5 Jan 1895
Mr Baring has refused to have anything more to do with us because he has found that we are Baptists. He writes, “Will you please in future communicate straight with Mr St Dalmas as you wish to work on Baptist Denominated Lines. I do not feel able to have any official connection with you as I am a member of the Church of England”
Bengali Boatmen & Kindness. “You can have no idea how terribly trying Bengali boatmen are. They are the laziest set of men under the sun, and as to lying and stealing the less said the better.
Lazy Bengali Boatmen. (continued over leaf). No wonder the planters and others give them a good thrashing sometimes. From early morn to sunset
you have to one has to be continually urging them on by threats & promises until one begins to fear that they will think one a very poor specimen of a Padré Sahib.
Next day one tries what kind words will do & one finds that they only make the men say to one another “What a big fool the Sahib is! There is no need to work hard, he doesn’t mind!”, and so the boat creeps on at a snail’s pace & the men stop every few minutes to smoke the hookah & at the close of the day one finds one’s self only a few miles from where one was in the morning.
The Bengalis do not appreciate kindness. Nothing but cross words & blows will make (many of) them do an honest day’s work.
Thievish Boatman. One of the boatmen stole a rupee from our boy Siri. In the morning he had promised Siri that he would steal some dal from another boat & give it to him if he would give him a few pice. During the day Siri left his coat on the roof of the boat. All the men (Continued)
Thief (boatman) – (Continued from last page) except the thief were bathing at the time (Siri also was probably bathing) (Upon returning) he found his bag open and 1/- missing.
We gave the boatman till the next day to confess. The next day the boatman promised to settle the matter by giving Siri a cloth of the value of 1/8 if Siri would give him -/8 change. This was practically a confession of his guilt. I gave the man the thrashing I promised I would, (as the time was up & the 1/- not forthcoming.) (Afterwards?) the 1/- was discovered behind a box, where the man had without doubt put it. (Continued)
Thrashing a Thief (Continued from above)
The spectacle of a missionary of peace thrashing a poor heathen is perhaps enough to make many pious people at home shudder; but I would invite such to come to spend a few years in Bengal & see if they would not speedily resort to the same as the only way to deal with the natives, especially when they are employed as workmen.
(A man who is firm & just in his dealings in this way – punishing where punishment is due) – is respected far more by them than another who allows them to do just as they pleased.
Bad Cataract – Man who held the towing rope stood on a stone & began to cry. Had greatest job to prevent him letting go his hold & letting the boat, with us, being carried away & perhaps dashed to pieces.
Home at Last. We could have “Cried for Joy” when we reached our mountain “home” at last. The people said that they had felt “lonely” & missed us while we were away.
10 Jan 1895
Hornbill (to Rep) Breed in hole of tree. When hen begins to sit male plasters up the hole so that there is only a small hold left for the hens beak to protrude from. Through this hole the cock bird feeds her. The Lushai will not shoot a cock Hornbill during the breeding season as it would mean the starvation of the hen & her young.
Singing Insects. (Cica’da) Sound very much like several engines letting off steam in Cannon St Station get so accustomed to the noise. seems strange when it stops (Can hardly make oneself heard in service, sometimes if there are trees near chapel)
Koi Bean. General playthings in the hills. Girls stick bean in a succession on forehead, nose,
ear eye, chin, knee, chest, foot each time running forward to a certain line & stopping with a jerk sending the bean flying through the air (The aim if true knocking down one or more of a row of beans in the distance) As the beans requre [sic. require] wetting to make them stick to the different parts of the body & each time get covered in dust or dirt, the amount of dirt wh. enters the mouth is considerable. Boys & girls all over hill tribes of assam play with this bean & get very expert.
16 Jan 1895
Expedition to Kairumas village has
started gone. Two shots fired near our house one moonlight night. People in village thought an attack on them & came down to our house for protection.
31 Jan 1895
Letter from Khamliana enclosed in this letter. Worthy of being made into Lantern Slide. It was written after had had 20 lessons of 1 1/2 hours duration each = 30 hours tuition in the art of reading & writing.
⊕ Letter for Lantern slide
Lushais take off my sock and are surprised to find that my sole is so soft, not hard as horn & tough as leather as theirs. They turn up my coat sleeves & trouser legs and are loud in exclamations of surprise at the whiteness of my skin.
Lov They love to stroke my old sunburned hands “because they are so smooth.”
