Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
November 5th, 1888
Lahore, Monday 7 am.
My Dear Arundel,
Was thankful to get your letter on arrival here yesterday morning after a night's travelling of which bye the bye I get a good many now and cannot help it. Trust the little symptoms dear Harriet has noticed may not prove in any way serious or connected with the disease which in the mercy of God seemed to have been stayed – enclosed is a note in reply to my dear Daisy's welcome epistle and now I will first of all answer the questions of your letter. With regard to the chair it still holds firm and is the admiration of all passengers on board ship – the little arrangement for the feet being a special ground for comment – I have not yet provided myself with a little pillow for the head, but must do so before taking it on board ship again.
I have got through the first two volumes of universal history and have much enjoyed it – I find better opportunities for reading on voyaging than at any other time, so have not touched it since landing at Bombay - the writer's references to the Scriptures are so interesting. With regard to the question of the cost to get admittance to the palace of H.H. the Khedure, it cost me nothing beyond a half sovereign to the hall porter, who seemed too much of a gentleman for anything in the silver way and this was on leaving the palace – I talked over the question of Baksheesh with the Consul before my visit and had a hint given me as to the "scale of charges" for this bribery business. £50 and a £100 were at the bottom of the scale and considered the smallest sums that could be offered, so I told the Consul if I could not go in without Baksheesh I should be quite willing to stay outside. The second master of the ceremonies asked H.H.'s if he would honour us with an appointment and he answered - yes with pleasure and would give it in any form P.F.&Co. may wish , so I instructed them to write for it accordingly with the package of samples we purpose to send as a present.
I had a busy week at Rawalpindi and Peshawer last week – left here on Tuesday evening for Pindi reaching there at 6.30 Wednesday morning – I soon got into the tub and after breakfast Rana and I started off for the work and I had a splendid days trade and there were three native merchants not at home whose managers said I would be sure of an order if I called again on Saturday. In the evening a dear soldier brother called Briggs I visited last year came down to the hotel and we spent a nice time over the word together. On Thursday morning rose at 5 and was glad when Rana came in soon after with Chota Hazari – at 6 we started off for the early train and was glad to have my Ulster overcoat covering my body from head to foot it was so cold – we left at 6.30 and arrived at Peshawer about 2 and drove to the Dak[?] bungalow but found it full – the Consame[?] however remembered me and said he would manage a bed somehow. After a wash and a cup of tea I started off to see the merchants and again did a splendid business. One very large firm having branches at Pindi, Peshawer and Murree (a hill station) gave me a good order for each branch and I was cheered to find another merchant had for some months been selling our goods freely and he gave me a good order too. By 5.30 I had finished the work except to write out the orders and get them signed and then started off to find a native brother whose address Major Jacob had given me – the dear fellow was glad to get a visit (I saw him at Patiala last year) and the friend with whom he was staying acted as an interpreter. Then returned to the Bungalow for dinner and after the company had cleared out the Consame[?] brought in the stumps and Rana soon unfolded the bed. After writing out my orders I was glad to lay down and had real good sleep and was up again at 6 to write a few letters - after breakfast I called on the merchants again, got the orders signed and left by 12 O'clock train for Pindi arriving about 7.30 pm. The dear native brother had walked 2 miles to the station in the broiling sun to see me off and gave some tracts to a fellows passenger in my carriage a soldier who was also going to Pindi and if you my letter to dear Mama you will see that this man was truly (I trust) converted to God on the way – a few stations from Pindi is the base for this Black Mountain Expedition and all was astir there – the distance only 3 day's march from the mountains where the fighting is going on. My soldier friend who is called Conductor Beresford and I got out and walked on the platform for a few minutes here and I was rejoiced to see young Mr Wait[e] of Calcutta (on a visit to Bristol a short time ago). He was there superintending the postal arrangements for the expedition. It was an unexpected joy for both of us and he had a nice chat with Beresford. Well we reached Pindi and I was not long in getting to bed – on Saturday morning called on the merchants whose managers had promised business and they did not disappoint for each of them gave good indents.
The Lord gave us a time of refreshing here from His gracious presence yesterday – dear Johnson (the brother who had the conflict with the Tiger) has returned to Lahore since last Lord's day and I was very glad to see him – he is wholly devoted to the Lord's work and interests – we broke bread also and came together again at 9 for a word in the gospel as a few others came in – am hoping to see dear Major Jacob some day this week, but my movements are pretty rapid now in travelling through India and I am anxious to move on as quickly as possible. The Lord preserves me in good health and in every way I do prove what a reality the sustainment He constantly ministers is. He has said "open thy mouth wide and I will fill it" and He delights to do it and does it with good things and this is the only divine way for separating the heart to Himself – I really marvel that the scores of Brethren in England taught of God do not get abroad into foreign lands – I do think we have all been asleep as to any concern for the millions of Adam's race who have never heard the name of Jesus or known the mighty power of God now being put forth in honouring that precious name. The Lord stir up all our hearts about it – that is a wonderful word "and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely". I dare say dear Harry will be glad to read this, so send it to him. Much love to dear Harriett and the children – all the dear brethren and to yourself and believe me my dear Arundel.
Being very affectionate Father
The name of the brother in Melbourne is A.S. Blain Esq. 125, Nott Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Kind love to Charlie and Lizzie – Harry and Arthur Shapland.
Kind love too to dear Betsy Nott and Mrs Seldon.