Gibraltar, India, Malta
February 3rd, 1890
Simla, Himalaya Mountains
My Beloved Angee,
I left a letter for you at Umballa before starting for this place not knowing whether I should be in time to save[?] the mail here – it does not however go out until the morning, so will drop a note that you may know I have reached this Hill station in safety. The Government provide horses and carriages for the whole journey right through from Umballa and acting upon the advice of another I started at 10pm for a place at the foot of the mountain called Kalka which we reached soon after 4 the next morning. The carriage was a close one and arranged so that I could lay out my bed and get some rest, but the continual changing of our pair of horses every 4 or 5 miles and their galloping made any sleep out of the question – one stage we had a pair of bullocks as there was a river to cross. We left this carriage at Kalka and then took another called a Tonga with only 2 wheels with a centre pole into which a pair of horses are fastened in a most peculiar way. This vehicle is very small but strongly built and with the native driver and guard and my servant was well filled, but the samples, bed and a few other things had to be stored away and at 5.30 before there was any other than starlight we started and in a few minutes touched the foot of the great Himalayas. Except my eyes protected by a pair of glasses every other part of my body was wrapped from head to foot with the thickest inside and outside clothing I had and the comfort, especially of that brown worsted covering for the head and shoulders with just a little hole for the eyes and nose was great and I was thankful to have it. The speed with which he started off was more like a fire engine travelling in London and the continual blowing of the horn reminded one of old coaching days in England. I thought well if you keep up this pace in ascending the hill the poor horses will soon be exhausted, but every 4 or 5 miles there was a pair of fresh ones with more fire in them than my nerves could bear sometimes.
From the time of leaving Umballa to arriving at Simla I had 42 horses. The scenery from Kalka to Simla a distance of 58 miles is certainly the grandest I have ever seen in the world – the road way is cut by the sides of the mountains and the sights above us and the deep gorges below us was really appalling to look upon sometimes. Some of the higher hills around us at Simla are snow-capped and it is most unusual not to have 2 or 3 feet of snow generally at this season. The hills are so beautifully wooded and in many parts there is a high state of cultivation. Simla is built on the side of [a] mountain and the buildings are very fine especially all the Government offices and the pines growing between the houses give it a wonderful appearance. But there was something in Simla that cheered my heart more than all the natural beauties and that was a native brother called Jonah of whom I had heard from Major Jacob. He had heard of my coming and on the arrival of Tonga was there to meet me and we spent a happy time over the word and this evening he has been in again – he is alone here and therefore a visit from another is especially comforting to him. The place is like our Ilfracombe in the Winter, but in about 2 months it soon becomes filled with all the world's elité among the Europeans of India. Have been busy all the day among the native merchants mostly and hope my visit may do some good in a business way.
My spirit often times turns toward the sorrowing ones at home and I do trust and pray that dear Arundel may be sustained of God – it is a cup of sorrow for the dear fellow very early in life – they were much attached to each other – the world does not often see two hearts so bound together in pure natural love and in the mercy of God in divine bonds that can never be severed. Death has done its separating work for ever in the natural tie but the eternal bond is one that is formed on the other side of death and this subsists in Christ as perfectly now as before the separation. What a moment God has revealed to us when "He shall wipe all the tears away and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things (now present) are passed away."
If the Lord will I stay here one day more and then return to Umballa and take train for Delhi where I expect my next letters.
And now once more with much love to you and all our dear friends believe me my beloved Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband