20 Jan 1892, Chittagong

Tiger– man eating – 2 prowling about. One captured 2 or 3 days ago. No 2 cannot be caught – has killed and eaten some 20 natives. We have to come home from meeting in dark (special meeting of Chittagong) & like to carry lantern.

Delevigne. How small the world is. Delevigne used to sit behind us at Highgale Road Church come to Chittagong as magistrate. Engaged to Miss Enid Willats whom I know at Hanwell.

26 Jan 1892

X Saw at Chittagong Dr. Moir who had been to Lushai some time. His verdict re the Lushais was “The country is rotten, the people are rotten & the language is rotten”…”the people are not men but animals and are quite happy without the Gospel.” Not much use getting information from such a man. Had hopes to get much help from him.

Cobras. Five in Chittagong rice godown killed last Tuesday. Place swarming with them. Were going to be weighed there but thought better of it when heard this cheering news. Rats come after rice, cobras come after cobras [sic: rats]. Houses next to Chapel veritable cobra nest. At Silchar rat caught in trap, cobra squeezes through bars, swallows rat, cannot get out (Trotman’s godown).

Cheap John sign in Chittagong for “Cheap Jack” which seemed too vulgar for the English speaking owner.

5 Feb 1892

River Boat and its Discomforts – good description (from Chittagong up River)

Lushais lament re occupation of their country by the Sahibs. A chief told Asst. Supt of Police (Daly?) that now the white men had come to Lushai life wasn’t worth living for they wouldn’t let them fight & take human heads & he didn’t see how any of them could get to heaven now for the more heads taken down here the better their state there after. (One animal of every kind including man must be killed. Thanchhuah.)

Fever– From Apl to Feb in one year (1892?) 1891-92?) Asst. Supt. Police had fever 25 times in Rangamati.

Cooking Difficulties while cooped up in boat (page 3)

Price of Bazaar articles food &c for boat journey – end page 3.

DeCruz’s madness pages 4-5.

11 Feb 1892

Fever. During last few months at Chittagong Mr. Fergusson has had fever 30 times

Tiger. Fred sees tiger cub outside our bathroom – was going out to get better view when remembered that he was in Indian & that tiger cubs are apt to have their mothers hard by. I could not get out in time to see it (End page 2)

Cow dung for floors Floors smeared almost daily with mixture of cow dung and mud. Said to be healthy. Not good for hob nailed boots. Used universally in Bengal. In Lushai too some of the rest house floors treated thus. Smooth when enter – very soon cut up by boots, chairs &c.

Cow dung cakes for fuel. These are made every morning, stuck on wall on sunny side of house to dry. Used for fuel & for smoking out mosquitoes from houses and stables in evening. Village enveloped in smoke every evening. Old Christian woman unable to shake hands as hands dirty with making these cakes.

Journal Seetakoond [Sitakund] Mela

Leopard jumping between ox carts when on way way back from Seetakoond [Sitakund]

19 Feb 1892

Jungle fire. Bungalow nearly caught. Got all furniture out. Men on roof – fighting flames – wind changed when flames only 12 ft from thatched bungalow.

Little bird trying to rescue young from flames & nearly getting killed themselves.

DeCruz – more of his ways

1 Mch 1892

Bengali School where children learn to write on the ground instead of on slate

Village Children rolling in mud all day long, occasionally rolling in sand or going into water for a change. Fashionable dress – string – bangles &c.

2 Mch 1892

Cholera in Chittagong. Fetish to keep the disease at bay. Flags, discs, fence

A simplified series of flags, connected by a fence, with small circles on each flag.
[A diagram of the materials arranged to counter an epidemic of cholera in the area.]

Delevigne stays to dinner. Pays us a visit. Stays late. Invited. Tell boy. “Not much to eat today, sahib.” Fred’s clean sheet. 3 plates knives, forks. Saucer in centre of table. Few grains of dirty salt. DeCruz got all out things out with him. Little mince and one potato each. Waiting for usual fowl. None comes – made shift pudding toast covered with sweet water made up with bread, butter and Ball fruit. Waterman with lantern accompanies him home. “Khana Lao” directly he arrives. Fred making up mind to go without chicken so as to use his knife to carve – intending to have some after company gone. D – wont have idea that missionaries live luxuriously.

10 Mch 1892

More about DeCruz’s ways!

Jungle fires. Fires so numerous in jungle that use to take money into bed room every night in case house burned down. Flames 60 ft high licking up all before them.

14 Mch 1892

Bengali Times. The best that can be said of them is that if you happen to forget the time you can make it up as you go along & no one will be any the wiser.

