Seams of Gold


It is the 1850s and 12-year-old Danny has been sent to stay with his uncle while his parents visit relatives in China. While always respectful, Danny is unsure about his uncle who ‘does women’s work’ by sewing for a living. Danny is not pleased when he is told he must accompany his uncle on a trip to the goldfields.

Uncle puts Danny to work lifting loads, setting up camp and keeping records of all the jobs. As the day progresses they move from the main camp on to the Chinese camp and the work, combined with Uncle’s gentle jibes, soon has Danny in a very dark mood.

When a storm hits the camp the trip is prolonged to allow them to repair the damaged tents. Not only is Danny put to work sewing, but he has to endure an extra night on the fields listening to the shrill Cantonese opera that is performed in the evening.

Much to Danny’s surprise, however, he realises that he has a talent for sewing. He is soon seeing sewing and his uncle through different eyes. When they return to the town, Danny presents Uncle with a surprise that he has sewn and Uncle gives Danny a family treasure — a beautiful Chinese sewing basket.

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