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Moulton Library 

Baiii§®r Ti#otoil®al Seminary "^ 

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Presented "by 

The Rev. Robert Hovard 





^eseojru^ School 

Oh06on^^7 of 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

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Cai-CUTTA : 

The Methodist Publishing House 

46, Dharamtala Street. 


Copyrighted, 1900. 

Printed at the Methodist Publishing House, 

46, Uharamtala Street, 




I hav^e had the pleasure and honour of being 
the pastor of the "Lee family" since their 
return to India in 1894, and secretary to the 
Arcadia Girls' School from its beginning. I 
was with Mr, and Mrs. Lee through all the 
unspeakable experiences herein portrayed, I 
went with them to Darjeeling after the disaster ; 
was with them as they waited with their son, 
Wilbur, while he told the story of the children's 
triumph ; when he entered into rest, attended 
his funeral, and returned with them to their 
lonely Calcutta home. 

Suggestions were made that some one should 
write an account of the Darjeeling disaster so 
far as it concerns the Lee children and the 
Arcadia School. In this school and in " Mall 
Villa" (where the Lee children met their death) 
popular interest centred because in these build- 
ings only were the lives of American and 
English children lost. My relation to the 
family and school singled me out as the one 
who should prepare the memorial volume. 



In endeavouring to carry out the suggestion, 
1 have been happy in persuading Mrs. Lee to 
write the Hfe-story of each of her bright, merry, 
Christian children, and these chapters will 
appear as written by her, a tribute of love to 
her darling children from their loving, sorrow- 
ing mother. 

The Lee children in their religious life were 
exemplary, and their mother has told the 
story so as to reveal the secret of their training 
in such a way that it can be understood and 
may be imitated by other parents. 

If this book helps other parents and children 
to a higher ideal, and interests its readers in 
the salvation of the Bengali girls, a w^ork to 
which this familv was consecrated, and in which 
the parents are still actively engaged, the pur- 
pose for which it has been written will be 

With a prayer that the}' may aid in further- 
ing the will of the Master in this mysterious 
providence, these hastily written pages are sent 

Frank W. Warne, 
Pastor, Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Calcutta, Feb. 6th, igoo. 



Chap. ' Page 

I. The PTrst News in Calcutta ... i 

II. The Journey TO Darjeeling ... 12 

III. "Arcadia" 24 

IV. Esther and Ada ... .. 39 

V. Herbert Wilson ... ... 56 

VI. Wilbur David ... ... 71 

VII. Lois Gertrude ... ... 85 

VIII. ViDA Maud ... ... ... 105 

IX. The Children's Letters ... 129 

X. Wilbur's Story ... ... 158 


XII. Extracts FROM Letters ... 179 

XIII. The Lkes, AND Their Work ... 196 



Facing Page, 

I The Lee Family ... Frontispiece. 

2 Mrs. Lee [See quotation p. 59, para 2.] ... I 5 




3 Baby Frank in the Basket .. 

4 Esther and Indu Bala 

5 Ada and Esther ... 

6 Herbert and Wilbur 

7 Mount Eyerest, near Darjeel- 

ing ... ... ... 72 

8 ViDA and Lois ... ... 85 

9 Vida's Sunday School ... no 
10 Child Wiyes ... ... 140 

11 The LHOWRASTA, which the landslide came. 159 

12 JESSUDAR ... ... 17s 

13 Mall Villa No. 2 before Land- 

slide ... ... ... 184 

14 Mall Villa No. 2 after Land- 

slide ... ... ... 185 

15 Rey D. H. Lee ... ... 196 

i6 Young Girl Workers ... 212 

Chapter 1. 

"Both Safe at Grand Hotel. Ida Villa 
Destroyed." Two gentlemen were waiting at 
my home for an explanation of the above tele- 
gram when I came in to dinner at 7 P.M. Sep- 
tember 25th. They supposed I could explain 
how " Ida Villa" had been destroyed as it stood 
on the mountain side at Darjeeling, just above 
Arcadia, in which we had our Darjeeling Girls' 
School. It was my first intimation of any thing 
out of the ordinary. I remember saying, as a 
first thought, "If there had been an earthquake 
we would have felt it, or would have had the 
news; there must have been a fire'\ " Ida Villa" 
could have burned and Arcadia could have es- 
caped, I thought, and was only slightly anxious ; 
but / was anxious. 

My servant came in and I asked : " Has a 
telegram come for me ?" '' Yes, sahib, but the 
man would not leave it without a receipt." I 
Ivnew then that there was trouble, but what ? 
While we stood bewildered, another gentleman, 

The Darjeeling Disaster. 

whose daughter was in Arcadia, arrived with 
a telegram lie had received. It read, " Heav\^ 
landsHde, Winnie safe, coming b\' first train." 
" Winnie," his daughter, was in Arcadia ; m}' 
own wife and daughter were in Arcadia. Are 
tlie}^ safe ? What is in the undeHvered telegram ? 
were the questions that came rushing to my 
mind. The cause of the destruction of " Ida 
Villa" had been explained, but how '* heav\"" 
the "landslide," I did not know. 

I hastened to the telegraph office for the 
missing telegram, but could get no trace of it. 
I then, with a burden of fear and uncertaint}', 
hurried to several newspaper offices, and learned 
that the following telegram had been sent from 
the Commissioner at Darjeeling to the Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal : — 

" Mall Villas destroyed, lives lost as follows : 

D. H. Lee's children, eldest girl found dead, 

eldest boy saved, rest missing. At Ida Villa, 

Phoebe and Ruth Wallace, Eric Anderson, all 


These lost children were pupils of Arcadia, 
situated just below " Ida Villa." How they got 
to " Ida Villa," and what about the rest, was all 
a m}-stery. I mused. Lee's children all dead 

The First News in CalcuttxV. 

but one ! How can I tell it ? How can thev 
bear it ? My wife and child must be alive be- 
cause their names are not among the dead. 
Then the many possible conditions between 
being dead and having escaped without injury 
were in my mind. Who else has suffered ? I was 
not told of sweet Violet Pringle, and did not 
know of her death until next morning when her 
name appeared in the papers. I hastened 
toward home, and on my way met Rev. Herbert 
Anderson, India Secretary of the Baptist Mis- 
sion. He had received a telegram stating that 
his " dear boy Eric" had been killed, but he was 
still hoping that it was not true. It was my 
painful duty in the darkness of the night to 
confirm the sad news, and see him clasp his 
head with both hands, and to hear him pray : 
" O God, help his poor mother." None but 
those who have had such news concerning their 
own can understand its crushing power. I had 
to hasten on to the Deaconess Home in which 
Mr. and Mrs. Lee were then living, and, How 
shall 1 tell them, was the uppermost thought. 
When I arrived at the home. I met Miss Maxev 
and Miss Blair, two deaconesses, at the doon 
Let Miss Blair describe what followed : 

4 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" A message had come for Mrs. Robinson, 
and Miss Maxey and I started out to take it 
across to her. Mr. Warne, just returned from the 
telegraph office, met us ; his face was drawn, I 
thought, with anxiety for his own. He seized the 
envelope, tore it open, and read, 'FIora(Robinson) 
safe. Coming by first train.' No news of his 
family. Miss Maxey went in with the message, 
and Mr. Warne, motioning me aside, said in a 
voice trembling with emotion, ' All the Lee 
children, except Wilbur, are dead !' Oh, those 
terrible words I It could not be — surely it could 
not be ! M\^ heart cried out against it. Vida, 
brave, womanly Vida, caring with a mother's 
tenderness for her vouno;er brothers and sisters ; 
Lois, the darling and jo\^ of all their hearts ; 
Herbert, and quaint, sweet little Ada ; and 
bab}' Esther, just past her fifth birthday ; that 
they had all gone, in a moment, lik-e the puff cf 
a candle, seemed beyond belief. But how to 
tell the poor parents, — should we tell them at 
once, or wait till the statement was verified ?" 

We went out. Miss Maxey and Miss Blair to 
take the good news to Mrs. Robinson, wife of 
the Editor of the Indian Witness^ while 1 
hastened to m\' home, behind the church, to see 

The First News in Calcutta. 

if any other news had arrived, only to be dis- 
appointed. On my return, in the shade behind 
the church 1 met Mr. Lee. " Have you any 
news?" were his first words. "Yes," I said, 
" terrible landslips, Eric Anderson, Phoebe and 
Ruth Wallace killed, but no news of my people, 
and nothing definite about the rest in the school." 
His thought was of his own, and he at once 
asked: "Any news of our children?" The 
dreaded time when the terrible news must be 
told had come. By this time we were out of 
the shade of the church and under the light of 
the street lamp. I tried to break it gently, and 
answered: " Yes, Brother Lee, there is some 
news. The house in which your children were 
is gone." He seemed to know the rest, for in 
an instant his erect and alert form was bowed, 
as if he were a man of eighty years, and with 
feeble, tottering steps, not uttering a word, he 
moved off through the darkness toward the 
Deaconess Home. Afterward he said to me : 
" I thought }ou would fall to the earth when 
you told me the house was gone." 

At this moment, Miss Maxey and Miss 
Blair were coming across the street. I left 
them to follow Mr. Lee to their home, and I 

The Darjeeling Disaster. 

went to tell Miss Wi'ddifield, and to get news to 
Miss Craig, Mr. Chew, and other members of 
the mission. I will let Miss Blair describe what 
happened while I was giving the information to 
others : 

'' We met Mr. Warne at the church gate, 
and saw Mr. Lee just turning awa}\ 

' 1 have told him the house is gone,' was 
whispered as we came up, ' I couldn't tell him 
the rest.' 

There was no need. The matter had been 
taken out of our hands ; he knew. We over- 
took him in a moment, and Miss Maxey, thinking 
to reassure him, made some remark, but he 
walked on without a word. She spoke again ; 
still no word did he sa}'. He was like one 
stunned. Suddenly he stopped and said, ' All 
my children gone ! ' 

Then it was we told him all we knew. He 
said no more but went directly upstairs to the 
room where sat poor Mrs. Lee by the side of 
her sleeping baby. There was no need to speak. 
She saw it written in our faces. Mr. Lee sat 
down and looked at her seeming still unable to 
shake off the spell which held him. 

The First News in Calcutta. 

' Are the children all right ? ' She said, 
and when still no word was spoken, she cried 
out in agony, ' Oh, what is the matter ! are they 
safe ? What is the matter ! ' 

' Darling,' he said, ' they are all gone but 
Wilbur.' And then a cry, the cry of a mother's 
breaking heart rang though the room : 

' Oh my God ! Why didn't He take us all ! 
Oh, what is there left to live for !' " 

After having given the awful information 
to the other missionaries, I hastened to the 
Deaconess Home where all our mission people 
soon gathered, and where we together spent 
most of the night, giving what sympathy we 
could and praying with the sorrow-stricken 
parents. On my arrival I found Sister Lee, in 
her husband's arms, looking as pale as death, 
her forehead cold, her breathing scarcely per- 
ceptible, her hands rising and falling at her side, 
and she moaning out : " My darling girls, 
Vida ! Vida ! ! Vida ! ! I Lois, precious Lois ! 
Darling, cheerful Ada. Esther, — Esther, my 
baby girl — Esther — not a girl left ! Not a girl 
left ! ! Not a q-irl left ! ! ! O mv God — not a 
eirl left. What does it mean ? Did I love 
them too much ? Was 1 too proud of them ? 

The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Have I sinned ? My precious Herbert — no 
more hugs, no more kisses. Did they suffer ? 
Did they all go together ? They are happ}-, 
ihey are with Jesus. Wh\' were we not all 
taken with them ? 1 have lived too much for 
earth, and too little for heaven." 

