Letter

Scope and Content

From Hankow. The others have gone to the service, namely [Ernest Henry] Livesley, [Arthur Preston] Hadwen, [James] Clegg and Bishop Holden who is here for the day.

This a very hot time of the year. He has a very bad case of prickly heat in his head and hair which seems to have turned into small and painful boils so that it is very painful to rest his head on a pillow or wear a [sun] helmet. Inwardly also, he is feeling quite unwell and is receiving treatment for dysentry.

Her letters about the children and especially about [Hubert Arthur] Wootton [Hubert Arthur Wootton (1884-1949); Headmaster of Kingswood School 1919-28] and Gordon arrived this week. Everything for the moment depends on the Inter. He wishes that he had asked her to cable about that. If that result is favourable, all the troubles can be got over. Without it, his 'mind seems to run back to STARKEY or Westminster for Gordon & for Joan work of some kind'. Emily would probably reply that H B R's opinion merely proves it is hopeless to discuss things at this distance. Even if Gordon has passed his Inter, Wootton has messed things up; for alternatives to Kingswood School have not been thought about.

In the last resort Ernest [H B R's brother John Ernest] might still be of use. He does not see what else he can do in the absence of news from home. Reference is also made to Wootton and the fact that he seems a strange "brother".

So, they seem to be in a mess and in great need of last Sunday's text which was on an anchor for our souls. He cannot express how much that Mission Secretaryship has bothered him. There is no doubt that he has been ruled out twice on the grounds that he is indispensible to the work in China. If he considers the matter calmly, he thinks that the decision was probably right. If a mere man can be indispensible anywhere, H B R probably is, as far as China is concerned. However, the domestic price that they have had to pay is almost too much.

'The thought of deserting China just now is too hopeless for words; the thought of leaving it in easier times & in case of necessity would not bother me I think. The times are going to get harder (for the spirit) not easier'.

As for the future of their family what can he say? If Emily stays in England, her suggestion of moving from Weston super Mare to London or some large university town has considerable merit. But is it clear that she will stay?.

The people are urging him to take a holiday, to Kuling or elsewhere. Perhaps he may.