Page 13 – ‘Notes of a trip’ by Robert Jameson

a most lucky fellow who, after waiting eagerly at the door for the dinner bell, manages in the tremendous rush to secure a seat and a chop. This will soon be remedied; supply quickly follows upon demand in this age of keen competition.

                     I was surprised to find things so moderate in price considering the distance from sources of supply. Beef is 4d. and 5d. per lb; bread 1s. for the 2 lb. loaf; mutton 4d. to 5d. per lb. ; fowls 2s. each; while miners’ necessaries were sold at prices, which seemed to leave a margin too narrow for the risks and discomforts of business in such a place. Heavy goods, such as, corrugated iron, timber, bottled beer, &c., which represent expensive carriage, are necessarily costly, although I cannot call them dear; indeed the competition in business is already so considerable that the tendency is in the other direction all round. There is a hospital at Barberton – but alas! for the unfortunates who may have to occupy it. I had occasion to visit the poor fellow there prostrated with Delagoa Bay fever. I found two mud and reed huts 12 by 15 feet each, bare mud wall, mud floor, a. sack suspended as a door.

                     In one lay my sick man, on one of three stretchers, no pillow, his coat rolled up formed a substitute his garments even to his boots all on, no toilet utensils, no water the awful Delagoa Bay fever bad emaciated him dreadfully, rendering absolutely needful a few comforts, and there were none, the woman in attendance assured me she had no milk, no beef, tea and begged me to send up some for my patient. I mentioned my visit to Mr. G. Hillary and Mr. Greenacre, they were necessarily pained, and generously and handsomely headed a subscription list, which they then took charge of, and during an hour or two collected over £200, but I was assured that the hospital was this amount in debt, and therefore it is possible no improvement may be the result. Will not some kind Sister of Mercy undertake the duty of ministering to these unfortunates “pro Deo?” I feel assured that if the” sister” were procurable, the money would be forthcoming.

                     Very much irritation is felt among the mining community at the frightful tariff on imported goods leviable by the Transvaal Government from September 1 next. Analysing it, they say they find the new duties are levied directly and solely at the digger, the goods consumed by the Boer being scrupulously exempt. The men who with muscle and capital are developing the country, which the Boer neither could nor would ever do for himself, are thus being made to bear an excessive and altogether disproportionate quota of the taxation of the country, and they resent it very warmly. Diggers are, of all men, the most cosmopolitan, caring very little what flag they are under, provided they get fair play. They come to dig, to make wealth, and to go, so are not likely ever to meddle with politics, but no set of men are more tenacious of their rights, and none more likely to resist if unduly put upon. The Transvaal Government have not realized the importance of in every way fostering an industry which will bring them a splendid revenue. It is to be hoped the intelligent men in the Volksraad (like Mr. Celliers) will be able to point this out to the” dopper” members, and induce a more liberal spirit in dealing with the digging community.

                     Four thousand pounds was collected at Barberton in July for fees and licenses alone; surely a handsome contribution enough to induce fair play being accorded this community.

                     Gold, reefs, syndicates, prospects, shares, share-prospects, syndicates reefs, gold, at every meal, at every store or office, at every street corner, in every little group, and all day long and every day, is the natural result of the surroundings