Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
March 6th, 1888
We reached here safely on Lord's Day morning at 7 and after a wash and a cup of tea broke bread together at 8 – after this I returned and rested for about 3 hours as I did not get much sleep through the night. I received two more orders at Bangalore making 7 altogether and have done some more business here since my return. There were five native merchants called on Lord's Day morning, but the Hall Keeper told them Mr Petter did not do any business on Sundays. Lazarus and I have been busy in packing up once more – you would be interested to see the care he takes of all my clothing – every morning on returning after the bath, he has my daily portion all laid out on the bed in such apple pie order, so that in all these matters his thoughtfulness leaves me without a care. Other people notice him sometimes and tell me what a nice servant I have got. Lazarus is delighted to go on to Burmah and China – the latter place he has visited twice and knows something of Hong Kong and Shanghai. I suspect the dear children will be interested to see his likeness sent home by the last mail – how I should like to hear them talking about it and can fancy their sharp eyes soon detecting that he is without shoes and stockings.
The 4 cases of samples arrived yesterday and I have had them put on board the Rangoon steamer so shall not open them until my arrival there in about 8 days – we board tomorrow at 11 am.
Your mail last week and this week will be at Rangoon and by the time we reach there, a third will have arrived, but would rather have received them weekly. I fear you will not be able to have a letter by the mail following this one, as I shall be at sea, but if there is a chance of posting one at any of the northern ports we call at, you may rely upon it this good shall not be withheld, if it is in the power of my hand to do it. You say you think I like letter writing but I assure you I do not only it becomes a necessity and as a worldly wise man (Mr Goschan[?]) said recently in his speech to the students of the Edinburgh University – the most important part of an education was to preserve a state of mind, ready to take up cheerfully any duty that came along. He said a wise thing and so with regard to my correspondence I take it up and endeavour to do it cheerfully, although it is sometimes difficult and a little awkward when the perspiration rolls from your hand and mosquitoes are worrying your life out.
Shall soon be leaving India behind now - I sometimes wonder how I have been able to travel to its remotest boundaries in so short a time and my heart as well as yours my beloved Angee is filled with thanksgiving at the manifold mercy granted in preserving in the midst of many perils my spirit soul and body. To Him be all the glory who is the only wise God and Saviour.
I expect dear Harriett has brought forth her increase by this time – trust she has been preserved through it all. Trust too dear Emma's health is improving – I dare say it will be a beneficial change to get out of that house and to get into one on higher ground somewhere – was thinking of one of those nice little places recently built in the Highfield Road, but amid the many loving counsellors at Ilfracombe you will do what is right in any case.
Shall be glad to hear of Mr Robertshaw's travels and expect he is getting into colonial waters by this time – tell Eliza to give him my very kind love and say that I am getting on satisfactorily and greatly encouraged in the business which has exceeded all expectations – I know how glad he will be to hear this. Shall be glad to receive the promised letter from dear Mr Shapland – please give my kind love to him and Mrs Shapland and Minnie and all the dear brothers and sisters - I am thankful to be remembered in their prayers. Also to dear Eunice and Eliza and all our beloved Children, a princely group altogether I am sure. The Lord graciously preserve them each and all and bring them into His Heavenly kingdom and now my dearest Angee receive "by those present" the embraces of my love once more – the gracious Lord comfort your heart and make up for all the sorrow my absence may occasion. ‘Tis only for a little while and I shall soon be turning my face homeward again if He will – again with much love believe me my beloved wife.
Being very affectionate Husband