Bulawayo Aug 22 nd '97
My dear Pat
I know you are dying to hear the scandal of the Town since you left
But you will be sorry to hear the town has been most orderly. We went to a 
dance and the only bit of excitement was Mrs Parsons. All the gentlemen in 
the room were trying to get introduced. But I think she favoured the Bishop.
Mr Rhodes has left I suppose you know. Someone took a label off a beer shop 
opposite ------------"To Let" and hung it ouitside the Goldfields. _ Rob like a silly,
thought "By Jove we might get this cottage for less than L25 per month". And he 
straightaway went inside to enquire.
We have got a stand out of the C.C. But I expect will havre to pay a good deal for it.
It is one of those new ones just laid out and is in the back row immediately beghind this.
Half on the kopje. Very stony but Rob says he likes a breeze and a view. I expect we
will have a good deal of both.
Last Sunday Mr Moffat and Mr Lovemore drove us out to Mr Holmes' camp at Hillside
We took a basket with us - invited about six other people and all enjoyed some afternoon
tea. From there we drove to the stands you & Rob bought. Mr Moffat is going to build 
huts on his soon.
Next Saturday Mr M & Lovemore are going to take us out to Sauerdale and we return the
next day. It just fits in nicely as Rob has to see about Harry Huntley's farm dam.
I forgot to say that they are letting us occupy the stand at once and pay the average
price that the others fetch. The Cape Govt gtake over the line to Francistown on 1st Sept.
But no goods exceepting food stuffs will be allowed through. Mr Pauling told Rob to have 
the wooden house consigned to Fig Tree as soon as the line is open to Francis Town.
So perhaps when you come to Town again you will find us comfortably settled in our 
own house again.
The news came yesterday from Mr Gifford saying he was going to be married. I have not
heard to whom. It is true because Mr Moffat told us.
Capt Heyman & his wife are back. Miss Helm is going to be their governess. Col. Heyman
told Rob Mr Colenbrander was sueing the Company for L10000 for his services in the Matopos
But I dont think this is public property yet.
Mr Warwick had dinner with us on Friday night.
Mr Warwick came to town and swaggered about in spotless white and violet [?]
riding trousers. "Just run up to see Capt Lawley on business". Rob says he had made up
an excuse to see the Administrator [?]. Anyhow he stayed as long as his trousers were 
clean - and got home to find that all his boys had cleared with every bit of his food. His 
oxen were dying of lungsickness & everything was wrong.
When I have wound up by telling you that nearly all my fowls are dead you'll have heard 
everything worth hearing in Bulawayo.

Yours etc.

pp7 Rob says to save him the trouble I must tell you that Spence is a fraud, Andre Joubert 
(a L10 man who has passed theory & had nearly a year with Melville on the Randt almost 
entirely on townsjhips) is apparently a good man at that particular job. Young Heattie who
has just passed third in theory will be here in a few days. Have got him for a year at L10 a month
and his keep in the field. What am I to do with him? Are you going to stick to Campbell or will
you have this fellow? He is pp8 of course entirely inexperienced as far as practical wortk 
is concernmed and will have to betrained in the path he should go. "I have a scheme for raising 
L10000 and starting a lithographic businmess here. Heany has offered the money at 8%. 
But there are many things I want to discuss with you. There is going to be a devil off a boom here 
when the railway opens - which is fixed for 4th November - and we must be prepared for it. 
You must be down here for Heany's work not later than three weeks from date. But I will wire to you 
when it is pp9 absolutely necessary. I have only been leaving you alone because I am afraid of 
breaking into your work: but you had better arrange to leave Shaw on the Selukwe and Gwelo work. 
I am sending someone, probably S.B. Holmes to Charter in about a fortnight. Hopley has 
arranged to take him up with his waggon (a small tent waggon which I have yet to buy) laden 
with his provisions  instruments etc. He is doing this as his waggons are going up about that 
time & he has a lot of  spare oxen
pp10 and he wants us to survey six of his farms adjoining Exploration Lands and Mines block at once.
He will land Holmes and his waggon on the ground & give us every assistance with horses, donkeys
or oxen. I will however try to get the Goldfields of Matabeleland to guarantee us the use of their six oxen
which are also at Charter.
Warwick left yesterday. Capital of Syndicate is L800. Rhodes has signed the agreement & as he wished 
it we have taken McDonald the manager of 
pp1 the Goldfields here in as a member. We have also taken in a 
fellow named Finney on the same terms as Warwick. This is Warwick's suggestion. He knows Finney
and says he is one of the best. They will prospect together & Warwick will probably leave Finney to look
after the ground when his four months are up.
Espin is doing very well though he came in for the races on the strength of his L6oo which I got him for
his 50 acres.
We have had more office work than we can possibly get through &
pp12 it will apparently continue. The books have never been touched & without knowing it I overdrew
our bank account to the tune of L600 . I went for Thane about it for not letting me know. But he said it was
alright. I had however to start collecting at once and we are now about square. I have been on the lookout
for a thoroughly good book-keeper for the last month and have managed to get a first class man on a three
months engagement but have had to pay him L35 a month, so we will now put all the accounts straight
& collect several
pp13 large amounts still due. When we will square all salaries etc.
I did a very good stroke of business the other day with Percy Browne. Put in a block of three farms for him 
which Espin had surveyed (a gap) for L200
My intended proposal to Heyman for all Willoughbys work is L35 a farm right through to L15 a block for 
claims. Also that we will keep a man entirely at his disposal subject to 24 hours notice on condition he pays 
us a retaining fee of L200 a year and supplies cart and mules when required & pays L2.2 a 
pp14 a day when he employs the surveyor. He wants an arrangement of this kind in case of claim disputes 
or any work they want done in a hurry, & asked me to make an arrangement as to terms. Of course I do
not know if he will accept the above - but I will have a good try to induce him to. Our first job at 
lithography was fairly good and as I have a number of other jobs offered I have wired for another stone.
The one we have is broken & on that account I have had to send Crewes[?] job to Cape Towsn also the 
large Govt. plan of stands which we might have done here if we had a decent stone.
Gapper is a splendid man but you have to keep him at his work. He has evidently been a machine all his life,
and you have to keep turning the handle or he stops.

Yours truly
R.A. Fletcher

I may add Rob has had three whiskeys & that is why he has got eloquent through me. You know his old
failing now for something interesting Mr Gifford is bringing his bride out at once & Mr Moffat has got
a cable to prepare his house