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The Guilt

Plot Summary

 
In The Guilt, we find a window, Lillian Thurgood, who stays in a well fortified compound her late husband Jock left her in. All precautions against insecurity are in place. The setting of the story is in South Africa after the notorious apartheid regime has been replaced by a post independence government.

 
Lillian regularly has visitors coming at her compound mostly beggars who come to beg. As she is picking guavas in the garden by her house, she hears her dogs Temba and tor growling at the gate. On reaching there, she finds a poorly dressed person wishing to see her. She talks to him through the grills of the gate. He asks for work and she says that there is no work. He then produces a fictitious introductory letter. He is called William Sidlay. He purports to be collecting money for an organization.

 
Lillian goes back to the house to collect some money and failing to find appropriate loose pieces, she decides to hand him a whole 5 rand piece. (Rand is the money used in S. Africa). When Williams receives the 5 rand piece, he insists it is too much and he needs to work for it. He insists despite Lillian’s pleas to him to take the piece and go. She relates and allows him to work (collecting rubbish in the compound). After the work he forcefully demands 10 rand for the work done. Lillian is surprised and tells him he has 5 rand, but William says the 5 rand was donation. When Lillian realizes he has become a handful, she sets the dos against him and goes to collect a gun.

 
When she comes back she orders the dogs to leave him and forces him out of her compound.

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