October 17th to 23rd 1871

Oct. 17th. Evening
Wrote official letters all day and as Wasson was this evening making up a collection of samples to send to the Dept. of Agriculture in Washington I thought I would make one to send my wife so that she can see that on arriving here she will not be compelled to go "in puris naturabilis". The collection includes only goods not often seen in America: crÍpe, gauzes etc. In addition to these the Japs make all sorts of dress silks for export, including splendid reps (?reproductions)

(Page 104) Oct. 18th. Evening
Wrote all morning and after tiffin went with General to buy some presents so send home. I found him some elegant ivory carvings which I got very cheap and also some beautiful samples of wood work. I bought three little gods to send by Wasson to my wife, who can do as she pleases with them. Got the promise of a place for Bogue at once, today. He will have a chance to be apptd. engineer with $1500.00 and all expenses and a certainty if he don’t get that of a place at $1000.00 and expenses with certainty of a rise soon. I hope he will come. If he accepts he may possibly come out on the same steamer with my wife.
Weather pleasantly cold today and yesterday so are having stoves got up. My foot is better though I still have to jinriksha it everywhere.

Oct. 19th. Evening
Kuroda has not yet got through mourning for his misguided brother. At least he has not yet made his appearance here. I have (Page 105) been waiting anxiously for him as both Wasson and myself are anxious to get our contracts signed, although the arrangement is definitely concluded already. Have written letters all day and am pretty tired. Wrote to Charles Warren’s father and Mrs Blanchard beside a lot of official business. Wrote to Father to pay all packing bills to Bogue if you were not in Washington and Bogue shipped my books. I hardly think Wasson will get off on the steamer that leaves here on the 22nd but will take the extra steamer which leaves Nov. 2nd.
I have been endeavouring to reduce our housekeeping to a more economical basis and so to save a little on our table allowance, but as I can’t stay in the kitchen long I can’t make the cook understand that less than six or seven courses will be enough and that we don’t want game twice a day.

Oct. 20th.
Wrote official letters all day and have nothing else to note tonight save that I have caught cold. Feel blue and homesick and good for nothing generally so will close this instalment of my journal for the mail which goes to Yokohama tomorrow.

(Page 106)Oct. 21st. Evening
Sent our mail to Yokohama today. It was a large one, the postage amounting to six dollars. As usual I feel sad when my letters are closed for the mail, for while writing I feel as though I were talking to my correspondent, although the conversation is of course a monologue. Well, at any rate, although three months must elapse before I get a reply to the letters just sent, I shall have some letters in a few days.
I found today that our cook has been swindling us fearfully and have made arrangements to get another, through a Mr Jondon, an American in the Foreign Office here. With the new cook I shall make a contract to run our table at so much as I found by experience that Japanese accounts are beyond my auditing.
Went down to the stage office in a jinriksha this evening and found that Dr Dove had sent me up a package of medical journals to read.

Oct. 22nd. Evening.
I had worked so hard for the last week, getting ready for the mail, that today I have quietly rested, save that I made a couple of sketches of a Japanese Persimmon (Page 107) which is not only a very large and beautiful but a very delicious fruit. I send one of the sketches, the other will go to Prof. Glover (One of these sketches was inserted into the journal. It is in pencil and watercolour and is a skilled piece of work - HT). The fruit has none of the astringency ours has. The flesh is firm and juicy and the seeds few or none. This persimmon and a white grape are the only fruit of consequence in Japan. They have immense numbers of a large and beautiful pear, which looks much like a russet apple, but it is tasteless and hard
Tonight a sort of book case came which Mr Kuroda had ordered made for my room. It is a beautiful piece of work. I don’t want any more elegant furniture than I can get made here.

Oct. 23rd. Evening
This morning we had a long interview with the officials with reference to our contracts. After much discussion we agreed as follows, which is not exactly the same as at first contemplated: the contract to cover three years instead of five. We to board ourselves and instead of $3000.00 then $4000.00 then $5000.00 to receive $4000.00 then $5000.00 then $6000.00. Then my duties are defined in the new arrangement (Page 108) as those of secretary and surgeon, an arrangement which pleases me better than the indefinite one proposed. There is a clause, too, which binds the Japanese government in case they establish a medical school in the northern division of the Empire, to give me charge of it. This they inserted of their own notion. The contract further states that if I remain more than three years I shall have $5000.00 per year, or what may then be agreed on, which of course would not be less. They are to furnish a comfortable home and keep it in repair. I am, however, to put in my own furniture, which is not a very hard condition as I have already more than half enough for the purpose which we brought from San Francisco. Altogether I am highly satisfied.
Wasson and I dined today with a Mr Jondon (whom I believe I have mentioned before under the name of Jondain) who is a teacher of French and English in the Dept. of foreign affairs here. He keeps bachelors hall and is delightfully fixed here. Before dinner we called with him upon a Mr Herron, a rich young Hamburg merchant who lives here by himself in a perfect gem of a place (Page 109), once belonging to a prince, which Herron has improved by a mixture of European style. It is a superb establishment and Herron himself is an accomplished and exceedingly genial fellow. I anticipate your delight when you shall visit his place. Herron dined with us at Jondon’s and we had a pleasant evening.

end of this section

Part 17 24th to 27th October 1871

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