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The Dop Doctor   By: (1863-1932)

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Author of "Between Two Thieves," "The Headquarter Recruit," "The Cost of Wings"

Popular Edition

London: William Heinemann Ltd.

First printed 6s. Edition, April, 1910.

New Impressions, May (three times), July, August, September, October, November, 1910; January, July, October, 1911; New Edition, May, 1912; New Impressions, September, October, December, 1912; February, May, 1913.

Popular Edition, July, August, September, 1913; April, 1914; June, 1915; July, September, 1916; September, 1917; February, October, 1918; January, 1920; January, 1922; July, 1924; January, 1927; February, 1930; May, 1932; March, 1934, March 1936

Printed in Great Britain The Windmill Press, Kingswood, Surrey


What have the long years brought me since first, with this pen for pickaxe, I bowed my loins to quarry from the living rock of my world about me, bread and a home where Love should smile beside the hearthplace, and chiefly for Love's dear sake, that men should honour you who, above all on earth, I hold most in honour a name among the writers of books that live!

What have the long years brought me! Well, not the things I hoped. Just bread and clothing, fire, and a little roof tree; the purchased soil to make a grave, and a space of leisure, before that grave be needed, to write, myself, this book for me and for you. Hope has spread her iridescent Psyche wings and left me; Ambition long ago shed hers to become a working ant. Love never came to sit in the chair beside the ingle. An ocean heaves between us, only for nightly dreams and waking thoughts to span. Were those dear eyes to see me as I am to day, I wonder whether they would know me? For I grow grey, and furrows deepen in the forehead the dear hand will never smooth again. Remember me, then, only as I used to be; my heart is the same always; in it the long, long years have wrought no change.

But what have the long years brought me? Experience, that savoury salt, left where old tears have dried upon the shores of Time. Knowledge of my fellow men and women, of all sorts and conditions, and the love of them. Patience to bear what may yet have to be borne. Courage to encounter what may yet have to be encountered. Fortitude to meet the end, where faith holds up the Cross. Much have the long years brought me besides your first smile and your last kiss. For your next, I look past Death, God aiding me, to the Eternal Life beyond....


April 22, 1909.


Upon a day near the end of August, one long, brilliant South African winter, when the old Vierkleur waved over the Transvaal, and what is now the Orange River Colony was the Orange Free State, with the Dutch canton still showing on the staff head corner of its tribarred flag, two large, heavily laden waggons rolled over the grass veld, only now thinking about changing from yellow into green. Many years previously the wheels of the old voortrekkers had passed that way, bringing from Cape Colony, with the household gods, goods and chattels, language and customs of the Dutch, the slips of the pomegranate and peach and orange trees, whose abundant blossoming dressed the orchards of the farms tucked away here and there in the lap of the veld, with bridal white and pink, and hung their girdling pomegranate hedges with stars of ruby red. But days and days, and nights and nights of billowing, spreading, lonely sky arched veld intervened between each homestead.

The flat topped bills were draped and folded in the opal haze of distance; the sky was perfect turquoise; the rounded kopjes shone like pink topaz, unclothed as yet with the young pale green bush. To the south there was a veld fire leaping and dancing, with swirling columns of white smoke edged with flame. But it was many miles away, and the north west wind blew strongly, driving some puffs of gold cloud before it. Perhaps there would be rain ere long. There had been rain already in the foremost waggon, not from the clouds, but from human eyes... Continue reading book >>

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