Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
April 12th, 1888
My Beloved Angee,
I dare say you were able to receive tidings through regular weekly cable to P.F.&Co. of my return to this place and I can assure you I was very thankful to get back safe and sound. The way up the Irrawaddy River from here to Mandalay was certainly very fine and grand, but the perils connected with it were very serious of which nothing until at the half-way when a man was carried off our flotilla steamer who had just died from cholera. I then learnt a good deal of this existed all the time. Well the Lord mercifully kept my mind quiet about it so far as I was personally concerned, but I felt the seriousness of it as you and our beloved children were concerned.
People in the East do not take the notice of it that we do at home, as there is always more or less of it in these parts all the year round – the intense heat too in upper Burma was really fearful – at Mandalay it was 105 in the shade and about 170 in the sun. The English Government have utilised the King’s Palace for offices and I went over it the early morning after my arrival and sent my cable to P.F. from there – the central telegraph office now occupying a wing of the late Royal residence. I was only there two days and returned by same steamer to Prome - the distance from there to Prome being 365 miles and from Prome by rail to Rangoon about 160 – we came down at a great speed with the steamer, going about 16 or 17 knots an hour, but at sun down we cast anchor for the night and wait for the sun rise again. They do not dare to more after dark on account of the shallow water and sand banks. On returning to Prome where we had to wait for a few hours my leather bag was stolen from my cabin and in it the letter of credit I have been using since leaving home and a 100 Rupee note beside a lot of private papers, my Bible and some views of Mandalay but they are accomplished thieves and it is notorious that nothing is ever found that is once lost. I remained a day endeavouring to find it and offered a large reward but all in vain. There was a balance of about £25 in my credit and this is not likely to to be used and the banker here has very kindly advanced me £20 having seen it since my arrival in Rangoon on occasion when I required to make a draw.
It is very inconvenient to me losing my bag. In a business way I did well at Mandalay and obtained some further good orders here yesterday and now D.V. I leave in a few hours for Singapore where I hope to reach in about 8 or 9 days, calling at Moulmein and Penang on the way. I had written to Henry and Mr Shapland expressing sympathy in their terrible misfortune but my letters were in the bag that was stolen – please mention this I am not quite clear as to what my course may be from Singapore and I gave Colombo yesterday as my next address. Trust you are all keeping well and I sincerely hope all the Raleigh people are sustained amid their great trial – this alone has filled my heart with deep sorrow and it must be very serious for them. I am glad for dear Mr Shapland and Henry that there are younger ones than themselves now to bear the burden. Much love to dear Arundel and Harry, Harriett & Emma & all the darling children, also Emmie & Eliza & Mr Robertshaw when Eliza next writes him. And now my dear beloved wife with much love for yourself once more & all our dear friends believe me
Being very affectionate Husband