25th August 1873
My dear Mother
It is now a very long time since I heard from you; I hope you are enjoying health, as I am happy to say we are all doing here. Letty is keeping clear of that headache and I hope she is quit of it-she has suffered a great deal with it.
I had a letter from Ann Hume (Editor’s Note: nee Paterson – my great great grandmother) a few days ago. She has been sick and was sent to the hills for the benefit of her health. She tells me she is quite well again. It is a pretty place where she is -Kussowlie- it is on the top of the outer range of the Himalayas-it is a beautiful sight to look down on the plains on one side-you can also look at the other side-nothing but hills on hills ’til your eye rests on the snowy range.
Ann tells me she cannot stand the heat but I am much afraid she will have to put up with it, her regiment (Editor’s Note: her husband’s regiment -The 72nd Highlanders) marches this cold season for Peshawur (Editor’s Note : North West Frontier presently Peshawar on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border) -it is not a good station as you get a very bad kind of fever that sticks to you afterwards. She tells me that her sister Agnes has lost her child and that her brother George is ailing, which I was sorry to hear.
I have not heard from Aunt Agnes for a long time, is she still at Cambridge? I sent her a copy of my testimonials and also one to you-but I never got a reply.
Jamie is still up at Simla (Editor’s Note: presently called Shimla) he will be home in November. I get very good accounts of him from the School- Ernest (Editors Note: Ernest MacFarlane Johnston born Tuesday 20th February 1865 ) and Ann are growing very fast. I must get Ernest to write to you-he is very sharp, you ought to hear him singing, they all have such fine ears for music.
I have sent you this Mail through the Agra Bank £10 -0-0 in full, at sight, which I hope will reach you safe. I have addressed it “care of Mr Boyd” to ensure it reaches you-and I hope it will assist in getting you a few comforts for which you stand in need. I very often think, and so does Letty, what a pity it was you did not come out when I asked you-for I feel certain the climate would have visited you (sic)-the only inconvenience you would have had would have been the sea voyage, and that is very short, travelling in India is just as comfortable now as in England (sic) and I could have gone to meet you at any of the Ports, Bombay or Calcutta, and as I told you before, I have plenty of room, I surely could spare a set of rooms out of thirteen !
This is a very busy time; with us today is the last day of the examination, the prizes and results will be given away at the end of the week; next mail I will send you a copy of the Report. There is no word about my going to Allahabad-the Principal is fighting against it- and I am very glad.
Letty joins me in love to you and the children all send their love and kisses to their “Dadee” (Granma) hoping to hear from you soon.
your affectionate Son