Malta, Egypt, India, Burma…
February 15th, 1888
The Captain is a very agreeable and gentlemanly man and has been very kind to me. This afternoon he took me over the ship which is the very pink of order and cleanliness, but we had a very painful reminder – on coming down the Calcutta river, how quickly everything may be changed. It was a great mercy that we did not strike the ship in the centre – we must have cut her in two if we had, or it was equally the mercy of God that the other steamer did not strike us. We hope there were no passengers in the cabins that we cut away and shall probably hear on reaching Madras in the morning. It is said that the Calcutta river is the most dangerous in the world because of the sandbanks so constantly changing. We were throwing the lead all the way down and this is always done.
February 15th, Madras
We reached here at daybreak this morning and landed soon after 8. A curious landing it was, in native serf[sic] boats sewn together not a nail in them and about the most primitive things I have seen in the East. We land on a sand beach and when the boat touches you can imagine what a buffeting about you get according to the state of the water. We were carried from the boat on the backs of coolies through the serf[sic] upon dry land and I don't know that I ever had a more comfortable seat in my life. They have a way of joining themselves into a kind of easy chair – there seemed 2 to each leg and I don't know how many about the seat and back, but they landed me in first rate style I can tell you. This place is very primitive and native and the people as black as ink – it is very hot and one does not dare to stand in the sun's rays a moment.
There was a dear brother in the Lord on the beach too and we had a hearty greeting and I have since called upon him and find they have engaged a large chapel for the gospel tomorrow evening and we have a reading tonight. This brother, Mr Wait from Calcutta has written to say I was coming by the Rewa.
Your dear and welcome letter of Jan 26th also arrived this morning and also one from each of the dear boys – God be praised for all His goodness to you and them. Thankful to hear the house at Ilfracombe has been let. Cheer up – ‘tis only a little while – through mercy I am in good health and think the hot weather suits me better than the cold.
With much love to you once more my dearly beloved wife and our dear children and the darling little ones which please kiss all from me and to all dear friends believe me my beloved Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband