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Letter ReferenceFindlay Family A1199/1166
ArchiveWilliam Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date24 March 1873
Address FromNew Rush, later Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToCatherine ('Katie') Findlay nee Schreiner
Other VersionsRive 1987: 9
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the William Cullen Library, University of Johannesburg, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Historical Papers.
1 New Rush
2 March 24th 1873.
4 My dearest Katie!
6 Many thanks for the letter, which last post brought me. I was very
7sorry to hear that poor little John was ill with scarletina & I hope
8that none of your other little ones will take it & that he will soon
9be quite well once more. You must have quite enough to do with so many
10little ones when they are all well. You must almost have more to see
11after than one person can manage when any of them are ill. Have you
12got good servants? We are in great trouble here for want of any at all
13& you can never get them for less than £2.10. a month & some ask £4,
14we have how ever got a very good cook & that is a great comfort at the
15fields where you have no kitchens. All our other men are leaving us
16tomorrow & as Theo needs twenty to work his claims I don't know what
17he will do.
19 We are having very cool weather here & there is little or no sickness
20just now. If you ever mean to pay the Diamond Fields a visit this
21month & the next will be the best time.
23 We hear every week from Willie, he is well & doing well with his
24studies. To day he starts for Grahamstown with Mr. Templeton. I hope
25he will like it as well as he has done Bedford.
27 We are all quite well. Theo looks so different from what he did two
28months ago, that one would hardly know him again, his trip to the
29river did him so much good.
31 He is not finding many diamonds, still he is paying his way & we hope
32that the big diamonds may soon come, he has a claim of his own now, so
33all that he finds is his own & if he can only get men I have no doubt
34he will do very well in time. To day is my birth day & Ettie & I are
35going out for a drive this afternoon which will be a great treat to us
36as driving is a pleasure we do not often enjoy here. It is £1 an hour
37for cart & horses & to keep your own is what only the very richest
38people can do.
40 On Saturday we are going to the river, where we will spend Sunday
41returning to New Rush on Monday. The river which is about twenty miles
42from this, is, every one tells me very beautiful, far more so than the
43Orange, & as there is a very nice large hotel there, it will be a
44pleasant change for us.
46 Young Mr Dammas has just called. I suppose you remember the Damasses
47well, this young Dammas is a very pleasant gentlemanly fellow & we see
48a great deal of him. His mother & all the rest of the family have gone
49to Europe ^&^ he is the only member of it now in the Colony.
51 I see from the papers that Mr. Fish, the minister who lived with us
52for so many years at Heald Town has just lost his second wife. She had
53only been married seven months & was not yet twenty. I feel so much
54for him poor fellow; he was almost a brother to us in the old days.
55Did you see him when you were at Heald Town? What a long time ago that
56visit seems now, does it not? It seems strange that living in the same
57country, so many years should have passed without our once seeing each
58other; one of us might be in England for any chance there is of our
61 You must excuse this dreadful scrawl dear Katie, but my ink & pen are
62both bad & I am in haste.
64 Give Aunt Olives love to the little ones & believe me dear Katie to
66 Your affeate sister
67 Olive E.A. Schreiner
69 P.S. Do write soon, dear Katie. Theo sends love & Ettie I think will
70enclose a note in this if she has time. I shall be glad to get a
71likeness of yourself & the children. I do hope someone will soon come
72to Fraserburg who can take them.
Rive?s (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.