30th May 1866

My dear Mother

I received your letter by the last Mail and was so glad to hear you have received the draft all right,  that you were well, not hearing from you for so long. I could not make out whether it had gone astray or what had become of it………….however it is all right.

Here we have the hot winds blowing very strong. If you happen to go outside you can feel it passing through you, burning your very bones, and yet it is the healthiest time of the year.

Letty has been very ill since I wrote to you – had a mishap and little Ernie has been bad too with his teeth. I have had to send them uphill to Landour. They have been away for about 3 weeks and don’t expect they will be back till about October, so you see I’m all alone.

I had a letter from Jamie from school. The other day he wanted me to send him some marbles, poor fellow. One of the parties connected with the school told me he was a very good boy and getting on very well, which is gratifying to me.
I received all the papers, many thanks. I see you have been having Soiree- now we are going to have a Soiree too tomorrow. “Dissolving Views and a Little Music” is the programme, but we have other concerts, so you see even in this outlandish place, we try to drive dull care away.

I saw the tailors strike in the papers – is Alexander in it ? Those sort of things do no good I’m afraid. ( Editors note: ALEXANDER PATERSON born 29th July 1817, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire-1897, married to James Johnston’s sister Agnes, was a tailor by trade and residing at  7 Henry Street, St Leonards, Edinburgh).

I am much pleased to hear the children have not forgotten me, why don’t you send me their photographs ?  (Editors Note: The children were ANN PATERSON born 6 May 1846 – my great grandmother -, GEORGE PATERSON born March 1848, AGNES PATERSON born August 1850, JAMES PATERSON born September 1853 , ELLEN – Nell – PATERSON  born December 1855 all born 7 Henry Street, St Leonards, Edinburgh)

I will write to Aunt Agness by this Mail.

I will send you one of the Annual reports next Mail, it won’t be finished till after this has gone-I hope the remarks you may see about this “little child” will please you.

Remember me to all enquiring friends and dear Mother believe me to be

Your affectionate Son

James Johnston

Let me know your new address. I will send you a programme. What do you think of the style of our work?