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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold2/1903/19
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 September 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
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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. The name of the addressee of this letter is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover
2 Sep 25 / 03
3
4 My darling Friend
5
6 I’m so glad its nice at your brothers farm. The climate here is
7quite perfect just now, but I have been too busy to go out except for
8one little walk since I returned. I am nearly moved into the tiny
9house. I like it so much.
10
11 The merries are all so well. The little ones are 14 days old today &
12their eyes are open ‘Arrriet & Tommie are are as fond of them as
13Emmie. ‘Arriet is a picture with her great important grandmotherly
14eyes as she sits over them, all tucked away under her. Poor little
15Tommie simply collapses with feeling, & sits with his head down as if
16he were quite faint. If you & Miss Greene were living in Africa & had
17a house of your own I would give you the three little ones. I won’t
18give them to any one else.
19
20 My darling boy is very busy, very hard worked & with many worries. The
21leaders of the party want him not to stand for this district as they
22want the seat for du Vaal. Cron has a big majority, but they want him
23to leave the seat for du Vaal so he is going to do so. The people here
24are very angry about h it. The part people at Prince Albert & in B- W
25want him to stand there. All the Prince Albert branches of the Bond
26have nominated him; but of course he won’t stand against Le Roux
27after all that kindness to me, & after Le Roux having taken me about
28to all the farms. It is le Roux’s own relatives the other Lally's
29who are opposing him most & are determined Cron must stand. But of
30course he can’t under-mine le Roux especially when through le Roux I
31got to know all the people there.
32
33 So he falls out of Parliament. He takes it so splendidly in such a
34large way: I’m so glad.
35
36 The Van Zyl’s house will be ready in a few months, by November I
37should say. Will you be able to come then. If you come before there is
38only the hotel. It is not nice but I & Cron had our dinner there for
39two weeks while I had no place to cook in, & it was not so bad as when
40the other people had it. There is one really nice bed room which the
41other owners have always kept for themselves, but which I think the
42little Jews who keep the place now would let me get for you, if I knew
43some weeks
before when you were coming.
44
45 My little mother died so suddenly at the end. For weeks she had seemed
46so much better & freer from pain than for years before, so bright &
47sweet. She was walking about & dressed as usual, & was sitting having
48her lunch by the door on the verandah. Suddenly an attack of angina
49pectoris came on; Mrs Lewis who was with her pressed her arm &
50shoulder, & the pain passed over in a minute or so, then she chatted
51brightly about all sorts of things. Suddenly it came on again; she
52gave one long groan of pain & said, "Say good bye to Will, & poor poor
53Olive." Ettie & my niece & she the housekeeper were there. Ettie said
54shall "I send for Will?"
55
56 She said "Better." Effie ^Brown^ called out to my nephew, her brother,
57to send down town to call Will, but before he ^can have^ got to the gate
58she was gone. She only said "Why are you all so good to me, it makes
59it so hard to go." - & in an instant without a groan or long breath
60the spasm of pain relaxed & she was gone sitting up with a quiet
61peaceful calm up on her face that was they all say the most peaceful
62thing they ever saw.
63
64 ^The man who was left here to manage Cron’s business, young Peppler
65has mismanaged it so shamefully. Cron is having a very hard time. I
66shall have to go down to Cape Town some time in October or November
67but don’t know yet exactly when.^
68
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