Адаптированная книга на английском языке «The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing».
The newspaper did not say much. People all over the country must have read the short report and felt angry — and yet satisfied, as if their strong beliefs about the natives had been proved correct. When natives steal, murder or attack women, that is the feeling white people have. And thenthey turnedthe page to read something else.
The people who knew the Turners did not turn the page so quickly. Many must have cut out the report, keeping it perhaps as a warning. However, they did not discuss the murder. Although the three people in a position to explain the facts said nothing, everyone seemed to know by some sixth sense what had really happened. ‘A bad business,’ someone remarked each time the subject was mentioned. ‘A very bad business,’ came the reply. And that was all that was said. There seemed to be general unspoken agreement that the Turner case should be forgotten as soon as possible.
In this country area, white farming families lived at great distances from each other and met only occasionally. They were usually grateful for something to talk about, but the murder was not discussed. To an outsider it seemed perhaps as if Charles
Slatter had told people to keep quiet, but in fact he had not. The steps he had taken were not part of any plan; he had just done what came naturally.
Nobody liked the Turners, although few of their neighbours had ever actually met them. They ‘kept themselves to themselves’, never attended any social events, and lived in that awful little box house. How could they live like that? Some natives had houses as good; and it gave a bad impression for them to see whites living in such a way. The Turners were not just poor whites; they were, after all, British!
The more one thinks about it, the more extraordinary the whole matter becomes. Not the murder itself, but the way people felt about it; the way they pitied Dick Turner, as if his wife Mary were something unpleasant and unclean. It was almost as if people felt that she deserved such a death. But they did not ask any questions.
They must have wondered who that ‘special reporter was. It can only really have been Charlie Slatter, since he knew more about the Turners than anyone else, and was at the farm on the day of the murder. He appeared to take control, and people felt that to be quite reasonable. He was one of them, and why should anyone else be allowed to interfere in the business of white farmers? And it was Charlie Slatter who arranged everything so that the whole matter was cleared up cleanly and quickly.
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