Letter

Scope and Content

From Hankow. He encloses the cable which arrived on Monday night [announcing his election to a Mission House Secretaryship]. He has made the news public here but with so many people away, it has failed to make much of an impact.

They have had a fortnight of very difficult prickly heat.

He went to Huang Ching Teng this morning. It was an hour's walk, an hour at the service and another hour back. He had a cooling bath on his return, had tiffin, slept rather uncomfortably in the heat and so to this letter.

Ever since he knew the possibility of this appointment, he has had it in mind to spend a little time in India, Burma and Ceylon on the way home. Such an arrangement must effect [Edgar Wesley] Thompson and [George Edward] Hickman Johnson, but it would cost the Mission House very little and be of enormous benefit in the long term. Emily had better not say anything about it just yet except as direct opportunity offers and he will try to think of a way of approaching it. He does not think if it will be possible to leave here much before June 30th [1934]. If they insist on H B R being back in England for September 1st that would make things impossible, but if he could be spared until at least mid- October, something could be sorted out. The cost to the Mission House would be very little and it would give H B R a first-hand view of all the missionary work in the East, which would be a great advantage.

Throughout all the build-up to the election, he has been rather numb and now it has happened, he finds it difficult to get excited. He is of course more glad than words can express that he is returning home to his family.

He believes that he can really bring something to the Mission House. In the actual 'H.O work' [Home Organisation], he is probably, as Emily pointed out, too old. Hopefully he will however be appointed to oversee the China Mission in a year or two and in the meantime he can get to know the representatives from the other pre-union denominations. How he will cope with the endless deputations remains to be seen.

Emily will already be thinking of housing matters. He supposes that they will stay where they are until June 1935. If she is agreeable it may be better to purchase right away and save the rents of the next year or two. His main doubt is the very heavy rating value of the house. The locality and position are good but it may be that there could be somewhere better. It is tiresome to move again and also expensive. As the children leave home, he will want to store his books in a room of the house and use it as a study cum retreat.

'Well, the family name, the great J. E. [H B R's brother John Ernest] & the famous Mrs H B R have probably had much to do with getting me this vote...I suppose it was inevitable that a Union Conference should vote for the only man they knew the name of'.

A note has arrived from Berkin informing him that their [Chinese] bungalow has been sold for 6100 Hong Kong dollars. After expenses, they will make about 5800. Berkin had thought that the 6000 insisted upon by H B R was too high. H B R had in mind the 4200 Hong Kong dollars they had paid for it and in any case he had heard of other sales. Of course it represents a loss in gold from the time they bought it, but it is more than they could have expected two or three years ago. At the present rates of exchange they have made £350-400, which will help them enormously in buying a new house. It is rather strange that this should have been settled in the same week that he was informed of the Mission House appointment.

Further financial details about the purchase of the house are given.

He will send some of the money home as soon as possible. Emily should immediately put the money into the Abbey Road [Building Society]. It makes the looking forward to supernumaryship a little easier and that too will come before too many years are past.

Margery [Walby] and [Ronald Leslie Upton] turned up on Sunday. H B T thinks that he is to marry them in the Blind School Chapel on September 21st. They will then have one week at Kuling before returning to Teian. H B R takes it that Emily is 'talking sense' [about Walby's replacement] to [Clara] Hornby. A new nurse is needed in China by October 1st