immediately after breakfast – I left my wife + son + house in charge of Matthew, + in order to make sure that he wd not leave the premises during my absence I set him to kill a pig. The pick -ings attending such a business are a powerful attraction to natives, who are all great lovers of pork. [xx Nell], Nasei + l set off to see Mr Morrison, who, we had heard, was ill. – Masei had his spear + he carried my bag – containing my coat + vest + collar + a dry shirt – over his shoulder. - He pushed on thro' the scrub, + along the sandy beach - I all the time thinking of home + its beauties + its charms, + contrasting them with the luxuriant extravagance of this uninteresting tangle. He
Efat or Sandwich Is. New Hebrides 29th Sept 1867.
My Dear Brother,
I have not written you for a long time now - not since last December, I think. Perhaps you will have begun to fear that I have forgotten you, or that this long absence I have grown indifferent to your claims upon me. I hope that the very sight of this letter will be of itself sufficient to repel every such fear - if any such exist in your heart
You know, that here we have no regular means of communication with the civilised world; + it is a very difficult thing indeed to sit down + write to absent friends when you have not the slightest
prospect of getting your letters despatched for many months to come. Then when an opportun -ity does occur the time at your disposal is usually so short or so broken in upon that it is quite impossible to think of preparing anything beyond the merest scrap. In this [xx] of account for the fact that on none of the last three occasions on wh. we had letters sent to the colonies to be posted for home, did I send any for you. - I wished to write you a long letter; + not being able to accomplish that I did not write [xx you] at all.
You [xx would] hear of us from Father + Mother; for we never fail + never will to write them [xx at] every opportunity. Things at present
are moving on here much as they have done for generations past, I suppose. Periods of repose alterna -ting with seasons of intense excite -ment - not much of any thing being done, except of mischief - oc -casional outbursts of savage hate rendering visible the darkness of the land. - such is the order of things here.
I am happy to say that hitherto we have suffered nothing from the hands or the hatred of the heathens. Frequently they have [xx reminded] us deeply of their ingratitude + their indifference; but a hardening process has been going on within, or a thickening one; for we do not now feel these daggers as we used to feel them. - Nevertheless it often pains us [xx] to watch how
selfish, how greedy + how lazy they are. - Perhaps you will think that if that is we have to hurt us, it is too soon to be cry -ing out. - Well it is not much; we might certainly be worse; but don't you think it is bad enough to be obliged to do with your own hands, every single thing you want done - from the feeding of hens to the building of a house? - Don't you think it is bad enough to get up at daybreak, + as soon as the sun is down to drop into bed so exhausted with the work of the day that you cannot sleep during the night? - and all because the people for whose good you have left a land of beauty + of love + come to sojourn in a desolate wilderness, will not, either for love or money,