Boys cannot learn to read & write so quickly as young men can.
Lusheia going to stop with us “forever” i.e. two months or so.
Capt Loch came and had tea with us last Saturday It was his 36th birthday (Jan 1909 50 years old) (Jan 1929 = 70 yrs) see also 10 Apl 1895
Lushai PORK. We had a piece of pork given us by Thangpunga. Bit off the back, the only part with any lean.
“Ignorance is bliss!”
This was the first time – and the LAST time too – that we had Lushai pork. (We did not know the habits of the Lushai pig then) When pig is killed house cov'd with grease everywhere. Almost uninhabitable for several days. Most of it is made into Lard.
Sudden changes of temperature We are often wearing our ulsters indoors in the morning, and by noon are out for a walk (in sunshine) without either coat or waistcoat on.
Chonghnawt Feast. This is a Childrens’ Feast. All the little ones are dressed in their best and decorated with all sorts of finery. Women stand round about with dishes containing fat pork & hard boiled eggs. At a given signal the children help themselves from their mother’s plates & commence stuffing the food into one anothers mouths. Faces get smeared with pig fat and egg & mouths full to overflowing. Just before the children had been washed for the occasion (See also 26 Mch 95)
Bath generally prescribed by us to many of the sick as a preliminary measure.
Lushai Infants in Heaven. Woman lost her little child – had been buried – went to comfort her. Told her ” The little one is happy with God now” – “Have you seen her then?” Tried to tell her of God and Spirit the home above.
13 Mch 1895
First operation on Lushai A woman with “club foot” operated on by Dr Young. Friends were allowed to watch, we too were there. She thought it so wonderful when she awoke from the chloroform & found her foot bandaged up & everything over. “I must have been killed & brought to life again & my foot cut when I was quite dead” Ever since the Lushai call chloroforming being “killed”. The woman added “I am sure it would have hurt if a Lushai had performed the operation with a “chem”.
26 Mch 1895
Water Scarce still. It takes our man all his time to
get collect the little water we use – and that is the colour of coffee; but it settles if left long enough.
(a) white ants as they come out fully winged in fountains are caught by children and are either eaten then & there raw, or taken home & fried
(b) grubs & maggots are said to be very nice raw or fried.
(c) milk however they consider unfit for human consumption.
26 Mch 1895
Chonghnawt Feast again at Thangpunga’s. In this the grown up people joined. Smearing pig’s fat all over one another’s faces. Some drunk. Much rougher than the one described 31 Jan 95. Some were drunk. Chief just awake after a drunken sleep & combing out his long hair. Not looking much like a chief. Older people singing & drinking in the houses. Young men creeping up behind unsuspecting maidens & suddenly stuffing their mouths full of pig fat and hard boiled egg – or smearing it over their faces (see also 31 Jan 95)
10 Apr 1895
Stereoscope is given out about noon and several parties are generally looking at it until about 4p.m. when we take it in. We always make the young people wash their hands before seeing it, and they do not think the privilege
even at dear even at such a big price.
Capt Loch’s Christmas
-Exploring the Tlong-
Capt Loch & Mr Porteous thought that they would spend Xmas 1894 exploring the Tlong River. From the place under Aijal where we generally go fishing they thought that they could easily drop down stream to Sairang in one day. So they took a few sepoys and one day’s provisions.
[Written later in the margin, referring to Loch] He died in London [illegible] 30/12/1929
Capt Loch’s Xmas Exploring the Tlong
(Continued from over page) about 100 yards down stream after they started Mr P’s raft capsized & he got such a ducking that he decided to return
to home – so Loch and a few Lush sepoys went on by themselves. After taking raft to pieces many many times to get over rocks and cataracts and spending 2 nights in the jungle they reached Sairang at the end of the 3rd day nearly starved.
24 Apr 1895
Our Flower Garden rather amuses the Lushais, who seem to look upon us as rather weak minded to plant what they consider mere weeds & take so much care of them.
