From Hankow. He got the lovely parcel of books today at breakfast. In addition, he has received two copies of Jesus, Saviour of men - one from the Walbys and the other from [his brother John Ernest]. Other named books received as Christmas presents are mentioned.
After breakfast they went round the houses and sang carols and then to Chiao Kou for a short service. The chapel was packed - they celebrated four adult and three child baptisms and had an excellent time. Here they had a Christmas pageant and had a total of twenty-eight baptisms including children.
They had a small turkey and pheasants for dinner for which they were joined by Misses Spillman, Brown and Stephenson together with [E. Curtiss] Franklin and family. For tea they went to the ladies at 6pm and then at 8 they had a nice party at the compound. Everybody has had a full and enjoyable day. They were joined for most of the day by a sailor who seemed particularly impressed with the Chinese service.
Dr Dannoch told him yesterday that Eleanor and Reg [Reginald?] Close would be in Hankow today for a week or so. H B R is going to ask them to come over on Friday with some other people for a party. Then on Sunday, which is New Year's eve, there will be a sing-song.
Today's newspaper speaks of hostilities beginning in Fukien. Chiang Kai Shek, like anyone else who acquires too much power, is quite unpopular. So the Communist insurgents are given a third respite - first the flood, then the Japanese [intervention] and now Fukien. Chiang seemed to have virtually broken their resistance in Kiangsi - it is possible that his opponents do not want to see the Communists completely vanquished lest it be their turn next. 'We, in Hupeh, are certainly grateful to him for the measure of peace we now enjoy'.
He had a lovely letter from [Charles William] Andrews yesterday. H B R has a feeling that there is a real job at the Mission House. It will be more difficult than he thought to be leaving China 'just as the 7 fat years begin'.