The husband and father — devoted husband 
and affectionate father, brave man — he held and 
comforted his heart-broken wife, as if he had 
not a sorrow of his own. He would say : 
*' Darling, Jesus gave them to us. Jesus loved 
them. Jesus has taken his own. Don't weep, 
darling, the}^ are with Jesus in heaven and we'll 
soon be with them." The rest of us looked on 
" dumb with silence." Such a providence would 
be m3^sterious under any circumstances, but to 
us, as missionaries, at first it seemed almost as 
if God discouraged missionaries and was frustrat- 
ing the purposes of his best and most devoted 
workers. The Lee children had given them- 
selves to mission work. Just about two weeks 
before, I remembered having gone in when 
Brother and Sister Lee were at tiffin, which was 
just after the arrival of the Darjeeling mail, and 
Brother Lee in his most cheerful and happy 
mood, sprang up and shook a letter which he 

The First News in Calcutta. 

had just received from Vida, his eldest daughter, 
and said : " No father ever received a better 
letter from a better daughter than I have re- 
ceived from Vida." He waved the letter in the 
air, and said, " It's worth a thousand dollars." 
It was dated, September 7th, 1899 : and in it 
she said : 

"My darling Papa, we were all talking the 
other night of what we would do for 3'ou both, 
and I am sure Frank (a baby nine months old) 
would have joined if he had been here. Wilbur 
says he won't charge anything for your teeth 
beino; fixed. Lois will doctor vou free. The 
rest of us, you know, aint so sure of our mone\' 
as they two are. And Herbert, Professor Lee, 
will make home ' comfee.' I will try hard to 
keep up your work. I am sure God has called 
me to it, and will be with me. Now I have told 
you what I did not expect to. I have told you 
what is in my heart, I am God's for your work, 
trust me and believe me, your loving and affec- 
tionate daughter, Vida." 

What a contrast between that scene and 
the one of which I now write ! As the night 
wore on, and we prayed, and asked for light on 
the mystery, I began to think oi that wonderful 

lo The Darjeeling Disaster. ' 

hymn of William Cowper's, on the text, — "Veril)- 
thou art a God that hidest thyself." 

God moves in a mysterious way 

His wonders to perform : 
He plants his footsteps in the sea, 

And rides upon the storm. 

Deep in unfathomable mines 
Of never-failing skill, 
. He treasures up his bright designs, 
And works his sovereign will. 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take : 

The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break 

In blessings on your Iiead. 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, 

But trust him for his grace ; 
Behind a frowning providence 

He hides a smiling face. 

His purposes will ripen fast, 

Unfolding every hour : 
The bud may have a bitter taste, 

But sweet will be the flower. 

Blind unbelief is sure to err, 

And scan his work in vain : 
God is his own interpreter, 

And he will make it plain. 

Then we began to understand that in God's 
infinite wisdom and love be could take those 
dear children, whom he loved so much and who 
had given themselves to him, all to heaven to- 
gether, almost as painlessly as falling asleep, and 
use the story of their clear conversions, entire 
consecration, and triumph in darkness and storm 
on that terrible night, as it would be read around 

The First News in Calcutta. i i 

the world, to soften hard hearts, to open pocket 
books, and, through the story of their death, have 
not only six hearts opened and consecrated to 
his service, but six thousand or more. Thus as 
the night passed away, rays of light and hope 
began to glimmer through the darkness. 
These rays, we are believing, were from the 
Revelation of the Spirit, the " Comforter," vv'ho 
was taking of the thoughts of Jesus Christ, and 
showing them unto us ; and it is for the purpose 
of aiding in accomplishing what we believe to be 
the will of God in this otherwise very mysterious 
providence, that the story is being told in this 


Chapter 1 1. 

Among the greatest wonders of the world 
are the Himala)'a mountains, in which is situate 
DarjeeHng, often called the "Children's Paradise;" 
which it certainly is to the children of a large 
portion of the Europeans of Bengal, for, when in 
the hot season the temperature on the plains 
is from 90' to 100 ', in Darjeeling there is an 
average of 60^. It is about 450 miles from 
Calcutta, and at an elevation of about 7,000 feet 
above sea level. The first 400 miles out from 
Calcutta the train runs through the densely popu- 
lated rice districts of Bengal, where sometimes 
there are nine hundred people living to the square 
mile, and during the last fifty miles there is an 
ascent of about one inch in every twenty-nine, 
and at some places one in every twenty-four. 
The narrow-gauge light engines and small cars 
used on the road which ascends the mountain 
has given rise to the name " Toy Railway." 

A ride up the mountains on this railway with 
its spiral slopes, sudden reverses and sharp 

The Journey to Darjeeling. 13 

curves, passing places appropriately called *' Sen- 
sation Point," and " Agony Point," as one is hur- 
ried up through forests, tea plantations, cloud 
and sunshine, with a change of mountain view 
at everv turn, until he is his^'her than the verv 
clouds and in full view of the ''eternal snows," is 
considered bv tourists to be one of the most de- 
lightful, exhilarating and inspiring experiences 
known in a journe}' around the world. 
Darjeeling has been considered one of the safest 
resorts in the Himalaya mountains, there has 
not been a serious landslip in the memory of 
the oldest resident. '" Arcadia," "Ida Villa " and 
" Mall Villa," the ver\^ houses in which the 
children suffered, have, without the slightest 
sign or suspicion of danger, been occupied everv 
season for over thirty years ; but an unusual rain- 
fall began on Saturday, September 23rd, and 
did not cease till 4 A.INI. on Monday the 25th. 
l^etween these hours 24*70 inches of rain fell. 
The heaviest storm was between 4 P.M. Sunday, 
the 24th, and 4 A.M. Monday, the 25th, during 
which twelve hours fourteen inches of rain fell ; 
but its severest fury was attained, and the 
greatest landslips occurred, between midnight 
and 2 A.M. Monda}', when it would seem safe 

14 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

to assume that the rain was falling at about the 
rate of two inches per hour. Not onh^ did the 
storm wash down the sides of the mountains in 
Darjeeling, but for many miles round the land- 
slips were terrible. 

On Monday, September 25th, before the news of 
the disaster at Darjeeling had reached Calcutta, 
Miss Fanny Perkins, a missionar}' from Than 
Daung, Burma, had left Calcutta for Darjeeling, 
taking with her a special parcel from Mrs. Lee for 
each of her children, prepared with great care by 
the mother, not knowing the children were al- 
ready in heaven. Miss Perkins found two 
breaks in the road before reaching Kurseong, 
one necessitating a walk of a mile and a half, 
the other two miles. She reached Kurseong at 
3 o'clock, Tuesday the 26th, and as she was one 
of the first party of Europeans who w^ent over 
the road, I will let her tell her own story of 
bravery and endurance : — 

" The train did not go any farther and I knew 
nothing of broken telegraph connections and 
had decided to send Miss Stahl word that I had 
tried to visit her but could get no further ; and I 
engaged a seat in the next train returning. I 
was standing watching four gentlemen who were 

Mrs. Ada Lee, Baby Frank, Hindoo Girl, and Orphan Child. 
. {See page 59.) 

The Journey to Darji*: idling. i 

preparing to walk through.. One of them went 
to a shop across the street and soon returned and 
said to the others, ' That's terrible news from 
Darjeeling. The Rev. Mr. Lee and family have 
been swept down the mountain side and are lost.' 
I went out and said, ' That's a mistake so far as 
Mr. and Mrs. Lee are concerned : they are in 
Calcutta, but their children are living in Darjeel- 
ing. Are you sure it's true about the loss of the 
family?' ' Well, it's Mall Villa No. 2. Do you 
know their house ?' I went to the box and 
there I found the same name and number. The 
thought of returning to Mrs. Lee when so near 
and perhaps able to be of some service, seemed 
impossible, and I asked the gentlemen to permit 
me to go through with them. They looked a 
little doubtful, and I assured them I would cause 
them no delay as I was fully equal to the w^alk. 
and they consented. I had my breakfast at 1 1 
o'clock, but there w^as no time to get any food 
to take with me, as the others were ready to 
go, and it w^as late. Mr. Pascal secured me a 
coolie for my box and bundle and we started 
off, — Messrs. Pascal, Burke, Pymm, Macdonald 
and myself. We had seven or eight coolies with 
us, one of whom had been over the road from 

1 6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Sonada that da\'. We left Kurseong at 4 P.M. 
The first washout was close to the town. The\- 
told us that tliere was a footpath, but we would 
find it very hard to get through as there was a 
very bad washout in the fortieth mile (the miles 
are numbered from Siliguri). VVe found several 
bad places before we reached Toong, but the 
ease with which we crossed them encouraged us 
to think that we would not find it impassable. 
We rested at the Toong station five minutes, then 
hastened on in order to pass tlie bad washout 
before dark. We reached what we supposed 
answered the description, where the railway irons 
and ties hung like a suspension bridge over a 
space two hundred feet long. It was at a place 
where the road bent in, and from a point several 
hundred feet above there had been a great sweep 
of rocks, carr}'ing a\va\' the railway bed In the 
middle of the slip w^as a torrent of water. The 
only sign of a footpath was a bridge made of 
small tree trunks thrown across the torrent. 
Climbing over the loose rocks on the steep 
mountain side we made for the bridge, which was 
about a foot wide. We crossed the break success- 
fully and congratulated ourselves that we had 
been wise in passing it before dark. Daylight 

The Journey to Dakjeeling. 17 

faded, the stars came out, and we found ourselves 
at the edge of a washout as large as the other 
and much worse, because the rocks were mixed 
with soft earth and water. We had no lieht 
save matches, Mr, Macdonald was ahead, then 
a coolie, Mr. Pascal and myself behind the others. 
The coolie called back that the " miss sahiba " 
could not come, and as we neared the torrent 
Mr. Pascal drew back saying, ' It's too bad. Miss 
Perkins ; we can't go.' I heard Mr. Macdonald's 
voice across the torrent, and as the coolie reached 
down his hand T took it and went up and crossed 
the temporary bridge on my hands and feet. 
The rest came over soon, and we made our 
way over fallen trees and rocks, through mud 
and water. Ofttimes when I sought a safe foot- 
ing, my walking stick would sink to my hand in 
the soft mud. It was an awful place. But we 
came out on the railway again and found our- 
selves near a native hut. We aroused the inmates 
and purchased an old lantern (which did service 
for two miles or more) and some mustard oil. I 
had two towels in my hand-bag, one of which 
I tore and made torches which gave us light. 
We found that instead of one washout there were 
many after the fortieth mile. Indeed, it was 

i8 The Darjeeltng Disaster. 

washout or washin most of the way to Ghoom. 
We had to walk in many places on a wet parapet, 
which on the top was only about a foot wide. 
A misstep might land a person hundreds of feet 
belov/. But our feet did not slip and we reached 
Sonada soon after nine o'clock. Here we rested 
for half an hour and the native postmaster made 
tea for us. We had some lunch with us and the 
hot tea refreshed us. We here secured four 
bottles of oil and my other towel was torn to 
serve as a torch. We had nine miles before us, 
and we found the road about the same as that 
over which we had passed. At Ghoom we rested 
for five minutes and then pushed on. The 
moon had risen in her fullness, and the 
walk up over Jalapahar was delightful. 
From Kurseong to Ghoom there was the 
constant roar of falling water, but from here 
there was silence, because our patli for a dis- 
tance of five miles took us away from the rail- 
way track as we found its bed in the mountain 
side entirely swept away. We were compelled 
to climb a high mountain spur which carried us 
above Darjeeling. As we came down over the 
hill the challenge of the sentinel rang out in the 
stillness. We passed on and came to where we 

The Journey to Darjeeling. 19 

could see Darjeeling nestling in the mountain 
side. It was a beautiful sight ! Death-like 
stillness reigned. I inquired of a policeman for 
^' Arcadia," and was told that the school had 
moved out. The man said he knew the house 
and would take me to it. Bidding the others 
good-night, I went on my wa\\ It was just 
three o'clock when we reached Darjeeling ; but it 
was four before I found the house where Miss 
Stahl, Principal of Arcadia, was sta}^ing. 

