22nd December 1875‏

Roorkee

22/12/75

My dear Mother,

I hope this finds you as I am happy to say it leaves all here, in the enjoyment of good health.

I sent to you by last mail parts of an Indian newspaper giving all the particulars about the landing and doings of the Prince of Wales, which you will find much more authentic than what you get from the home correspondents who have come out here. Their ideas of India and Indian life is something very rich indeed (some of the illustrations I have seen during the late famine in Bengal is very good specimen of the English Special correspondent). I fancy the way he has been received here has rather taken people at home a little aback. Instead of all the cry against his coming it has been the best thing that could have happened to England (sic) as the Natives see and look to him as their future King and they have different ideas to your Odgersites and Bradlaughites and such of their sort as to which pertain to Royalty. (Editor’s Note: George Odger 1820-1877 and Charles Bradlaugh MP 1833-1891 were prominent Victorian radicals and republicans). I will send you aware, perhaps tomorrow (the mail leaves tomorrow) but I am so pushed for time I have a great press of work and I am busy stock taking that I have not a moment to myself.

I will be sending my papers off tomorrow for my leave as the Sick Certificate only holds good for 3 months and I am in orders to sail from Bombay on the 23rd of March ’76 so that I hope to leave Bombay 3 months tomorrow. I hope to get a step in promotion before I leave; my papers were called for a few days ago and they are before Govt. and I expect an answer shortly.

You mentioned about my trying to some Ostrich feathers at Eden-well the Regt that was staying at Roorkee is going there after the Camp of Exercise at Delhi is over, and I asked the Band Master to look out for some for me , which he promised to do; he will arrive there about a month before I will. I want you to let me know what kind I should get-there are white tipped with grey and all grey-now you must write me by return of post if possible.

Jamie is back from school; I think I told you the poor fellow has quite made up his mind to rough it out uphill next cold season. If it had been possible I should have liked to have taken him home.

Letty send her love to you, also the children. Christmas is on us, but it is a very dull one as we are not living in our own place and are in camp fashion (marching order).

Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year – when it comes

Your affectionate Son

J Johnston

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