7th to 12th October 1871

Oct. 7th. Evening
Big news. Wasson and myself have got things fixed, at least the officials have agreed to our proposals. After deliberating, partly to the General’s disinclination to ask high terms, we asked that for the first year we get $3000, the second year $4000, and the two succeeding years $5000. In addition to this we are to have furnished houses and an allowance for subsistence. The whole thing will be definitely settled in a day or two and the papers drawn up. My increase will date from the first of November (next month). Wasson will go home, (Page 93) get married and return in the spring and will bring you and Webb and the other wives. Wasson will see you if he can find you. You must manage to meet him somewhere. You will please place yourself under his orders for Japan. If when you want to start there is not money enough in ?Reggs you can draw what you want at San Francisco after you get there. I shall write to Brooks to honor your draft. You will probably leave for Japan by the March or April steamer. I tell you now that you can make up your mind and get all ready. In the letter (your own) you will find some notes of the preparations you should make.
I have been in the house all day resting my foot which tonight is much better. Have been studying Japanese in which I begin to see that I am making some progress. Today Mr Kuroda brought to show me a lot of large wall plates for teaching the various sciences, which were ordered from England for the Yesso college. They (Page 94) are superb. Few colleges in America have as good a collection. He has even a set of plates on my darling anatomy, but not equal to my own.

Oct. 8th. Evening
Rain all day, so I have studied all day except during a short time when I began to make up letters on official business for next steamer. In afternoon went down town in jinriksha to see if I could hunt up some cigars which should have arrived from Yokohama several days since. Tried to wear a boot but I couldn’t. Afraid that I must slipper it for a week yet. Found the cigars and all was serene. Found also three boxes of wine for the General. Came home tired and spent the evening writing to my wife.

Oct. 9th. Evening
Rain all day. Studied and wrote a long order to the United States for a sawmill, agricultural implements etc. Also drew up my contract for the signatures. Wrote also a scheme for a system of exchange of books and specimens with Europe and America.

(Page 95) Oct. 10th. Evening
Rain again all day. Barometer fell rapidly till 2 o’clock when it was at 29.39 and the wind at the same time being variable. We began to expect a typhoon. This evening, rather to our surprise, it has suddenly cleared off. A typhoon has probably passed near enough for us to feel its influence, though not to suffer its fury. Of course I stayed in the house all day to which I was rather the more inclined as my foot has given me some pain. Mr Kuroda has not been here for two days. I am anxious to see him and get my contract signed. I wrote Antisell today, telling him of the new arrangement and that Wasson was ready to bring Mrs A out if he wished it. Found a copy of ?Gil Blas among the Major’s books today and since I have not read it since I was a boy, I am (Page 96) enjoying it hugely. Am impatient to get abroad again and see more of this wonderful people.

Oct. 11th. Evening
The weather cleared up beautifully last night, so today I managed to get on an old shoe and started with the General for a ride. We went all round the outer wall of the Mikado’s castle, a beautiful ride, but as I had a bad headache, a bad foot ache and a foolish, fretful pony, I did not enjoy it as I should have done under other circumstances. Wasson went down to Yokohama this morning to be gone several days. Workmen began putting in glass windows in place of the present paper ones, to prepare for the winter.

Oct. 12th. Evening
Bad news this morning. Mr Kuroda’s brother has committed suicide. It seems that the young man was exceedingly anxious to go to Europe to study, but as he was not very smart, Kuroda preferred that he should study first in (Page 97) Yedo. The boy had been very moody about it and the day before yesterday committed suicide, whether by Hara Kiri I did not learn.
The General had a letter from Antisell today. They had not been able to get away from Hakodate when he wrote, on account of the rain. This afternoon Dr Dove and his wife, who is a relative of Mrs Capron, together with her aunt, Mrs Baker, from Yokohama, came up to stay with us for a day or two. Mrs dove is a pretty and sweet little woman recently married. Mrs Baker is a large, fine looking matron. I think I shall like them both. Dr Dove, when he saw my foot, insisted on putting me up in stiff bandages so I am invalided for a few days at least. I am anxious to get my contract signed and hope that Kuroda will soon get about here.

End of this section

Part 15 13th to 16th October 1871

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