"The Arcadia Girls' School had been re- 
ceived b\' the Scotch Zenana Mission Ladies, 
and ]\Iiss Reid opened her door for me that 
morning and gave me a most cordial welcome. 
We were the first Europeans who had passed 
over the road, and our arrival was an omen of 
good. ]\Iacld\' and wet, I did not present a ver\' 
pleasing picture. Miss Reid insisted on m\' 
going to bed at once while she prepared a cup 
of hot tea. This earl\' chhota hazri (little break- 
fast) was exceedingl}' refreshing. I was then 
told to go to sleep, but closed eyes brought 
pictures of rocks, mud, fallen trees and hanging 
railwa}^ lines. At the usual hour for rising I 
was shown into IMiss Stahl's room. It is need- 
less to say that she was glad to see me, and we 

20 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

had much to say to each other. I learned that 
Wilbur Lee had been found and was still living, 
though his recovery was doubtful." 

Just forty-eight hours later than the time 
Miss Perkins left Calcutta, another party left for 
Darjeeling, composed of the Rev. D. H. and 
Mrs. Lee, "baby Frank," J. W. Pringle (father of 
sweet Violet, who entered into rest from Ida 
Villa on that terrible night,) and the writer. 
In the journey up to Kurseong there was nothing 
unusual, except the surprise at our going so 
soon after the disaster, and the sorrow that over- 
shadowed us. In a conversation overheard 
between Mrs. Lee and Mr. Pringle, it was mutu- 
ally decided that God had some very special 
blessing for each of them, or He would not have 
so afflicted, and both agreed that they would 
seek until they found the purposed blessing. 

At Kurseong we procured ponies, but only 
rode five miles, and then reluctantly let them 
return because we came to a break in which over 
a hundred yards of the railway line was gone 
and over which the ponies could not pass. We 
scrambled up the mountain side on our hands 
and 'feet, and crossed a bridge consisting of two 
logs which had been thrown across the water- 

Baby Frank in his Basket, as he was carried to Darjeeling. 

The Jourxky to Darjeeling. 21 

fall, and then picked our way over boulders and 
through slush down again to the railroad. Such 
experiences became common during the next ten 
miles. Over forty places were counted where the 
railroad was either washed away or buried. Then 
the one counting grew weary, but afterward 
estimated that forty other such places were 
crossed before reaching Ghoom? ? When we 
began to walk a novel and interesting method 
was devised for carrying "baby Frank." A little 
coolie girl who carries bundles on her back up 
the mountains, was secured, v^ho had an in- 
verted cone-shaped basket, which we cushioned 
with an overcoat, and " baby Frank" sat in this 
basket with his laughing face above the brim. 
Throughout the journey this little man proved 
himself an excellent traveller, and soothed his 
parents with his smiles and baby talk. At this 
stage he appeared to the best advantage ; for, 
notwithstanding his new surroundings and mode 
of conveyance, he was full of fun, screaming 
with laughter, and kept one of us busy watch- 
ing that, in his dancing, baby glee, he did not 
jump out of his basket. The largest break on 
the line was about three hundred yards in a 
semi-circular form, and the iron rails were torn 

22 The Darteelixg Disaster. 

and twdsted as if they had been made of iron 
threads. Huge boulders had been rolled down ; 
in fact the hillside had been completely carried 
away, and perhaps more than anywhere else on 
the line was the mighty power of God mani- 
fested in the devastation the storm had wrought^ 
and we keenly felt the littleness and utter help- 
lessness of man in the presence of such over- 
whelminar destruction. 

At Sonada, ten miles from Darjeeling, 
night overtook us, and though we were intensely 
anxious to proceed, yet with ]Mrs. Lee and the 
baby in our party, we felt that to go forward in 
the night was neither wise nor safe ; but we had 
nowhere to sleep. In this hour of extremity a 
priest came down from one of the Roman 
Catholic sanitariums situated close by and kindly 
offered us entertainment for the night, which 
offer we gladly and gratefully accepted and we 
were most delightfully entertained. On the 
following morning we rose much refreshed, ate 
a hearty breakfast, and started out on foot, 
feeling grateful to the kind-hearted priest. I 
noted that all hearts were touched when it was 
known that ]\Irs. Lee and '* baby Frank" were 
in our party. People vied with each other to 

The Journey to Darjeeling. 23 

see who could do the most for them. We had 
again reached a place where the journey could 
be made on ponies, and two ponies were ready 
to carry Mr. and Mrs. Lee into Darjeeling. A 
basket was specially prepared for "baby Frank " 
and a known and trusted servant sent to carry 
the precious baby. For this kindness Mrs. Lee 
is indebted to Mrs. Brown. Five miles further 
on at Ghoom a refreshing repast was given us 
at the home of the Rev. Mr. Frederickson, of 
the Scandinavian Mission. From Ghoom we 
ceased to even follow the railway line, for from 
there to Darjeeling we were told the railroad bed 
was almost entirely gone. We ascended by a 
hard climb the Jalapahar mountain, and as we 
approached its summit the eternal snows in the 
golden glow of the early morning broke upon our 
view, and as we looked at the range, hundreds 
of miles in length, it seemed that nothing more 
beautiful and majestic could be seen until we see 
the King of kings in all His glory. Darjeeling 
was reached in a short time ; and the part}' 
separated ; the Rev. D. H. and Mrs. Lee to the 
bedside of their boy, Wilbur; Mr. Pringle to some 
friends ; and I to where the Arcadia School was 
being kindly and gratuitously sheltered. 


The death of the four children of the 
Arcadia Girls' School was caused by the falling 
in of the walls of the room in which they were 
at the time. The building was of stone, and 
a boulder coming dow^n from the hill above 
struck the house with such force that the walls 
were collapsed without a moment's w^arning. 
There were nine ladies sitting^ in the room with 
the children when the walls fell, nearly all of 
whom were more or less injured. The story of 
the last day and night will be told by those who 
passed through it. Miss Stahl writes of the 

Last Sunday at Arcadia. 

'' There are two memories connected with 
our last Sunday at i\rcadia. While the rain was 
falling in torrents outside we had a quiet, lovely 
day in the school, and no one thought of fear. 
The morning service in the church is at 
1 1 o'clock, and Sunday-school immediately after. 
When the school-bell rang at 8 o'clock, as 
usual, for the study of the Sunday-school 

Arcadia. 25 

lesson, seeing that we would probably not be 
able to go to church I reviewed the lessons of 
the quarter with the older girls. Miss Brittain 
iook the little girls, taught them the Golden 
Text, and read Bible verses to them until 9-30, 
the hour for morning prayers. On Sunday we 
always spent half an hour at prayers, sang several 
hymns, read the lesson for the day, and the 
little ones recited a psalm in concert. That 
morning they recited the 90th Psalm : " Lord, 
thou hast been our dwelling-place in all genera- 
tions." The prayer closed the exercises, and 
then we had breakfast. After breakfast the 
children played about or looked at picture- 
books, and the older ones read for an hour or 
more. Then all were made to lie down on their 
beds and sleep or read, as they chose, until 
dinner time, which was at 2-30. The time for 
the Junior Christian Endeavour meeting was 
five o'clock, and I gave the Bible lesson that day, 
and the Lord gave me the verse, ' Suffer little 
children to come unto me ' as the one to talk 
about. As I remember it now, if I had known 
that four little ones present at that meeting 
would be taken to heaven before mornine I could 
hardly have said anything more appropriate. 

26 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

The Lord gave me the message. I knew it then 
but did not know why he had given me that 
particular message. The lesson was, first, the 
sweet stor}^ of how the words came to be-spoken 
when the mothers brought their children to show 
them to Jesus. The disciples thought it would 
annoy Him, and tried to send them away, but 
Jesus said, ' Suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the 
kingdom of heaven.' Then He took them in 
his arms and blessed them, which shows Jesus 
loves little children and loves to have them 
come to Him. That was the substance of the 
lesson, to which they all listened most atten- 
tively ; they then sang the hymn about mothers 
bringing their children to Jesus. Tea was at 
6-30, and after that the older girls gathered 
round the piano and we sang hymns, while the 
little ones sat quietly in another room and 
listened to a story. At 7-30 they went to 

Mrs. Warne, who had gone from Calcutta 
to spend some time in Arcadia, continues the 
story : 

"About 8 o'clock in the evening we heard 
a peculiar roar which Edith, my only daughter, 

Arcadia. 27 

a child under fourteen years of age, said was 
thunder. I went down to see Miss Stahl and 
asked her if she had heard it, and she said it 
was the river roaring, in a lull in the storm, but 
I felt that it was a landslip. From 9-30 we sat 
with Miss Stahl and talked awhile. I then 
asked her if I could come to her room, as I was 
too nervous to sleep. She said, 'Yes, come.' 
We were just going to do this when there was 
the most awful roar, accompanied by the crash of 
stones on the roof of the room in which I lived 
at the end of the building. Miss Stahl asked, 
'What is it ? ' I answered, ' A slide, and very 
near, too.' We then went up to see how the 
girls were in the dormitory, and finding them 
all quiet, we came back to consult as to what to 
do next. I said, ' We are responsible for these 
girls, and I think we had better get them up 
the hill.' Just then we heard cries and pitiful 
screams from outside, and on going out, found 
all the school servants who had escaped, com- 
ing to the house. They said their houses had 
been swept away, one sweeper killed, the 
washerman, the watchman and his whole family 
covered (seven in all) by the debris. Miss 
Stahl took a lantern from the head bearer and 

28 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

went toward that end of the building to see 
what had happened, but before going two-thirds 
of the way she was over her ankles in water 
and mud, and was told she would b^ swept 
away if she went on. We now felt that it was 
too much risk to remain in a building being 
undermined by a stream of water. The teachers 
were awakened ; Miss Stahl went up the hill to 
Ida Villa to see if we could bring the 
children up there. While she was away 
Edith and I wakened the small children 
sleeping in a dormitory by themselves. We 
went to their room and soon quietly roused 
and dressed them. None were over nine years 
of age. Edith woke them, as she was a favourite, 
and could do it without alarming them. We 
soon had them dressed without arousing fear, 
some asking why we woke them so soon. We 
told them we were going up to Ida Villa, as 
a part of the hill had come down on the 
servants, and we wanted to go higher up. Eric 
Anderson was the last one I helped, and he 
dressed as if for the day, putting his little 
night-suit on his pillow as he would have done 
in the morning. Phoebe Wallace, the school 
pet, laughed at me as I went round fastening a 

Arcadia. 29 

button here or a shoe string there that 
some child could not master. Her ayah 
put on her dress over her night-clothes 
and rolled her up in a blanket, leaving 
an opening through which we kissed her 
happy little face, but she knew nothing of 
the fear we had for her and the other little ones 
we had under our care. Miss Stahl returned and 
said we could go. Edith and I went with those 
whom we had dressed, and some of the older 
girls who were also ready. Miss Stahl came later 
with the others. We climbed by the sweeper's 
path, up the hill, the water coming down it as 
if in a drain and the rain pouring in torrents 
upon us. Mr. and Mrs. Lindeman gave us a 
kind welcome beside a good fire in a pleasant 
little drawing-room. We had the children take 
off their shoes and dry their feet, and after a 
time put them on the floor to have a sleep. 
Miss Stahl and I went from group to group and 
talked with the older girls, who realized what 
had happened, and tried by being calm our- 
selves to keep them the same. The smaller 
children laughed and played, and one by one 
fell asleep with their heads under a round table 
and their feet sticking out, spoke fashion. Eric 

