What is the principal's attitude towards Margaret when he first sees her?

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To answer your question, we will have to refer to Part One of the novel. At the beginning of the new school term, Margaret has to wait outside the principal's office to receive her assignment for the year. When he eventually sees her, the principal (Pete) is aloof and coldly polite. After a brief, disingenuous "electric light smile," he puts on his most forbidding demeanor, one that he especially reserves for his subordinates. As a matter of practice, it is only when he is in the presence of powerful and important men that he displays any sort of prolonged exuberance.

As he observes her, Pete concludes that Margaret is of mixed parentage and that her father is very possibly white. Although such people are frowned upon in Pete's community, their presence is usually tolerated in Dilepe.

Margaret, however, is a Masarwa or a Bushman, a member of a despised tribe of people; when Pete discovers this, he is both irritated and scandalized. Although he tries to hide his shock, he can barely conceal his disdain for Margaret. So, Pete is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of having someone like Margaret as a member of his teaching staff. His attitude towards her is one of disgust and apprehension.

He complains bitterly and animatedly to Seth, the education supervisor, about the predicament he finds himself in. Both men are in favor of kicking Margaret out immediately; however, they eventually decide to consult the Totems (or chiefs of Dilepe) first, just in case Margaret is connected to anyone important.

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