United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, France
October 11th, 1899
Galle Face Hotel, Colombo
My Beloved Angee,
We arrived here safely at daybreak this morning and my letters from P.F.&Co. were soon handed to me by a friend of the gentleman to whom they had been addressed – A Mr Lover who is with Open Brethren and has been residing here for many years – he was in England last year and saw Mr Huntington Stone who has suggested that a store might be started for our goods in Ceylon on the same lines that our American Depot is worked. Well they want me to look at it on the spot and to report on the prospects of success such an enterprise would be likely to meet with. I have been discussing the matter with Mr Lover today and purpose looking around the place with him tomorrow. H&P have the entire trade here or nearly so and our regular traveller Mr Deavin has not been successful in bringing our goods on the market and he was here about a month since and condemned this project. P.F.&Co. will not however abandon the thought until I have had a look around the Island. So I have said good bye to the Arcadia and D.V. intend taking up the next P&O boat the "Rome" this day fortnight. I am very sorry to disappoint you my dearly beloved wife but you see the position I am placed in. Their letter was of course very complimentary to me and kind so that I could not under the circumstances very well refuse. The heat has been very trying coming up from Australia and we have had a deluge of rain and squalls for the last 2 or 3 days and since our landing it has poured down in real tropical fashion. We hear this afternoon that war has broken out at last in the Transvaal – am sorry to hear it for war is an awful scourge. Your letters which I missed at Albany will follow me here. I shall send a cable to you in the morning to let you know that I am detained here for a fortnight.
You would be amused if you could see the pickle I get into with the excessive perspiration – the heat and moisture have been great but am in good health thro' mercy.
Have just had a visit in my bedroom facing the ocean from a fellow passenger who goes on by the Arcadia tonight – he called to thank me for the good a little talk did him – several of our passengers are staying at this hotel and some kind remarks have been made regretting that I am detained here for a fortnight. I know a little woman in England that regrets it too and none more than I do myself. Well I must now conclude and with much love to your dear self and all our loved ones believe me my dearest Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband
This is a scrappy letter.