Mrs Ballantyne’s verdict re DeCruz.

23 Mch 1892

DeCruz requests to be buried by side of Johannes. No stone required. My works shall testify. Great outburst.

Chittagong Prison. Visit to. Saw my first Lushai (Poi) Caught hold of our wrists. Through an interpreter & by sign told us that tired of bread & rice – wanted some whisky.

31 Mch 1892

List of things & English prices (@ 1/3 to the rupee which we purchased in Chittagong & took to Kassalong with us.

24 lbs flour 2/6

2 Tins Kerosine 5/-

82 lb rice 5/4

30 lb split peas 2/4

12 ” onions 17 1/2

41 ” potatoes 2/6

41 ” salt 2/6

4 tins condensed milk 2/6

4 pots jam 2/6

12 boxes matches -/1 1/2

6 tins arrowroot 1/ 4 1/2

60 lbs sugar 10/6

6 ” sage 1/-

If 3 or 4 lbs weight of sugar &c is purchased the shopman put it in earthenware pot.

Pot to hold 30 lb of sugar cost -/1-

Reliable (?) Information re Kassalong The following are specimens of the sort of information we obtained.

(a) As flat as a pancake

Water very bad

No Kukis (Lushais) anywhere near

No Post Office

(b) Splendid place

As hilly as you like.

Large numbers of Lushais living all around.

Water excellent

Oh yes & Post Office there too.

(c) Awful part; would not go there for anything

Gospel will do no good.

All they care for is skulls

If a girl is asked to become a wife, the first thing she says is not “Ask Mamma!” but “How many human skulls have you to show?”

It is interesting to note that these conflicting statements are made by men who profess to have “been there time after time” & “know it well” &c.

Brahms Farewell Dinner to us just as we were leaving Chittagong for Kassalong. House decorated with evergreens. Many Brahms friends invited who sat and watched as they were vegetarions. 2 Chapters of Bible, hymns & prayer before meal. 14 Courses. Managed to escape 3 or 4 courses with great difficulty. Soup, fish, sausages (?), cutlets, liver, stew, and another sort of stew, Bengali pudding, 3 difft kinds of sweetmeats, fruit, tea.

3 Apr 1892

First Arrival in Kassalong, on 8th April 1892

Buffaloes sit in water all through heat of evening and morning. Felt that we should like to follow their examples, the heat is so great.

P.1. met at Rangamati Dr Brajanathshaha who lent us his grammar of Kuki Dialect. Of great use to us. Copied the whole out while at Kassalong see letter Man 18.

Ants are everywhere in the country, some large, some small, some red, some black, some white. You cannot think of a place where you will not find them – even in your dinner. Have eaten quantities.

Jungle at Kassalong Sort of jungle makes one first cast a look at the path for snakes, then on this side and that for tigers, leopards &c, then up for monkeys to see that they are not thinking of dropping a coconut on one’s head.

Hyderalli’s bread – kind of wafer about consistency of leather, not bad eating.

Koshu Jam made bael jelly– like stewed apples mixed with turpentine.

Wakened by snorts and groans outside the bungalow. Large buffalo wallowing in a puddle made by rain. Fred had impudence to say that he at first thought it was a tiger but afterwards decided that it was only one snoring.

19 Apr 1892

God supplies our needs. Short of food. God put it into hearts of Chakmas to bring presents of honey, milk, fruit & eggs. Will sell nothing give what they can afford.

Wind coming through floor sends all mats flying.

Washing on Good Friday. Did not know until evening that it was Good Friday. “Copper” emblem pot got a hole in it. Sheltered by umbrella. Given up on wearing white suits & using white handkerchiefs. No blue. Fred got blisters, I burns.

Noise of frogs, lizards, insects something tremendous at night. Awakened by “Chokke”.

27 Apr 1892, Flight from Kassalong

Last Friday hastened from Kassalong to Raugamati in fear of Lushais. 2/3rds of our goods left at Kassalong. Sat on roof of boat for 5 hours. Gave us little house near Police Stn & P.O. Rangamati patrolled nightly. Mr. Hunt. Sometimes desperate with hunger at Kassalong. Try to catch cat for food.

Hunger.So hungry sometimes at Kassalong that once tried to catch a cat for food. Been longing to taste piece of bread & butter or nice plate of steak. Mother’s last 2 letters ended with “Dinner is on the table”, which makes us feel desperate. Study price lists while eating our food. Rice, sea biscuits, honey principle food with few eggs & a small fowl occasionally.

