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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/188
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: June 1912 ; Before End: December 1913
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWynnie Hemming
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. This letter has been dated by reference to content, as written after the death of Ettie Stakesby Lewis in June 1912, but before Schreiner left South Africa for Britain in December 1913. 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 Dear Wynnie
2
3 I am very ill. I think I shall soon die. I am still able to walk about,
4 I never can lie down. When I am really helpless I mean to go to a
5hospital or nursing home. I have hired nurses I never wanted to ha
6burden those I love. Now I can still walk about, but if I don’t get
7better I must have some one, I am so absolutely alone here. There
8would be no work, I have two servants, a girl who cooks & a little
9girl who does the bedrooms &c.
10
11 I just want someone with me when the attacks of fainting come on.
12Could you come to me if I wired? I would pay your second class fair &
13give you four pounds a month. I’d like to give much more but I
14can’t. I just want you to be with me. I am just always having
15attacks of faintness, you know as if death were there & I can’t eat
16any more but very little. Dear don’t think I want you to nurse me
17^you’ve had quite enough of that^ but just to stay with me a little
18till I make my final plans. I might even rallie, but I don’t think
19so. And Wynne I’m absolutely alone here, there’s no one I can ever
20ask to come & see me when I’m very bad, & Cron’s away all day, &
21has to write in his room in the evenings.
22
23 Love to dear Effie & All
24 Aunt Olive
25
26 ^Dear if you feel you can’t leave don’t mind telling me: my only
27fear is to be burden or trouble to any one.^
28
29 ^Could you go for me to Eastburgholt that boarding house I used to stay
30at in Tambour’s Kloof & find if they still take boarders & if so
31what they charge per week & per month for my large old room, or^
32
33 ^I may have to come down to the sanatorium at Plumstead but its so damp
34at this time of year, & always unhealthy with the pine trees all round.
35 Don’t come unless I wire. I will write in a few days & tell you how I am.^
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