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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/28
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date27 February 1894
Address FromKrantz Plaats, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToRebecca Schreiner nee Lyndall
Other VersionsRive 1987: 233-4
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. This is a handwritten copy of Schreiner's letter which was made by Cronwright-Schreiner.
1 Krantz Plaatz
2 Feb. 27. 1894
3
4 My own little Mother. I’ve not had time before to tell you about our
5quiet little wedding. On Friday morning dear old Theo came to
6Middelburg, but Cron only came the same night about 11 o’clock. On
7Saturday morning many letters & wires came for us at breakfast. We had
8over fifty telegrams during the day & a cable from the old Dadda came
9yesterday.
10
11 After breakfast I & dear old Theo walked up to the Magistrates private
12house together, Cron, & his friend Mr Webber, & old Mr Nixon the
13Inspector of Schools & Mr Jacob an old Jewish money ender who lives in
14Middelburg & Miss Gowie who had asked me if she might come, having
15gone on before another way. These were all who were in the room except
16the Magistrate & his wife. Cron & I sat at a little square table in
17the centre of the room & signed the forms & repeated something after
18the Magistrate & then we were married & Theo & Cron & I got into a
19Cape cart we had ordered & went for a little drive. When we got back
20to the village about 11.30 I went to see young Mr Gowie who is very
21ill & Theo & Cron & Mr Webber went about together & sent off wires & I
22went back to the hotel by myself, & finished my packing all the
23morning. At one o’clock I went down to lunch & directly after the
24waggonette with four horses was ready, & I came down stairs. Half
25Middelburg had gathered at the Hotel door to see us off, & Dr & Mrs
26Saunders among the rest. They threw showers of rice at us, & fastened
27at the back of the wagon an immense shoe, & threw another into the
28wagon after us. Theo & Mrs Webber went with us to the station & saw us
29off at 3.30 in the train for the farm. I wore the blue black dress &
30black hat I wear every day & Cron wore his ordinary clothes. I was so
31glad dear old Theo was there it was such a comfort to me.
32
33 We got to Halesowen Siding Station about 8 oclock. The stars were
34shining. Cron’s cart & a native boy were waiting for us, & we packed
35as many of the things we could into the cart & came on here. The drive
36took almost half an hour & when we drew up before the dark long
37farmhouse, Cron’s two dogs Daphne & Maggie ran out to meet us,
38barking & rejoicing. In the "fore huis" we found the table laid, & a
39nice fowl on the table that Cron’s ?Mother had sent up for us.
40
41 The house is all as it was in Cron’s bachelor days, except that he
42has had the floors plastered to keep the dust away from my chest. In
43our dining room – there is now a plastered floor, two little wooden
44cupboards that belonged to Cron’s father, a little table with some
45oil cloth on at which we have our meals, four wooden chairs & an iron
46couch, & in the corner on a little stand an old fashioned clock that
47used to be Cron’s mother’s.
48
49 But all the room & the whole house is so beautifully clean & neat as
50every thing is with which Cron has any thing to do. In the bedroom is
51a large double bedstead I contributed to the housekeeping & Cron’s
52old desk he has used since a boy; & his little book shelf in the
53corner & a chest of drawers, & a little washing stand, that is all.
54
55 We are going to have the dining room & some of the other rooms papered
56& got into good order, & without any expense we shall make our little
57house quite nice in time. We are going to put up shelves & make
58curtains & do all sorts of things. In was very hot on Sunday & we
59rested through the heat of the day, but in the afternoon Cron & I went
60down to the river & bathed at the mimosa trees growing there. It is
61such a pity the original owners put the house here, because there are
62such beautiful spots on the farm. When we came back from our walk it
63was getting dark & we went to the kraals to count the goats in. I went
64with Cron & counted two flocks quite right!
65
66 Yesterday morning Cron & I started after breakfast & went to an out
67kraal right away in the Hoek, a beautiful valley on the farm, among
68the mountains, where his out kraals are. There is hardly any kind of
69road & we had to go through some wonderful krantzes sluits. At the top
70of the valley there is a dam in which some of the cows & bulls were
71drinking, & the old Kaffir herd there hailed the herd on the mountain
72by shouting, with his hand before his mouth. The herd on the mt heard
73& came down with his flock of angora goats for Cron to count them. I
74sat under a mimosa tree while Cron counted them into the kraal. There
75is the herd’s hut close to the kraal, & his wife had a beautiful
76little cat the mother of which was a tame cat but the father a large
77wild cat on the mountain; she gave it me, I promising her a dress. It
78was very pretty to see the cats lying with their paws across a little
79kid that had lost its mother. I never saw a cat & a goat caress each
80other before.
81
82 When we got back here it was two oclock & very hot. We had dinner &
83laid down for our afternoon sleep & in the evening Cron & I went to
84the kraals to count the goats in again. I was very sleepy & went to
85bed early but Cron sat pretty late at his desk answering letters.
86
87 This morning he got up very early to count the goats out. I was going
88to rise with him to the Camp where they are today plucking the
89ostriches but Cron thought I had better stay & pack my things right.
90So Cron went off at 9 oclock alone & I’ve been unpacking my boxes &
91have now come to Cron’s desk to write.
92
93 Before he went out he showed me how to use the loaded revolver that he
94always keeps hanging at the foot of the bed in a case. He will often
95be away, & I here alone with no one for miles & miles but the native
96servants but I shall never feel nervous. I never can fancy that any
97one could attack me. The house is very nice & quiet now; there is not
98a sound but the old clock ticking in the dining room, & Rose our
99Hottentot maid & only house servant moving about in the kitchen. Cron
100would like me to have another but I think it is better to have only
101one. He manages his servants ideally – One of his men has been with
102him seven years, none less than three! The talk about the
103impossibility of getting servants on a farm is all nonsense. Cron has
104always more than he needs, & he is a stern & firm master; but always
105just & generous. I think his strong sense of justice is one of the
106most marked traits in his character: & that which makes one feel
107reliance in him.
108
109 My little wild cat has just come in & I have given it some water. It
110must be very hot for Cron out in the sun plucking the birds; he will
111be in at half past one & we shall have dinner & then a long rest & lie
112down. At four we make some tea ourselves as the girl has gone home &
113we get up & get to our business the servant comes back at six & gets
114our supper ready. Its a very quiet & to many would seem a very prosaic
115way of spending a honeymoon but its what we both like.
116
117 Good bye my own little mother
118 Your Olive
119
120 My mother, I meant to write a number of letters, to Dadda & my other
121friends in England, telling them my news; but I shan’t have time
122this week. Will you send it on in the enclosed cover to Dadda & ask
123him to send it to Mrs Brown 68 Bank Parade, Burnley, Lancashire; & she
124must send it to Alice Corthorn & Alice must send it to Havelock Ellis.
125
126
Notation
Alongside the second paragraph in this copied letter, Cronwright-Schreiner has added in pencil 'She drove to the Hotel from the ceremony to the ^Hotel^ but wouldn't let me accompany her; I had to walk up (with Theo I think)! SCCS.' It also has had written at its bottom '(by permission,) copied Mar: 30.'. Rive?s (1987) version of the letter is taken from Cronwright-Schreiner (1924).