30 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Anderson was full of fun and as he saw a hole 
in a stocking of a boy next to him, said, 
* Mrs. Warne, I have found a potato.' As we 
were thus sitting and passing the time, without 
any warning, a slide came on the south and west 
ends of the room, filling it with the falling 
stones and dust. There was pitch darkness for 
a time, but when it subsided we saw the stones 
still falling ; but to our joy the hanging lamp 
was burning as if nothing had happened. It 
seemed miraculous that the end of the beam on 
which the lamp hung should be saved and 
enough roof above it to protect the lamp from 
the rain. This lamp burned till morning. As 
soon as the dust cleared away we saw that all the 
teachers, except one, were wholly or partially 
covered with the falling debris. Miss Stahl and 
I got five children out by lifting stones off them. 
It is still a marvel to me when I remember the 
large stones which we rolled off the children, 
that none of their bones were broken and no 
one seriously injured. This is probably ac- 
counted for, partly, by their having so strangely 
(which now seems providential) gone to sleep 
under the table. The next work was to get the 
teachers out. When we had released all we 

Arcadia. 3 

could, there was still covered Muriel Haskevv, 
all but her head ; but Violet Pringle, Ruth and 
Phoebe Wallace, the ayah, Eric Anderson and 
little Blanche Limpus, were entirel}' buried. 
Finally we could do no more, and Mrs. 
Lindeman came to me and said, ' Oh ! Mrs. 
Warne ; if some one could get out and bring 
help ! My poor husband (an old gentleman) 
has not the strens^th to do all that is needed.' 
Edith was standing near me, and said, 
' Mamma, I think we can get out. I knew an 
old path two years ago when I roomed here.' 
I stood bewildered a moment, and she said 
again, ' We can get out that way, Mamma.' I 
could not refuse to go after this, even if it meant 
the end, so I said, 'We will try.' No one can 
ever know what it meant for me to take my dear 
girl out into that dark, stormy night alone. I 
got her where I could get a good, long look at 
her white, brave face, and gave her what I 
thought might be a goodbye kiss, and we started 
out. We could not get out at the end door as 
Edith wished, so left by a back bath-room door. 
At our first step we went into water to our knees. 
Then followed an almost perpendicular climb 
on our hands and knees, the water striking us on 

32 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

the chest like a river, and the rain falling on us in 
torrents. This was between 12 and i, the time 
of the fiercest storm. Umbrellas and cloaks we 
had none, as all were covered in the room we 
had left. We were dressed as we had been 
when helping the children. After we got on the 
first road above there came the most dreadful 
roar of falling hill that we had heard, or else we 
felt it more, being alone. The ground shook 
beneath our feet, and I put my arm around Edith 
and said, 'Darling, it is the end.' She answered, 
•'No, it is behind us ; come on, mamma.' I 
followed, and we soon came to where we had to 
cross the slide that had crushed the room in 
which we had been. Edith plunged in, and I 
followed as fast as my long, wet, clinging cloth- 
ing would let me. I sank to the knees in mud, 
but got through the first slide ; had a few feet 
of solid road, then came to another slide. I, 
fearing to go near the edge, kept toward the hill, 
and was soon in mud above the knees, 
which seemed to draw me down, and I 
thought I was in the mouth of a drain, as I 
could not get out. The earth and stones began 
to come from above, and I expected to be 
covered every minute, so I called to Edith, 'Go 

Arcadia. 33 

on ; I can't get out.' I hoped she would be 
spared to her papa in Calcutta, even if I did not 
get out. She called back, 'If you can't come 
mamma, I am coming back to you.' I knew 
she would, and gave another desperate struggle, 
found a little more solid footing, and reached her 
side of the slide. We had a few more feet of solid 
road, and came to the crossing of another 
slide. In this one Edith never left me, but kept 
hold of my hand, and we passed over safely 
and reached the level road on the top of the 
mountain. We soon found some native police- 
men, and told them our sad story of the children 
buried, and asked them to go down the hill and 
help dig them out. To comply with our request 
required more bravery than they possessed. We 
had to pass on in the darkness without receiving 
from them any help. We called at other places 
on our way, but were disappointed in getting 
help. In our dire distress we thought of the 
Union Chapel Manse, half a mile farther on, and 
without a light we hurried on through the blind- 
ing rain, wading in water over our ankles, some- 
times to the knees, sometimes running and then 
hardly able to walk, once climbing over a slide 
in which was a fallen tree. At last we reached 

34 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

the Manse, and were kindly taken in and 
tenderly cared for by Mrs. Campbell White, 
The Rev. Patrick McKay and Prof. Fleming, 
of Lahore, immediately left for the Scene of 
disaster, and did excellent work." 

This rather full description of the experiences 
and difficulties of getting up the hill through that 
terrible cyclone and landslips, will reveal what 
Miss Stahl, the teachers, and the girls of the 
School, who came up the mountain side a few 
hours later, passed through in that terrible 

At the house that had fallen in on the 
teachers and pupils. Miss Stahl continued, with 
Mr. Lindeman, working to rescue Muriel 
Haskew, but finding herself unequal to the 
task, she started out to find a way to take the 
remaining children of safety. Ten children fol- 
lowed her, among them the brother and sister of 
Ruth and Phoebe Wallace, who were under the 
stones. As she was climbling the hill, she 
saw a light, which proved to be Miss Reid 
guiding the rescue party to Ida Villa, and too 
much praise can not be given to her for this 
brave act. The rescue party, on reaching the 
house, found Mr. Lindeman had gathered the 

Arcadia 35 

frightened girls who had not gone up the hill 
with Miss Stahl, and was having prayer with 
them in one of the uninjured rooms. The 
first work was to rescue Muriel Haskew. 
Beams had to be cut in three places, with a 
tiny meat-saw, and much rubbish removed 
before she was free. She was released after 
some three hours of waiting, not knowing 
when more hill might come down, hearing all 
the talk of the children and those who were 
working, and at last knowing she was given up 
till outside help came. After all this, when 
someone said, " Give her brandy," she said, " I 
can't take it ; I'm a Band of Hope girl." Little 
hope remained that those in the far corner could 
be alive. The rescuers were wet and weary, and 
had about decided to rive up for a time, when 
one young man thought he heard a cry, and 
said, " It's the baby. Come, one more trial," 
and they found Blanche Limpus, who had been 
sheltered by a chair and the organ in a most 
wonderful way. Great stones were all around 
her ; she had thrown one tiny arm over her 
head as if to shield it from the falling walls. 
When taken up by one of the men, he said to 
her, " God bless you dear ; we are glad to see 

36 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

you." She looked into his face and laughed a 
happy, childish laugh, and ran to the other 

More help came at daylight, and the bodies 
of the following four children and a native ayah 
were recovered : Violet Pringle, who was the 
only daughter of Mr. J. W. Pringle, a well- 
known Government servant of Calcutta. She 
had a slight head w^ound which the doctor 
thought gave her a painless death but was not 
at all disfigured. She was a sweet, quiet girl, 
loved by all. Eric Anderson, son of the Rev. 
Herbert Anderson, Secretary of the English 
Baptist Mission in India, a dear, bright, fun- 
loving boy. Ruth Wallace, a merry maiden of 
of nine, one of the sweet singers of the school, 
full of music to her busy finger-tips ; and dear 
baby Phcebe Wallace, the pet and darling of 
the School, whose rosy lips had been kissed 
when awakened a few hours before, but now 
were cold in death. She was found in her 
faithful ayah's arms covered with her chadar, as 
if she had tried to shield her darling from the 
stones. These two were the children of Dr. 
James R. Wallace, a widely- known physician 
in Calcutta. The bodies of these dear children 

Arcadia 37 

were taken to the Union Chapel, where kind 
hands performed the last robing in earthly 
white, till they arise clothed in Christ's robes. 
Dear Lois Lee, whose body w^as found below 
Mall Villa, and whose story will be told in 
another chapter of the book, soon rested i-n 
Union Chapel beside the others. At one side 
was placed the faithful ayah who had cared 
for Baby Wallace. 

On the day of the funeral many friends sent 
to the church baskets of flowers, wreaths and 
crosses of roses, lilies, chrysanthemums, ferns, 
and dainty creepers. These were sent by all 
who had a flower left after the storm. They 
came from the tiny garden of some quiet 
cottage on the hill-side as well as from the 
Maharani's and the Lieutenant-Governor's more 
beautiful grounds ; but all alike bore a message 
of love and sympathy to the sad hearts of the 
parents away on the plains, and seemed to 
say, " These are also our children and in your 
place we pay the last tribute of love." 

Long before the time of service the church 
was crowded, and many had taken care to remove 
all bright colour from their clothing. All sects 
were represented, Churchmen and Dissenters 

38 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

meeting on one common platform and joining 
in the service. The walk to the cemetery was 
an impressive one. The highest Government 
officials in Darjeeling, with the highest repre- 
sentatives of the Church of England .^and the 
Church of Rome, followed the coffins, which 
were borne by a detachment of soldiers of the 
Munster Fusiliers, led by the military band, and 
the procession extended half a mile. The 
simple Hill people stood on either side of the 
road with their usually merry faces saddened 
and quiet, — not a murmur as the procession 
passed along. The five bodies were laid side by 
side on the quiet hill-side in sight of the eternal 
snow in the beautiful ''God's Acre," to rest till 
Christ shall call His own (for they were His), 
as their schoolmates sang, "Safe in the Arms of 
Jesus," and the Archdeacon read the beautiful 
words " I am the resurrection and the life." 
The Master's call had again been given to 
mothers on earth: "Suffer little children to 
come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such 
is the kingdom of heaven." 


Chapter IV. 

Our little Queen Esther was born in 
Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, U. S. A., 
x^ugust 24, 1894. We were stopping in Hotel 
Lennett, a rest home for weary workers in the 
Lord's vineyard. We were there at the urgent 
request of its founder, — -that noble man, A. W. 
Dennett. He wished us to spend our last four 
months in i\merica in that delightful place, 
called by many "the nearest spot on earth to 
heaven." We had with us in the rest home 
about fifty missionaries and other workers, so 
Baby Esther had a warm welcome ; and after 
we had named her Esther — saying surely "She 
had come to the kingdom for such a time as 
this" — our friends added the name Dennett. 

She was baptized and dedicated to God 
September 10, the dear, white-headed "Bishop 
Thomson" performing the rite ; and we all 
prayed that she might indeed be a Queen 
among Missionaries. She went to hold her first 
missionary meeting, with her mother, when but 

40 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

four weeks old, and did very well. She sailed 
for India when seven weeks old, with her five 
brothers and sisters, and was the best sailor and 
gave the least trouble of them all. 

After six weeks she reached Calcutta, "still in 
a good humour with the world and all about her. 
Our native people called her Ranee (Queen). 
She was a hearty, healthy child with fair curls 
and a very affectionate disposition. Her short 
life seems like a flash of sunshine. She had a 
baby sister, whose name was Ruth^ whom she 
had never seen, who went to heaven after being 
with us three short weeks. She had heard from 
the others about her, and she used to trouble us 
sometimes by her questions concerning her and 
heaven, often ending up by saying, "Mamma, I 
want to go up to heaven and play with Baby 
Ruth." What a grand time these angel babies 
must be having together these days ! 

She was very fond of the little Hindu girls 
who came to school at our house. She had a 
special favourite — a very dear little girl* Indu 
Bala, with whom she played nearly every day. 

She could not bear to see a little child in 
distress or danger, and often came to me cr3ang, 

* See Photo. 

Little Esther and her Hindoo Friend. 

Esther and Ada. 41 

begging me to go to the help of some one. 
Esther had taken part with us in a few lessons 
in ph)'sical exercise a year ago. From that time 
she was continually reminding us to keep erect 
at- the table, out walking, and wherever we 
might be together, by saying, "Hips back, 
mamma," "Maintain position. Maintain posi- 
tion, mamma." Her wise little speeches — how 
we yearn to hear them again. 

