Feb 21, 1902
S.S. Victoria, Table Bay
My dear Jim,
Here we are at last at Cape Town. We got in last night about midnight after a voyage of 23 days, flying the Yellow Jack, as we have four cases of smallpox on board, besides several cases of measles. I have had measles & only got back on duty yesterday. I was in hospital 8 days & was as weak as a cat when I came out. I am first-rate now thought, & if I don't get smallpox, I guess I will pull through alright. It's just our luck to have this happen, & now we will probably be in quarantine for goodness knows how long.
I haven't much time to write, as letters have to be in in a few minutes. No one had any letters written, as we did not expect to be able to post them out of quarantine, & it is only about half an hour since we got word that we could send them off. Excepting the measles & smallpox, the voyage was very uneventful, but we had one or two hot times disinfecting. When the first case of smallpox was discovered, we threw about 500 blankets overboard.
Our horses came through very well; we only lost 22. In our troop we didn't lose any, & have them in good condition. This is a fine boat for carrying horses, although she rolls like a barrel every chance she gets, but the troop accommodation is poor, & the only saving thing about it is that we have the run of the deck for sleeping. The grub is poor as a whole, but we have an excellent dry canteen, very reasonable, & can get beer for dinner at 3d a pint.
We go on to Durban today or tomorrow, I expect, & goodness knows how long we will be there before we get up country. However, we must make the best of it, I suppose. Send this letter on home after you are all through with it, as I am afraid I haven't time for any more this time. If we don't leave until tomorrow, I may get a chance to write. Remember me to all,