Fiela’s Child


Dalene Matthee

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Chapter 1 Quotes

The day the child disappeared the fog came up early and by midday it seemed as if the Forest was covered in a thick white cloud.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Elias, Barta, The Magistrate, Lukas
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Only in retrospect did Fiela take account of the omens—she did not recognize them at first. […] Omens that should have warned her, but her mind was on the ostrich and she did not heed the warnings.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Fiela
Related Symbols: Ostriches
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

‘Listen here, woman, you know as well as I do that there’s something very strange going on here. This can’t be your child but you gave out that he was yours. Where did you get the child from?’

‘He’s my hand-child.’

Related Characters: Fiela (speaker), The Census-Takers (speaker), Benjamin, The Magistrate, Lukas
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

‘When the bigfeet are on you, you can’t choose what you let go of and what you want to keep, woman!’

Related Characters: Elias (speaker), Barta
Related Symbols: Tusks
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

‘You’re making a mistake, Fiela, wait another week or two.’

‘No. I’ve kept them apart long enough, I had them out at pasture for weeks, I’ve put paraffin into their ears so that there wouldn’t be a single tick to worry them, I’ve let Kicker starve—I’m not waiting any longer.’

Related Characters: Fiela (speaker), Selling (speaker), Benjamin
Related Symbols: Ostriches
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

‘Is this a church?’ he asked the tall one.

‘No. It’s a courtroom. Sit there on the bench and sit still.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), The Census-Takers (speaker), Fiela, The Magistrate
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

‘Will I still know him?’

Related Characters: Barta (speaker), Benjamin, Fiela, Elias, The Magistrate, Lukas
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

It was late when they got home. His mother took one look at the egg, took down the strap from behind the door and beat their backsides well for them.

The next day she baked a sugar-cake with the egg.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Fiela, The Magistrate, Dawid
Related Symbols: Ostriches
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

‘I’m going to Knysna,’ she announced.

Related Characters: Fiela (speaker), Benjamin, The Magistrate, Selling
Related Symbols: Ostriches
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

Petrus drove the wedding-cart himself and gave them five pounds as a start. It was a lot of money. But on the other hand, Petrus had been afraid that he would lose Selling for Selling had hear from a man by the name of Barrington near the Knysna River who was looking for a good harness-maker.

Related Characters: Fiela, Selling, Petrus, Kies Laghaan
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

‘What are bigfeet?’

‘Don’t you know? The animals with the trunks, elephants,’ she whispered. ‘You’re not supposed to say the name out loud, they’ll hear you and think you’ve called them and come and trample you.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), Nina (speaker), Elias
Related Symbols: Tusks
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

‘He’s the forest woman’s child.’

Related Characters: Fiela (speaker), Benjamin, Barta, The Magistrate, Lukas
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

‘I’m your pa! That’s who I am! Say it! Say who I am!’ He was as tough as a piece of ironwood. ‘Say who I am!’



For every answer he gave him a lash. ‘And who are you?’

‘Benja— Lukas.’

‘Lukas who?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Lukas van Rooyen. Say it!’

‘Lukas van Rooyen.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), Elias (speaker), Fiela, Barta, Nina, The Magistrate, Lukas, Willem, Kristoffel
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

‘The child is back with his rightful parents,’ he said and it seemed as if his jaw had grown stiff. ‘What he had on the day he got lost can make no difference. You can put anything on him now and swear by it in the hope that I will believe you.’

Related Characters: The Magistrate (speaker), Benjamin, Fiela, Elias, Barta, Lukas
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

A snare-pit. That was what he had to have, he sat thinking that Sunday. The sheer prospect of it brough a funny feeling to Elias’s stomach for if it worked once, it would work again if you were clever enough

Related Characters: Fiela, Elias, The Magistrate
Related Symbols: Tusks
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

In fact Petrus did not come riding up the Kloof until late on Thursday. Alone. A sugar-cake was waiting on the kitchen table.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Fiela, The Magistrate, Selling, Petrus
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

‘Pa is a dirty swine.’ Just that.

‘Why do you say that?’

‘It was a trap. An elephant trap.’

‘How do you know?’

‘I went there. There’s a dead elephant calf lying in the pit.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), Nina (speaker), Elias
Related Symbols: Tusks
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

The year moved slowly. Christmas came. New Year. And as he grew out of Benjamin Komoetie, he also grew out of his cloths and had to wear Willem’s old trousers and a shirt of his pa’s.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Elias, Lukas, Willem
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

But she had thrown away her name: half a crown a week with food and clothing was all the people were prepared to pay. What could he do? Nothing. He had to accept it. But as soon as he could get to the village himself again, he would go and see if he could not get her price raised to three shillings.

Related Characters: Elias, Nina
Related Symbols: Tusks
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

She had to give up Benjamin to the forest people, Dawid to the grave. There was little difference in the bitterness within her. The question she put to God was the same: Why, God, why?

Related Characters: Benjamin, Fiela, The Magistrate, Selling, Dawid
Page Number: 226
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

‘Go home and tell pa I’m not coming back. I’m finished with the Forest.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), Elias, Elias, Barta, Nina, Lukas
Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

‘I am an oarsman too. But I can’t live on what John Benn’s paying. I make a bit of extra on my own. I had to get rid of some of my customers because I only have two hands.’

Related Characters: Kaliel September (speaker), Benjamin, Mr. Benn
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

He was shocked and guilt-ridden. For a moment, his body had forgotten that she was his sister.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Nina, Mr. Benn, Lukas
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

The one wearing the blue shirt.

Related Characters: The Census-Takers (speaker), Benjamin, Elias, Barta, Lukas
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

The pilot pulled the needle through the thick white cloth. Somewhere in his beard a smile seemed to be lingering. ‘Of course,’ he said.

Related Characters: Mr. Benn (speaker), Benjamin, Fiela, Nina, Lukas
Page Number: 350
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.