Bread Mr Ballentyne promised to send 12 small loaves every week.

Chakmas said to be very treacherous & great thieves and rogues.

27 Apr 1892

Fever; Fred’s first attack of fever at Rangamati

Sick coolies 250 arrived from the front.

Terrific storms – very cold.

River rises 60 ft within 48 hours great masses of bamboo and debris.

Loneliness, but for the love of Christ would be all but intolerable.

6 May 1892

Insect pests, at Rangamati & elsewhere during rains make life almost unbearable. Messengers of Satan. Don’t give us a moments peace, Hard job to keep one’s temper with eye flies.

Hunger. Fred says he is getting weaker & weaker every day for want of proper food.

Gun. Mr Murray gives us one clumsy muzzleloader each to protect ourselves at Kassalong.

Preached in Rangamati Bazaar twice. Maghs, Chakmas, Bengalis, Mohammedans, Lushais (Kookis) & hill tribes. Everything seems very clean & nice in Rangamati.

Expedition Coolies. Many killed – many died of Cholera &c. Live ones more dead than alive – can hardly walk

Wounded Sepoy, with wound in his chest who with 12 men overcame 200 of the enemy (Lushais),

Kassalong Bungalow promised to us for our use as long as we like, if we consent to give up one of the two rooms if any traveller shows up.

Europeans very lax re Sunday.

Fred’s 30th Birthday Tues May 3.92. Hunt had cup of tea with us.

Mr Williams died of typhoid fever (Jones say Mrs visited Aijal 1890)

11 May 1892, Kassalong

Sick Coolies and Sepoys. Down countrymen suffer much from climate. A man told me that out of 200 coolies conducted to Lungleh only 10 returned alive. Hunts 70 sepoys all ill  & some invalided home.

Sick coolies, in wretched condition waiting on bank of river at Rangamati for steamer to take them down to Chittagong. Some of them in dying condition. Nor’wester came on. Must have been soaked. Sleep in open in all weathers. Of 200 who went up river only 10 returned alive.

Insect stings &c Fred counted on hands alone 56 boils and blisters on one day & 87 bites on the next day – all the handiwork of biting insects & climate combined.

A day’s work at Kassalong described on page 2

Small Pox at Kassalong. In village opposite our house. 8 died. 25 lying ill. No medicine. Patient when seized with disease is shut up in bamboo hut. No one allowed near but priest. At head, foot & on one side are places little oil lamps burning and on the other side and earthenware pot. Rowed about between the lamps and in the pot are placed certain large red flowers which are supposed to please the spirit which causes the disease.

Bathing near two crocodiles  which were in the pool below our house – we bathed in the shallows.

Tormented while bathing by a kind of bee which used to buzz around us & bother us until we got on our clothes again – killed some but always more followed.

Post Office Stupidity. Pmr at Raupaumati would not send up lette requested letters and parcels by ordinary dak boat even if we signed receipts & returned them beforehand. Some one had to go for them. Sent our man other day with authority to sign for a Reg'd letter. When he got there there were 2 parcels also for us, which Pmr. would not give him without an additional authority from us our own signature on the slip. So man came back without them. Took man 3 days to go to the P.O. & back.

Uncle Andrew’s Death

Abbey Wood, mother & father going to live at.

26 May 1892

Burma Column pass down the river from Lushai expedition.

Small Pox. All well ones left village. Leaving stricken ones to die. Coming daily to bury dead. Perhaps false report. That and all hamlets closed (taboo).

Bread. Every week. Police constable at Raupaumati kept it a week. Too mouldy to eat. Were longing for a piece of bread – greatly disappointed. Throw all away. Like moss covered bricks. Used always to be mouldy in a smaller degree than this batch. Used to cut it up, dry it in the sun. Toast over lamp & keep for consumption. Always more mouldy than a beggar would eat at home. Heat of toasting drives out ants which have made their home within.

Hunger. Two days without meat. God sent by the hand of the Chakmas food, eggs, honey &c.

Insects intolerable. Writing with large piece of muslin thrown over our heads.

Insects Hunger. Perfectly startled when I look in the glass – am quite lean with insects and climate combined. There will be nothing left of me to go home in 5 1/2 years time.

Cook leaves for Chittagong

1 Jun 1892

Bachelor Cooking when our cook away at Chittagong. Very good description.

Mud Mason. nests on cushions under bed pillows, behind pictures, everywhere. Mud nests – eggs – dead spiders, all sealed up. Noise while making nest fidgetty.

