1903 and “Miscellaneous Notes” (c. 1908 – c. 1915)

21 Jan 1903

Invited back to Lushai. S. Lushai handed over to B.M.S.

3 Bengali preachers sent to occupy field all invalided from country before acquiring a working knowledge of language.

We are asked to return as quickly as possible & take up work. Negotiation been going on some time.

The BMS undertake to see that Abor work is carried on as soon as Arthington money available.

Ammoniated Quinine. (a narrow escape) Yesterday I had rather a solemn experience. I took a dose of ammoniated quinine (a bottle of wh. Fred had just made for me) for my cold, but instead of diluting it I tossed off neat & in an instant the whole back of my throat & tongue were skinned & I was very nearly choked. It got so bad that I was obliged to put away my Abor books & for 2 or 3 hours it was exceedingly doubtful whether the swelling in the throat would stop my breathing or not – & when looking up the matter in a medical book we found that very little could be done & that it was possible for the mishap to terminate in suffocation within a few hours. Poor old Fred was in a terrible way – but was in no way to blame, as the receipt in the book, mentioned nothing about diluting the medicine but simply gave the dose as though it were to be taken neat. God kept me in peace & I spent some of the time while the swelling was increasing in writing a few short notes of farewell to the dear ones at home, for I was not at all sure that I should be alive until evening & I knew how you would all prize a last little note. Fred and I in our extremity cast ourselves upon God & he in his great love saved us for the threatening danger. The throat stopped swelling before breathing became difficult & today I have been able to resume my work again. It was a solemn time, but God has brought us near to Himself through the experience

28 Jan 1903

The BMS’s hearty invitation. The invitation extended to us by B.M.S. to occupy S. Lushai has been exceedingly hearty & they are really quite anxious lest we should be unable to accept their offer. The Calcutta Secy said that he should consider it a “catastrophe” if we were not able to take up the work. The house committee said that they would be “very thankful” if we could see our way to accept their invitation. So altogether you see we shall receive quite a welcome into the B.Mission (cont’d)

My Qualifications. I hope that we shall not disappoint them for really, speaking personally, I feel myself to be unworthy of so much confidence. For a certain part of pioneer mission work I am fitted, I know, & shall be happy when I get away into Lushai among the primitive children of the forest; but I do not like the idea of having to speak at meetings & such like in Calcutta & elsewhere. I dislike addressing meetings in English almost more than anything else – & I make this quite plain, I think, when I wrote to Mr. Baynes [?] regarding my qualifications. I hid nothing from him as to what I could not do, so the committee have not accepted me (or rather solicited my services) in the dark.

12 Feb 1903.

Our departure from Sadiya causes regret Here in Sadiya we hear lamentations on all sides – the people grieve most of all that they will not be able to get medical & surgical help during the rains. We have been trying to cheer them up with the assurance that someone will come to take our place as soon as the cold season set in, but they assert that it is impossible for anyone really to take our place – & to hear their praise you would think that we were regular paragons of virtue & benevolence unmatched elsewhere in the universe. But we have grown hard hearted I am afraid, & do not feel so flattered as we ought to by these words of unqualified praise. Perhaps we undervalue them, but experience has taught us not to take them too seriously.

“Out of Sight, out of mind” (see also above.) You remember how pathetic the leave taking was with the Abor Takiang after when he left us after 10 months in our hospital. He would never forget us, would often come & see us, would even regard us as infinitely dearer than his own parents who bore him &c &c.

We heard the other day that he was in the Sadiya bazaar, but had he did not even trouble to walk up the road ½ a mile to come & see us. He has never been near since the night he wept on our shoulders & went back to his mountain cured of his disease. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a proverb wh. has a good deal of truth in it. The Lushais were equally sure when we left them that they would never see our like again. I wonder whether many of them remember us now after 5 years.

21 Feb 1903    

Our luggage. 69 packages. Boxes mostly sewn up in sacking with white calico label sewn on. Conveyed in 5 bullock wagon to Saikura, sent by boat to Dibrugarh in charge of new cook Habbi Bullah.

Elephant with a cold. Soon after crossing Brahmapootra at Tala Saikura we came across the elephant wh. Mr Needham had kindly sent to convey us to [illegible: Talaga?]. The elephant ride of 9 miles was both pleasant & unpleasant. I have been sore ever since & Fred between the lurches of the ponderous beast was heard to express the opinion that the man who invented elephant riding must have been a “born lunatic”. I think I should have enjoyed it more if I had not been sitting on a bit of iron chain all the time wh. grew harder and harder as the minutes went by.

I think the creature must have had a cold for every now & then he would put up his trunk & sneeze all over us. The “mahout” who was sitting on his neck, at every sneeze would bring his iron instrument of torture down on the creatures head with a thud that would have brained an ordinary mortal, but I think the elephant scarcely felt it, for he would presently sneeze again & took take the consequences with equal composure.

3 Mch 1903

Kassalong Revisited after 11 years Every day as we journeyed towards the Lushai Hills the weather grew hotter & hotter & it was so sultry the afternoon that we passed Kassalong that it required quite an effort to climb the steep bank & visit the spot where we spent those 3 or 4 eventful months just 11 years ago. We were surprised and rather disappointed to find that the bungalow in which we lived had entirely disappeared & that the site was covered with a tangle of jungle. There was some little satisfaction however in being able to trace the [illegible] path wh. used to lead up to the verandah & the other path along wh. we so often took our solitary evening walk. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the old place & catching up many a half forgotten memory. We need to think K. a most romantic spot but somehow the lapse of years seemed to have robbed it of its charm

20 Mch 1903

Testimonies of our First Lushai Meeting. (First meeting in Shethlun chapel about 70 present March 1903

  1. One very old man in trembling tones said that all his life he had been sacrificing animals under the impression that he was pleasing god but now he knew that all the time he had been sacrificing to demons. When he first heard missionary telling the good news he was struck by the wonderful message & expressed a desire to become a believer. Warned that if gave up sacrifice & obeyed so he would be persecuted. Could not believe that his fellow countrymen cd. be so foolish as to turn against him for obeying god & so he came out boldly. Persecution followed & he was practically turned out of village.
  2. One old man said that when he first learned the missionary preaching he was so ill that he could hardly crawl to where he was standing. He had been ill for 5 years & was said to be in last stage of a decline. The missionary noticing his sad state asked why he did not give up sacrificing to demons & put is faith in God. At the same time he told him of a man in North Lushai who was been very ill and been restored to health after obeying Gods message. These words brought to the poor fellow a new hope & he determined to cast himself upon God. He went home & sold the goat wh. he had intended to use in a final effort to appease the Evil spirit. God not only [rewards?] his faith by forgiving him his sins, but restored him to health as well.

