19 – Letter to Mary Ann Smith from Frederick Smith, Sep 1900

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[FS/2/2/4/2/19]

Bloemfontein

Kroonstad 1900

[No Salutation]

[[1]] [15 lines redacted] or these changes above noted will bring in three or four new D.V.O with one of whom I might exchange. So you see how the case stands.

Well when I wrote my last letter the lady of the house her goods chattels, cocks & hens, cattle etc were waiting with her children to come into occupation of my house. I did not only sat tight, all that day & all the next.

[[2]] I gave them breakfast, was very polite but refused to budge, on the saturday[sic] night they found it was no go so went off to some other place. On Monday morning the daughter came to me & said she wanted to get some furniture. I said certainly your hats [3 words illeg.] wardrobe & I have taken great care of them, [3 words illeg.] more than once, but she wanted more than hats she required the table looking glass & a cupboard where I kept my “kittels” & even the Clock! I was astounded, repented extremely but really I could not part with anything, & only to fancy her having asked for the 8 day clock I brought with me from America. Could’ not be done very sorry — Well I must have the glass, very sorry cant[sic] be spared. Cant[sic]  even give you the hair which was in the drawer of it as I had it burned not expecting you to turn up. I gave her three picture papers & she went off, much to Hallett’s relief & mine. I have not seen her since & strange to say dont[sic] want to. I think they rather calculated on the seductive style of the damsel, for I heard she threatened to pay me a visit the first after-noon[sic], but I told Hallet to say that I felt the heat very much in the afternoon & made a point

[[3]] of taking off all my clothes [1 line redacted] whether he delivered this I dont[sic] know (I rather doubt it) but the damsel did not put in an appearance.

Two or three obliging hens come & deposit an egg in my garden every day or so. I keep Jugguroo the syce[1] on the watch. He came in the other day in great glee & reported that a hen had ‘borned’ an egg under the stone, the latter being a rock she sits under. Faithful Jugguroo! his reward is the shell when I have emptied it. I never

[Continuation of page missing]

[[4]] infernally envious & when I see the pictures of the home coming of the Duke of Norfolk[2] I cannot help but smile I suppose he was not a fortnight or three weeks in the Field & I have been nine months. I seem to have been out here all my life! Most of the correspondents have gone home, lucky dogs. I saw a photo of a group of them including Basil Gotto[3]. How I envy them, & yet I want to see the show out.

14 Septr. Well I did not go to the dance after all I was busy writing & moreover was not keen on it. I dont[sic] know why. It closes [Continuation of page missing]

[No Valediction]

(Please note that work on this transcript is ongoing. Users are advised to study the electronic images of this document where possible. (http://www.rcvsvethistory.org/archive-collection/fs-working-papers/)

[1] A horse groom (especially used in India)

[2] Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 15th Duke of Norfolk (1847-1917)

[3] Captain Basil Gotto (1866-1954), sculptor who worked as war correspondent for the ‘Daily Express’ during the Second Boer War, and as staff officer for musketry during the First World War

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