1886-87 - USA, Canada, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Egypt
June 21st, 1887
My Beloved Angee,
The day for leaving this place is drawing very near now and God willing I go on board the Verona tomorrow morning. Was told at the P.& O. Office yesterday that our ship will call at Marseilles and not at Malta as I expected - this note will go overland in Europe so you may probably get it before leaving for Plymouth which please God I shall hope to see by end of July and your dear face which will be best of all. My packing up has been quite a job I assure you - my clothing gives me a lot of trouble i.e it gets mildewy and I have to spread it out and sponge away the spots frequently. You see I have not worn any usual clothing for months and I wish some of the winter garments were home now – however we shall be getting it a little cooler than it is here after passing through the Red Sea which I expect will be like a red oven for heat. It is a great mercy that I am able to stand the heat so well - it is intense here through the day - yesterday it was not far short of 95 in the shade and like an oven in the sun.
Last week a gentleman here gave me a letter of introduction to view the Palace of the Sultan of Johore, one of the sights of this place - it is about 14 miles from Singapore and on the other side of the Straits of Johore, nearly 2 miles, which I crossed in a native boat and landed at H.M's private landing stage leading up through the grounds and terraces to the palace. My letter was a ﬁrst class one, so I was pretty bold for me and after a little waiting to go through certain formalities, I was escorted by about half a dozen servants to a ﬁne suite of apartments and entreated to take up my abode at least for the night. It was a beautiful bedroom and such a nice homely sitting room looking over the grounds of the straits and all the various other comforts such as the baths were all shown. The Sultan was in the palace keeping one of their fasts and is not allowed to eat during the light not even to swallow his spittle - if I had accepted their proposed hospitality I should no doubt have had an audience with H.M. as he and the Princess speak English ﬂuently and are exceedingly hospitable.
I have advised P.F. Co. to send him out a box of good biscuits as a present which I am told will please him.
Have had a busy time here among the merchants and expect my visit will be a good one for business results - have opened some ﬁrst class accounts but most of the houses act in concert with their London ﬁrms, where the fruit is likely to be found. I propose calling at Penang and Colombo in Ceylon on our way to Aden.
Once more God bless you my dearly beloved Angee and our dear children and their and our treasures - I can fancy now they will dance for joy as the box of presents is unpacked. Much love to you all.
P.S. It is very trying to be in a place where there is no gathering - terrible spiritual desolation here - heathen darkness and among the professed Christians greater darkness if possible and abomination.