Romulus Kleen

Name ID 1432

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 124
Extract Date: 1928

Life at Singu Estates

According to Romulus Kleen, who worked for Blixen at Cooper's Singu Estates, near Magara, "It was a hard life. Before they could begin to farm they had to clear the bush and build a shack in which to live. Their only water supply was from their corrugated tin roof. In the rainy season, though, they had so much water that they were often marooned for weeks at a time. Still, Cockie recalls these years as the happiest of her life.'"" The primitive nature of Singu Estates drew the attention of the Prince of Wales when he hunted with Blixen in 1928. During the safari the prince took Bror aside and said reproachfully, "I say, Blixen, you really oughtn't to let your wife live in a tumbledown place like this."

Bror continued to hunt professionally from time to time while working on Cooper's coffee estate. But storm clouds soon formed over Bror and Cockie's happy marriage with the arrival of a tall, leggy Swedish beauty named Eva Dickson, a blonde with a mannequin's face and figure who mysteriously turned up at Singu Estates in her own car. Eva apparently arrived already fixated on the world-famous hunter. The parting of Cockie and Bror's ways came about soon afterward, and Eva moved in with Bror.

At first it was generally thought Bror Blixen had married his stunning blonde live-in companion. Blix, however, confided to his friend Romulus Kleen at Singu Estates, "If it amuses her to call herself Baroness, let her do so." Unfortunately, Eva, who had been eavesdropping at the door, heard Blix's quiet confidence and came storming into the room accusing Blix of not being able to keep a secret and of breaking his word.

Extract ID: 3813