(This man is deaf. Has ear trumpet. overjoyed with it He and his wife so happy that they sometimes can hardly look after their jhoom for joy)

[Written in margin:] He was still alive in [illegible: 1914?] when I went home for furlough

3. One man with bloated face lit up with joy had been kept from drink for 2 years.

A testimony that we could not agree with. Soul v Body One man said that so long as the heart was clean it didn’t matter how dirty the body was. This is a notion wh. we must try to eradicate from the Lushai mind, for a dirtier lot of people it would be hard to find. Am thinking of giving them address on “What know ye not that ye are the temples of God!”

“Bread upon the watersWe had a visit from a man yesterday who said that he first heard the gospel from our lips when he lived at Ajial. He told us the very words we said when addressing him & although he had hesitated long before throwing in his lot with the Xns he dated the beginning of his conversion form that day… I have been struck with t fact that most of these people were first convicted of sin or were roused to interest by some apparently casual word. It makes one feel the immense solemnity of ones position & the necessity of not letting a single opportunity slip.

26 Mch 1903.

Hail storms. It sometimes seems as though we were living in prehistoric time before the advent of man upon the earth One feels so small & helpless when the tropical storms are raging in all their fury.

Hail & rain almost deafening on iron roof of rest homes.

Nearly 3 hours after the storm was over the hail was still lying some 3 inches thick in places, & I have no idea when it finally disappeared.

Hail stones fell while clearing site on Serkawn. Fred got caught, sheltered under trees & umbrellas, self & workmen got to shelter of a Lushai house.

Afraid going out to look for Fred – stone would have been enough to crack ones skull, coming down with such force & so large.

Miscellaneous notes

Shop Sign. A baker who makes English bread displays the following sign “English Loafer.” (Raw. S.S. [Dr. Baldwins?])

A Bengali Convert wrote to his a missionary “I want to convert to Christianity. Please send me Bible sharp.” (Raw. S.S. [Dr. Baldwins?])

New Fire. When a house is burnt down all fires in village are extinguished and new fire is made by rubbing bamboo together.

The Kukis, according to Rowlands, have a similar custom, when they close the gate of the village annually, drive out evil spirits by noises & beating walls of houses – sacrificing fowl at the entrance of the village – on this occasion all fires, pipes & lights are extinguished & new fire lit by rubbing bamboos together. This is followed by wild rush to get torches first lit & carried to the houses to relight household fires.

Reminds one of the coming down of the Holy Fire at Jerusalem at Easter.


Dura’s Lungdawh (Lungleh) Dura, a Ralte, going to give a Khuangchoi [Khuangchawi] feast. Wood outside village all along roadside. Nov 1908. Died Jun 1909 before could make the feast. To put up wood like that is considered unlawful for Ralte & his death attributed to his having violated this custom of his clan.

His lungdawh, (memorial platform) was erected close to the end of this long string of wood where he had himself put up post bearing his name “Dura Ralte.”.

Many stones & posts close to his Lungdawh. with inscription such as

“He possessed large Elephant Tusk & 500 maunds of rice”

“A RE CHMAN” (a rich man)

“Khuangchawi dawn” (he was about to give public feast.)

“Engkim a nei” (He possessed everything)

I gave an address at Pukpui with the last clause as text – contrasting it with those who have nothing & yet possess Christ.

Rats. Eating people. Rat bites. Biting our school boys & girls feet & hands. so as to make them quite lame. Lushai Evangelist often bitten. quite ill twice through bites. Such sound sleeper.


Rats (cont’d) Our school girls borrowed our iron rat trap (gin). Three rats rushed at the bait at once & were all caught.

Used as food – dried.

Smoking out Rats with inverted tobacco pipe.

Famine due to rats. Bamboo fruit.

Village Fires In Darkai’s village in N. Lushai in autumn of 1908     103 houses were burnt down. People lost all their things, domestic animals &c – saved very little

77 houses left standing. Zawlbuk caught fire first chief & others probably (?) drunk.

In Rawpui  spring of 1909  25 houses burnt down. Animals all burnt.

Many years ago after big fire people were eating what they thought was a pig roasted alive when they discovered that they were eating a human being.

Roast Man .see above.

Afraid of Soap. I had been staying in Lushai house & in the morning I gave the old lady who owned the house a present. She was very dirty old woman. As soon as I had given here the present (money) she ran over to the other side of the street muttering “I cant stand the smell any longer!” I asked a bystander to what she referred & he replied “why! The foreigner’s smell – your smell – the smell of soap.” I had just had a lovely shave & wash & was as clean as a new pin. Yet these same women smell so strong of nicotine that I can always detect them 200 yards (1/8 mile) away.

Another child at another village would not come near me because I smelt so horrible of “The foreigner’s smell – the smell of soap.”

The Foreigners’ Smell. see above.

Dream of Sainghaka re Tinkhama

Tinkhama a Christian ferryman on the Kolodyne died. About a year later a fellow ferryman named Sainghaka (his father was out hunting elephants when he was born – hence his name “waiting for elephant)

Dream of Sainghaka re Tinkhawa (continued)

became very ill. He saw in a vision Tinkhama come down from heaven by way of a bamboo (by wh. he also returned – flying from the top of the bamboo up to heaven) Tinkhama told S. that if he would become a believer of God’s word he wd. be healed. If not he wd. die (God had sent him with that message).

T. also told S. when he (T) died the spirits of his dead father & mother were raised up & were taken to heaven with him, because they were accounted believers by virtue of their son being a believer. (They had died before the gospel came to Lushai & the fact that their son became a believer showed that they wd. have done so too had they had the opportunity)

S. promised to become a Xn. but after that his people sacrificed & God reprimanded him for breaking his word. He died.

Bulls in Scripture Exam       19

  1. Herod appeared to Jesus & said – “Woe, to you who are full for ye shall hunger, woe to you who rejoice for you shall weep, &c
  2. Satan (at the temptation) said to Jesus, “All this will I give you” Jesus answered, “It is already given to me & I can give it to whom I will.”


Bulls. in Scripture Exam. (continued)

  1. Satan tempted Jesus by raising up a serpent in the wilderness.

Babu English. The Postmaster kept Zahawla waiting at the P.O. an hour or more & he grew restive & tried to get him to hurry. The Babu wrote me the follows: –

“I beg to say that the bearer (naopang) is very wicked & obstinate. I was taking my food still he bothering me, saying” make haste”

2. The other naopang you sent here very mild & good temper: the bearer used many rough words to me.

Other naopang willingly delay in my office for laughing & talking &c with us which we very fond to hear in their mouth, but I see this naupang little ill tempered one”.

