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By Mary Benson

The autobiography of Mary Benson, a white South African author identified for her paintings opposed to apartheid, whose existence illustrates a public and private drama. She describes her early years spent in Hollywood and her lifestyles as a devoted employee againest apartheid.

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Extra resources for A Far Cry: The Making of a South African

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But no music sounded, nor marching feet. Suddenly from around a corner a brightly clad bicyclist flashed, followed by another and another -- a bicycle race. As we too cheered and applauded, we marvelled at this sign of vitality when rations were pathetically low and fbod, even on the Black Market, so scarce that people could barely struggle through the day. By autunm rations had been increased, trams ran again and repairs to the cathedral were begun, as well as to the Sch6nbrunI Palace and other historic huildings.

Our first meeting took place in Paddington Station. Living outside London, he could risk a mere half-hour between trains. His wife must not suspect; he must not cause more pain. As we hurried towards each other, I thought idiotically how strange it was to see him in an ordinary suit, We kissed and sat side by side on a bench. 'I think of you all the time, all my happiness depends on memories of you,' he said. Hands clinging as once our bodies had clung, we were silent, aware only of the joy and agony of stifled desire.

At our regular ftur-power meetings I sat between Brigadier Palmer and this sergeant, who, on discovering how hungry I was, smuggled honeycakes to me under the table while our bosses engaged in discussion, I later shared these with the others in our mess. ' Nor shall I fbrget the wife of a Russian from a diftErent era, a pale, desperate woman who camtie into the office to beg for food, not for hersell, she explained, but for her husband, who was ill. She was Roniola Nijinsky. The Brigadier was too busy to see her.

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