South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Canada, USA
November 14th, 1897
Victoria, British Columbia. Lord's day
My Beloved Angee,
We arrived here y'day morning at about 2 O'clock – rather an early hour but thankful to land upon terra firma once more. Our baggage went through the customs inspection on board and did not give much trouble. I was very soon in a carriage and reached the hotel at about 3 – my luggage following a few minutes after and it was not long before I was in bed. The telegraph office was not open until 9 or I would have sent a message to you before retiring. Vancouver is about 80 miles from here and there is a good service every day by steamer occupying 6 hours – as my mail was there I wired to the Postmaster to send them on here soon after 9 am – sent a cable to your "Edward Petter Barnstaple splendid voyage – well" and as England is 8 hours ahead of this time you would hardly get this until Saturday night and if not repeated from Barnstaple then you would hardly get it until Monday morning if still in London – found a cable message awaiting me here from P.F. saying "unless anxious to return" suggested that I should visit the Southern States of America to which I replied. "Purposed returning" – am not feeling at all in the mind to touch America now and shall return home as soon as I possibly can leaving New York either Dec 4 or 11. Have had a pretty good turn and shall draw the line at this.
We were highly favoured with a continuation of fine weather right through the voyage in the mercy of God and my spirit was cheered and encouraged at the blessing given in the Sovereign grace of God- Mr Shaw and the Lieut. were full of thanksgiving, and always pleased to come to my cabin for a reading. The Captain was always kind – stewards always ready to do anything for me and altogether the voyage was pleasant and deeply interesting. After sending off my messages y'day morning I called upon most of the merchants making appointments for Monday (tomorrow) was kindly received by most of them and hope to do a little business. About noon I took a tram car to call upon a brother and was glad to find him at home and his wife – there is no breaking of bread here but they seem a happy couple and D.V. I go to tea with them this afternoon and for a reading this evening. Returned to the hotel again about 1.30 & after a meal retired to my room for a rest which I needed and enjoyed. At 6 I had some tea and then waited for letters which I expected about 7 – as they had not arrived by 7.30 I retired to my room again and soon after a very large envelope "On H.M.'s Service" came containing my letters – the heaviest batch I have had at one time since leaving home (21 altogether) my head was still feeling the motion of the ship so I picked out yours and the dear boys and leave all the business letters until tomorrow. After reading those from my beloved wife and children I gave thanks and lay down for a sleep and rest which was granted in the tender mercies of God. It was a feast indeed – your letters are dated Sept. 10th-15th (with one from Miss Britton) 24th (from London with one from dear Angie) Oct 1st, 8th, 11th (with one from each dear Harry & Emma) also one from dear Arundel Oct 15 and one from Annie enclosing a note from Mrs Goodwin acknowledging a letter I had written expressing sympathy with her sorrow in the loss of her father. I am very glad to find that you are in London as I know what a comfort it will be to your own heart as well as to our loved ones there. If you have not returned on receipt of this I should like you stay until my return and I will then go to London wither from L'pool or S'hampton whichever port I may reach. This will save me a journey to London after. If however you have returned or have made arrangements to I should go straight to Barnstaple first.
Am thankful to hear that the house is let and am quite sure that all the repairing you have had done will be a good thing even though it costs a few pounds. Am thankful too that Arundel gets on so happily in his house and with his wife – I can quite understand what a comfort it must be to him – the dear children too appear to be all getting on nicely – we may well sing – "How good is the God we adore" – sorry dear Emma has been poorly again but perhaps these upsettings are good for her as she soon rallies – very glad to hear dear Angie is getting on so nicely and Hilda too – shall soon see all your dear faces again D.V.
Shall hope to get away from here on Wednesday for Vancouver and from there by Monday next when I go by the C.P.R. [Canadian-Pacific Railway] to Winnipeg a 3 or 4 days' journey by rail through some of the finest scenery in the world I hear – the great distances are appalling to contemplate – I have travelled since March last over thirty three thousand miles and have nearly seven thousand more to cover before seeing England – you certainly have a traveller for a husband – well they are nearly ended and I long for rest. I must now conclude – much love to you my dearly beloved wife – many thanks for all your letters – only wish I had the ability to write such sensible letters – I meat it mind – well you think mine are the best and I think yours are – thank the Lord both appreciate the other and don't think much of their own effusions. Much love to dear Harry & Emma, Angie & Hilda & Margie – dear Emmie & Eliza too if still in London & Believe me my dearest Angie.
Being very affectionate Husband
I will send you a cable on leaving New York so that you may know by what route I cross.
I have wired New York to send on any letters they may have for me.