White baby medicine. When Regie’s baby was born the Lakhers asked if we had medicine with which we keep our babies from turning brown.


First Motor Car in S. Africa. When first motor car appeared in S.A. the natives first stared at it – then approached &examined it – then made a name for it. They called it “The Bicycle’s Mother.”

They pitied the small wheels and wondered however they could manage to keep up with the big ones.

Lakher Re-incaration. The spirit of dead go to spirit world – come down as worm (all these hill people believe that worms fall down from the sky during a shower) – eaten by fowl – fowl eaten by man – reincarnated in his next child. If worm perishes the spirit ceases to exist.

Lushais have somewhat similar idea that spirits come down in form of dew which being brushed against by man, clings to his lap – enters his groin gland – & is reincarnated in his next child.

“Milk Mixed with water sold here.” In the Times of India Oct 6 1909 the following appeared. Twenty Eight milk shops in Calcutta has put up the sign “Milk mixed with water sold here.” The milk inspection is rendered null & void as milk so frankly admitted to be adulterated cannot be seized. “A letter from one of these milk vendors to the Chairman of the Corporation is both entertaining & instructive. _ ‘My prayer is that I have a milk shop. At this shop I sell milk adulterated with water. I sell milk adulterated with water it in the condition I buy it from the market & do not add water myself. But the Food Inspector, unable to stop sale of adulterated milk in the market unjustly threatens me. I have, therefore, publicly put up a sign board stating that adulterated milk is sold at my shop. I submit this for you honours information that the Food Inspector may not oppress me when I am not committing any offence’”

The Corporation will now have to Discuss new rules & regulations for the checkmating of the wily milkman.”

Lushai Marriage Customs If a bride slips and falls on way to bridegrooms house, even on the house steps, the match is off. None would dare to marry after such an uncanny incident.

Such a fall is not difficult when one remembers that on the way to the bridegroom’s house the bride is pelted and smeared with mud and filth from the village streets by her friends, this is considered an act of great friendship.

Friends of the bridegroom take from him whatever they can lay their hands upon, such as his coat, chem, basket &c

Bulls in S.S. Scripture Exam Jly 1912

“Jesus was doing carpentering when found by his parents” (after the Passover of Jerusalem)

“The wise men were guided to Jesus by a camel” Another said “by a donkey.”

In answer to the question_ “What have you which although it is very small it is very difficult for you to control it-” instead of answering “tongue ” said “Mote in the eye.”

J.H.L & B.Lit. Extract from of letter from Rev Edwin Rowlands of Bassein, Burma to J.H.L. dated 15.9.12

“I want to ask you, dear Lorrain, to allow me to try to do something to secure your recognition by some seat of learning. The deserved recognition of your extensive & permanent literary work. You know how conservative the seats of learning are at Home – they are not only conservative but            , perhaps fossilized is too strong a word; they are not so in the United States and the Colleges & Universities of the Eastern states compare favourable with those of Britain. It is from one of these that I expect recognition.

“I took over your Dictionary of the Abor Language & your joint-work — the Lushai, and consulted the Superintendent of the School – the Missionary in charge of the District – Dr Nichols- He agreed that your work deserved recognition & promised to do his best. I mentioned the fact that your translation of the Abor Language had been inherited by the A.B. Mission thro [sic] Jackman entering into your labours. I mentioned that what I thought of was a modest B.A. of B.Lit. Hon. Degree. He himself mentioned M.A.

“I hope you will consent to allow me to pursue this matter — unsought as it is by yourself — and consent to become a passive spectator — rather I have left the matter there until you kindly acquiesce

“In is surprising — were it not perhaps typical, that Government has allowed your service to them (to go) so far unrecognized.”

Reply to above. Extract of letter from J.H.L. to Rev Edwin Rowlands. Dated Lungleh, S. Lushai Hills, 4-10-12.

“Your proposal, dear Rowlands, has given me very great pleasure for it has shown me – although I knew it before – what a kind & generous fellow you are. It is very pleasant to have one’s work appreciated, especially especially when one has always striven to do one’s best. But [double underlined] the degrees which you mention would convey to the world something more than what I really am. They would be to me just what the leaves were to the fig tree which our master cursed. If I were to append such letters as B.A. B.Lit or M.A. to my name, people would naturally expect to find in me a corresponding degree of learning, & I should be put to shame almost daily by knowing that they discovered nothing by [sic: but] ignorance. Can you imagine a real “B.Lit.” turning up his dictionary to see how to spell a word which he has written thousands of times, & yet can never remember whether it should be written with an “i” or an “e”, or end with “ise” or “ize”? Or could you have anything but contempt for a man with a B.A. or M.A. after his name with a memory so had bad for dates that about the only two he is ever sure of are 1066 & 1837?

“Unfortunately, my dear Rowlands, I have not the ability to be worthy of the high honour which you, in your kindness of heart, would

J.H.L. & B.Lit (Cont’d

like to see confirmed upon me. Even the Hon. Title of “Revd”, which some give me because I am a missionary, is rather a trouble to me sometimes. One expects a man with such a title an appendage to his name to be able to preach a sermon from a pulpit, & yet I have never done such a thing in my native land and in my mother tongue. On deputation work of course I have often been in a British pulpit — but never to preach a sermon. It would be, I feel, almost impossible for me to do that. I simply tell the story of the mission work it has been my privilege to do.

“To tell you the truth I am often very much tempted to be discouraged because I know so little how this great & glorious work should be carried on. I have no training to fall back upon. I came out as you know, 22 years ago, privately supported by Mr Arthington, & so had not been to any of the approved missionary colleges or training schools. I was a simple layman – my only reason for coming out was that I felt that God was calling me to the foreign field & I could not be happy until I had obeyed that call. The work has grown so much of late that I am often tempted to leave it to someone more competent to undertake such a great task. But, somehow, I am still here & I know that so long as God keeps me here His grace will be sufficient for me. When I am inclined to envy other people’s methods & success I always hear a voice saying to me, “Be thyself!” & so I go on quietly, believing that God has some work to do through me, if I will only “be myself” & let Him use me. To accept the honour which you mention, dear Rowlands, would make me other than myself. To use a very apt illustration, which I once heard used about someone who had been given a degree which he was not really worthy of — I should be “like a tree with fruit tied on to its branches.”

