Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
November 13th 1887
My Beloved Angee,
I hope the mail today will bring some letters from you. You are certainly pretty deeply in debt to me I think on this score. ‘Twas a comfort at home to get a line when only a few miles away – how much more now when we are separated by so many thousands.
Dear Mr. Robertshaw left here on Friday evening at 8 o'clock. We dined together and had some Champagne and saw him off and did not envy him the 2 nights' travelling he would have to reach Delhi. He was very tired when he lay down on his bed would have gone to sleep in a moment if I had not been with him – I fear he will find the rapid travelling very wearying but he sticks to work when once he has taken it up. We had a nice moment of prayer together before leaving the Hotel and his responsive amens were very hearty. The heat here is very exceptional for this season - it is hardly bearable sometimes – you cannot realise what it is like unless you are in it. My body is simply covered with prickly heat rash. Through mercy however I am well and enjoy my food and rest – the latter I am obliged to get a good deal of, the heat is so exhausting. I get on well with the Parsee merchants and the orders I am taking eclipses everything I have previously done in any other part of the world – is a net full of fishes indeed and through mercy one knows the secret "It is the Lord". My show of samples is very good and it is something new for them to see such a display and the Parsee and native as well as the European Houses greatly appreciate it. I feared when I saw them all in a dining room that I had overdone it, but have not a tin too many. I am heartily glad and thankful for the Lord's goodness in giving the things favour with the merchants so that P.F. Co. be benefitted permanently by my visit here.
We had a very precious meeting this morning and again last night too at the prayer meeting – how would you like starting for a distance nearly as far as Combmartin leaving soon after 7 am and returning to Breakfast after – the heat of the day makes it necessary – I shall be thankful to get a little North so as to be in cooler weather although I have some thought of going across the country to Madras and returning here to go to Karachi, but have not yet decided.
I heard last night that Dr. Burton is expected here in a few days – shall be glad to see him as I was so near him in the colonies a few months ago. Called on the Postmaster yesterday, hoping he would save me the trouble of stamping the thirty thousand packets P.F.&Co. have sent me to post, but he says it is contrary to their rules, so there is no help for it.
A nice job it will be to stick on 30,000 stamps. I shall have to engage several natives besides my own servant to get it done in a week. The native in charge of the stamp office was rather astonished when I told him I should require 30,000 half Anna stamps on Monday next (around £70).
November 14th, 1887
It was joy to my heart this afternoon when my batch of letters was handed to me, to find one from your dear self once more. I expected you were not clear about the address. Also one from dear Arundel – Harry and Emma and very encouraging letters from P.F.&Co. for all of which I am unfeignedly thankful. I expect the business here will brighten them – it does me – I have not to go out much, the merchants come in now they know of my sample room. But the heat is something terrible, exceptionally so according to report. The flesh on my hands look like fowl boiled – only I expect it would be rather an old bird if eaten. There is also a letter from Eliza for Mr. Robertshaw which I shall forward to the Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta, not knowing where to intercept him between Delhi and there. I will also write to the Manager calling attention to it so that it may be handed to him if he should overlook it in the case. Very thankful to hear Arundel and Harry are getting on so well.
It was very singular that I wrote Major Jacobs at Patiala yesterday, hearing it was intended to have a conference there during the Xmas vacation. Today your letter refers to the visit of his sister and brother at Ilfracombe and I signed my letter (of Ilfracombe, Devon).
Nov. 17th, Clock striking 11pm
Tomorrow the mail closes 11 am, thankful to have my writing pretty well done so that I shall not be pressed so much tomorrow as usual. My writing altogether is really something terrible – the business letters alone are a little volume. Ian Peeke used to compliment me on my short letters – now they are as long and I can't help it. Received a nice letter from Mr Robertshaw yesterday which I send as you will be interested in his travels and fatherly loving care for me. Through mercy the business here has continued exceedingly good and my letter tomorrow will be a cheer to them at the works when received.
Now with much love to you once more to you my beloved Angee and your dear sisters, Eunice and Eliza – dear Arundel, Harry, Harriet and Emma and all the darling children. Dear Mrs Hardie, Maria and Willie, Miss Wilkins, Gant, Blackmore, Sanch[?], Mr Chaplain and others and believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband
It was very curious about Major Jacob that Sunday I write to him on Monday I hear of him through your letter – on Wednesday a Brother in Bombay receives a letter from him asking if he has heard anything of a Brother called Geo. Petter travelling through India from England.