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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/190/42
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 October 1907
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToIsie Smuts nee Krige
Other Versions
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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 de Aar
2 Oct 13 / 07
4 My dear Isie
6 Thank you so much for your letter, & your loving invitation. I fear I
7shan’t be able to come up & see you it’s such a long expensive
8journey, but my heart thanks you for your loving wish. I am living at
9de Aar now as you will see I am so grateful to be near my dear Husband
10again. He has built one little room on the outskirts of the Camp,
11where there is not so much dust & sand as in the centre of the camp &
12I hope I shall be able to stay here. We go to our meals at the hotel
13near the station; but when it gets hotter I shan’t be able to walk
14so far, so Cron will have to go & get his at the Hotel & I cook mine
15on a spirit lamp here. It is quite nice like a picnic out here in the
16veld, but the dust blows in so fearfully. I have swept this room four
17times today & the dust is now thick on the floor! To me personal the
18most terrible result of the war is that it has compelled us to spend
19our lives on the desolate god forsaken plains of this high plateau;
20cut off from all human intercourse & fellow-ship. But if once we get a
21little house built here, as the train passes here, I hope often to get
22my friends to come & stay with us for a little time. It is so nice to
23have the train passing here. In the night I lie awake listening to it
24coming in far off across the plain. One may not be able to go in it,
25but one knows it comes from the great world & goes to the great world,
26where the men & things one cares for are, & it gives me curious
27pleasure to hear it. I can see the lights from our little front door
28when the train comes in at night, & it’s so beautiful. One would
29have had to live alone shut up in Hanover as I have for so many years
30to know how beautiful.
32 //I am so glad the three little ones are doing so well. Its’ such a
33pity you are not going to Gordon’s Bay this year because I should at
34least have had a peep at you as you passed through de Aar. But I’ve
35heard from my niece Alsie Findlay that some parts of the high-veld in
36the Transvaal are delightful in the summer. My husband is well, but
37very hard worked here, & now another election is coming on, which will
38take him away & add to his work. I see Jan is home again from his trip
39to the north & things seem going well with him politically. Give
40warmest greetings to him from my husband & myself.
42 Good bye dear. Kisses to the children from their loving little
43 Auntie Olive