October 4th, 1896
Boston, (Lord's day)
My Beloved Angee,
I was very thankful to get your welcome letter dated Sept. 14th this morning – re-directed from New York but I was fully expecting it by the mail y'day to this place as I had requested P.F. to send you my cabled address for this City which they could not have done. The letters you enumerated as having sent to me are all received – the one this morning making the third. Please always write to Fifth Avenue Hotel New York in the absence of any other address but in addressing to the cabled address simply address – Petter Post Office. Am sorry you have not yet shaken off your cough and I do hope that a little change may be very beneficial – I hope it may be with your sisters at Ilfracombe, as London or Bristol would be too risky for the travelling involved at this season altho' I know what a mutual pleasure it would be at either of our dear children's houses – you must not fret so much about my absence as the time will soon pass now and it is unlike being in Asia or China as I am only a few days steam from you – please make a note of that.
You do not mention anything about the cheques I left but no doubt you sent them to Mr Besley who has forwarded the same to the Broker. A.J. Harris said something about sending me a little expression of his gratitude for a trifling act of kindness which he remembered – I dare say the dear fellow thought it was the best form he could do it in – not thinking of the author as I should – if they are ordinary books I may suggest his changing them for something I should be able to read with interest.
I am very thankful too that you have been preserved from any flooding during the late storms. They have had a fearful time of it in Savanah – a cyclone and tidal wave following have carried such a desolation in its track to persons and their dwellings. I notice in all the cities I have visited that on building a house now they first erect a complete framework of steel girders securely bolted to large granite blocks at the foundations and bolted to one another from top to bottom – openings between these girders are left for windows doorways stair way and they then build the stone masonry around those girders. It is really appalling to see the height they are now carrying them – some even 20 stories[sic] and the rapidity with which the whole structure is built is marvellous. The out of door noises are simply deafening and the cable-house and in many places the electric cars are as thick as blackberries so that it is really a perilous job to cross the street anywhere. The whole business is done by mechanical contrivances whose name is legion – even the shoe blacks at the hotel have to drop the 5 cent piece into a box when a bell rings the amount as required. I was amazed this morning when I gave the shoe cleaner who was an Irishman the coin and made a remark on the bell – Pat said that the business in the old country was a square honest piece of business but here it was nothing but schaming (scheming) and it was getting worse and worse every year.
The meeting room here is only a few doors from the Parker House where I am lodging – you may remember my relating the difficulty I had in finding it when here 10 years ago. It was a very great privilege to see the dear saints and to have such a season of fellowship with them around the Lord's table – the one who read my letter of commendation was unknown to me but my heart was much drawn to him when I heard the utterances of his heart in worship and did not expect that he knew anything of me beyond what he had read in Mr Lowes letter. After the meeting however I found that he knew me very well being the eldest son of our dear brother Mr Lambert of Eastbourne a Professor of Languages well known to me also his wife and household.
This son has only left Eastbourne about a year and now resides in Boston and is a Tutor at one of the Colleges. His wife is recently from Montreal and they have not yet got their house completed or would have been glad for me to have returned with them. He knew all about my long connection with P.F. and my world wide travels.
Oct. 5th 1896, Portland (Maine)
Left Boston about noon and am resting here for the night – wish you could just look in and you would say I am sure – well you have the best of everything here and no mistake. The Parker House at Boston gave me a card of introduction to the manager of the hotel and it is without exception the most comfortable spot I have been in since leaving my own house – charge only $4 a day on the American plan i.e. including meals. If you were two the portion they give you for one when on what they call a European plan would suffice – I only wish you were here but the travelling would soon upset you. We have had a day's rain which I was not sorry to see as then we are free from dust. After a wash up and seeing my rooms here I called on the leading merchant who was very courteous and promised to see my samples in the morning, since then have had a nice supper (6pm) Tea – haddock and a quarter of a boiled chicken peaches and toast and it really did go down ushi ushi as the dear children say. My dinner at a place called Portsmouth was a snap affair – 2 ham sandwiches and a good slice of apple pie and a bottle of light ale. I ate a part of each in the refreshments room and had the other bagged to eat in comfort in the carriage and it was well that I thought of it and had it done, for before I had finished the part I heard the guard's "all aboard" and had just time to scramble into the train with my paper bags of food.
My next stage is St. John's New Brunswick and there are only 2 trains a day one leaving here at 7am arriving at 9.55pm and the other 11pm and arriving at about 12.30 noon the next day so that will be a tedious journey any way.
Mr Copp of whom I wrote to you told me that he had been staying at Ilfracombe for some time – it was singular that you should have seen and remembered his name that his wife and daughter were with him. I shall D.V. give them a call when at Hamilton.
I shall be glad to hear that the money matter with the broker has been settled all right – you did not think of it when writing – it may be that Eliza took down the cheques and papers I left for Mr Besley. Shall add a little more to this at St. Johns probably. Have written Harry a line to say I am now doing the same to Arundel.
St. Johns, New Brunswick. October 7th 1896
Arrived here safely this afternoon – a thorough wet day and they have had many of them lately. My calls around the merchants have been satisfactory so far and I hope for good results tomorrow. D.V.
At Portland my highest expectations were exceeded and the merchant who had shown such kindness the previous evening gave me far the best order I have yet taken. Having no relish for night work I found that I could get to a town about halfway between Portland and St. Johns called Bangor by about 5pm and catch a mail train from there to St. Johns at 5.30 in the morning. On reaching Bangor I found there were two good men so I started off at once with a porter and my bags and succeeding in getting a nice order from the best of them. Returned to the hotel to supper and got to bed about 9 and rose again at 4.30 – had a carriage ordered for 5 and at the Depot as they call it I sat down and had a good breakfast at about 5.20 am.