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To Sister Christine
The Math, Belur,
Dist. Howrah, Bengal, India,
26th January 1899.
My dear Christina,
Excuse this long delay in replying to your very beautiful note. The fact is, I was once more in the vale of death. The old diabetes has now disappeared.
In its place has come what some doctors call asthma, others dyspepsia, owing to nervous prostration. However, it is a most worrying disease, giving one the sensation of suffocation--sometimes for days.
I am best only in Calcutta; so I am here for rest and quiet and low diet. If I get well by March, I am going to start for Europe. Mrs. Bull and others are gone; sorry I could not accompany them owing to this disease.
I have carefully weighed your plans for coming over.
I will be ever so glad to see you, you know it well; but, my dear, the Indian summer will not suit you, and if you start now it will be midsummer when you reach India. Then, you must not hope of making any living here. It is impossible for me to make a living most times in my own country.
Then all the surroundings are so, so wretched and different from what you see around you, e.g. you will find me going about in loin-cloth--will that shock you? Three-fourths of the population only wearing a strip of white cloth about their loins--can you bear that?
I must stop here; I am so weak. If I do not get well by March, I will write you to come, for I wish it ever so much to see you once before I pass away.
Do not be the least anxious, dear. Things must be as "Mother" wishes. Ours is only to obey and work.
Ever yours in the Lord,
PS. Mrs. Bull will reach Cambridge, Mass., soon. You may write to her there on the particulars.
PS. I have again lost your address. Please give the correct one in your next.