“Thank you once more, dear Rowlands, for the kind heartedness which prompted the proposal.”

Lace Collar – Holes – Torn A man at Khawhri wanted to know why Mabel’s collar lace collar was all torn into holes — whether she had done it purposely or accidentally

Fire in Village

When there is a fire in a village (house burnt down) all the fires in the place are extinguished & fresh fire made by rubbing bamboos together.

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it holy. At Sadiya the Miris were told by Political Officer that they should not work in their fields on Sunday. This was long before we went there. A man disregarded the advice & was bitten by a snake. Others disobeyed & when the harvest crop was coming on it was discovered that certain patches were not coming up properly & then it was further discovered that these were the patches which has been sown on a Sunday. After that the Miris ceased to go to the fields on Sunday & we found them adhering to this rule when we went among them, although they knew nothing of Christianity nor of the Xns God.

Savawma of Tawite, in the Lushai Hills told me similar experiences of his own & many others have had like tokens when they have broken the sabbath.

One Sunday after he became a Christian he was persuaded by a Non-Xn to go our picking wild fruit in the jungle on the sunday [sic]. His friend had promised to do all the climbing so he thought it would be all right. When they got to the forest however his friend was unable to climb a big tree laden with fruit so Savawma went up himself & as he was walking along a thick bough (which unknown to him was rotten underneath) it broke & he only saved himself by hanging on to another bough on which he caught. He got very much hurt & frightened & all under his arm was grazed very badly.

On another occasion he was persuaded to cut some fire wood on Sunday, indoors where no one would see him, & cut his leg with his axe.

On still another occasion some bears got into his field on a Sunday & he began to make a bear scare by splitting bamboos &c & he promptly cut his fingers, & once again when he carried a load on a Sunday he began to spit blood.

Bulls at S.S. Exam Jly 1915

  1. “The name of Deborah’s husband was Macedonia.”
  2. “Gideon & Hannah were childless and God promised them a son whose name was Samson.”
  3. “Gideon killed Goliath & saved Israel.”
  4. “Eli met his death at the hand of Zeruiah (the sister of David) who transfixed him with a tent peg.”
  5. [sic: skips “5”] “David said to Goliath, “Where you go I will go. Your God shall be my God your people shall be my people.” This was a reply to the question “What did David say to Goliath?”
  6. In answer to the question “Who was Nathan?” one said “Nathan was an angel” another said “Nathan was the son of Barak.”
  7. In reply to the question “why did Nathan rebuke David?” one boy answered: “It was partly because he erred slightly from the right path & partly because he has killed Goliath.”

Babu English I had a drum of crude oil sent to me from Calcutta by mistake, and as I had no use for it I offered it to the P.W.D. Overseer at Lungleh at cost price, minus carriage. The P.W.D. use a lot of crude oil on their buildings & I thought he would like to have it. This is his reply

“Dear Sir                                 Lungleh 5/[6?]/15

I was duly in receipt of your letter asking me if I could buy crude oil from you. I am very sorry to say that there has no precedent like thus before, my clerk informs me that it will be objectionable to buy it from you.

With best regards, Yours obediently, &c.”

Bulls in S.S. Exam

  1. A little Lushai girl in answer to the question what the shepherd did with the 99 sheep while he went to search for the one which was lost – said that he put them “in the top of a tree.” Thing-ler = top of tree Thla-ler = desert
  2. Jesus said he would not heal the woman who was bent double because it was the Sabbath
  3. In reply to a question asking what the younger of the two sons asked his father to give him, a boy replied “an egg.”

Rumour re our Worshipping an Idol Some time ago there was a rumour about that the Evangelist Thankunga told the people in the [Shadai?] zâwlbuk that we missionaries worship an idol made of clay which we keep against the wall in one of our rooms. We only pay homage to it occasionally & only a very few are permitted to see it. Thankunga however has worshipped it once.

Rumours re Fining S.S. Children There was a rumour in Dawrpui village that each child who had received a comb as a S.S. reward would be fined a rupee & those who had received safety pins would be fined a fowl each. In consequence of this rumour the S. School dwindled from over 30 to about 10 or 11 pupils.

Mortality from Wild Animals & Snakes

In India during a single year (1914-15?) 2

Men              domestic animals

Snakebite was responsible for        22,894,        10,939             death

Wild Animals were “ “                          1,745,        94746                “

 24,639,        105,684          death

During same year men killed

Tigers  1,481                    Bears       3,096

Leopards   6,557             Wolves     3,066

Total                                                 25,903

Govt paid in rewards for this Rs 191,184/-

[Illegible ] – 23,076

Total [Illegible ] – 177,779

15 Apl 1903

Our Temporary House at Sadiya Serkawn

(Building the same)

Sun grass for Thatch. Men at first would only get 2 loads a day, each load with 15 or 16 bunches in it, not larger than could be encircled by the fingers. This for 8 annas. Said that grass was exceedingly scarce & could not possibly get more. To save time & expenses offered them -/8 annas for every 40 bunches, & refused to engage men by the day. Change was marvellous. All talk about scarcity of thatching grass ceased & on first day some men brought in as many as 200 & even 260 bunches instead of the usual 30 to 35 bunches. Even the worst workers managed to get 80 bunches or more each. Some of the men thus got nearly a week’s wages in a single day

Bamboos. Men declared could not possibly get more than 2 loads (each load containing 8 bamboos) a day (wages -/8 annas). They knew that we could not follow them all over forest to see if they were speaking truth anymore than we could go after the men hunting for thatching grass. Tried paying by quantity brought. Promised –/8 annas for ever [sic: every] 20 branches brought. First day brought poor skinny bamboos so only paid them -/8 annas for every 30 instead of every 20. The men acknowledged the justice of this.

Sadiya house & furniture sold to B.W.D for RS 750/–.

They have allowed us 1500/- for building new temporary house at (Serkawn) Lungleh, At Sadiya we only had Rs 500/- to do all our building with.

23 Apl 1903

First Lushai Evangelist sent forth Last Sunday was a red letter day for the Lushai Xns here. It was the occasion of the sending forth of two of their number as Evangelists to the surrounding villages. These 2 men will be supported from the rice wh. the Xns put aside for God after last harvest.

Fostering Independence Our great aim at present is to get the Xns to be independent. They, like others native Xns, depend far too much on t. missionaries & seem incapable of independent action. These 2 men are of their own choosing & I think the Xns will gradually develop along these lines of independence if they are rightly guided.