9 Jun 1892

Both Sick at Kassalong at the same time with malarial fever – while cook away.

17 Jun 1892

Return to Bengal from Kassalong. Letter written partly at Chittagong, partly at Calcutta.

Mosquitoes. The night we slept at Raupawati on way to coast were nearly eaten up by mosquitoes. While Hunt, with whom we put up, had a good night (“beautiful night” he said) Before he had always been annoyed by them. They evidently preferred the new comers – Little chinese boy who used to go to bed first & be bitten to save his parents the discomfort.

Hyder Alli’s Deceit. Our cook Hyder Alli having told us that his wife & dear little children were sick – we gave him 9/- to pay Doctor’s bill, & let him go down to coast to see them. Also gave him money to buy stores for us (this was when we were at Kassalong) When we got to Chittagong we found that his wife not ill at all & his “dear little children” the description of which had moved our susceptible bachelor hart hearts to pity, consisted of a grown up married daughter. He had kept the money for his own use. Made him pay it all back.

Fred goes into Hospital. General Hospital at Calcutta. (I go in with him. We have two private rooms ?)

My Verdict re going to Lushai after our Kassalong experiences “If I go to Lushai it will not be because I like it, but because god wishes it”

24 Jun 1892

Filthy Indian Bazars – filthy state of. Written at General Hospital and Mr Kerry’s.

Roguish Bengalis – Clerks, Coolies &c

6 Jul 1892, Brahmanbaria

Ant bite on eyelid causes swelling & brings on fever.

15 Jul 1892

St D’s ways. (Brahmanbaria)

Rats in one (of my?) boxes found in a rat & family of six whom I taught to swim in a bucket of water. Clothes ruined by them.

Sketch of me Preaching

20 Jul 1892

Madman in Ladies’ House. A madman broke into the Zenana Lady Workers cottage at Brahmanbaria and stole jug, 2 glass bottles & a cup. When arrested & tried he gave statement in court thus: “I was going past the sahib’s house when I heard some one calling me. I went toward the house & putting my ear against the wall I heard the Miss Sahib (whom he thought to be an angel) whisper to me from within and tell me to come later on and she would give me something. Later on I visited the place again, entered the house & immediately I found myself in Heaven. Everything around me was so beautiful. Then the angels came & gave me a cup to drink from, a jug to keep water in & 2 bottles, one of which contained oil to anoint my head & body with, and the other was full of medicine in case I should be taken ill.”

When questioned about several other things wh. he had stolen from native homes he said, “That’s all right. I went to the houses, found no one and asked “May I take this?” When I received no answer I took the things & cleared off.

He didn’t call it “stealing” if he said “May I take this?” But the comical thing is that he always took care to ask the question when there was no one present to answer.

Roadside Fishing. Boys at sides of road catching fish. rod & line; net; bundle of pointed arrows tipped with tin. Wide ditches at road side from wh. soil had been excavated to raise roads above floods. abounding in fish deposited by flood. Dazzling to the eyes.

27 Jul 1892

S.S. Children. Sunday School Class. Little boys. very little clothing – spend most of their time playing around in water & mud or looking after herd of cows and preventing them straying into field of rice & eating crops. If raining the [sic: they] tuck their small loin cloth under their arm & come to Sunday School naked.

Bengali Hymns, drum, fiddle (one stringed). Inspiring when nicely sung. Find it hard to keep from dancing round to rooms. Never seem to want to stop. Much repetition.

6 Aug 1892

Rapid journey with Fred to Calcutta in company with LaBrite

15 Aug 1892

Lecture v Sermon. Bengalis will come to hear a lecture, but will stop away if there is to be a sermon. So we call our sermons and addresses “Lectures” & have a chairman and get a good audience.

23 Aug 1892

Fred’s Letter – re St D. & the Ladies. Ladies not allowed to speak to us &c. Miss Bacon not allowed to nurse Fred when he was ill.

Bengali saying – The Bengalis say that a mother is eating her child’s head where we should say that she is spoiling her child.

Tropical Preaching often perspire so much when out preaching in the open air that I can scarcely see out of my eyes.

Bengali Tobacco. Tobacco is cut up and mixed with kind of treacle & sold in black looking balls. The pipe is lighted with a live charcoal. Gives forth a typical smell well known to all dwellers in Bengal.

30 Aug 1892

Wreck of S.S. “Anglia”. an anchor liner. Going down the Hoogly [sic. Hooghly] she cast her anchor in order to tie up for the night. Fifteen seconds after she swung round. touched sand – heeled over. 15 drowned (all below decks). Some poor fellows in fo’castle got heads our of ports which were uppermost after the vessel fell on its side. Their friends worked hard to saw through steel plates & release them. Tide rose too quickly – were drowned before their eyes.