1st Lushai Bible Class. I made first attempt to conduct Lushai Bible Class on Sunday April 21st 1895. There were three present Thangpunga (the Chief) Lusheia & Thatmanga (the slayer of many) who is prime minister
8 May 1895
Gale for 3 days & nights, with lighting, thunder and hail of great size. The house shut up. Only light comes in through the tiny glass windows. Bed quite wet at night – but no harm comes to us as everything is so wet
Fearful Nor’wester. One night in the height of which we heard a voice at the door (2 a.m.). We were up and looking to the window & door flaps when we hear the voice. We found our boys soaking wet and shivering outside. Their house was swaying and threatening to collapse every minute & they were afraid to stay in it. We got them in – wrapped them in blankets – lit a fire (in the stove), & made them comfortable (when did the stove arrive?) That night one of our outhouses fell down flat. It contained our wood & goats. As goats were beneath a bamboo bedstand they escaped unhurt.
29 May 1895
Why we went to Calcutta
In this letter will be found all about our being “handed over” to the Welsh Mission and the reason for our journey to Calcutta in Nov-Dec 1894.
I was taken ill about 19 May 1895 & not well again until 24 July 1895 “Perotonitis” was Doctors verdict – gave me opium, injected morphine. That is what really made me ill so long.
15 Jun 1895
Chitral near Lushai. I receive anxious enquiries from friends as to our safety in Lushai owing the fighting in Chitral. Would take as long to get from Chitral to Lushai as from Lushai to dear old England.
26 Jun 1895
Big Sunflower in our front garden. The biggest we have ever seen. Only one blossom. Lushais lean on fence and gaze at it. From their remarks it is
erdidens evident that they think it a great pity that it is NOT FIT TO EAT. (Their question always is – when they see some strange plant or flower in our front garden – “Is it good to eat?”)
Mrs Fink’s first visit to a Lushai Village
“The other day we took Mrs Fink, the children & the English nurse up to the Lushai village to show them round. The crowd was something tremendous. & the contrast between the clean white skins and white dresses of the visitors and the filthy condition of the Lushais was something awful! An English pig is clean compared with these natives.”
Filthy Lushais (continued from last page)
“The houses, streets, (if the narrow alleys between the huts can be thus termed), the people, all from the chief down to the beggar, are as filthy as filthy can be.
“If such a disgusting people are ever raised to be cleanly, industrious & God fearing no one need ever fear but that the Gospel of Jesus is able to save the most
depraved degraded wretch that walks God’s earth”
7 Aug 1895
The Hard Road of Self Sacrifice, is the Joyous Road of Peace & Power Long letter re treading the above path.
21 Aug 1895
X COMMENCED TRANSLATION WORK this afternoon, have begun with Luke’s gospel. X
6 Sep 1895
Tea Seed. We begin to trade in Tea Seed. We are paying 25/- per maund for the seed – Hoping to see for Rs 60/- per maund. Lushais cut down trees to get seed. Similarly improvident in bleeding all rubber trees to death some
months years back. Never think of the future.
18 Sep 1895
Demagiri Telegraph Signaller named Abbas Ali, a Mohamedan liked to have his little house nice. Once when we went to Demagiri he had the posts of his house decorated with orchids & there were little slips of paper fastened to the posts with such sentences as these upon them:
“Time is Short,”
“Prepare to meet Almighty God,”
“Electricity is the Mother of Fluid Mercury.”
(this latter on the post bearing the insulators of the telegraph wire). Many others in English which we could make nothing out of – no doubt sayings from his own fertile brain.
To Khamliana’s Village.
Zu – Difficulty in climbing steps with hob nailed boots – Skulls of animals on verandah – Slave’s quarters – Next, large room – tiny window – no light – fire place – bin – bed – 3 large brewing pots stood on one side – the man syphoning beer into large earthenware bowl –
⊗ Chief brought out 3 mattresses, rolled up, gave us to sit upon – pressed to drink – Told his majesty that when I was a little boy I promised my mother and father never to drink intoxicating liquor. & so I could not do it – He enquired whether I had got drunk and compelled to make the promise. Then I tried to explain that although he had never seen a sahib before who never took beer it was quite a common thing in our country & was not so wonderful as the whole company considered it – Everybody made some remark expressing wonder – wanted one to take one little sip to see if it was good, which I of course could not do.
∅ The Chief Khamliana told us how he got drunk most days & how fond he was of his beer (
1909, He is a Christian and a total abstainer now – 1909) –
⊕ They drank from horns & said that as soon as they got tipsy they would give us a Lushai dance, but we said that we did not wish them to drink too much & that if they could not let us see the dance then we should not be able to wait to see it. They protested that they could not dance until they were a little tipsy, but after a bit when they saw that we did not approve of them getting drunk they gave us the dance then & there. (see below)
The First “Total Abstainer” seen in Lushai – and surprise of the Lushais – see above ⊗ &
Beer (Chief’s love of) see above Ø
Dance. Cannot dance without being tipsy – see above ⊕
Dance continued on next page.