LAW versus GRACE I think it is nearly always the case that pagans, when first becoming Xns, feel the need of having minute laws & rules by wh. to govern their lives. These Lushai Xns, to my mind, seem to be living a great deal more under LAW than under GRACE. They are always thinking & talking of what they must NOT do & will need instruction as to what they ought to DO. They are following hard in the footsteps of Bunyan’s Mr. Legality . This comes out specially in the matter of Sunday observance.

Sunday Observance The Lushai Christians are always asking us questions as to what is right & wrong in this connection & we are trying to get them to govern their conduct in this as well as in other matters by the great principles given by Xt . The teaching of master regarding Sabbath observances is summed up in t. words wh. He said to those who found fault with His behaviour  on that day “Go ye & learn what this meaneth. ‘I desire mercy & not sacrifice’.” The Sabbath was therefore given by God to man in mercy so that he might have physical & spiritual respite from t. cares & work of life & might have desire to attend to those higher interests of his soul which would be carved out of mind if there were no Sabbath rest


23 Apl 1903.

Sabbath Observance (Continued) The Sabbath was not given that it might involve sacrifice & irksomeness. This is however, is just what the Lushai Xns (& some English ones too I am afraid) fail to grasp. They have hedged themselves round by a lot of prohibitions & are beginning to make the day an intolerable burden & “sacrifice” instead of a delight. For instance they have got hold of the idea that it is wrong to eat a vegetable or a fruit out of their gardens on a Sunday, & that they must also abstain fm. searching one another’s heads for those little creature which monkeys in the zoo, in common with Lushais, find so troublesome. This leads to many of them spending the Sunday in misery which happily we are not in a position to gauge. The other Saturday evening some travellers turned up at the Xn village & asked for a nights lodging. This was granted, but, as the next day was Sunday, they insisted upon their visitors leaving their baskets & goods out in the yard all night as they thought it would have been wicked to lift the goods out of the house on the Sunday morning. They would not give these men food to eat by the way either, as it was Sunday & it would have involved “work” to wrap up the rice in the usual plantain leaf for the travellers. They were also in doubt as to whether they did not do wrong in allowing these same men to leave the village at all on Sunday with loads on their backs. Of course, these visitors were heathens. I tried to show them from Xts own actions & from His teaching how differently He could have acted, & they seemed quite relieved to find that they were not under the bondage which they supposed, & which they confessed was becoming intolerable.

Heathen Customs Christianized There is a tendency for Xns her to abandon all their ancient customs, good & bad alike, & to try to adopt Western ideas. This seems to us to be a very great pity & we are trying to teach them how to be Christians & still to be thorough Lushais. We want them to discard only their bad customs & to keep up all the innocent ones, where in old times say a festival was held to propitiate evil spirits there is no reason why that same festival purged from all impurity should be held by the Xns. to the Glory of God. This is Gods own plan — witness for instance the tabernacle services given in the wilderness wh. was largely suggested by the heathen worship of Egypt with which the Hebrews had been long familiar. The Xns seem to be quite pleased to think that they can still keep up their old sowing, harvest & other festivals and use them to glorify God. Until we came they seemed to think that all these things were things of the past.

Cleanliness next to Godliness We wish that they had got hold of the same idea with regard to dirt (i.e. that it is a thing to be done away with when they become Xns). We are trying to teach the inseparableness of Godliness & cleanliness — but this seems to be the hardest doctrine of any for them either to understand or act upon. A woman came to me the other day with a child & said she was a Christian & both she & her baby were so abominably filthy that I felt justified in saying that until she made herself cleaner I really should not believe that she was a Christian. She was dirty even for a Lushai & a disgrace to any community.

7 May 1903

Khuma comes to us at Lungleh He comes to us as a servant. He was our boy at Aijal years before. His wife came to see Mabel’s photo (This was before I was married) & suggested & I write “She asked me to show her a photo of her “grandmother” By this she meant Mabel. She thought the photo very beautiful but suggested that it would be an improvement if the hair were parted in the middle and plastered down on either side in Lushai fashion.”

Of Khuma I say — “He is not yet a Christian but I think he is a little more attentive than he used to be. It was always a trouble at Aijal to get him to listen at all.”

(On 3 June 1903) I wrote, “[Illegible] will be glad to hear that Khuma our old cook – who is over with us & has of his own accord come out on the Lord’s side

29 May 1903

The Evangelists return & give an a/c of their first missionary tour among the villages. (see letter)

The Faith of the Early Converts The faith of some of these Lushai converts is beautiful in its simplicity. It often seems as though we were back in the times of the Acts of the Apostles, the conditions out here are so very much like they were in those early days among the gentiles. It is a great & blessed work & we are just casting our weakness upon God’s might & seeking to be His instruments through which He can fulfil his purposes among the Lushais.

My Weakness – His might. It is a great & blessed work & we are just casting our weakness upon God’s might & seeking to be His instruments through which He can fulfil His purposes among the Lushais. I often feel lamentable inefficient but I seem to hear the Master’s voice saying “My help is enough for you, for where there is weakness there is strength reaches its perfection” (20th C.N.T. version)

There is another thought wh. often cheers me, contained in the text wh. Mr. Gooch wrote in my Bible when I first came to India “Go in this thy sight, Have not I sent thee?” The fact that He has sent me here is a guarantee that He will supply the “triumph” wh. is so necessary to the fulfillment of my mission.

Noisy Insects – Rainy Season The rainy season is now fairly on us & we are enveloped in mist as I write. A lull in the rain is the signal for the whole forest to echo with the shrill sound of innumerable insects…I could easily imagine myself a clerk in some London terminus with the engine letting off steam & the fog rolling in from the busy streets. In reality, I am in the clouds which at this season of the year is a good deal cooler & more comfortable than living like other mundane creatures away down below them in the stifling heat of a tropical summer. ……..

