From Ningpo. They have just returned from a trip across this district which saw him walk fifty li one day and forty another - it would tire out some of his ministerial friends. They ended up in a little steamer about as big as the Yangtze ferries. They experienced some rough weather in the Pacific and then a very bad passage into the Ningpo river. The winds combined with the unusually strong tides to give them a torrid time. If anything had gone wrong with the patched up engine, he might not have been writing this letter. This is a quiet day for letter writing.
Tomorrow they may take a trip to Feng Hwa, Chiang Kai Shek's home and then take Saturday's steamer for Shanghai. They hope to arrive in the city at dawn on Sunday the 17th. After two busy days there, they hope to fly to join [James Maxwell] Gratton in Tientsin on November 20 and return to Shanghai on December 3 for the [North China Churches] Conference until the 11th. Then on to Wenchow and Hankow for the District Conference from January 11- 18. They then move on to Hupeh, Hunan and South China. He very much wants to be back in England by the end of April, so that he has May and June before Conference. Whether the return passage will be by air or sea, depends very much on the time available.
Reference is made to the onset of preparations for the Christmas season.
Prices here are incredible. On this recent journey, they paid 12,000 [Hong Kong] dollars, practically £1 a day for coolies. He thinks therefore that it might be great to buy a carpet now, but he will discuss the matter with Gratton.
He expects that Margaret Embleton will have made arrangements to post the diary to Emily and to others. There are however letters missing and he does not have the details of what has happened concerning Emily's going [to the USA]. He is sure that everything has been properly arranged.
It is curious how cut off they are by present circumstances from world and church news. All correspondence is by air, which restricts [its size] while parcels come by sea which means that it may take months to arrive. The Shanghai newspapers take a little getting used to.
H B R expects that Emily is revelling in American hospitality. The British ways seem very quiet compared to their's. He supposes that she is also moving around and seeing something of the country. It is nice to think of her at Fred and Minnie's [in Toronto?] at Christmas. She must see Niagara, frozen or unfrozen. She must also see the University Museum and the outstanding China exhibits. They certainly left an impression on H B R which nothing elsewhere has come close to. China-Town in any of the [North American] cities is certainly worth a look. There is a good deal of church work going on in such settlements.
His companions continue in good health and spirits. [Hilda] Porter is a good traveller, but Mr Lockhart has found life more strenuous than he anticipated. H B R tries to take things as they come. They will all be ready for a week's rest when they finally arrive home.