At sea. Bay of Bengal.
Lat. 10 degrees North
Long. 97 degrees East
March 2nd, 1871. Seven days from Rangoon. We left Boston nine months ago yesterday. An eventful nine months it has been to the world. France then su
pposed to be the best military power of the world. Crushed. Almost annihilated. Germany, a set of distracted states is a united Empire.
Well, Pilgarlic what’s all this to you?What have you done in these months?
Sure enough! I can’t tell. I got two letters from home a good while ago. I have seen
something of the world, in India, I have been to Burmah and seen the missionaries. And got safely away. They nearly _____1___ me about my spiritual welfare, but I have got back into my old ways again. At any rate I haven’t made much ______ and I hope I haven’t lost much- one thing Deck Bucket, I am growing older, I have lost hair, teeth, and I am not quite so pretty as I was. But…
…never mind, my heart is young yet, so “Let us be happy.” We are on the way to China now, and will get there some time. Yesterday we passed “Western ______ _______ are of the ______ Archipelago, there are missionaries stationed there
too. They are doing glorious good
work and they don’t make much fuss about it.
Yes! “Stormy March has come at last, With wind and cloud and Snowy skies.”So we used to read in the _______ Reader, it all comes back to me now. But this tropical sun! The thermometer 90 in the shade. Drifting along over a sea of glass, almost. The sweat running out of every pore.
Hark! How the wind roars round the house at home. How the snowdrifts in at the cracks, and the cold bites and stings. But it will be soon over, and spring with it’s warm south winds will come, and the blossoms will be there, after them. All the _______ of the East, and the billowing white sails of the vessels coming up the river, will be seen over the point, but…
…we shant be there Deck Bucket, to see it. So, Pilgarlic, and if we were, do you suppose it would be as clear to see as it used to be? Would not the cares and anxieties of life rob us of the _____ that used to be so dear to us as boys? I don’t know Bucket,
but what you are right. But I have been reading Mrs. Stowe’s Old Town Folks and it has carried me back to the hills of my old New England home. And I think if I could get my living there I never would want to leave it.
Don’t say anything Pil, a merciful God is ruling these things all for the best. He knows what we would do and wouldn’t do, and its not for us to say. So think of those things in a rational way, but don’t forget your work and your duties, for you have got a good deal to do yet, before you can lay your aching head to rest in New England.
That’s so Bucket, I feel it I tell you – God help me to do it. I feel hardly worthy of it. But “where there is a will there is a way,” so will “battle away, the world, and wait for the good time a coming,” with Patience.
Friday, March 17th.
Half a month has gone since we have recorded anything- a tedious time it has been. We have managed to drift along, at the rate of about 30 miles a day. Some days have drifted back. The land has been in sight most of the time, and it looks quaint and
beautiful in the morning when the air is clear. We can see it way in land, far from the _______. The mountainous backbone of the Malay Peninsula. I have had the awning fixed so that I could lay on the house and sleep nights- for there is no sleep for me in the cabin- it’s like a furnace. The sea is like a sea of glass. No motion, no rolling, and the ship lays on it like a Painted Ship on a painted Ocean”- It makes us drink an awful lot of water. The berths have been so sultry and hot that I have had no ______ to write- than the ___________ can and __________ of a deep loaded ship drifting along these rocky shores, it takes all the romance and beauty right out of everything, and brings me down to a weary old man- straining on failing eyes to see some wished for landmark, or some long prayed for beacon.
March 17th continued. We are now about 300 miles from Singapore. Two days sail but it will take us a week. There I hope one shall get letters. Oh how I long for them. I have not written much of what we saw in Rangoon – or what we done. We were forty
days loading and finished on Washington’s birthday. Made a grand display of flags on that day. We had tedious work getting our cargo. The rice, or paddy is brought down the river from far up country in large native boats long before it is hulled, they can only come down at certain stages of the tide called the springs, for the water is too low, but every fortnight it is a pretty sight to see many of them moving down with the tide. They are queer looking things. Here are large mills owned by the different European firms, and they buy the rice as it arrives, and hull it for shipment. One fifth is left with the husk on to keep it from heating on the long voyage on board the ship. Hundreds of women and girls are employed, carrying it in buckets on their heads, and sewing up the bags after its bagged. 200 lbs. but in one bag.
It is a pretty sight to see a mill in full operation. I liked to go quite often. This in the great rice emporium of the world, and here shipped of all sizes are for all the parts of Europe- and China. Rice is about all they raise upcountry- This is British Burmah, but in the interior, it is Burmah Proper and is governed by it’s own native king. He is a
very liked fellow and was to come down from his capital city of Mandalay with many thousand followers about the last of February, to perform a religious ceremony at the great Sha-Dagon Pagoda. It was to be the putting up of an immense guilt umbrella on the spire 320 feet high. The ___1______ is 40 feet in diameter. This they think is a high token to __________, their deity. He is the last of their gods, and is supposed to have gone to Hell and suffered eighty thousand years for insulting a ______ widow, yet he rose again, and now has attained perfect repose. His statue in bronze in a reclining state may be seen at the pagoda and is a fine thing. How strange their ___ seem to us-who have been brought up Christian, yet the story of Christ is as ________ and incredulous to them as their _______ is to us.
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