The shrill singing of the insects is now almost drowned by a fresh downpour of rain & night has hidden the mists from view, still to keep up the railway station illusion the thunder is rumbling away like a luggage train crossing a bridge beneath the arch of which I am apparently sitting to pen these few lines

23 Jun 1903

Journey to Demagiri & back in the Rainy Season

See letter 23/06/03. The following passage occurs:

To a lover of nature the forests are a continual source of delight; nothing could exceed the exquisite variety of foliage from the tropical valleys to the temperate mountain tops. As I rode along the road cut in the steep hill sides the vegetation around and around & below one reminded one forcibly of what one sees when walking round t. gallery of the great palm house at Kew. Higher up the mountain the palms and ferns would give place to noble forest trees bedecked with festoons of creepers & here & there beautified by bright flowers. Of animal life in its lower forms there is also an abundance. Lizards of various shapes & colours make way for my pony some ambling up the perpendicular bank on the one side, & others shooting over the precipice on the other. Of these insignificant creatures Rova, the pony, takes no notice; but when an unusually large and fiery centipede crosses his path he shies off and does his best to increase the distance between himself and the dragon-like monster. A ridiculously small snake makes laughable haste to wriggle off the road & is in such a hurry that it hardly makes any progress at all. Fountains of winged white ants are coming out of the road at one spot & find themselves handicapped in the very first minute of their existence, for the rain falls so incessantly that they no sooner try to rise into the air then they find themselves beaten to the earth by the unmerciful downpour. Once on the ground their chances of living & of setting up house are very remote, for they immediately are attacked by pickets of cannibal

Journey to Demagiri & back in the Rainy Season (Continued) black ants & if when they escape are carried away by the miniature torrents which push down the roadway. at one spot a wild boar startled by our approach, darts off into the jungle with a snort which fairly scares my pony and makes him try to bolt. At another place a group of gibbon apes are loudly barking and make such a noise that I am able to get quite close to them before they spy me…. So I pursued my homeward journey through the pouring rain, reaching camp at night in a state better imagined than described. My poor coolies were dripping wet from morning to night but would soon revive when once the damp march was over & they were able to get a fire & have a hot meal of boiled rice. A change of clothes also made a new man of me & we would enjoy a talk & sing together before turning in for the night. I was particularly pleased with t. testimony which our cook, Khuma, gave one evening before a room full of Lushais as to the superiority of the religion of Jesus over Demon worship. I cannot help feeling that a very real change has come over this lad. Throughout the journey he was always forward in numerous little acts of kindness and self sacrifice. As he has all the cooking to do after reaching camp I did not give him any load to carry, but he kept helping first one and then another so generously that long before we reached home he was carrying a heavier load than many of the coolies….

Waterproof sheets & wrappings were powerless to keep out the wet & at night I had to sleep on bedding that would have made my dear mother anxious for a week lest I should catch my death of cold. One night my bedding was so wet that the drippings from the foot end of the blanket made quite a puddle on the floor & yet I am thankful to say I did not get even a touch of rheumatism.

One evening after reaching camp Thankunga and I walked to a village about a mile distant and preached to the people who assembled in the Chief’s verandah. We returned wet through & my legs were streaming with blood from numerous leech bites.

At another village on the road we spent an hour or two talking to the people & trying to teach them a hymn, while my coolies made themselves comfortable in the houses drying their clothes & cooking themselves some food. Strangers are welcome in any Lushai house & make themselves comfortable without any ceremony.

The third day’s march was less wet but there were rivers to cross & one of these took fully 2 hours to negotiate. Since wading through it on our way down it had been completely transformed by the rain & was quite impassable except by boat. Fortunately these was a species of dugout in readiness to ferry us over but it was no easy matter to get our goods & ourselves across without mishap. We managed it however in several trips & with the help of some bullock drivers who arrived opportunely upon the scene. One of these men swam across with my pony who would not go by himself.

… The last day however crowned all, for the rain came down in such torrents that I arrived home more like a drowned rat than anything else. As it was the last stage both the pony & I were anxious to get it over & we pushed on regardless of everything. The road was so blocked with fallen trees & landslips that I had to be constantly dismounting & either dragging poor Rova (the pony) over the obstructions or making him creep beneath them. On the other days I had tried to keep myself dry with a mackintosh or an umbrella. As neither was much good in such a downpour and as both were much in the way I dispensed with them & pushed on just as I was, and as it was impossible for either the pony or myself to get any wetter we did not care much how it rained.

At last we reached home & a right warm welcome was given to me by my old friend Fred Savidge who was overjoyed to see me back 3 hours before the expected time. He had been lonely during my absence & has been kept a prisoner most of the time by the weather. Some hours later my coolies turned up soaked through & through & happy to reach their destination. They were soon paid off & their loads unpacked & I do not think that either the stores or doors will be any the worse for the many wettings wh. they got on the road. As a result of this little expedition 3 or 4 of the men got fever but nothing very serious.

Why our table cloth got dingy I wondered how it was that our beautiful new sitting room cloth was growing so dingy & the other day I discovered the reason when I happened to look through the window as Khuma was doing up the room. The boy was actually brushing it diligently with the BLACKLEAD BRUSH. I think that it is high time that there was a memsahib here to preside over the household management.

29 Jun 1903

Hustle not the East!

“It is not good for the Christian’s health

To hustle the Aryan brown,

For the Christian riles & the Aryan smiles

And he weareth the Christian down;

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white

With the name of the late deceased,

And the Epitaph drear, “A fool lies here

Who tried to hustle the East”            (Kipling)

These lines of Kipling come as a wholesome corrective as I write, for I have today been inclined to try my hand at the impossible; in fact I have been “riled” at the sluggishness of the two Bengali carpenters who are supposed to be putting in our windows & doors, & have attempted to “hustle” them into more active ways. Yes, they have been at work a week and a day & they have succeeded in putting up two whole doors and three ceiling cloths – three days’ honest work at the very most. How thankful I am that my lot is cast among the wild hill folk and not among the “Aryans brown.”

4 Aug 1903

Hankering after Pioneering work in Lakherland See letter. Page 2 beginning “My soul is not at rest!” Felt that the work in Lushai could be done better by others & that I could go as pioneer to regions beyond.

10 Aug 1903

Parima’s first attempt to obtain a wife See lettr 10 August 1903 also letter dated 24 Aug 03 (near end) to 1 Sep 03 2nd sheet.

Tila’s separation from his wife. See letter dated 10.8.03, also 24.8.03 (near end) and 1.9.03 (2nd sheet). Decides to divorce his wife rather than live away from his parents.

Mile Stones printed backward. We are getting quite civilized in these parts…At the foot of our hill is that sign of civilization – a mile stone with the legend upon it. The Lushai who was sent out to paint the stone made a mistake and used the stencil wrong way about. Further down the new road are other stones similarly inscribed.

Two drawings of milestones. They read "LUNGLEH 1" and "LUNGLEH 3," but all characters are backwards.
[The backwards milestones.]

18 Aug 1903

A man with reversed internal organs W––– is a bit of a curiosity – the whole of his internal arrangements are turned wrong way about. His heart is more to the right than left, his liver, stomach, spleen, intestines &c are all reversed. He has puzzled the doctors considerable, & before his anatomy was known to be different from that of ordinary mortals he was once kept on his back after a dose of rheumatic fever for many weeks because the doctor thought that he had heart disease & then it was discovered that the old chap had been sounding all the time where there was no heart at all.

