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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: John & Mary Brown MSC 26/2.2.18
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date31 October 1910
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJulie Brown
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. Schreiner was resident in De Aar from November 1907 until she left South Africa for Britain and Europe in December 1913, but with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere over this time.
1 Oct 31 /10
3 Dear Julie
5 I have been out today to see a poor man who is very lit ill with liver
6& heart. He was tapped in Cape Town a few weeks ago, but is no better
7since his return. the He has to sit up day & night the swelling in the
8stomach & legs is so unreadable bad. They want to get an experienced
9man who understands scientific massage to rub him & help to take care
10of him Do you perhaps know of such an one; if so could you let me know
11what he would charge by the month for coming. If you don't know of a
12man do you know of a good ordinary nurse not for massage, but who
13would come up simple to nurse for the month - but she must not be a
14very grand woman who would need too much waiting on. The Van Zyls are
15the richest farmers in this district, the house is beautifully clean,
16though small. But the poor woman (who is well educated) has two tiny
17babys & things could not be as nice as in Town: If you know of such a
18nurse he please write & say what her charge would be. They all
19understand English. The farm is an hour & a half from De Aar. They
20come in nearly every day for letters &cc.
22 I am writing to Mrs ?Calingem too to know if she knows of a man who
23can pa give massage, I think they will have to be content with a good
24woman nurse. They don't like simply to write to Kimberley or Cape Town
25for a nurse, because they may get one those terrible nurses who need
26so much attention & waiting on that she takes more time than she saves
27- you know the kind The great difficulty is the bedroom. They have
28only two. He has to have one, ^& his wife sits up with him^ & in the
29other the two babies & the old mother (who has come while he's so ill)
30sleep. But if the nurse took the night nursing she might stipulate to
31have the bedroom to herself during the day, & at night
33^she could have a bed put on a verandah which opens into a pretty^
35^rose garden. In this climate, I sleep half the night outside, sitting^
37^up to get breathe! Its better than inside.^
39 Olive