From Kunming. They arrived back on Friday after driving two hundred and eighty miles in the one day, one hundred and ten of it through the mountains and were ready for a night's rest. Their air passage is booked for Wednesday 21 [November]. It is almost a straight line from here to Shanghai via Hankow, so on their way to visit [Albert Allan] Conibear, they will be flying over familiar scenes.
They expect Conibear to 'see us through' Ningpo and Wenchow and have them back to Shanghai for the [North China] Conference on December 11. They will be with [James Maxwell] Gratton in Tientsin over Christmas. He supposes after that there will be Hupeh, Hunan and Canton to visit before going home to England.
H B R wonders what Emily's movements are [her visit to the USA]. Today they have been fifty miles down the [unreadable name-China Railway] to a place called "Dog Market" - Kou Kai Toc. The market meets on "Dog Day". Here there is a 'spontaneous little Church', which Hendry came upon to his great joy a few years ago.
Dr Outerbridge has arrived in Kunming on his way to India to collect his family and go on furlough. So H B R will be seeing him tomorrow.
Some of his clothes are beginning to disintegrate after three months travel. This was expected and when he arrives in Shanghai, he should be able to collect some of his black clothes and other items of winter wear. The new suit which he wears on special occasions is nice to have.
He trusts that Richard and his friends flourish and that all other family members, especially Peter, are doing well.
H B R expects that Emily has made arrangements about forwarding addresses in the USA etc.
- James Maxwell Gratton (1896-1971) was born at Leominster in Herefordshire. He was educated at Kingswood School and then joined the army for service during World War 1. After the war he trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Didsbury and Handsworth and was appointed to the China Mission in 1922. He was evacuated with other missionaries during the disturbances of 1927 but returned to China after one year, serving at Wesley College in Wuchang. After his return home in 1939, Gratton was a circuit minister for two years before joining the army chaplaincy. He saw service in Africa and after the war went back to China for three years. When China was closed to missionaries, Gratton returned to the circuit ministry in England until superannuation in 1961. Source: Minutes of Conference 1971.