My Pony’s Tricks See letter. Rova very difficult to mount if not frequently exercised. Nearly caused my death when I slid off side ways & caught foot in stirrup by mistake & hung on to his neck. Ran away from me down hill when was out for walk & then slipped up shortcut & ran home.

24 Aug 1903

Wedding Cake by Foreign Post One friend upon deserting the ranks of bachelorhood sent me a piece (of wedding cake) and all that arrived was a greasy sandwich of cardboard with this legend written in blue official pencil upon its surface. “EATEN BY RATS”

The other one was very considerably flattened by its journey but Fred & I managed to extract a thin slice of something from between the cardboard & from its flavour we concluded that it had not deteriorated in quality, though the quantity had evidently been reduced considerably en route.

The Bridegroom’s Ordeal In commenting on the accounts sent to me of Ethel’s wedding I say in this letter: “Not a word has reached me as to how poor Charlie looked, but as Edwin remarked on the occasion of his own wedding I suppose the bridegroom is after all only a kind of “necessary evil” or at any rate “necessary nonentity” at a marriage. Personally I think that it must be about the greatest trial in a fellow’s life; but, as it is undoubtedly the gladdest day in a girl’s existence when she is surrounded by her bridesmaids & wedding guests, the bridegroom, for sweet love’s sake, must perforce sacrifice himself & his personal feelings upon that one occasion at least. The man who insists upon being “married quietly at a registrars office” when his bride longs for a public & pretty wedding is not likely to make a very generous husband, nor a very loving one either … I am afraid that I would rather face a hoard of howling & curious savages than go through such an ordeal. I can bear with perfect composure the remarks of a crowd of blackamores or even unblushingly submit to a minute examination of my limbs & clothing, but it must be something too awful for words to be subjected to the scrutinizing gaze of all the pretty girls of one’s neighbourhood to see if one behaves at one’s wedding with the air of a perfect “Prince Charming.” Perhaps that is why lone men prefer to be married by proxy, or by telephone, or by any other less embarrassing means … If the bridegroom makes a slight sacrifice when he consents to a public wedding surely the parents of an only daughter make a very great one when they part with her so that she may go to make another happy & be more perfectly happy herself!”

See also letter dated 19.10.03 in which these views are better expressed.

No Bump for Organization “My poor old skull seems to have no bump of organization upon it & I often feel that the work here is beyond my power. Pray that I may be diligent & wise & may realise the mighty energising of the Holy Spirit. After all it is this work, all glory will be given to God if He was such an unworthy & insignificant instrument to accomplish His purposes.

7 Sep 1903

Mosquitoes & Sandflies See letter

Man carries smouldering piece of sacking rag behind his ear like a city clerk carries his pen because of the sandflies when he is road making.

Crickets & Sleeplessness There is a kind of cricket here which is rather trying to one’s temper. It lives in the root & as night comes on sets up a most exasperating noise some what resembling that of a steam threshing machine. It is so shrill that it seems to pierce even my thick skull & strike to very centre of my poor brain. It is bad enough before bedtime but when it keeps one awake at night the results to one’s temper are not beneficial, to say the least. The creature hides itself inside the hollows of the roof bamboos & nothing will dislodge it nor stay its voice except for a few brief minutes. If the noise were incessant it would be more supportable, but it has a knack of stopping short with a jerk just as one is being lulled to sleep by its music, and it is as though one were suddenly dropped from a balloon on to the ground. Then just as one is getting into a doze again the creature starts off with the same exasperating suddenness & the only thing is to bury one’s head beneath the clothes & try to go to sleep.

Tree Frogs playing castanets There is also a tiny tree frog here which loves to hide in the roof & to salute the night with a noise which resembles for all the world a band of [racist slur] minstrels playing on castanets.[1] To see the little creature in the act of making this ear-splitting racket one would think that he were trying to emulate his relative who puffed himself out until he burst. The throat is inflated to such a degree that a bladder almost as big as the little creature itself projects from under its mouth & it is with this as a wind instrument that it plays its castanets. The feet of this little frog are provided with suckers & it can climb about like a lizard. It is fond of insects and

Tree Frogs (continued) (See back) we do not object to its presence on the walls & ceilings of our house. There are such a number of these frogs in the trees near our travellers’ rest house, that, sometimes, when I go over there of an evening to have a talk with any who may be spending the night there, they make such a racket noise that I am scarcely able to make my voice heard at all.

Forest Noises There is no fear of one being oppressed by the silence of these forest wilds. Day and night the singing, chirping, squeaking, & humming of its myriad inhabitants goes [illegible] on – and one grows so used to it that one only notices it when suddenly there is a lull in the babel of voices.

15 Sep 1903

Bringing Home the Missionary’s Bride I wonder whether my little wife will appreciate…the welcome which these wild hillmen will give her. They are always asking when she is coming. They will properly prepare something startling by way of a greeting. If I bring her through the forest after dark & get the men to institute a combination torch light procession & war dance en route she would think that she were being conducted to some weird enchanted castle or perhaps to the nether regions themselves. What a change it will be from West Norwood to Lushailand!! I should like to feel the pleasure & novelty of such a change, but I have seen so much of this old planet that nothing would now produce the sensation which was mine when I first landed on “India’s coral strand” nearly 13 years ago.

Christian Citizenship The Lushai Chiefs have an idea that when their villagers become Xns they will cease to respect & obey them & so they persecute all who seem inclined to Embrace the new religion. I hope to be able to show the Chiefs when I can get out into the district that if they will only give the converts a chance they will find that they will be even more obedient & respectful than their other subjects. This is a thing which we strongly urge upon all who embrace Xty – they must be better citizens than their non-Christian countrymen, in every sense of the term.

26 Sep 1903

Secotine [sic: Seccotine] & Damp Climate It will give you a little idea of the dampness of the climate when I tell you that even that strong adhesive Secotine [sic] is absolutely useless out here. It will not even stick paper together, and as for wooden articles one might as well try water. Two pieces of paper parted with the fluid would not adhere to one another out here even if left a week untouched, for the secotine [sic] will not harden.

Bread & Damp Climate It would amuse you, if you did not happen to be hungry, to see the transformation which takes place in a loaf of bread in the short space of 12 or 15 hours. I don’t mean that the rats have a knack of making it disappear. If we were to put a loaf in the cupboard say today after finishing tea, by tomorrow morning you would scarcely recognize it & might easily mistake it for a fluffy rabbit. The whole of the loaf by that time would be covered with a fur-like mould, in some places an inch think. I expect we should get like that if we did not keep moving about.

