Gibraltar, Algeria, Malta, Egypt, India, Burma, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Russia
October 21st, 1888
My Beloved Angee,
A few minutes after I posted your last letter at Karachi one from your dear self and Arundel were handed to me and brought the usual comfort to my spirit and called fresh thanksgiving from my heart to God Who is the Lord of mercies and the God of all grace. Was looking out too for a letter from dear Harry who has not written me for many weeks now, and I shall be glad to hear how he gets on in his new quarters. I left Karachi last Wednesday evening for the journey here – the carriage we spent the night in was the greatest shaker I ever rode in and my two other fellow passengers like myself were not sorry to leave it about noon the next day when we arrived at Sukkur completing the first portion of our journey to this place – we had a 5 hour stop there and the heat was simply intense. The refreshment room is a large barge floating on the Indus River and after I had finished some business calls occupying me about an hour, I got on board the barge where it was a little cooler and was glad to lay down and rest after a bad night and scorching heat. We left Sukkur again at 6 pm and this time had a splendid carriage and very easy running. Rana[?], my servant soon made up a bed with those beautiful frilled pillows slips of yours and we had a good night's rest while crossing the desert of Sind. A gentleman at Sukkur gave me a useful hint about a change of clothing before commencing the ascent of the mountains up to this place and I acted upon it. We have to climb about seven thousand feet and some of the scenery was very grand. One point was of especial interest called the Chuppa Rif - where a bridge spanned the tops of two hills near each other, but the surroundings of this place and the gulf beneath us was awfully grand to behold and I was not sorry when our train had passed over safely. About noon before the thermometer has fallen many degrees under 90, I put on all the thickest Jaeger garments, wearing an under vest as well as shirt and as we ascended into colder regions the comfort and safety of these were proved, so that on reaching Quetta about 8 at night I felt just as comfortable as if we were in an English winter climate. This is a strange weird looking spot – hundreds of buildings looking like square built mud huts – the same colour as the dry fine sand dust that lies inches thick upon the ground – all spread out on a piece of table land and surrounded upon every side with lofty ranges of mountains, some of which are 5 or 6 thousand feet high. The climate is simply delightful and every description of fruit and vegetables as common as at home. I never tasted such delicious grapes in my life and most of these are bought by the Hill tribes from Candahar not more than 5 day's journey by mule or camel.
There is a very large peach garden in the midst of the Bazaar at Quetta and I went through it yesterday afternoon and picked some beauties from a tree. It is a most interesting sight to see all the various tribes – Afghans, Belloochies, the latter wear their hair very long and generally hang down in curls below their beards almost covering their faces – they are not so fine as the Afghans whose features are very handsome and noble. The fruit market here is really a wonderful sight and a testimony to the character of the climate – pomegranates, melons, pears, apples and I never tasted the like of them in my life – nuts as the auctioneers would say after saying all they could "and other articles, too numerous to mention" and so it may be said of the varieties of fruit displayed. There is a nice hotel here too, just started, that I am the fifth visitor to – it is one of the most homely places I have ever put foot into in the East and have most heartily wished you were here that we might enjoy it together for a few weeks.
Through mercy have done good business here too, Rana and I started off yesterday morning to call upon a few dealers whose names had been given to me and the first I called upon were Parsees and they not only gave me a good order for all our best kinds, but one of the firm a young Parsee accompanied me after to all the other dealers, taking as much interest in the work as I had and he was much esteemed I could see by the others – one dealer ordered exactly a repeat of the Parsees order and another firm ordered half the quantities, so that I got three nice indents and hope to get another on Monday.
On Tuesday D.V. I descend again to Sukkur for Mooltan and Lahore. You say it is not difficult for me to write a letter because of the constant change – well, I suppose you are right but it is I assure you just as acceptable to me to hear the little bits of home news and about the dear children as for you to hear of my rambles. I was greatly surprised to receive Arthur's note and unless William has remembered all his cousins can hardly tell why I am singled out for his favours. Once in my life I wrote out of the depths of my heart's trouble to him imploring him to give me work as a compositor or at the press and he knew of my ability for this work – he never answered my letter – fifty pence given to me then would have made my heart bound with joy. However I would not despise the kindly feeling now in his heart toward me, but there is not much taste with it, coming from one who allowed the pride of life to estrange him from those of his kindred probably deemed poorer than himself. Well, once more I must close – cheer up my dear Angee – the time will soon pass and please God we shall see each other's faces again – give my best love to all the dear children and grandchildren – thanks for all the true love your letter brings from others – give them also mine and a double portion for yourself my dearly beloved wife and believe me.
Being very affectionate Husband