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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
Mary Turner is the protagonist of the story. Being a child, she worked in a store, and she hated that job, because every night her father came there and bought himself a drink, and she couldn’t stand it. Her parents were quarreling constantly but the death of her elder brother and sister made them friends. It was a happy time for Mary. But, in fact, she wasn’t in good relations with her parents and she felt a relief when she moved out. She loved school, all those crowds of students wandering around, dinners in canteen which always were followed by a good chat – these things became a part of her life. And when she grew up, she moved to the Girls Club to feel the atmosphere of unity with other. She had a lot of friends, she loved a company and for a long time she didn’t care about men and marriage at all. But there came the time, when she realized that she has to marry someone not to stay alone for the rest of her life. Her marriage wasn’t happy, because Mary didn’t love her husband, she didn’t want a child, she hated this idea. But, nevertheless, she asked Dick to have a child for her own sake – not to be bored. Mary was a selfish woman, she hated natives, was cruel with them and in the end, she got her “reward” – the man who was disgusting for her had killed her.
He was Mary’s husband – a kind and honest man who desperately tried to make his dream comes true – to become a successful farmer. He hated town and didn’t want to live there, the farm was the best place on the whole world for him – its nature and air. But all his attempts to make a profit from his farm were failure; he couldn’t finish either of his projects, because his main goal was to save as much money as possible. His attitude to natives was much better than his wife’s. Dick had a kind heart and couldn’t be cruel with other people, it was nonsense for him. He believed that a child could save their marriage, but he didn’t want to have it until he earns enough money to raise and educate him. He loved his wife and her cruel death drew him crazy. The two most important things in his life – his wife and farm – were gone, and he was miserable and lonely.
He was a rich farmer, who had a perfect reputation in the district. He was a crude, brutal, ruthless, yet kindhearted man, in his own way, and according to his own impulses, who could not help making money: “He farmed as if he were turning the handle of a machine which would produce pound notes at the other end.” He was hard with his wife, hard with his children, and, above all, he was hard with his farm labourers. Charlie believed in farming with sjambok, and once he even killed one of his labourers. Their lives meant nothing for him, all he cared about was money. He hated Turners, because he wanted their lands and, in the end, he got it. He called it a “charity” from his side, although he understood how miserable Turners were, he didn’t care about them at all, he was thinking of his own profit only.
Tony Marston was Charlie’s assistant. He was twenty. He had had a good, conventional education, and had faced the prospect of becoming some kind of a clerk in his uncle's factory. To sit on an office stool was not his idea of life: “ he had the conventionally `progressive' ideas about the colour bar, the superficial progressiveness of the idealist that seldom survives a conflict with self-interest”. He sympathized with Turners, he was kind with Mary and her murder was a shock for him. He knew that Charlie was an unfair man and decided not to stand with him anymore after Mary’s murder. He believed in fair business and hoped that one day it will come true.
He was the native, who killed Mary Turner. He was young, strong and terrifying. Mary kicked him once and she was frightened with the look she had seen in the man’s eyes – evil and merciless. He was extremely calm, never showed his emotions. The way he talked to Mary was rather familiar, she hated it, but she couldn’t said a word to him – so strong was her fear. Murdering of his missus was his last moment of triumph. It is impossible to say what he felt after it – regret or pity, but he stayed calm, as always , and remained there, waiting for the police to arrest him.
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