5 Oct 1903

The Christian Standard – hard for the Lushais to live up to. The sun of Righteousness has risen in this land & there are great numbers who feel the warmth of His blessed ways but are afraid to open their hearts to His life-giving influence. There are many pet sins which it is hard for the Lushais to relinquish — and it is the love of these sins which

The Christian Standard (Continued, See back) keeps them from yielding to God. Many of these who profess conversion give us much joy, while I am sorry to say, that others give us sorrow. We have to make allowances & to deal gently with those who fall; at the same time we dare not lower the standard of purity & goodness which Christ has given us to display. Christianity brings to these people an entirely new code of morality, & one which recommends itself to all who are trying to please God; but nothing save the Divine Help can enable these dear folk to live up to it. God knows how manfully many of them are striving & what the conflict means to men & women who for generations have lived on another plane altogether.

Christians & Beer All our converts are total abstainers. This generally recognised that Christian living is incompatible with the drunken revels in which the Lushais delight. There is no such thing as temperance in the matter of beer & spirit drinking out here. The liquor is never taken merely to quench thirst or at meals. It is made in huge quantities & revels lasting 2 and 3 days & nights are the recognized mode of enjoyment. I have myself heard almost incessant singing for 3 days & nights on end which only ended when the beer gave out. … They sit round the pot & sing the most doleful dirges imaginable drinking from a bison horn turn & turn about. Then the drink leads to many of the worse vices which the Lushai have & even the habitual drunkards confess that the drink is the source of more evil in the country than anything else.

Willingness to Follow – Lack of Initiative One of the most pleasing features of the converts in their disposition to be led in the right path & to try earnestly to follow any instructions given them. We wish sometimes, however, that they had a little more initiative.

The Weaker the Instrument the Greater God’s Glory The more one gets occupied one gets in this evangelistic work the more grand it seems. Perhaps after all it is as you say – we never know what we can do until we try – and if my work lies here God will give all the necessary power & wisdom. The weaker the instrument the more will be the glory given to God for using such to bring about the fulfilment of His purposes. Many thanks for your cheering & helpful words. I do not often feel depressed & discouraged but I should be more than human if I did not do so sometimes.

3 November 1903 

“Near” & “Far” {This letter gives description 

When on such

3 November 1903

First tour in South Lushai See letter                        (Thangpui, Thangte, Sail[illegible ])

“Near” & “Far” & “Level” When on such a tramp one gets an insight into the inner meanings of many a Lushai word. The word said to mean “NEAR” evidently differs very much from its English confrère. Mile follows mile, hills are scaled and surmounted, ravines crossed, & hour after hour sees one apparently very little nearer one’s goal. In the early morning we are told that it is “quite near.” Noon still finds us “quite near.” And if we are able to keep up the weary marching we shall reach our desired haven just before sunset. We vaguely wonder what the true meaning of the word “HLA” may be which those pioneer missionaries (surely not ourselves) entered in their dictionary as “far.” It can signify nothing short of 100 miles. Then there is the word “PHEI” which is said to mean “LEVEL.” Experience shows it to mean a surface about as flat as that of Cumberland.

16 November 1903

Second Tour in S. Lushai See letter (Lungmawi &c)

Wife opposed to Husband’s Christianity At Hruipui we had a little meeting in the street & saw the wives of 2 or 3 Christian Lushais. Their husbands (Thanga, Bawiliana & Lianṭhuama) were away. Two of these women were themselves Christians but the third was very much opposed to her husband’s belief. Some time ago she burned his gospels & has always done her best to make things uncomfortable for him. I spoke to her but she seemed very bitter against the gospel.

(P.S. Eventually this woman got her husband (Lianthuma) to give up his new religion & for years they lived an ordinary heathen life. Many years later both husband & wife came out on Christ’s side & the husband is now (1916) an elder of the church of Hruipui.)

21 November 1903

Man washing in our drinking water I caught one of our Mohammedan workmen washing his legs in the pool from which we all draw our drinking water. I do not fancy any of his companions will follow his example in a hurry. There are times when one can be “righteously angry” & I felt that this was such an occasion.

15 December 1903

“Renewing Youth like the Eagle.” I often wondered why the Eagle should be said to renew its youth until I learned that the reference is not to our Eagle but to the fabled phoenix (the emblem of immortality which “after living 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, the only bird of its kind, built for itself a funeral pile of spices & aromatic gums, lighted the pile with the fanning of its wings, & was burned upon it, but from its ashes revived in the freshness of youth.”

Baby’s Grave under our Dining Room. Yesterday when we were levelling the part where my dining room floor will be the workmen came across a hole in the rock containing a large earthen pot carefully covered with a lid. This was, or course, the grave of a baby buried, according to Lushai custom, beneath the house of the chief which 30 years ago stood on this spot.

Mr Tomorrow-will-do. A good name for our contractor would be “Mr. Tomorrow-will-do.” He seems to know of no other tense but the “future” and future conditional.” We got more work done when he was away for I made the workmen do what I told them. Now he is back of course he is “boss” & I can only hurry up the men through him. But as I find it impossible to instil [sic] a little energy into him, there is not much prospect of any being transmitted through him to his workmen.

(re Asad Ali Khán)

28 December 1903

Christmas Day 1902. Last Xmas the Christians here thought it was wrong to work or have any fun on Xmas Day (the Great Day) & they were not certain, either, when they might resume their usual duties again, so, to be on the safe side, they spent a whole week in their village & were afraid to do any work (This was before we arrived & the poor Xns were without anyone to instruct them & regarded such days in a superstitious manner.)

Lazy Carpenters. The contractor does not seem to have any idea of the way in which he is wasting money by not looking after his men better. I have been watching 4 carpenters in particular. In the last 4 days they have each planed ONE post. The wages for each man for those 4 days must come to at least Rs 6/- & the contractor is to be paid Rs 12/- for each post. This leaves only 6/- for felling, sawing, erecting &c

  1. For an overview of the racism in and of the British Empire, as well as useful analysis of the concept of “race”, see part II (chapters 10-13) of Peter Fryer’s Black People in the British Empire (London: Pluto Press, 2021), which also features an excellent foreword by historian and activist Stella Dadzie. On recent cases of racism in India against Black migrants from a range of African states, see R. Modi and R. D’Silva, “Racism against Africans in India”, Economic and Political Weekly, 51.41 (2016), 18-20.


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