Dance. (continued from over page) The Khamliana’s house was a curious sight. One man stood in the centre & struck different attitudes, while other seated around sang and accompanied themselves on a big drum (continued)
Gongs (Dar Bu) They also gave us a tune played on 3 gongs. These gongs are considered very valuable by the Lushais; but they are nothing but circular pieces of flat brass rounded back slightly all round the edges, & made to fit into one another in a nest. Khamliana told me that God had made them & that they were very valuable. We soon afterwards left the house – but they kept on singing continuously until early next morning”
My First Address in Lushai on 16 Sept 1895. After leaving the Chief’s house we went to the Zawlbuk or Bachelor’s Quarters. – Huge fire in centre – Young fellows round the fire all lying on the floor smoking – or in groups about the place telling tales. Raised platform at end on which we took up our quarters. Cook had food ready, & as soon as we began to eat the whole crowd jumped up & went to the far end of the place, where they watched us with keen interest manipulating our knives and forks.
After dinner (or supper) we were rather tired & so we undressed & put on our pyjamas & were about to get into bed when all the young fellows surged back & sat in rows facing
My first address in Lushai Contd
mosquito net. Then the boldest said that they wished us to tell them a story as they had heard that we knew so many of their Lushai fables. We could not comply with the request, for although we had often be told some of their Lushai stories we know none of them by heart.
So after a bit I proposed that I should tell them a TRUE STORY about the way in which the world was made. To this they all heartily agreed, & I sat on the platform (in my pyjamas) with my feet crossed under me in eastern fashion & gave my first address in Lushai to a most attentive and appreciative audience. I did not like attempting the task, but I felt that it was an opportunity that perhaps might never come again, so I just asked help from the heaven & went ahead a [sic: and] felt not the slightest nervousness.
I told of the creation of the world & the stars, sun & moon, of our first parents & their fall & how God had given them promise that a saviour should be born. I spoke of the wickedness of man & of the deluge. They gradually worked up to when the
Saviour promised saviour was born. I told of His life, of some of his wondrous works & of his death, resurrection & ascension. I had to point out our need of a saviour & to show the blessedness of putting our trust in Him, & long after they thought we were asleep I could hear them talking about what I had said. By & by however the Prime Minister came across from the Chief’s home & gave them all such a talking to saying that the Lushais were not fit to sleep in the same house with the Sahibs. He gave them orders to either go and sleep in another Zawlbuk or get different people to take them in for the night. And then when they had all gone he came back and whispered to our cook that he was the Prime Minister & the he had turned them all out & that there was now no cause to fear. As though we were afraid of the poor fellows! We tried the next night to get the chief to leave them alone as we did not wish to turn them out of their own house, but he would not let them stop.”
They came back in the mng: before we were up & soon had big fire burning. We spent the morning teaching a hymn.
Little sleep at night owing to quarrelling of pigs, dogs, drunken songs, bison rubbing against post, draught through floors &
2 Oct 1895
A Stormy day in a Bamboo House Good description of the discomforts of pioneer life in a bamboo house in stormy weather.
Regular Services begun.
16 Oct 1895
Lushai Service. We cannot yet lay down any hard & fast rules with these people with regard to services; but we shall soon have to make a few restrictions. One will be that the ladies & gentlemen who attend leave their pipes at home. The odour arising from the – especially from the ladies pipes – is not nice, & when the smoke gets down the throat it does not facilitate speaking or singing. (Hâm-ing pipe = lighting it from wrong end – makes almost as much smoke as when the fire of a locomotive is being lighted). Another rule will be that mothers leave their squalling babies behind them & that no one is allowed to bawl in the ear of his neighbour during singing. One other condition (of attendance) will be that no one with more than a month’s dirt upon him shall be allowed admission.”
Children shy of learning on Sunday For several Sundays the children were shy of learning hymns. Eventually 3 learned & then one Sunday a lot of the children screwed up courage to repeat the hymns. They had learned from the three who originally learned them. At first they were afraid of onlookers outside the verandah. Eventually overcame nervousness & answered questions. Also began Catechism towards end of year.
a type of Victorian-era overcoat
a communal training house for young men