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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/188/62
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date12 February 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToIsie Smuts nee Krige
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Archives Repository, Pretoria, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 Hanover
2 Feb 12 / 04
3
4 Dear Isie
5
6 I was so glad this morning to get the really beautiful photo of you
7three. It’s so good. Dear little Sannie with her big eyes looks so
8sweet one wants to get hold of her & hug her here a little & her
9mother looks so happy & satisfied. I think this dear little daughter
10is consoling you for all you passed through.
11
12 I was so sorry I couldn’t come to see you at Gordon’s Bay, but I
13dare not go near the sea there, or I have to hurry back up country.
14
15 Cron returned yesterday from Beaufort West. He had been gone 6 weeks &
16a half electioneering, except when hers returned once for two days,
17because the doctors wired for him to come & see me. I didn’t know
18anything about it or I wouldn’t have let him come. It’s so nice to
19have him back. Tomorrow I suppose we shall hear the result of the
20election.
21
22 My little Bushman servant was taken ill with typhoid fever the day I
23returned from Cape Town & three members of her family have died of it
24in the last five weeks, so I’ve had no one in the house all the time
25Cron was away but now I’ve got a little Africander girl of about 12
26to help me, a very nice little thing. I am so glad to have her. Her
27father drinks a great deal & they are very poor with six little
28children; so she is glad to come & I hope she may stay with me. I like
29so to have people about me whom I can realy get to love & feel are
30part of the household.
31
32 I’m so sorry Daisy has no prospect of having a little one very soon,
33but so very glad you all like her husband so much.
34
35 About those men at de Aar for whose funeral you sent the money, –
36Mrs. Nienaber the wife of one of them is going to marry Mr. Nieuwhout
37the father of another of the men who is buried at de Aar, & she wants
38us to wait till the wedding is over before we do anything about
39burying them. The idea is now to buy the bit of ground they are buried
40in at de Aar, & go & have a funeral over their graves, & to get
41General Malan & some of his men to come. You We are having a terrible
42time here with typhoid & a curious type of stomach complaint from
43which I also suffered. Many ^white^ children & four adults, unreadable
44quite a dozen natives have died of the last after being only from six
45to twenty four hours ill, & we have had 23 ^white^ people down with
46typhoid during this month. It makes one think of what the camps must
47have been like. We have four Trained hospital nurses here from Port
48Elizabeth; the doctors wired everywhere to get some more but we could
49not. However its going over now, mine was one of the last cases. They
50think its the water supply that is wrong; but all kinds of new
51diseases seem to inflict us since we had the big military camps here
52just outside the village.
53
54 I see dear old Stead is coming out. I shall be so glad to see him. I
55shouldn’t have thought one could long to see one’s friends as
56I’ve done in the three years I’ve been in Hanover. Except when my
57sister came for one day, I’ve not seen the face of a friend in
58Hanover in all the three years. It’s so off the line that people
59can’t come. When Cron is away I sometimes pass weeks here without
60speaking to a human creature except the little boy who brings the
61wires. It’s rather sad in these little up country Towns now, the
62reaction after the war. Danger & suffering held us all together, &
63founded a great common bond. Now it is the usual little up country
64life, quarreling about the water rates, or the ?school & every man
65fighting for his own hand.
66
67^Much love to you all & good bye. I’m so glad you had such a good
68time in the Boovenland. ^
69
70 Olive
71
72 Did you see my dear friends Miss Molteno & Miss Green & Anna Purcell
73when you were in Town I saw you were at Miss Eloff’s wedding.
74
75