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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold3/1904/33
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 July 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 My darling Friend
3 I don’t know what you will have thought of me for not writing for so
4long. I haven’t been able to. A curious kind of inability to do
5anything that needs any kind of thought seems to have settled down on
6me. I sometimes seem to be hardly alive, a dead thing walking about
7not feeling anything. I’m better the last two day. No doubt I shall
8half wake up when the warm weather comes. This is all just to explain
9why I’ve not written.
11 I wish I knew more of your plans, & how you are, & where you are. Are
12you still at Dr Murray’s or are you going to that little cottage
13Miss "Greene bought" according to your post card! Where is the
14cottage? In the village, or by itself? My darling friend, I do so hope
15you haven’t put off going for me. I can’t help feeling so sure
16Europe would be so good for you. Even if there were war, you could
17still go on the continent f because if you said you were Africanders
18on the Boer side, the folk fighting with England would leave you quite
19alone & like you so you would travel without inconvenience. I don’t
20no ^know^ how you are to get really well in Africa. Has Miss Greene had
21an answer to her cable to Hellen?
23 You can’t help me you know my darling friend. It’s my ^body^ today
24that’s breaking down, nothing can stop that. Life is easier with me
25here than ever before because I’ve got a little Hottentot girl of
26about 12 to come in every morning ^for two hours^ & make the beds &
27sweep the floors, & my little boy washes the pots & dishes & fetches
28water & so life is very easy. I can’t explain to you what is upon me
29this curious torpor & indifference to every thing; but otherwise I’m
30all right.
32 (Private) We have as yet had no at answer to Cron’s tender of the
33£20. I don’t know what the result will be, & it doesn’t matter.
34My little Kaffir boy is so good & sweet. My three meerkats are so well
35& fat. Only Neta is very ill. The doctor’s here say the great
36swelling in her breast is a cancer. I am going to try the medicine of
37a man called Steyn in Kimberley whom the Boers believe in very much if
38that doesn’t help here her by the end of the month I shall
40^take her to Cape Town & have it cut out. I shall have to try & find a
41room in Tambours Kloof for the couple of days I shall be there – & I
42shall see you two. Please tell me just how you are, & what the doctors
43say. Are you really getting stronger? Do you try taking iron, say,
44Parrishes Food. Now I’m going to bed. I lie awake most of the night,
45but it is so nice to be able to lie down. Do write & tell me a little
46about your life. ^
48 Olive