poland


Chapter 26 & 27:
Questions to challenge you!

Keith Tankard
Updated: 4 March 2014
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Johannesburg is captured by the Imperial forces. It is the chance for everyone to go home but the Black people find that, without passes, they can go nowhere.

Crispin attempts to help Tom and Reuben but his attempt fails and they are shot by British troops. Crispin returns to St Matthias, his conscience heavy with guilt.


Walter is packing to leave Mbokothwe on his way to England when he receives a telegram announcing the disappearance of Crispin and asking him to help them at St Matthias.

Victor too has returned to St Matthias, and he and Benedict have an argument about the primary cause of the Pumani brothers' deaths.


In 1857 the Governor of the Cape decided to bring missionaries into the Eastern Cape as a means of turning the Xhosa people into Black Englishmen. He used the Anglican Church for this purpose.

During the 1850s, the church in the Eastern Cape was ruled from its cathedral in Grahamstown. Indeed, Grahamstown was the cultural heart of the region, and would remain so until after the 1st World War.

Keiskamma Hoek did not receive a missionary immediately. It would have to wait until about 1858 for that to happen.

In 1857 the Anglican pastor for the White community at East London -- Reverend Joseph Willson -- was murdered.

His place was taken by Reverend William Greenstock who had a special calling to serve the Xhosa. Greenstock, however, fell foul of the military authorities and of his Bishop.

While ministering to some Xhosa prisoners at the East London prison, he came across the three men who had supposedly murdered Reverend Willson.

He converted them to Christianity, heard their confessions and baptised them.

In doing so, he prevented the authorities from extracting a confession from them, because it was still not certain that all three had in fact committed the murder.

As a result, Greenstock was transferred to Keiskamma Hoek in disgrace, and there he took a leading role in creating the mission station of St Matthews.

St Matthias Mission in Shades is based upon St Matthews Mission at Keiskamma Hoek.

A picture of Reverend Greenstock even hangs on the wall of the Farborough house.

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

Why does Crispin blame himself for the death of the Pumani brothers? (5)

[Need help?]

Explain the significance of the "mphafa" twig. (4)

[Need help?]

Father Charles nodded. "Yes, lad. Brompton died. A greater rest, I think, than he could ever find among us here."
  • Comment on the fateful significance of these words to Crispin. (4)

[Need help?]

In this chapter Victor reveals himself as no longer fully in control.
  • Can you find instances of this? (5)

[Need help?]

"Blame him?" Benedict gazed back steadily. "No, I do not blame Crispin . . . only God has the power to lay blame. Perhaps He might blame you."
  • Explain what Benedict means by this comment to Victor. (5)

[Need help?]

"It is not what you do, it is what you fail to do, that has always made you different from Crispin."
  • Comment on the accuracy of Benedict's words to Victor. (30)

[Need help?]

Try another worksheet?

See also:
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