All Theodore Barcroft Moonemalle’s children who survived married and had children of their own, at least two in all four instances. Hardly any of his sister Ada’s children married. Five died in infancy or childhood, and two when they were young men. The three eldest never married, though the son, Edward Junior, Sonny, was certainly not celibate, his Burgher mistress supposedly the most respectable of his liaisons. Apart from being extremely handsome, unlike his more epicene younger brothers, he had captained the Thomian cricket team in 1907, the year in which ‘Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceyon’ was published. As in modern times, I suppose that is a position of advantage after which there is no looking back.
His two older sisters, Eva and Ida, on the other hand, were models of respectability. As women of the middle classes they doubtless had to be. Women of grander pedigree however could get away with looser behavior, the de Liveras who had a Kurunagala connection for instance being supposedly well known in this regard. Regrettably, I never found out from my grandmother what precisely her version was of Richard de Zoysa’s grandmother’s origins. The story I had from Richard was that an English couple had been travelling by ship via Colombo, and died suddenly, leaving an infant girl who was obligingly looked after by the de Livera sisters. I suppose the story would have struck anyone less naïve than me as unlikely, but I was not prepared for my grandmother, when I asked her about the pair in relation to the story I had been told, saying primly that that was what had been reported. She refused to be drawn further.