6 Sep 1892

(p.3) Madman & Mr Kerry or Unknown Half of the World.A young man wrote to Mr. Kery stating that he had discovered through reading the N.T. a fact which was before unknown to mankind – i.e. that as nothing could be perfect unless it had 4 directions this world could not be entire as we know it today. There are Eastern & Western Hemispheres known to man which are 2 directions, but if seach [sic. search] be made it will be found that there are two more hemispheres a northern & a southern which have not yet been discovered (It did not strike him that hemisphere means “Half a Sphere.”)

All that remains to be done is to “go in & possess the land.” He further stated that he had informed the dwellers in both the E & W. Hemispheres of his discovery – but he did not say whether they had taken up with the idea.

13 Sep 1892

Jains & Jain Temple. Went to Jain Temple. A sect of Hindoos who will not take life in any form. When drinking they put a piece of cloth over drinking cup to prevent any insects from going down their throat & meeting an untimely end. Should like them to see drop of water which the [sic: they] do drink placed under the microscope – they would then give up drinking altogether. (Temperance lecturer who was lecturing on the evils of alcohol – put magnified drop of water in screen – swarming with life: added a drop of whisky to show its poisonous effects when all the creatures instantly dropped to the bottom of the water dead. Man at back of hall was heard to say in loud voice “I’ll never touch another drop of water without whiskey in it!”) Heard of a Jain who in witness box kept a piece of cloth hanging over his mouth to keep flies & mosquitoes from going down his throat while he gave his evidence.

It must have been of some such men as these that our own Lord used the expression “Straining at a knat [sic: gnat] (& swallowing a camel)”

Queer Shop Signs

(a) A Tailor who “knows” English has the following notice exhibited

“Male and Female clothes sold here”

(b) A pla bootmaker whose shop I saw described himself as “SLEEPAR MAKER.”

(c) Coffin maker in a country town (? in England or India?) has advertises his trade thus: –


“Dead men’s boxes sold here.”

(d) a cheap Jack in Chittagong described himself on a board as “CHEAP JOHN.”

Christian Fakir (Rajan Fakir)

Son of Bengali policeman of good standing. Depraved life. Drink &c (Father was a native Christian) Converted. Changed by vision of Cavalry. Grand evangelist. Band of singing boys. Bengalis musical instruments. Never heard anything in Bengal like it. New hymns, new tunes. His brother Editor of Xn. Newspaper.

(Later – 1909 – I heard that he has gone back to the old evil life.)

24 Sep 1892, Darjeeling

Trip to Darjeeling. Filth of natives.

Strength of women. One woman said to have carried a piano up the hill from Darjeeling station I think – but died afterwards.

Dirty Habits of Darjeeling natives Very filthy. Wear lots of clothes. Story of a man who is said to have had soap given to him – scrubbed for two hours and then came across a second suit of clothes.

They put on fresh clothes over the old ones & never take them off to bathe – The under clothes drop off gradually with age & wear.

3 Oct 1892

Lebong Races (visit to)

Tukvar Tea Estate and grand entertainment (visit to)

17 Oct 1892

Mt Senchal – visit to

Tiger Hill

26 Oct 1892

Jhoom Rock (or 17 Oct ?)

Bloomfield Tea Estate visit to. (Mr Bald – Manager) Saw process of tea making for first time.

Sketch of tea leaves depicting 4 leaves of various sizes.
[Sketch of tea leaves, titled “Tea (various kinds)”]

Tea (various kinds)


A   Broken Orange Pekoe

B   if small Broken Pekoe

” ” larger Orange Pekoe.

C  Pekoe.

D  Pekoe soushong [sic. souchong].

”    if large = Soushong.

12 Nov 1892, Brahmanbaria

Fred Fred shaved off his beard. Our Mr Abdul came in to lay tea – saw Fred – thought he was a new sahib – Put extra cup & plate on table. When all ready I told him to call Savidge sahib. Went off – couldn’t find him anywhere – He said we wd. go on without him. Suspicious lit a lamp – placed it so could study Fred’s face. Finally discovered that the “new sahib” was Fred himself.

Bengali “Gem Cabinet.” Bengali mode of warming themselves in cold winter day. Earthen pot of glowing charcoal placed on ground. Squat down with it between their feet, gather fold of cloth around & are then in a kind of “gem cabinet” arrangement while listening to our preaching.



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