The best way to read the Journals is to use the scanned pages on the DVD and expand them to suit . Then learn how he writes the different letters. They are fairly consistent . Some of the entries are impossible to read . On the DVD you will find the key to the code he uses , although some of the letters change over time . The vowels are constant throughout . It would take a lifetime to decode all these journals.
Sunday 10 Fine day Eden And I went to spiritualist meeting in Burmester Building . Ctown filled with Australians on way home detained here owing to ships being required to convoy them United States to France for the Front. The men here will have to wait return of boats. B? came also Eden in morning (mng) **C (Cora ???) pretending to be sick, the old Dragon leaving soon with kids as am told. A jolly good job for she puts a blight wherever she goes on every body and thing. This is the Sunday school aniversary day. Darby Johnston and family on leave.
11 Fine but windy day. Water came on this morning. Nora borrowed scale again. The Carries are away for a month at Glencairn “sea side “ . Saw an old chap holding forth on the ground of the world being flat and that all science was wrong with facts to prove it. There is some rumour of the Sawyers beihg apart, pwing to her coming up to the Knowles? and him going to her while her husband is away at Front, now returned to find this all out. Divorce etc sticking out. Garden very dry indeed.
13 Fine day. The old Dragon left for Paarl with the 3 children, she is a stick Mist? as she calls some one else. One feels quiet a relief she has actually departed Maitland by her presence here the old beast and to think that our best? boy is connected to her. Its horrible to think of. Ma went to Woodstock to Sawls?. Burning rubbish again today. Lightning all round in evening. Burning rubbish in garden.
14 Wet day. Heavy thunder morning,rain on and (off) all day. Eden came and brought Fowls went? to Great Berg, also wood for us, Nora also. Eden and Cora (his wife)slept here . Eden stayed here Cora went to Japies and came here to sleep.
Important Notes : The Eden above refers to his son Eden and ** C mentioned on the 10th is not Cora , because Cora is mentioned on the 14th and the C ie. Dragon/ beast left for Paarl on the 13th !!
near Breed River. Traffic temporally suspended. Train very late tonight. Havesen train came on to Klapmuts. Stellenbosch and left to fetch passengers and up Train passed onto Muldersvlei. Havesen put back with van to pick up passengers from Stellenbosch. Took on passengers for Eerste River. Up train left 6.45.
13/07/1878 Sun. fine morning. Mountains opposite junction covered with a pure sheet snow Simons Berg perfectly white including Canon Berg . Eerste River mountain covered with snow. and Old Table Mountain also covered with a sheet of snow a very unusual thing. this morning water covered with ice .Thermometer in office at 42, splendid day.