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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold2/1903/24
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 October 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToElands Hoek, Aliwal North, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
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. The name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope.
1 Hanover
2 Oct 5th 1903
3
4 Dear Friend
5
6 I haven’t written because for ten days I was unfit. I’m better
7again since Monday. Tell Miss Greene the long letter she says wasn’t
8nice was the only real decent letter I’ve got from either of you
9since I came back! What does one want to hear about one’s friends
10for but to hear about themselves?
11
12 The weather here continues terrible. After all that promise of rain &
13those bitter frosts, there is now nothing but the old oppressive North
14West winds. It is more like unbroken drought now than ever. Men who
15have held out all along say they must now either lose all their small
16stock or trek.
17
18 Neta has puppies. Two such dear little brown brown things. I wish you
19could see the three little meerkats. If you give Tommie three bits of
20meat, (liver, his favourite meat!) he gives each piece up to a little
21meerkat till each has one, & then he sits licking his little empty
22chops as much as to say, "How nice a bit would be!" but he never
23thinks of taking it from them. He’s an utterly sweet meerkat, an
24ideal male. Old ‘Arriet gets sweeter & sweeter. She’s nearly as
25human as Neta now, never happy if she isn’t cuddling up to one of us
26or taking care of the little meerkats. She never has that wild fierce
27look in her eyes now. She is gentle playfulness itself. It was the
28horror of being shut up in that little box. Emmie is Emmie, just the
29same restless thing, she spends her life looking for eggs.
30
31 One of the little meerkats is a spit fire, fights with any body &
32anything, one is very gentle & likes to sit on your hand with his
33little head sticking out at the top – at least he can do that in
34Cron’s hand he’s too big for me to do it with my hand now. I wish
35you knew Ollie Cron’s little dog Neta’s pup. Miss Greene would
36love her. She worships the meerkats & lives for them. The three little
37meerkats drink at her though she has no milk, & it is curious to see
38her look of supreme maternal importance & solicitude.
39
40 We’ve not yet heard if the Committee in Cape Town has decided for
41Cron or le Roux. I’m so glad Cron doesn’t care a bit one way or
42the other. I was so afraid he would get that kind of fever which many
43men seem to get when they go into public life, which makes them never
44satisfied with anything if they are not in it.
45
46 Don’t mention about Pepplar to any one.
47
48 How are you? Do you ever try those little dark pills I gave Miss
49Greene
? It is especially for those awful flushes of heat that they are
50said to be so good, almost better than for monthly troubles. If it
51would only rain & there be vegetables & milk & butter for you to come
52here.
53
54 Good bye, Dear love to you both.
55 Olive
56
57 I know there was something I specially wanted to say to you when I sat
58down to write & now I’ve forgotten it – but it wasn’t any thing
59big.
60
61
62