Life Times: Stories 1952-2007 by Gordimer Nadine

Life Times: Stories 1952-2007 by Gordimer Nadine

Author:Gordimer, Nadine [Gordimer, Nadine]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Short Stories
Publisher: Penguin Group USA, Inc.
Published: 2011-09-16T06:00:00+00:00

A statement made by the girl to the police was handed in to court when she and the man appeared to meet charges of contravening the Immorality Act in a Johannesburg flat on the night of —December, 19—. I lived with the white man in his flat. He had intercourse with me sometimes. He gave me tablets to take to prevent me becoming pregnant.

Interviewed by the Sunday papers, the girl said, ‘I’m sorry for the sadness brought to my mother.’ She said she was one of nine children of a female laundry worker. She had left school in Standard Three because there was no money at home for gym clothes or a school blazer. She had worked as a machinist in a factory and a cashier in a supermarket. Dr von Leinsdorf taught her to type his notes.

Dr Franz-Josef von Leinsdorf, described as the grandson of a baroness, a cultured man engaged in international mineralogical research, said he accepted social distinctions between people but didn’t think they should be legally imposed. ‘Even in my own country it’s difficult for a person from a higher class to marry one from a lower class.’

The two accused gave no evidence. They did not greet or speak to each other in court. The Defence argued that the sergeant’s evidence that they had been living together as man and wife was hearsay. (The woman with the dachshund, the caretaker?) The magistrate acquitted them because the state failed to prove carnal intercourse had taken place on the night of—December, 19—.

The girl’s mother was quoted, with photograph, in the Sunday papers: ‘I won’t let my daughter work as a servant for a white man again.’


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