She was very original in her prayers, and it 
was a source of great joy to us — not unmingled 
with amusement — to hear her lead in prayer at 
the family circle or alone at her bedside. She 
used often to say, " Oh, Lord, don't bess the 
people only dat are good, but bess the bad 
people too — all the people in the whole world." 
She would tell God about everything. If her 
bunnie was hurt, or if she had broken her dolly, 
she seemed to have great comfort in telling 
Him about it. Once while at the hills, she 
heard of my suffering with the heat in Calcutta, 
and that evening in her prayer she was heard 
to say, "Oh God, send mamma lots of wind." 
In the last little Sunday evening prayer 
meeting at which we all knelt as a family 
together, she prayed, " Oh Lord, bless not only 

42 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

dis family, but all de families in de whole 

She was a great singer. Her special favourites 
were, "Jesus Loves Me," "The Mothers of 
Salem," " Suffer little children to come unto 
Me," and " When He cometh to make up His 
Jewels." She had several Scripture verses 
memorized. The last one she learned perfectly, 
was, "Show me thy ways Oh Lord, teach me thy 
paths," Psa. 25 : 4. Our darling baby girl ! How 
far ahead of us is she to-day in understanding 
God's ways ! We seem lost without her childish 
prattle, and long to feel again her arms twine 
about our neck. 

She was with us in Calcutta until within a 
few weeks of that terrible disaster. She went 
up wdth her papa, as she said, to take care of 
him, when he went to visit the children, and 
she remained with them. We permitted her to 
stay, thinking it best for her, and afterwards 
every attempt to get her down seemed frustrat- 
ed. It must be God had need of her and could 
not spare her to us. I shall never forget our 
last few moments together before she took the 
train for Darjeeling when she assured me she 
would not forget to say her prayers, neither 

Esther and Ada. 43 

would she quarrel with sister— "For, mamma, if 
1 did those things, then God would not be 
pleased." Little did I think that was the last 
time I should ever see the darling. No wonder 
it.nearly killed me to see her go. 

Her little hand waving from the car window 
as she smiled back "good-by" was the last time 
we shall see that dear face — until after the night 
is over and we see her beckoning hands in the 
dawning of that eternal da)', and when they will 
all run to meet us and welcome us home — then 
we shall have them all again, and forever. 

Ada Eunice was named by her papa, — Ada 
for me. I called her Eunice, " Happy Victory," 
saying, " With her God will give me victory in 
raising our missionary fund for India." Ada, 
my name-sake, my little curly-head, how can I 
write about her ! I can never picture her life so 
others can understand. We were so proud of 
her. If she were someone else's child I should 
say she seemed perfect, physically and mentally. 
She had feet and ankles like a deer ; was as fleet 
as the wind ; could climb like a squirrel, and was 
the companion of her two older brothers in all 

44 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

their walks and rambles, and they liked it 
because she could go wherever they could, and 
seemed perfectly fearless. She was full of play 
and mischief; entered into all their games and 
races : could ride or walk equal to any*.of them 
—just the kind of a sister brothers like to have 
about. She seemed gifted in many ways. For 
one so young she wrote a beautiful hand, was 
neat at sewing, and loved music and flowers 

Oh, how much we hoped for this child in the 
future ! I am glad for the faith we have that our 
dreams for her are not to be disappointed ; that 
she will have unbounded opportunity for the 
development of those faculties we so admired, 
and when we see our beautiful Ada again we 
will be satisfied to a degree we never could have 
been here. 

She was born in Dell Roy, Ohio, U. S. A., 
January 9th, 1 89 1, and was baptized the following 
March 14th by our presiding elder, Dr. R. M. 
Freshwater. She soon after becran her work as 
my companion in holding missionary meetings in 
different parts of the country, helping more than 
others could ever understand. So good was 
she that, night after night, she would go to sleep 


D 3 

& fa 

5- 3 
o 5 

2 D- 


Esther and Ada. 

before the service and sleep until all was over, 
giving no trouble to any one. One night after a 
longer service than usual, on returning and 
finding her sound asleep and happy, her uncle 
said to me, " Well, Ada, I think your babies are 
are made to order ; they seem never to interfere 
with your work." And so it seemed. It was 
during her babyhood that the fund for our 
return to India was raised, so she travelled 
many thousand miles with her mother during 
the first two years of her life. 

When thirteen months old she took a trip of 
seven days, by train, to California. We had word 
that my mother was dying, and she wished so 
much to see me. Our engine broke down the 
night before we entered Denver, Colorado, ana 
we were delayed several hours. I remember how 
earnestly I prayed that the train with which we 
were to connect in Denver might be detained 
so we might catch it. I felt so sure that the 
Lord was planning this trip for a purpose, ana 
believed he would not let me and my baby 
miss the train. When we arrived, to my great 
disappointment the train had left two hours 
before, and there was no other train until night 
and I must spend the day in some strange 


46 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

hotel. I left it all with Jesus and sought out a 
hotel and sat down to think. I turned over the 
leaves of my address-book, and found the name 
of a gentleman whom I had never seen, but 
who had written to me sending and offering for 
our fund from his Sabbath-school class in 
Trinity church. I found his office was 
just near the hotel. I sent him a note, and 
soon after he called. I asked him if there was 
anything I could do during the day. He told 
me that, not knowing beforehand, he could not 
leave his office, but he would give me a letter 
of introduction to two of the leading ladies of the 
church, and if I would call on them they would 
be able to open up work for me. It was a cold, 
stormy day, the snow filling the air, almost 
blinding one's eyes. While talking, he noticed 
my baby on the floor near me, and said, " Is 
this your baby, Mrs. Lee?" I answered in the 
affirmative. " Oh, then it will be impossible for 
you to go out." 

" Oh, no," I said, " she is my partner in my 
mission work and always helps me." 

So I went, and the baby, as well as I, met 
friends who have ever since been active helpers 
in our works. From this opened up a whole 

Esther and Ada. 47 

week's campaign in Denver which we conducted 
on my return trip a month later. This campaign 
was characterized by two very large and 
influential CTatherinsrs which did more than we 
can ever tell for our mission work. With a fresh 
delicious luncheon for the road, I returned in 
time to catch the train in the evening, and has- 
tened on westward to California. 

When I reached my mother, I found her much 
better, all of which God knew and I did not, or I 
would not have murmured when the train broke 
down and my plans seemed frustrated. This 
taught me a lesson that I have learned many 
times over : that God leads us in the right way 
even when everything seems to be going wrong. 

The companionship of Ada, but little more 
than a year old, on that trip and during my 
missionary campaign in Southern California, 
I shall never forget. r\s we crossed the Great 
American Desert, and after long hours of con- 
finement in the train, on reaching the stations, 
she would race from one end of the platform to 
the other so rapidly that she seemed almost to 
fly. She was such a mite that it attracted every- 
one's attention. Even the Indians and squaws 
who had gathered at the station to see the train, 

48 The Darjeeltng Disaster. 

would call out, " Ooch! pappoose, pappoose!" 
("The baby! the baby!") At another time 
during her second year she went with me on 
a missionary trip. After arranging th'fc home 
affairs so they could get on without us for a few 
days, we drove five miles to catch a train. We 
had agreed to be present at a certain place in 
time for a meeting in the afternoon, and had 
been praying much concerning it. When we 
drove up to the station, imagine our dismay to 
find the time-table had changed and our train 
had left two minutes before. Three or four 
hours must pass before another train would 
be due and this would take us in too late for 
our first engagement. It seemed at first God 
was against us. I said to my husband, " It will 
be so hard for Baby Ada to wait so long at the 

station. Drive us up to Mrs , whom I have 

met before, and I will wait at her house." 

We drove up, and alighting with baby in 
my arms I mounted the steps and rang the 
door-bell. Mrs met me herself, and ex- 
claimed, " Oh, Mrs. Lee ! who told you I was 
wanting to see you so badly ? I was just about 
to write for you. Come in," and giving me a 
seat she began to talk. I found her in great 

Esther and Ada. 49 

distress of mind. She had sometime before lost 
her only child, and Satan had taken advantage 
of her in time of sorrow and had gotten her to 
doubting God, and she had almost decided 
there was no hope of her owm salvation. 

We had a good time together with God's word 
and in prayer, and she was greatly comforted 
and helped. She then told me she wished, in 
the name of this child whom God had taken, to 
build a room in our mission house for our native 
work in India, costing I300, (Rs. 900), to be 
paid in yearly instalments of j|5o each. I 
thanked God for this, and hurried away to the 
train, and on arriving later in the afternoon I 
found that on account of some picnic the meet- 
ing had been arranged for the evening instead 
of the afternoon, and that I was in plenty of 
time for it. 

All this God had arranged, and the miss- 
ing of the train was only a part of his 
great plan that he might turn me aside to do 
another errand for him, and in doing this, 
accomplished more for the work itself than any- 
thing I had planned. Now, when He takes our 
darling girl for whom we had planned so much, 
although it seems so hard and we cannot now see 

50 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

why, yet we do believe with all our hearts that 
our Father has planned it all, and that one day 
we will praise him for all the way he has led us. 

In all our travels before, and when on our 
way to India, Ada was the favourite witlt^ every- 
one, making friends both for herself and us 
wherever she went. She was so interested in 
all the sights, and shared in all the enjoy- 
ments along the way. In London she insisted 
on going with her papa and the other children 
wherever they went. 

I got the benefit of the day's sight-seeing 
in her childish recitals to wee Esther, in baby 
talk, of all that had occurred while they 
were out : "I have been to see the great 
Bittish Museum. Oo ought to been 'ere too. 
We saw big kings and elephants, and pitty 
itty angels wif wings. But musn't touch ; if 
oo do, a great big policeman would take oo 
away to jail. Then, too, we saw such lots of 
pigeons, and beautiful green grass — wif no 
"keep off the grass" on it either. We could roll 
and play all over it. Baby sister, wouldn't oo 
like to see the Bittish Museum ?" 

Her fearlessness often led her into trouble. 
Soon after w^e arrived in Calcutta, when she 

Esther and Ada. 51 

was only four years of age, a boy with his little 
drum and monkey came along. Ada was delight- 
ed with the tricks played, and the novelty of 
eveything seemed to charm her. The next even- 
ing she heard him coming, but he did not stop. 
After a while our Ada was missing. The house 
and the compound were searched, but no trace 
could be found of her. 

It began to grow dark ; everyone was anx- 
ious, and we flew up and down the street in 
search of her. After a while she was found 
standing in a street in another part of the 
city, crying. Some gentleman gathered from 
what she said, something about the direction 
from which she had come, and led her down the 
street. After a while she espied the house, and 
turning to him said, "See ! this is where my papa 
lives." We asked her where she had been. She 
began to cry, and said, "Mamma, I only went 
to find the' monkey-boy, but I don't know where 
his house is." 

She became interested in kindergarten work, 
and the kindergarten songs and plays were a 
part of our home life. A year ago she became 
very anxious to learn to read her Bible, and so 
determined was she that in a very few weeks 

52 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

she was able to read with us at prayer time. 
Her papa gave her a Bible of her own, of which 
she was very proud, and was constantly finding 
special verses in it, many of which she had beauti- 
fully memorized. * 

11 er favourites were, "They that trust in 
the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot 
be removed, but abideth for ever ; as the 
mountains are round about Jerusalem, so 
the Lord is round about his people from 
henceforth, even for ever." Ps. 125 ; 1-2. 

And another, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect 
peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he 
trusteth in thee ; trust ye in Uie Lord forever, 
for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength," 
Isaiah 26 : 3, 4. 

The grand meaning of these verses must have 
flashed into the mind of this darling girl during 
that last hour on earth, when, having none else 
to whom the}^ could look for help, that precious 
little group cast themselves on God, and His 
presence was so real that even the younger 
children rejoiced in Him, and that hour of terror 
was turned into an hour of joy and victory. He 
failed them not ; He himself became their 
refuge ; and although all material things were 

Esther and Ada. 53 

utterly destroyed, our Ada abideth forever. 

