Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
October 2nd, 1888
My Beloved Angee,
The above date reminds me that it is just two months ago that we parted at Gravesend – it seems much longer to me as I have called at many places since then – well it has been good news and mercy indeed all along in every way and my heart is indeed filled with thanksgiving to my gracious father and God. Your welcome letter of Sept. 9th with one from dear Arundel came to hand on Lord's Day evening after returning from the meeting and became another occasion of thanksgiving for the tender care that continues to preserve you all – I can quite understand the feelings of sorrow dear Harry's removal to London would occasion you but on the other hand what a real mercy of God it is that the dear fellow after the unsettled movements of the past, has had this placed in his hands and is giving pretty good confidence that he is earnest with it and is now able to provide honestly for the need of those who are dependent upon him for support. And while I feel it is a good thing for him, I am equally it is good for P.F.&Co. and I doubt not they will recognise his worth.
I continue plodding on with the work here but it is like burrowing through rabbits' holes to find all the same. On all sides I discover that merchants have been and continue ordering our goods so that I have not made the show I did on my last visit although I have secured some new business – am not yet clear as to when I move on to Karachi but you will know of my movements by cable long before this letter can reach you. We have had a nice quiet time at the meetings and it is a special comfort to have Mr Mackrow staying at the Hotel – we sit next each other at table and often have a drive in the evening before dinner. He holds a good position as Constructor in the dockyard and gets equal to eleven hundred a year sterling – his wife and children are coming out in about 6 weeks: last Saturday we were agreeably surprised to find another brother at the hotel - Col. Haig who I met last year at Fatiala – he remained over Lord's Day and has now gone to Poonah. We had very happy fellowship together and he had heard of my purpose to revisit India.
Yesterday afternoon my Parsee friend took me up the tower of silence the place for disposing of their dead – the vultures were a sight indeed as they sat on the top of one of the towers waiting the approach of a body which it appears they quickly do their devouring work upon leaving only a skeleton – the place itself that is the grounds are very fine and the view of Bombay and surrounding hills exceedingly fine – the Parsees pride themselves upon the perfection of the method in a sanitary point of view but I am disposed to think the founder of their religion Zoraster was more under demon wisdom as far as their method of dealing with the dead is concerned than that which the living and true God gives. I am beginning to think of packing up soon and shall probably leave here by the mail next Lord's Day or Monday morning.
Had a good day for the business yesterday and got hold of one of the largest native buyers, but the only thing I can compare it to is burrowing through the holes of a rabbit warren – we had a nice reading too in the evening and for Bombay a good number out – we read Romans VII. There are four soldiers belonging to a British Regiment, in fellowship, and they were all able to be present last night.
A day or two after my arrival I had to engage a servant to look after my sample room and the manager of the hotel called in a nice looking young fellow who was outside waiting the chance of a call. He has taken to the work very well and although he does not speak English so fluently as Lazarus, yet I can understand him very well and like his spirit very much and so have engaged him to travel – he has had a turn out of all my various clothing and made a good job of repacking. I gave him the same wages I did Lazarus and he provides his own warm clothing for the North; he is a good Mohammedan and if I mistake not will prove as good a servant as Lazarus, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
So, Mr Avery has finished the earthly course and gone to be with the Lord – I thought he was many years older – how is dear Uncle Stevens – give my love to him when you see him and also to dear McAlpin. Much love to all the dear brethren Mr & Mrs Shapland no doubt have returned by this time – I asked you in a former letter if Henry had received a letter from me from Gibraltar – I expected to have had a letter from him by this. Trust he and Zoe are well and that all goes on happily. Love to Mr Robertshaw and Eliza and Eunice and any enquiring friends. Now my dearly beloved wife the Lord graciously continue all his mercies to you and preserve you in spirit soul and body for His own dear names sake. Once more with much love beloved wife.
Your very affectionate Husband
Give me Harry's London address when you next write.