Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
November 4th 1887
Bombay November 4th 1887
We arrived here on Tuesday morning last the 1st inst. and I was not the only passenger on board the Surat who was heartily glad to leave the ship. My last note from Aden will have informed you that I was poorly and I did not rally all through the voyage - although I made an effort to keep up and put in an appearance at meal time, but it was an effort and eating any food was out of the question. Well, it was a new experience for me, and I do not remember ever to have been so cast down, but God who comforteth such did not leave me without special comfort for the special need in sending dear Mr. Pile on board the same ship whose kindness and care I shall not soon forget. On landing I soon sent for the best Dr. in the place, known to Mr. Pile, a Dr. Langley who came and at once used the little instrument for taking the temperature and found fever still upon me - however he cheered me up and said I should be all right in a day or two and so it has proved.
Yesterday I got out to work for a few hours and enjoyed my food once more and today through the tender mercy of our Father I am feeling quite restored again. Bombay is a very ﬁne open place and now that the cool weather is coming, it is very pleasant mornings and evenings and I am really enjoying it. The air seems beautifully pure and free from the dreadful smells that so abounded everywhere in Egypt, the food too is nice, splendid ﬁsh and good meat and vegetables and nicely cooked. The hotel I am staying at is called the Great Western and dear Mr. Pile is also staying here which makes it very comfortable for me. We called on another brother residing here last evening and have arranged to have a reading tonight. Had a call yesterday from a brother called Ker, an Engineer living about 400 miles N.W. of this and I hope he may be able to stay for the meeting tonight. He has given me a very warm invitation to visit the place he resides (Abu Road) – he and his wife are in fellowship and there seems quite an open door for the gospel - I look to the Lord to guide me aright as I move from day to day through this vast country. I have nearly completed an arrangement with a native servant to accompany me right through India; he is a nice looking man about 35 years of age and speaks English very well and has excellent testimonials from gentlemen he has travelled with before. His wages would be 45 rupees a month and I to pay his 3rd class fares - he provides himself.
I was struck with one lady passenger on board the Surat whose face I seemed to know but had no opportunity for many days of a conversation that may clear up the mystery - at last however I discovered that she and her husband (called Whiteaway) were staying at Williamson's Hotel while we were there - she was rather a stout person with a full eye - they had been puzzling too wherever they could have seen me and when it came out, they could speak particularly of each one of our party and seemed to have been much struck with Emma who Mrs. W. supposed was my daughter and the young gentleman that came from the Saturday to Monday my son in law. It was rather curious too that they had been staying in Ilfracombe through August, and are Devonshire people from near Torquay and now carrying on a drapery business in Calcutta. He lived there many years with a Mr. Richards a bro. of the person in Joy St. prior to going into business for himself.
I notice in the paper here that the "Poseidon" left Aden for Bombay on the 2nd, so that I suppose Mr. Robertshaw will be here about the 9th - I hope he escaped the fever plague in Egypt. Shall look out for him on arrival of the ship. And now my beloved wife I know how your heart will go out in thanksgiving to our Gracious God for His great mercy in raising me up from the sickness - our dear children too I know their hearts will go out in gratitude for this special goodness and care vouchsafed - with much love to you and all our loved ones, believe me.
Being affectionate Husband
I cable P.F. Co. an address every week which they will advise you of - don't fail to write me every mail.