She had a joyful summer in school, romping 
and playing, climbing and racing all over those 
beautiful mountains. Her part in our little 
Sunday evening prayer-meeting was always 
very real and striking to me. She often asked 
God for a new heart, but she definitely sought 
Jesus one Sunday evening a few weeks before 
their translation, Vida and all the other child- 
ren helping her with their prayers. She accepted 
Him and received such peace and joy that 
even her very countenance was changed. 

In her last letter, written the day before the 
land slip, she speaks of her desire to have always 
a pure heart. 

We do thank God that our darling is now like 
Jesus, rejoicing in His presence, and that when 
Jesus comes He will bring them all with Him, 
and when we see her glorified body wc shall 
then be satisfied and she shall be ours forever. 

When I shall meet with those that I have loved, 
Clasp in my arms the dear ones long removed, 
And find how faithful Thou to me hast proved, 
I shall be satisfied. 

— Horatius Bonar, 

54 TiiK Dakjeeling Disaster. 

SuOuy^ji/rhOy J/hoyVYVCL . 

OTto-n^n^j d/KUX -axe cuy-^ oJlX^ v-to^ 

Esther and Ada. 55 

QauL Oyyyx. 


Chapter V. 

If we could push ajar the gates of life, 

And stand within, and all God's working see, 
We could interpret all this doubt and strife, 

And for each mystery could And a key. 
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land 

Where tired feet, with sandals loose, may rest, 
When we shall clearly know and understand, 

I think that we will say, "God knew the best." 

— M. R. Smith. 

With the birth of our fourth child, Herbert, 
dawned the busiest year in all my life as mother. 
With four little ones looking up into our faces, 
helpless, dependent, with no one to earn their 
support but their father, whose small salary 
required the most careful management to make 
it meet our necessities, and no others' hands 
but ours to provide for all the little wants and 
to do the work in the home, I found my 
moments full. 

How to keep the little bodies clean and 
comfortably clothed ; the best way to keep 
them nourished with food suited to produce 
the best results in the healthy development 


3 ° 

Herbert Wilson. 57 

of the entire physical structure ; how best 
to execute that greatest of all missions — the 
caring for and training of the young minds and 
souls entrusted to our keeping by God himself; 
these were all engrossing subjects, which kept 
me busy, and happy too, in that dear little 
country parsonage on the shore of one of 
America's greatest lakes. 

I can remember how often my arms and back 
ached from the toil of the day and, when one 
was ill, from the wakefulness and anxiety of the 
night ; for, although a healthy lot of children, 
there came times now and then when disease 
would make its attack on one and another, and 
often for days, and even weeks, I have seemed 
to have to fight death in hand-to-hand strug- 
gles. With tears and prayers and anxious 
heart would I hold the little form all night ; and 
yet how many times God heard and answered 
and gave us back our darlings again in health. 

Sometimes there was a temptation to be irrit- 
able and displeased because, try ever so hard to 
keep them so, the once tidy rooms would become 
a chaos of books, slates, broken toys, dolls, baby 
garments, shoes and stockings, filling floor and 
chair, so that they looked as though (as their 

58 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

patient papa said) a cyclone had struck the 
room. But Oh ! how little those things seem 
no.w, and how gladly we would welcome back 
the untidy rooms. How beautiful in our eyes 
would their torn shoes and stockings now ap- 
pear ; instead of the backache and armache 
we now have a heartache from which there 
seems no release. 

We often catch ourselves listening for the 
rush of our darlings on the stairs to see who will 
beat up, and our lonely hearts long for the 
sound of their merry voices. We sometimes 
think if we could but feel their cheeks pressed 
to ours and their arms twined about us with 
the loving good night kiss, we could work day 
and night, or dare anything, with a light heart. 

It used to be a nightly habit before retiring, 
to Qo into their rooms and see that each one was 
safe and sleeping soundly ; and at 2 o'clock 
to revisit the little beds and tuck each one in. 
Many a time have I dropped on my knees 
beside their beds and thanked God for them, 
and committed them to His keeping for the 
remainder of the night, and returned to my 
couch and slept such sound and peaceful sleep 
as only a tired, happy mother can. 

Herbert Wilson. 59 

Now the rooms and beds are empty, and 
everywhere we turn, the blank and silence seem 
to mock our yearnings, until we walk into the 
star-light and turn our tear-filled eyes to 
heaven. There they all seem to gather about 
us, their bright faces seeming to peer down at 
us, and we can almost hear them speak, so real 
is the vision, and we return to our couch com- 
forted as only God can comfort, and we seem to 
rest on Jesus' bosom, " where nought but calm 
is found." 

I have many things to regret ; but how I 
thank God now that I never felt we had one 
too many ; nor did I ever tire of their noise 
or of doing for them. I am glad that several 
years ago I wrote the lines, " The highest honour 
God has ever bestowed upon me in this life is 
that of motherhood and the privilege of living 
for the children He has given me. Next is the 
honour of being a missionary of the Cross, and 
the privilege of living for the women and children 
of Bengal." 

Tired mothers, may God help 3/ou understand 
how rich you are, and how blessed your lot with 
all your little ones about your feet. Be thank- 
ful and murmur not, and do not let unnecessary 

6o The Darjeelixg Disaster. 

work crowd out of your life the time you need 
to enjoy their prattle and play, and the time 
necessary to teach them to sing and to pray and 
to love God's word while the\' are voung, 

I repeat, i^^hile they are young. I feel their 
first years are the most important of their 
lives to you. ]\Iy antidotes for scolding and 
worry were singing and stor\--telling. Bible 
stories being the favourites. The hours spent 
thus did me as much good as it did the 
children, with whom it was a delight. Oh I the 
weight of the story, the value of the word oi 
encouragement, the power of prayer and song 
upon the children, — yes, upon all. \o one of 
us rightly realizes this, or we would use them 

How proud 1 was when Herbert came and 
we had two bo\"s — " a team," as \"\'ilbur called 
them. He was born August 31, 1888 (on his 
grandmother's birthday, although but little 
chance did the dear boy ever have to enjo\' 
a grandmother's love), at Saybrook, Ohio, 
U.S.A. He weighed eleven pounds, and 
seemed a bab\- almost three months old to 
begin with. 

Herbert Wilson. 6i 

The Sabbath he was four weeks old, 1 
attempted to get all four children ready for 
Church, and told my husband I never could 
do it ; I w^ould have to give up going to church 
while they were so little. His answer was, 
"Well, dear, if you give up now I fear you will 
never go again." So I got ready and went, 
and did it every Sunday afterwards. I found 
about this, as everything else that was right to 
do, that there was a way, and the children need 
not be a hindrance, but if looked at in the right 
light, they were always a help and a blessing. 
He was dedicated in church that mornine bv 
the rite of baptism, we thinking the Lord had 
a great work for our baby boy to do, and pray- 
ing for strength to guide him to it. 

When six months old he came nearly dying 
with pneumonia. F'cr twelve long hours one 
night he struggled for his breath. We were six 
miles from a doctor. The snow was so deep 
and the storm so great no one dared to venture 
out. We did all we knew ; still he grew worse. 
We two bent over him all the night, with tears 
and prayers, begging our heavenly Father to 
spare his life. Near midnight the struggle for 
breath became desperate. I could hardly hold 

62 The Darji^kling Disaster. 

him in my arms. I felt relief must come soon, 
or our darling would leave us. We had done 
everything in our power. 

In our helplessness, his papa flung him.self 
down on the bed in desperation and my heart 
gave one agonizing cry to God for help. With 
this Mr. Lee sprang to his feet, saying, " Why, 
Ada, you forget that opossum oil the old lady 
brought you some weeks ago. It can do no 
harm ; give him some." He handed it to me, 
and warming a spoonful I gave it to him, 
believing God had told us what to do, and in a 
few minutes the phlegm was thrown up. He 
was immediately relieved, and before morning 
was able to take nourishment and was soon 
well again. 

Herbert was different from all the rest. From 
his boyhood he was a child with a determina- 
tion seldom equalled. He would attempt 
the impossible, and it nearly killed him to 
fail or to have to give up anything he wished 
to do. This used to give us trouble, until we 
learned better how to manage him. There was 
no " give up " to him. I used to say to his papa, 
"The only thing to do with Herbert is to make 
the thing right that he wishes to do," so 

Herbert Wilson. 63 

together we learnt to shift the Httle fellow 
about and -to guide him into the right and 
then let him drive ahead. 

He was the most tender-hearted child I 
ever knew. He was wonderfully fond of music, 
of which he had no little share in his make-up. 
There was a young lady who used to visit us who 
was a noted whistler. The little fellow caught 
it up. and used to creep about the floor 
whistling, and before he could walk he could 
hum the tune. "There is a Land that is 
Fairer than Day." How I used to delight in 
singing to him, he humming with me the tune 
before he could talk. It was just as easy for 
him to learn his books, and no one ever taught 
him his letters, — he learned them by hearing 
the others recite them, and while only a wee tot 
used to surprise us by his achievements with his 
pencil on the nursery blackboard. 

He was converted when only five years old. 
He deliberately and definitely gave himself to 
Jesus once and for ever in a children's service 
held at a camp meeting one Sunday afternoon. 
He dated his new birth from that hour, and never 
hesitated to tell any one when and where he gave 
himself to Jesus. Ever after that day, his evening 

64 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

prayer was a settling up with God the accounts 
of the day. 

Often it had to be done with tears, for his 
impetuous nature repeatedly got him into 
trouble with others, and the difficulty he had in 
yielding the point, or giving up what he had 
undertaken, used to lead to slight exaggerations 
or little stories, which he called his ^' besetting 
sin." Gaining the battles in discussions some- 
times led to hot words. These all had to be 
repented of. 

Our Sunday evening pra}er-meeting with 
the children was the special time of review- 
ing the week's work, with its temptations 
and triumphs or failures. Such a time as this 
used to be ! With Herbert it was usually a 
time of confession, with tears for failures to live 
up to the high standard we had before us, of 
what the Bible said our lives should be. So 
common was it for him, in praying, to break 
down and cry, that little Esther in late years 
used to say on Sunday evening, " Come 
children, let's go to mamma now ; its time to 
pray and cry." 

Herbert was so anxious to become a member 
of the Church, and to partake of the Lord's 

Herbert Wilson. 65 

Supper that, often, his earnest entreaties 
bewildered us. After conning to Calcutta he 
would give us no rest on Communion Sunday. 
I would say to him, " Herbert, I fear you do 
not understand what it means.'' 

" Well, mamma, you tell me it's to remember 
Jesus' death. I love Him : do I not want to 
remember His death too ? I try to please Him 
every day, and I belong to Him. Why should 
I not take the sacrament with you." 

I could resist him no longer, and when he 
was but little past six years old he was permit- 
ted to kneel with us at the Lord's table and take 
Communion, a sacred privilege which we have 
all enjoyed together for the past five years. 

I never saw two brothers more devoted to 
each other than he and Wilbur, and 1 have 
known months to pass without a single jar 
between them. They were together in everv- 
thing ; what one had the other had. Even in 
their lessons, they studied together, until during 
this last year, Wilbur failing in his examination 
led to Herbert's being promoted to a class 
higher, a state of things which we greatly 
regretted, and which required much wise 
management, on our part, on account of the 

66 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

thoughtless remarks dropped by others as to 
the younger being brighter than the older, etc. 
But even this God overruled, I believe, for 

Herbert was full of life and activity. It was 
cruel to make him sit still. He was fond of his 
violin, and had learned to play many pieces for 
us. How proud I was of our boy and of his 
straight, manly little form as he stood up to 
play in concert with his brother, his sister Lois 
playing the organ, and Vida often joining them 
with her guitar. 

