They wrote it this week: Oh, bling me back to the old Transvaal
Extracts from diaries and letters written between April 13 and April 19
1871, Lidgetton, Natal colony
[To his brother, Fred] I don’t think I have written to you since last June: When you left [for Australia] in August ’68, if you remember, the gold fever was afflicting Natal: a good many diggers came from Australia and of course were very disgusted at finding out the truth: all of that has passed and given place to diamonds which are actually being found in considerable numbers on the Vaal river between the Free State and the Transvaal. Some people have made a fortune: One party found one 107 carats beside other smaller ones in one claim; the large one is not a first rate stone but flawed, which takes away from its value, what the actual value is, is not yet known, it has just been sent home [that, is, to Britain]: far more valuable stones have been found, chiefly by Old-Colony people [Boers]...