Sheila’s Mother Quotes in The Shoe-Horn Sonata
BRIDIE: [not meaning to be rude] The British were a bit thick sometimes.
SHEILA: [slightly annoyed] We were patriotic. We didn’t want to leave. I remember mother saying, ‘Sheila, you and I are English women. We do not run away from a few Orientals...’
Before I left mother said to me, ‘You’ll be living with Colonials now, so set a good example. Always wear gloves—wherever you go. Don’t socialize with Catholics—unless they’re French or titled. And never kiss an Australian on the lips.’
SHEILA instinctively reaches out to take BRIDIE’s hand. They hold hands. And once again they both look very vulnerable. We hear Japanese voices on the soundtrack.
SHEILA: I wanted to cry. [With resolution] But I reminded myself I was a Woman of the Empire. And it just wasn't done to show fear to the natives. [Wistful smile] I could almost hear my mother saying: ‘Chin up, gel! And where are your gloves?’
I almost confided in mother once. [Sadly] Isn’t that amusing? It was just before I sailed from Singapore. I took her hand and whispered that... there was something I needed to tell her—about the Japanese. Mother poured herself a drink and said: ‘You know what the Bible says, my dear. “No cross, no crown.” We must pull up our socks and get on with it.’ Took more than a war to change Mother.