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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold4/Mar-Dec1920/35
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 10 November 1920
Address FromOak Hall, Wynburg, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
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 Oak Hall
2 Tramway Terminus
3 Wynberg
4 Sunday
6 My darling Betty
8 I got two letters from you from the Standard Bank this week, they said
9they did not send the first one last week because they could not make
10out the address. But as when they got a second letter in the same
11handwriting they thought it must be for me.
13 I am sitting writing in my tiny room late at night. The heat is so
14great the perspiration is pouring from me. I have never felt such heat
15since I left de Aar. How I shall live through the summer shut in this
16tiny room I don’t know.
18 I am looking forward so to May’s coming out, but as they are going
19to Millers Point I shall not see much of them I have not seen any one
20for the last week, till today when dear old Reitzs & Bessie came to
21see me You can think what a splendid treat it was in my loneliness to
22see their dear faces.
24 The strike was to have taken place in Port Elizabeth tomorrow but I
25think the natives will drop it. The right to strike is only a white
26man’s privilege in this country: they will only be shot down if they
27strike. I wonder what the Irish are going to do now the Major of Cork
28has died. I think that after his funeral is over there will be some
31 Have I don’t know whether you’ll be able to live in this country
32dear. If I could still walk even as much as I could when I left Africa,
33 I would be quite happy here; but shut up absolutely without the means
34of getting out life is a stiff order In England one had the buses, &
35one had books & newspapers. I have never seen a magazine since I came
36here. I have subscribed to the library, but can get none. I suppose
37Merriman & the other members of the committee get them. Its so
38terrible in this supreme hour of the fate of the human race on earth,
39never to know what is going on in the world of human life.
41 Where is your little house on the flats? Do you want to sell it? Mr
told me he wanted to buy a little house out there, but I told
43him I didn’t think you wanted to sell it. It seems to me it must be
44a terribly solitary & out of the way place unless one was rich & kept
45a trap of some time kind.
47 It would be supremely interesting to be in South Africa now if one
48could travel about & really learn to know what the natives are feeling
49& thinking. I wish I could go to Basutoland & Kaffir land.
51 Good night my darling Betty. I have got your broach on, & always take
52your little green shawl when I’m able to go out, which isn’t often
53 Love to you
54 Olive
56 ^I hear they are going to build a house with 31 rooms at Elgin!!! Is
57the whole Molteno family going to live in it?^
59 ^They could hardly be going to keep a sanatorium there as its too damp
60for chest people!!!^