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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/184
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: September 1897 ; Before End: December 1898
Address FromKimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta (‘Ettie’) Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The content of this letter indicates it was written after Schreiner returned to Kimberley from Britain in September 1897 and before she moved to Johannesburg in late 1898. The addressee is indicated by archival location.
1 Do you remember that dear old fr half daft nigger who used to be here,
2Jolie? He was always so good & did little jobs for us, & slept among
3the rocks on the Koppje behind the house, & never did any harm to any
4one. We couldn’t make out what had become of him when we came back
5from England. His poor old hole was empty. Well, I’ve just found he
6died in jail. I don’t believe he ever did anything wrong, they just
7put him in jail & he died there. You don’t know how pathetic his
8poor old life seems to me. He only wanted a hole in the rocks: they
9might have let him stay there! The world is so terrible, the people
10who commit the great & awful crimes are rich & honoured & the poor &
11weak crushed. You don’t know all that little hole of his in the
12ground means to me.