To Mrs. Ole Bull
the 4th April ’98
MY DEAR DHIRA MATA —
I am afraid you are getting roasted down there in the heat of Calcutta. Here it is nice and cool and rather chill when it rains, which it does almost every day. Yesterday the view of the snows was simply superb, and it is the most picturesque city in the world; there is such a mass of colour everywhere, especially in the dress of the Lepchas and Bhutias and the Paharees. Had it not been for the awful, corrugated iron roofs everywhere, it would have been twenty times more picturesque.
My health was not bad in Calcutta; here it is the same — only, the sugar has entirely disappeared, the specific gravity being only 13. I slept very well last night too; but the morning ride up, or climb, of a few miles is proving too much for my adipose tissues. The flannel clothes only made me worse, so I have given them up and have gone to my summer dress and am all right.
I have sent you Sturdy’s letter already — poor fellow — I do not know what to do for him. He is really “living in a desert of his own making” — you see, one thing is not good for every one. Marriage has indeed proved a hell for Sturdy. And he can not come, although “he is skirting the coast of India”. Lord help the poor boy. May He cut all his bonds and make him free soon. Aye, it is good that he is feeling the bondage — and not “hugging and kissing its spokes of agony”.
I gave a little lecture to the Hindus here yesterday, and I told them all their defects purposely and with their permission. I hope it will make them howl.
Miss Müller has taken a bungalow here and she is coming on Wednesday. I do not know whether Miss Noble is coming with her. She [Miss Noble] had better be your guest in Kashmir as according to our plan.
Have you got that place yet or changed [places]? I am going to Kashmir anyway, as I have promised.
I will be here only a few days and then I come to Calcutta, to be there only a week — and [then] I start for the N.W. Of course this is not the time to see anything in the N.W.P.; (North-West Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh.) everything is burning there. Yet that heat is much healthier than that of Bengal.
Ever yours in the Lord,