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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/14
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 13 May 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToFrances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 de Aar
2 Tuesday
4 Dear old Sister
6 Thankyou for your letter. I am quite fearfully excited about going.
8 At first I thought I couldn’t go because I’d nothing to travel in;
9but clothes or no clothes I’ll mean to go!! The "historic green" I
10wore to Dorothy Sauer’s wedding will have to come out – the only
11fear is that it may get worn out before Dot’s & Ursula’s weddings;
12for which I am saving it. One really needs a plain serge coat & skirt,
13but there is not any one here who can make anything. I am sending for
14galoshes. I haven’t got a mackintosh as I can’t get one to fit me
15in this country but Cron’s going to lend me the cape of his
16mackintosh which will cover the shoulders so all my preparations are
17complete. I may not be able to do the walk through the rain forest if
18its very long, but I shall look at the falls from afar.
20 Do tell me: –
22 1. What time morning, evening or midday the train reaches de Aar,
23 2. Whether one can get at ones box in the journey? In such a crowded
24excursion train one can’t take much in the carriage.
25 3. Will it be hot or cold in Rodesia? Will one need cool things? I
26think so – Cron thinks it will be cold.
28 I enclose a post card to answer these questions without trouble.
30 Be sure & take a few towels & soap; these dirty old towels on the
31train are so horrid. Also take a couple of spare pillowcases or bags.
32I always take a bag or pillowcase to put my boots, stockings & under
33clothes in in a train, otherwise they all get so mixed up; you go
34hunting about for things in the morning.
36 I wonder if you could find out from anyone who has been up if there is
37generally room for you to put a portmanteau in that place where the
38shelves are between the carriages ^in the passage between the
39compartments,^ I want to take a whole baking of brown bread or biscuits
40to last me all the way; as my keeping fit depends on my not eating
41white bread. But don’t trouble about this last question if your
42friend can’t say. I’ll bribe the Guard to put it somewhere where I
43can get at it.
45 I think a ^nice^ bathing cap would would be a good thing for going
46through the rain forest, it would keep ones hair dry! You & the girls
47had better bring some. I’ve got one. It will be so lovely to be with
48you. I’ve seen so little of you for so many years, not since I
49stayed with you in ‘99.
51 I don’t think I told you that my dear little friend Dora Cawood is
52dying of consumption. She is staying now with her sister Mrs Stanley
53at Tarkastad. The two other sisters look so very delicate too.
55 I wonder if her mother has good news of little Jewel? You will have
56plenty to tell me when we get into the train because your so wicked
57about writing! I seem to be quite out of touch with all my Cape Town
58friends. Take warm boots or slippers to wear in the train. Those foot
59warmers are a delusion, just when you want them they aren’t there.
61 Olive