United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
August 5th, 1899
My Beloved Angee,
Saturday afternoon has come round again and here I am in the same room having just had an hour's rest thought I would begin my next letter to your dear self.
I fear the topic will not vary much from my letters generally – myself and my work. Certainly according to my notions of it I have kept at it this week pretty much after the fashion of work 20 or 30 years ago except that I have been in a cab instead of walking and am thankful to have done well so far. Considering it would be the best thing to do for this colony of Victoria I have appointed one of the best of the wholesale firms our agents for it – they are princely people and I have done some business with them previously. Their name is in great favour with the trade generally and that is like voyaging in a good seaworthy ship. They have given me the names of all the leading family grocers throughout the suburbs of Melbourne from 2 to 7 miles around in all directions and I have called upon about two thirds of them sometimes fine and sometimes wet days – met with some interesting links with the old country as the people call it – people from Ireland and various parts of England who sold our goods there – one old lady who carried on a fine business and was a little stiff when we commenced talking had lived for 35 years in Uxbridge and knew a lot of people I remembered – one little bit tickled me very much – she explained that her hair had gone a little gray not from age but the salt water on the voyage. On this occasion I did not do what I have as you know sometimes been guilty of – ask her age, but she was certainly not far from my own.
Mr Whittaker very kindly invited me to come out and stay with him from Saturday until Monday, but I preferred remaining at the hotel for my bed – our bro. Mr Quittenden about 7 miles out has asked me to return with them after the morning meeting which I purpose doing and the meeting is at his house again in the evening – we had a nice meeting at his house on Wednesday last – an early closing day. I am hoping D.V. to leave here for Sydney in a few days – then Brisbane and return here again, when I go to Adelaide and Western Australia, shall then be on my way home so that I am beginning to get some light in the end of it in the mercy and goodness of our gracious God. I find the steamers to S. Africa are good boats and it will not delay my homeward trip much to go this way – these steamers call at Albany – the Western Australian port – so that I should not have to return to Melbourne fifteen hundred miles to pick her up which I rather feared. So cheer up my dearest Angee, I will not try your patience much longer at Marseilles I may take the train from there to Paris & London and this would save me the journey to London if I landed at Plymouth but of this I shall give you information further on.
Then in case I return from the Cape I should cable you the word "Africa" and you would then write me to P.O. Cape Town South Africa – so cheer up my darling wife we may hope in the mercy and goodness of God to soon see each other's faces again – I know what a trial it has been to you and not less to me though I have made the best of it of course I have been busily occupied with my business and have had the great comfort and encouragement of meeting the saints in the various gatherings – I have often told you of late that I felt my working day was well-nigh at a close and advancing years makes me feel it more and more. I am a marvel to myself how I can get through the work I have undertaken and yet my heart knows well the secret of it all is the unfailing grace and strength coming down from the Hills whence cometh our help – our help cometh from the Lord. Blessed be His worthy name.
I have not done so well for P.F.&Co. in Sydney as I should have wished – the local goods are well made and the business thoroughly worked – am sending Mr Brannan a £50 order and have actually received a small one for S&P which I am sending to their representative in Melbourne. Tell dear Mildred her letters are always very welcome and I must answer them when I am with her – you have done wisely I think in sending a cheque to Harry to cover his holiday expenses – he will appreciate how your little strength cannot afford to be taxed now as it could once be – trust they may enjoy their little outing wherever they may go.
Well my dearest Angee, I continue to pray for you that all needed grace and comfort may be bestowed upon you and now with much love once more to your dear self and to all our loved ones and to any enquiring friends believe me ever
Your very affectionate Husband