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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold1/1902/26
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 October 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
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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 name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover
2 Oct 5th 1902
4 Dearest Friend
6 I have not written to you for so long because I have been ill. Did you
7get my ^very^ long letter which ought to have reached you one or two
8days before you left for England. You have never mentioned it: it was
9about the Pinaar case which Cron is dis conducting & the three men
10executed at de Aar?
12 You will see our rebels are having a stern time: the Rev Schroeder has
13been sentenced to one year in prison & the payment of £500 or another
14year. And others have much harder sentences than that. The people here
15all believed there was going to be an amnesty on the coronation day
16for all the rebels.
18 Some went so far as to make cakes & get all ready for the sons &
19brothers whom they believed would be set free on that day. The
20disappointment & reaction was something tremendous. They all believed
21that an amnesty for the Rebels was one of the conditions of Peace ^& it
22was no use letting them think hopes were false.^ England lost a great &
23wonderful chance which will never return.
25 I am perhaps going down to Cape Town this month just for two days to
26see my mother who is said to be growing very weak. I shall stay at
27Anna Purcells.
29 My visit to the Transvaal was depressing & painful beyond words. I
30will tell you about it some day. When I got out of the train I had to
31keep my bed here for three weeks & am only now beginning to walk about.
33 We have moved into such a dear little tiny house, like a dolls house,
34but so bright the sun & light go right through it. When you & Miss
come back, I’ll try to get you a bedroom in some private
36house here, & you must come & have all your meals with us and spend
37some months here. I’ve got a little Bushman boy now who helps me to
38fetch ^wash^ the pots clean the floors & window &c & I am getting on
39finely. There is some talk of Cron’s goi going into partner
41 Good bye, dear one.
43 It will be nice to know you are back in Africa, & yet it is such a joy
44to knowing you are having a change of air & scene. This life here is
45slowly but surely killing one The body may live on, but the intellect
46& the soul is dead. Sometimes I think if one could get away where
47nothing recalled the past one might perhaps even yet live. The koppjes
48& the hills are all so terrible to me here. If you go out you see the
49market square where our men were sentenced to death; if you pass a
50little German Jew you remember how he stood dressed up in khaki to
51read the death sentences. Even now at night one wakes up in horror
52fancying the ^native^ town guard are all about the house, & are firing
53at you. The other night when there was thunder I lept out of bed, & it
54was only after some time I remembered the war was over & that it could
55not be the cannon which we have so often heard firing behind the
56kopjes. I would have liked to leave Hanover never to see it again as
57soon as peace was made, only now Cron has his work here we can’t.
59 Goodbye again dear one
60 Olive
62 ^Of course nothing I say to you is for print.^