"Blue Bells of Scotland," "Annie Laurie," 
"The Old Folks at Home," and "Home, 
Sweet Home," as well as many of the dear 
old hymns, such as " Oh for a thousand tongues 
to sing," and " What can wash away my sins ? " 
used to make our home ring with joy and have 
become doubly sacred to us. It seems to me 
sometimes that I can never sing again until 
He comes and takes us home. 

Herbert would take up a new piece and insist 
on playing it when he had not tried it before. 
Nothing would daunt or discourage him, and I 
used to silence the dissenting voices of the 
others by saying, " Let him try it, children. 

Herbert Wilson. 6j 

even if he fails." He would turn to me, so 
grateful, and say, " Mamma, they think I can't ; 
but just listen : I will show them I can." 

Sure enough, he would surprise us all with 
the degree of accuracy with which he was able 
to execute it. Oh that darling boy ! With 
what delight now that spirit, unfettered, must 
dive into the unknown and untried of heaven ! 
How I picture his beaming face as he succeeds 
up there ! We had hoped he would be a preacher 
and do a wonderful work for God. The Lord 
will not disappoint us in spite of the mists which 
hang over us now. 

He was so tender-hearted ; he would give 
away almost his last penny, and he delighted to 
take out a card and write on it his recfular crift of 
two annas each Sunday evening from his pocket 
money for the church collection. He could not 
bear to see others suiTer, and had many friends 
among the poor, and the native people. He was 
a great boy for fun, and was tempted sometimes 
to go too far. 

A little over a year ago the two boys went on 
top of the flat roof which was without balus- 
trades, to play, a place where they had been 
forbidden to go. In their fun Herbert sprang 

OS The Darjeeling Disaster. 

back, not knowing he was so near the edge. 
He stepped off backwards, faUing nearly twenty 
feet to the stone steps below. We were afraid to 
look at him, thinking, of course, he waS dashed 
to pieces. He was greatly shaken up, but not 
a bone was broken, nor was there hardly a 
scratch or bruise. 

As we laid him on the bed nearly wild with 
anxiety, he assured us he was not hurt ; that 
God had sent an angel who caught him 
and saved him from falling hard. He quoted 
that verse in the 91st Psalm: ''He shall 
give his angels charge over thee to keep 
thee in all thy ways ; they shall bear thee up in 
their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a 
stone," and said, " Mamma, that is my verse. 
How cfood God was to save me ! I would not 
like to have died disobeying you and papa," 
and he could not rest until he had sought and 
found pardon. 

He had many verses so fixed that he could 
unhesitatingly repeat them and tell where they 
were found. He had a special liking for 
Malachi 3: 16-17: "Then they that feared 
the Lord spake often one to another, and the 
Lord hearkened and heard it, and the book of 

Herbert Wilson. 69 

remembrance was written before him. .... 
And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of 
hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." 
Another favourite was Rev. 2 : 17 : " And the 
spirit and the bride say come, and let him that 
heareth sav come, and let him that is athirst 
come, and whosoever will, let him take the 
water of life freely." 

He was greatly interested in a concert given 
the Saturday evening before that terrible night, 
and was busy selling tickets and inviting friends 
to come. This was his last work of the kind. 
He was only eleven years old, but could be 
trusted to transact business, and helped us in 
many ways in our work. They were both 
naturally strong, healthy, rollicking boys, and 
it does not seem possible that we can live 
without them. I am thankful — oh ! so thank- 
ful, for the assurance that they are living to-day, 
active and happy in the homeland, and are 
getting up many little surprises for us and 
counting the days, — not until they can come to 
us, but until we shall come home to them. 

In our rambles they used to enjoy running 
up a pakdandi (a short cut) in the mountains 
and cominor out ahead of us on some higher 

70 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

elevation, and then waiting for us, and greeting- 
us with some new thing they had found — a 
flower, orchid or fern. They have only gone 
a "shorter cut and beaten us hon:ie, and are 
waiting for our slower, weary feet to reach home 
by the longer way. Then — oh the greeting I 
We can hardly await the dawning of that 
bright morning, the beginning of that beauti- 
ful, endless day. Until then we shall travel 
with our eyes fixed on the eternal city, and our 
hearts rejoicing even here in the hope of the 
glory awaiting us. 

"Some day," we say, and turn our eyes 
Toward the fair hills of Paradise ; 
Some day, some time, a sweet new rest 
Shall blossom, flower-like, in each breast. 
Some day, some time, our eyes shall see 
The faces kept in memory ; 
Some day their hand shall clasp our hand. 
Just over in the Morning-land — 
O Morning-land I O Morning-land! 

— Edward H. Phelps. 

Chapter VI. 

Peace ! perfect peace ! with loved ones far away, 
In Jesus' keeping we are safe and they. 
Peace ! perfect peace ! death shadowing us and ours, 
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers. 

Wilbur was my little Samuel — asked of God, 
Mr. Lee's health had failed the year before, 
and he had to give up preaching and take a 
year's rest. I remember the test to our faith 
vvhen the last of our year's salary came in and 
there was no prospect of more for another year.. 
We had always given God his tenth. Should 
we tithe this, which was all we had, and it not 
half enough to support us and our two little 
girls for the three months ahead of us, let alone 
a whole year ? 

We hesitated only a moment, then said, " If 
we use God's tenth it will be taking what 
does not belong to us. It would also be 
doubting Him who has never failed us. We 
must live up to our principles." So we took the 
usual part and gave it to the Lord's work, as we 
had always done. It was not two weeks after- 


72 The Dakjeeling Disaster. 

wards until God sent us, from a most unexpected 
source, ten times as much as we had given, and 
'we were able to take the year's rest. This was 
one of the great lessons of my life." I never 
was afraid after that to take out our tenth for 
the Lord, even if it was our last penny. The 
Lord keeps his accounts balanced, and gives 
back in gospel measure. 

Mr. Lee was soon well and strong again, but 
our going back to India seemed doubtful. 

On August 26th, 1886, (the year we were 
resting) in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, 
LT.S.A., Wilbur was born. How delighted we 
were with our Boy Baby ! We gladly dedicated 
him to God for India, but soon after, he took 
ill, and was so ill, that he came near dying. 
Day and night he cried until it was almost 
unbearable. He was not able to retain nourish- 
ment, and went down, down every day until 
he was nothing but a skeleton. We called in 
an old doctor, who did everything that could 
be done. Finally he told us nothing could 
save the child, and it was only a question 
of a few days, and then he left us. 

Still, T worked with the little fellow, hoping 
and praying, but he grew worse until he weighed 

Wilbur David. 11 

less than five pounds, and the skin seemed to 
dry on his bones. He was the most wretched 
sight I ever saw. For three months I never 
slept more than two hours at a time, and then 
usually with him in my arms. Many times I 
have prayed over him all night. 

Finally one morning after such a night, I 
laid him down to go and get the others some- 
thing to eat. Suddenly the plaintive wail ceased, 
and I rushed back to my baby to find his eyes 
set, his arms and legs stiff, and he dying, as I 
thought. I took him in my arms and prayed for 
grace to give him up. 

His papa said, " Shall I baptize him and 
name him before he dies ?" I said, " Yes," and 
not asking each other about the name, his papa 
took him in his arms and baptized him, calling 
him Wilbur. Although unable to draw his 
tongue into his mouth all day, still he lived. 

Some kind friend came in to watch with him, 
and they sent me off to rest. While praying 
and waiting before God I heard a little cry, 
and went to my baby to find the change had 
come, and he was able to take nourishment. 
I got out his clothes again and went to work 
nursing him, saying to his papa, " Never mind ; 

74 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

he'll live to be a man yet." A few days later 
an abcess seemed to break and come away, and 
the little fellow, although he looked to be a 
cripple, grew strong and became a nice*- hearty 

The old infidel doctor said, " If this child 
lives I will believe there is a God." When 
Wilbur was ten months old I met him on the 
street one day, and he looking on our fat, 
bonny boy, said, "Well, I have seen one miracle 
in my life ; there must be a God." 

A year or two later Wilbur came nearly 
being washed away by a \vave on the shore of 
Lake Erie. I caught him by the dress just as 
he was being swept under the water. He has 
had several other narrow escapes. Two or 
three times in his life he has been very ill, and 
we were very anxious about him ; but I was 
always so sure he had a special mission that I 
never feared but that his life would be spared. 
Can it be he was born for the Darjeeling 
disaster ? Was that his mission ? 

There is something mysterious about prayer. 
We are told it wields a wonderful power with 
God. I have had many wrestlings with God in 
prayer for the dear ones and the work, and 

Wilbur David. 73 

great victories. Is it not strange that in this 
one awful hour of their Hves we did not even 
know of their danger, and had no chance with 
God in prayer for them ? Surely, this was also 
a part of His purpose. 

After his recovery, I added the name David 
to Wilbur, for his papa, and especially for the 
meaning — beloved of the Lord ; and never was 
a boy dearer to his mother, too, than he. 

I found him, when very young, a boy who 
could entertain himself. Always building little 
sand-houses, making mills and light-houses, and 
even to the last, always inventing play engines 
and machines, building forts and equipping 
them. He was also ingenious in inventing or 
discovering ways of doing things. We noticed 
this on the last day of his life. When he could 
not get his jaws apart so as to drink from a 
glass or cup and we were all wondering what 
to do for him, he said, " Mama, if I had a straw 
I could suck the water through it," and acting 
on this suggestion we got a glass tube with a 
rubber attached, and he was able to take 
nourishment for many hours. Then when he 
no longer swallow such quantities, he suggested 
a sponge, and the dear boy used this to the last 


When the two brothers were old enough to 
pla}^ together they seemed perfectly happy in 
-each other's company. This was a great pro- 
tection to both. Friends used to crkicise our 
policy ; for we never allowed them on the street, 
or to play with other boys. I have been told 
that in thus doing I was totally unfitting them 
for life's battles. 

But I knew our Wilbur was so quick to 
imitate, that until stronger, I must shield him 
from the sin about him, — this policy I would 
practice if I had a hundred boys. 

He also learned at home ; never having gone 
to school until eight years of age, so I am sure 
the boy never heard an oath until he was about 
nine years old, and then he did not know what 
it meant. When it was explained to him he 
thought it an awful thing, and his whole nature 
revolted against the use of profane language. 

He was naturally a brave boy, and I have 
known him to stand any amount of jeers and 
taunts rather than to do a mean thing. I 
was his confidant, as every mother should be to 
her son. There would not be so many boys go 
wrong if every mother insisted on knowing 
w^here her boy was and all about what he 

Wilbur David. ^jj 

was doing, from the time of his infanc}-. She 
would be able to save him from many a snare, 
and I believe if we begin in time — we mothers — 
we can build so strongly around our boy's hearts 
that Satan and all his powers can not invade 
successfully our domain. 

He was frequently asked about how each 
hour was spent while out of the house, and was 
so in the habit of telling me everything, that 
should he do w^'ong or engage in anything he 
had been requested to keep from his mother, his 
conscience so troubled him, he could not lono- 
endure it without telling me all about it. He 
was also a great protection to his younger 
brother. Many a time the one might have 
been unable to withstand the temptation alone. 

About a year ago some boys were trying to 
get him to fight another, and because he \v^ould 
not, called him a coward. He answered, "I am 
not a cow^ard, but I was taught that it was 
wrong to fight ; besides, this boy is smaller than 
I am, and a Bengali boy. I could never do so 
mean a thino; as to hurt such a bov\" and he 
took the sneers and cuffs of the boys, but would 
not yield. 

78 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

He hated dishonesty and cruelty, and felt 
most indignant at any one who had robbed a 
' bird's nest or injured a young bird. 1 have 
known them to hide and protect nests from other 
boys until the birds were ready to fly. Should 
any one destroy one of these birds he would cry 
bitterly ; he could not bear to see anything 

Notwithstanding this, he was a great, rollicking 
boy, full of play and mischief, even boisterous 
at times ; but the moment he was alone with 
me, a place he liked so much to be, he was 
as gentle and manly as a boy could be, always 
ready to help me in whatever I was doing, 
— cooking, sewing, or whatever it might be. 
^' Mama, can't I help you?" rang out so merrily 
on my ears that the words themselves seemed to 
do half the work and lift the burden from 
everything. He was my right hand. 

