From Hankow. He has enclosed the 'sequel' to the letter of 8/9 April [DDHB 7/20-21]. He presumes that she knows all about it. It cannot be made public and he does not want the cable lying around here. He received it at 10.30 last night and replied at 7.30 this morning - '1934 nomination preferable Rattenbury'. It is very hard not to have anybody to confide in here but he supposes that in the end all decisions are solitary ones. His reasons are as follows:
- 1. He is not in the least attracted to [Home Organisation]. It is a terrible job, but as far as he can tell he does have a gift for organisation. [William H.] Pillow at Changsha was strongly of the opinion that an Indian missionary should not be appointed Indian Secretary and similarly for the China Mission, but there can surely be no objection to a China missionary being Secretary for Home Organisation. In any case, he hopes that the post need not be any more than temporary.
- 2. As he said in Sunday's letter one of his doubts throughout has been based on age. In 1934 he will be fifty-six and he is convinced that he will be too old if he waits another two years after that.
- 3. As he is to return home in 1935 anyway, a few months earlier will make no difference.
- 4. He does not see any prospect for Emily's return to China. She would probably not be able to be comfortable in a mission after her life during the last five years.
- 5. By coming as he has, he has left the stage entirely clear. He has done nothing to seek this post. He supposes that [George Edward Hickman?] Johnson will be appointed India Secretary or something.
- 6. He can probably do more for China at the Mission House than by staying here, unless he was to be given large powers which is not at all likely.
He thinks the best thing he can do is arrive in England at the end of August or perhaps later, travelling via Ceylon, India and possibly Italy.
- William H. Pillow (1876-1933) was born in London. He trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Richmond and was appointed to the China Mission in 1903. He served in China for his entire ministry and displayed great bravery during the civil war of the late 1920s. He died in hospital in London while on furlough. Source: Minutes of Conference 1934.