4th August 1861
My dear Mother,
I trust this will find you as it leaves us enjoying the best of health.
Thank God, both Becky and I are rather anxious about you as we have received no letter from you for about four months before now. There is nothing new in this part of the world only lots of rain. You ought to see it raining here. It comes down pell-mell and has no respect of persons. There has been a fall of rain about 25 inches in Roorkee, and in the hills at Landour up to last Thursday fortnight, there had been 61 inches. I suppose that rather astonishes you, upwards of 5 feet of rain, but you would think sometimes that heaven and earth were coming together.
Cholera is very bad in some stations. In Meerut it is bad among the Europeans, a great number of whom have died. The clergyman of the English Church was visiting a Hospital the other day and as he was leaving the Bungalow to get into his buggy, he dropped down and died there. That is only one instance. We have no cases here with one or two exceptions among the natives, but it is to be hoped it will soon leave. The Station at Roorkee is a most healthy one. We have beautiful weather here just now.
My Dear Mother, I trust soon to get a letter from you before I write you again.
I expect there will be an addition to the clan of “Johnston” and hope everything will go well. Becky sends you her best love to you and hopes to hear from you soon. She will give you an account of the whole affair after it is over. Little Jamie is getting such a chatter-box and up to all sorts of Mischief.
Now I have nothing more to say –the Mail goes to-day so I must wind up my scroll and wait patiently till I hear from you which I trust will not be long. To all enquiring friends my best regards, and to your dear self, my fond love.
From your Affectionate Son
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rebecca Johnston (nee Kirkham) died on the 16th August 1861 at Roorkee and also buried there the following day. The cause of death was not recorded but possibly as a result of either giving birth or cholera. The intimation of her death was by Rev J.B.D’Aquilan, Chaplain at Roorkee.
(Ref: India Office – N/190 Vol.100 Folio 158)