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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold3/1904/50
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date14 October 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
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 name of the addressee of this letter is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover
2 October 14th 1904
4 Dear Friend
6 You will have wondered that I did not write before but I have not been
7well. You are now more than half way through your voyage, but it will
8be long before I can hear from you & how it has gone with you both on
9the voyage. Please when you feel able & drawn to do it tell me about
10Polly & Hellen, & all how you find them. You must have a wonderful
11artistic power because that old home in Cambridgeshire & all in it
12seem so real to me. You must always & always be so thankful my darling,
13 that your mother went so painlessly with out that long last struggle
14of weeks & months with the King of Terrors. It’s something to be so
15endlessly thankful for. It’s always so beautiful to me in my
16father’s case, it seems to make it all poetry to me, that he never
17had an hours illness, no suffering, rode home singing on his old horse
18the night he died.
20I don’t fancy your dear mother was so bad as really to have felt
21life ebbing & brain & body clouding over & sinking. I wonder if you
22will ever come to Africa again. If I never see you again you must
23always know what a wonderful joy & help you & Miss Molteno have been
24to me all this last time. That happy beautiful time at Uitkyk. What
25should I have done with out you, & your beautiful little visit here!
26unreadable It shines out like a ray of bright light in the darkness of
27Hanover life.
29 Little Neta is just the same; so plucky, will go hunting & walking as
30soon as she is a little better. My little Kaffir boy gets sweeter &
31sweeter. To me he’s beginning to get quite beautiful though I know
32he is n’t really beautiful.
34 I wish you could ‘Arriet’s four little ones, they are so fine &
35strong, sitting up on their little hind legs & scampering about though
36they are only an inch high. And ‘Arriet is so unspeakable sweet over
37them. All that wicked bitter expression has gone out of her face that
38she used often to have at Uitkyk when she was afraid of being shut up
39& resented it. Her eyes are gentler than Tommies if possible. If she
40lies with the little ones all drinking, she just half opens her eyes
41to see if it’s me, & lifts her head to be rubbed under her neck, & I
42can handle them & the little ones & take them just as I like she knows
43it’s all right! Every morning at dawn she leaves them & comes to my
44room & climbs into my bed, & I feel her dear soft little nose in my
45neck. But In-bred-sin gets into an awful state if any one comes near
46them. He will hardly leave them day or night, & is getting quite thin
47& worn out h with care & anxiety. Tommie is very absorbed in them too
48& never leaves them; but he is so gentle he never bites any one. I
49must tell you something which happened the other day. I have only had
50two visitors since I came back from Cape Town, the one was the Dutch
51Church Parson, Fouché who called for the first time since he was here.
52 He was very properly dressed in a long black coat & a white tie, he
53was sitting at the table drinking a cup of tea, when In-bred-sin, who
54is not accustomed to see strangers in the house, rushed out of his box
55in the corner where he was with the little ones & made an attack on
56him trying to bite at his trousers, with his little tail in the air &
57all the hairs standing out. Then Tommy & Arriet jumped out of the box
58& began prancing about ^too^, you know they way they do, not trying to
59bit him, but just showing off. The Parson jumped up from his chair &
60began springing from one leg to the other, he’s a very big strong
61stout young man, as In-bred darted at him. I to make matters better
62caught up a news paper & shook it at In-bred to make him go back into
63the box. This put him so beside him self that he rushed under my dress
64& caught me in the ankle. I gave a scream & a bound & jumped onto the
65middle of the dining room table, when I looked round Fouche was
66dashing around with his coat tails flying & In-bred-sin after him. I
67laughed so much at first I couldn’t get off the table, but at last I
68got down & drove them all off to their box, but I don’t think the
69poor young parson will come here again for a long time! You have to
70forgive In-bred, because of his pass passionate devotion to the little
71ones. Now I think I’ve told you all the news. You gave me no address
72so I’m sending this to Kenilworth.
74 Olive
76^Nov 14th 1904 Going to my desk to put it neat, I found this letter to
77you just one month old today. I made sure I had, posted this, even
78when I found mine to Miss Molteno!!! I am getting much better now as
79you can see by my going to my desk. I am hoping, perhaps, even to go
80up to President Kruger’s funeral if I am well enough. I am so
81thankful to hear from Miss Molteno to day that it seems sweet to you
82to be at Harston in the old house. ^
84 Olive