"I'm working so hard to get all my things done to take to England, I like Rudyard Kipling, his letter of thanks to OS" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold5/1906/24
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date14 October 1906
Address FromHotel Milner, Matjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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 is written on printed headed notepaper.
1 Hotel Milner
2 Matjesfontein
3 Oct 14th 1906
4
5 Dear old Boy
6
7 I know you will be glad to hear I am getting on so finely here – my
8pulse 12 beats nearer the normal than it was at de Aar.
9
10 I slept ten & ten hours & a half at a stretch with out waking, & lie
11down flat which I’ve not been able to do for months. If only my old
12husband were here & not amid the dust of that terrible De Aar, I
13should have nothing left to wish for. At de Aar I seemed simply to
14pass out of one attack of angina & faintness into another. I have had
15two slight attacks in the five days I have been here. I shall stay
16here a month, then go back to Hanover to do the packing if we have by
17that time managed to get a little house at De Aar.
18
19 Old Sir Charles & Lady Abercromby Smith are here. We are very friendly:
20 he’s a most charming old man: the great tie between us is that they
21have such a great affection for you.
22
23 E P Solomon & his wife & Gordon his son passed here last night. I hear
24that Gordon has broken down & that his heart seldom rises about 40. I
25hope it is not true. I doubt myself is a heart has once become so weak
26that it ever really rights itself. Under pressure, mental or physical
27it will always give again. Don’t mention this fact to our little Dot
28if she doesn’t know it, as I know he is rather a friend of hers & it
29might depress her now while she is working for her exam.
30
31 I wish you could take a little holiday up here. Wouldn’t it be
32lovely to have you for a few days. Just guess what I am going to do?
33Buy golf sticks & learn golf so I can f teach Cron to play & we can
34play together at de Aar! But I doubt whether I shall ever be able to
35walk there as I can here. It’s an awful life he leads up there
36surrounded with nothing but the most debased specimens
37
38^of the human race. In a way it is a more sordid & miserable place than
39Hanover; but at least the train comes there. I see Van Gaass has been
40convicted. Strange this out break of sordid crime among the
41respectable Africanders, for the sake of a little gain. One feels that
42life in these little up-country places is absolutely degrading in
43every way – but Basson lived in Cape Town. ^
44
45 Good bye dear old man.
46 Don’t work too hard.
47 Olive
48
49
50
Notation
For the Basson murder case reference, see http://www.africacrime-mystery.co.za/books/fsac/chp1.htm