September 14, 1900
At last we are having a good rest. After five months continually on the go we have been left to guard and patrol in the vicinity of Wonderfontaine and Belfast, the duty being very light and no night work, which is done by the infantry. We have been here for two weeks. One half of the squadron is at Belfast and the other half at Wonderfontaine. Our second battalion is holding a farm about seven or eight miles away to our left and our patrols connect with theirs. About a week ago the Boers attacked the second battalion but were repulsed, and since they have given no trouble in the vicinity.
Of course we enjoy the rest, but it is very dull here and the time passes slowly. We have been nearly nine months in the service now and as Tommy says "We're fed up on the job." I continue to be in very good health. The weather is much warmer and very pleasant now in contrast to the cold months of July and August. The trees are in bloom and the grass fields are nearly all green again but I hope the rainy season which is expected shortly keeps off until the war is over, but I don't suppose we will be home before next year.
How is everybody? Did Sandy and Bill Mathews or Joe Murphy row this year? Had the club any races or at-homes, etc.? How ever are Dave Burgess or Bobby Welsh? If it was not for homesickness I would stay in this country. A man could save easily fifty dollars per month at even labouring work such as mining etc.
This is certainly a much better country than either Cape Colony or the Orange Free State. I have never come across the 2nd Somersets yet. I believe we were within a few miles of them at Belfast, but that was only for two days during the fighting and I don't know where they are a present.
Wonderfontaine is the next station to Belfast and trainloads of goods and men are continually passing through to the front. It sounds pleasant to hear the noise from the engine as it shunts along. One can hardly believe the Boers are so close. I have had no mail from any source since I wrote you last but I expect it is detained for a while. How are stocks? Old Cariboo, Payne and Republic are still grinding out a dollar per month I see, which is good at the price. They beat the cheap ones all hollow. Well it looks as though I am going to come through the war all OK, and I am beginning to look forward to going home. As there is very little of interest to write of, you will please excuse this short letter.
R. S. Robinson
P.S. Hang on to Minninnatsha(?). I once sold it as high as thirty and it is just as good today. If there is anything particular you want from South Africa let me know and I will bring it. R.