My life at the Cape Times carried on, and my work kept me well occupied, but I now ran into a considerable complication. Kenneth Stonehouse returned from a spell in the Cape Times London office, and he and I were mutually attracted. It is possible to be in love with two intelligent, attractive men at the same time, and I went through a very mixed-up period. I kept the problem to myself, but did unburden myself one day to Betty, a school friend whom I was coaching in French during her lunch hour in the office where she worked, and Betty, who was also engaged to be married, said: �I can think of no more wonderful thing to happen than to be proposed to again now.�
Kenneth so wanted to marry me, but he did have some reservations as he was determined never to bring children into this troubled world with, as he reckoned, a war looming, and he knew that I wanted - and thought I should have - a family.
I refused to marry him, but did go out with him, and there are few romantic spots from Rhodes Memorial to Three Anchor Bay to Llandudno which we didn�t visit in his little Standard car. And so my muddled months went on, and my letters to Pat became stilted and increasingly difficult to write.
Dad and I had arranged to visit Pat in August, so I decided to say nothing before we met and to see how I felt when I saw him again.
About a week before we left, Dad sent off his Morris car by goods train to Louis Trichardt and we were to follow by passenger train, meet it and drive the rest of the way to Birchenough Bridge where Pat planned to meet us.
After the car had gone, I had my first-ever long distance personal telephone call one evening. Dr Ziervogel called me to say that he had been worrying about Pat�s rumbling appendix, and had decided that he should operate soon. Dismayed, I said: "But our car has already gone ahead by train, and Dad and I are due to leave tomorrow." Ziervogel then said that he thought it would be quite all right if Pat came to East London in two or three weeks' time. And now I had another worry on my mind.
Dad and I took delivery of the car in Louis Trichardt, and set off. The road was wide and dusty and rutted - it was being prepared for the full-width tarred road - and sometimes Dad decided that the wagon-track which ran alongside was the better surface. We took it in turns to drive, but it was Dad�s turn when once, going too fast on the loose earth, we skidded right round and faced South again.
Over the border we had the strip road to Fort Victoria, and then were on dirt, I think till we reached Birchenough Bridge Hotel, where Pat was waiting for us. The little hotel, just separate rondavels and a dining hut, was owned and run by Mr Mercer. I had given Dad no hint of my misgivings, and that evening Pat and I walked backwards and forwards over the bridge. I told him of my doubts about marrying him, but he soon had my mind firmly made up again in his favour! Next day we drove our car, accompanied by Pat on his motorbike, to Sabi-Tanganda Estate and settled down in Pat�s very primitive house.