Oh ! the companionship ! I think we were 
more together than the others. His eyes not 
being very strong, I had always read much to 
him, and used to help him in his lessons, so that 
every day we had one or two hours alone 

Wilbur David. 79 

How I used to enter into their play. He and 
his brother were both very fond of soldiers, and 
much of their play v. as in imitation of them, 
—marching and drilling with all sorts of uni- 
forms and make-believe swords and guns. The 
two little sisters were always ready to join 
in with all sorts of tin pans and broken bottles 
for drums and bugles, with streamers and flags 
flying — the trophies of many a battle. In their 
play last year the Spanish were routed and 
Manila taken many times over. How fitting it 
was for the brave men of the Munster Regiment 
at Darjeeling to carry our boy to his last resting 
place ! There were no others whom he would 
have preferred. 

Wilbur, too, was a singer, and of late years 

his voice had become very strong and musical. 

He was also learning the violin, and played 

several pieces very well. One of his special 

songs was "The hand-writing on the wall"; 

others, "Tell it to Jesus," and, 

" Someone will enter the pearly gates, 
Shall you, shall I." 

He was very fond of visiting the hospital and 
taking flowers and papers to the sick, and 
enjoyed distributing tracts. 

8o The Darjeeling Disaster. 

I find an entry in Vida's diary of last year, 
as follows : " We were out in the square this 
evening, the boys distributing tracts as usual. 

Wilbur gave a gentleman one, and h^, making 
fun said, ' Where will this ticket take me, m\' 

' To heaven, I hope,' said Wilbur, and walked 

He was a very sociable boy. He liked to 
meet people, and had many friends among 
young and old. He had such a gentle way with 
little children, and he knew how to win them. 
Then, too, he was so full of play. He could 
amuse and interest others. 

He was a great boy to tell stories and inci- 
dents, and if he ran out of those he actually 
knew, invented one for the occasion — such as a 

If I would say, " W^hy, Wilbur, where did you 
read that interesting story ?" 

He would answer, '' I did not read it, mama, 
it's just one I made." 

When I suggested a doubt as to its being the 
thing to do, he would say, " Why, mama, people 
imagine these stories and write them in books ; 
what harm is it for me to imagine a shipwreck 

Wilbur David. 8i 

and tell it to others ?" Herbert would listen to 
him by the hour. 

While he was a natural boy and enjoyed boys' 
toys and games, he was also very fond of 
dolls and girls' play. Only two years ago he 
was very ill, and had to be in bed two or three 
weeks. One of our missionary's daughters 
came to see him, and said, "Wilbur, what can 
I do for you ? What can I send you ?" 

" Have you not a lot of dolls ?" he said, "sup- 
pose you send me one of them." 

She sent him one dressed as a sailor-boy. 
He then coaxed me for a wife for his sailor. A 
few days afterwards he saw a beautiful little baby 
doll only about three inches tall, and said, " Let 
me have that for a baby for my sailor-boy ; than 
I will have a whole family." These he kept 
among his treasures to be brought out when- 
ever little friends came in, and we found them 
still among his things after he was gone. 

He was very quick to understand that 
boys are sometimes unwelcome guests. He 
and his brother had a lady friend who often 
invited them to her place, and always seemed 
glad to see them. I overhead Wilbur remark 
one day concerning this friend, " She is a fine 

82 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

lady. She does not think boys are in the 

Herbert chimed in and said, " Yes, and she 
knows what boys Hke, too." **- 

Then "Hip ! Hip ! Hurray for Miss G. ! !" and 
all, little and big, joined in the three cheers. 

Wilbur was very fond of flowers and ferns. 
He delighted in the mountains, and was contin- 
ually finding some new flower or leaf to bring 
home to me. What jolly times they had climb- 
ing and racing ! Could other children ever have 
a grander time together than they ? During their 
two months' vacation, each hot season, for the 
past four years, they have roamed those dear 
old hills over and over from Kurseong to Dar- 
jeeling ! Oh I the freedom and the enjoyment 
of those times ! Is it possible these days are 
gone forever ? 

This year was also one full of joy. In spite of 
the excessive rains they would have their picnics 
and outings and days with their ponies, often 
coming home drenched. Wilbur was one to 
propose their staying up at the hills during the 
hot weather while we were getting their home 
ready for them in Calcutta, and he to^k no little 
share of the responsibility about the house. 

Wilbur David. s$ 

He looked after things, and he and Herbert did 
all the buying and keeping them in food. He 
was so helpful and kind that Vida often spoke 
of it in her letters. 

He was also happy in his school relations, 
and seemed to be studying hard. In my last 
letter to him [ said, "If you pass your examin- 
ation this year, Wilbur, papa and I are going to 
give you a bicycle," the thing he so much 
coveted. He wrote back how pleased he was 
and that he had so long wished for one, and as- 
suring me he was trying to win it. 

"But," he said, *' mama, do you know who de- 
serves a bicycle more than I? It is Vida. She has 
been so good to us children ever since you went 
down— just like a mother to us. I think she ought 
to have a bicycle if no one does." 

Vida as the oldest sister was faithful to her 
trust until the last. So was our darling boy to 
his, and their reward— what can it be ? Some- 
thing far better than a bicycle,— something that 
fills them with joy supreme. Oh! how we long 
for one glimpse of their bliss ! Just one look a't 
our boys' cheery faces, how it would comfort our 
tired, aching hearts. ]^ut the Lord only took 
us at our word when we gave them to him, and 

84 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

had need of them on the other side. Instead 
of the strong arm of my boy that I had hoped to 
lean on, He puts underneath us his everlasting 
arms, and we just rest there until the time for 
Him to bear us home : 

There'll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes, 
There'll be songs of greeting when Jesus comes : 
And a glorious meeting when Jesus comes. 

To gather his children home. 
There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes, 

To gather his children home. 






Q O 

Chapter VII. 

She is not dead — the child of our affection — 

But gone unto that school 
Where she no longer needs our poor protection, 

And Christ himself doth rule. 
Day after day we think what she is doing 

In those bright realms of air ; 
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing, 

Behold her grown more fair. 

— Longjellotv. 

Lois, "Timothy's Grandmother," as she called 
herself — was born in Freeport, Ohio, U.S.A., 
July 2, 1884, ^'^d was baptized by our presiding 
elder. Dr. E. Hincysley, August 10. After 
the dear old man had baptized her he put her 
again in my arms, saying, " As Pharaoh's 
daughter said to Moses' mother, so the Lord 
says to you : ' Take this child away and nurse 
it for me, and I will give thee thy wages'." 

From that moment the care of this child 
became a sacred trust, a special work for God, 
and what a sweet, blessed work it has been. 
How I did enjoy that darling girl. She never 


S6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

gave me one hour of sorrow, not one moment 
of anxiety, in all the fifteen beautiful years of 
her life. She was our joy and sunshine, our 
never failing comfort. Can it be possible any 
one so real, so full of life, so a part of ;/ij life, 
could be dead ? Oh, I am so thankful she is 
not dead, only just crossed over ahead of us, 
and is living, rejoicing, and loving us just the 
same to-day. 

But the greatest wonder of all is that we still 
live and s/ie gone. I had for a long time thought 
I could never part with her, not even for a few 
years to allow her to finish her education. I 
said over and over again, " It will kill me to 
send her home." The Lord knew he could not 
trust me to tell me beforehand what he 
intended to do, but did it without our know- 
ledge ; for our darlings were nearly twenty-four 
hours in heaven before we knew they had gone. 

How can 1 portray her sweet, beautiful life I 
Oh that I could tell the half of what her lite 
was to us ! 

She was unlike any other child we had. I 
seldom ever had to reprove her, and when it 
was necessary, just the mention of her fault was- 
enough, and it nearly broke her heart to think 

Lois Gertrude. 87 

she had done wrong or had in any way dis- 
pleased us. Her Sister Vida used to say, 
" Oh, it's nothing for Lois to do right ; she is 
naturally good ; but it means something when 
1 succeed." 

When our Lois was a baby, even then she 
was no trouble, and was so quiet and gentle. 
The winter she was a year and a half old I 
taught a Sunday-school class. Every Sabbath 
morning I would go into the Sunday-school 
room and find the seats arranged for the class, 
with two chairs side by side facing it — one for 
myself and one for Baby Lois. Placing her in 
one she would sit quietly without a word for an 
hour, until 1 had finished my work ; and yet she 
was anything but pokey. At other times she 
would run and romp and play equal to any of 

She was very bright and quick in her lessons 
as a little girl, and began the study of music 
when but seven years old. She used to play 
the organ for family prayers when her little feet 
could hardly reach the pedals. Her music was 
more the result of every-day home practice 
rather than constant work under a professor. 
She had about three terms of lessons at different 

88 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

times with the best professors to be had, but it 
was the every-day practice, and her playing for 
prayers and our times of singing in the even- 
ings in our home, that made music- such an 
easy thing for her. There were many girls who 
had taken more lessons, and upon whom 
more had been spent, who could not begin to 
play as well, — in fact, who seemed unable to 
play much sacred music ; but it was in this that 
Lois felt at home. I say this to encourage 
some parents who may regret not having the 
money to give their children a musical educa- 
tion. It is surprising what can be done by one- 
self in the home to stimulate in the children a 
taste for music, even though not a professional 

I believe we as parents are more responsible 
for our children's so-called talents than we 
think, and our children are much more what we 
make them than any of us has any idea. I 
loved music so much, though I had no special 
musical education, and i so longed for our 
children to be musicians. I used to sing a great 
deal myself, and each baby that came was sung 
to sleep night after night. But we were dis- 
appointed to find that Vida and Lois seemed 

Lois Gertrude. 89 

to have no gift in that direction. I tried to 
teach them the simple child-song, 
" Jesus loves me," 

singing it to them daily, and having them 
repeat strains with me, but they were neither 
of them ever able to carry a tune until Vida was 
about nine years old. At last they began to 
sing and to play, and how rejoiced we were. 

We had a desire that each should choose and 
learn to play a different instrument, and after 
the two girls could read notes they made their 
choice, Vida taking the guitar as hers, and Lois 
the piano and organ. We afterwards gave our 
boys each a violin, and by keeping them all at 
it a little each day they had become able to 
play a number of pieces together in such a way 
as to be a great joy to us. The evening hour 
of music was my rest hour, and their papa's 
interest in their music had much to do with 
cheering them on over the hard places. 

It is wonderful what an effect even a child's 
toys will have in moulding the child, and the 
bent in life is often had from some familiar 
object seen daily or used in childhood. I have 
known instances where a desire to go to sea 
had been kindled in a boy's heart by the 

90 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

picture of a ship which hung on a wall in the 
home ; also, a thirst for war and to be a soldier, 
by pictures of battles. If so, how careful we 
should be in choosing even our pictures and 
picture books for the home. 

We found that our children got a love for the 
Bible in this same way. Illuminated wall-texts 
— very beautiful ones — were hung in the family 
room for this purpose, and those special texts 
they learned before they could speak plainl}^, 
and to the last they could tell where each text 
hung, and seemed to learn to love it, as it was 
associated with their daily lives. 

So, too, I believe many children who may 
not have inherited any special talent, would 
become beautiful musicians if before they 
knew even how to use them they were given 
musical instruments to play with. The same 
might be said about drawing and painting ; also 
a love for reading might be induced in the 
same way. 

The Bible story was the charm of our child- 
ren's lives and next to it was our music, and 
the helpful books read to them before they 
were able to read for themselves. What a 
responsibility rests upon us parents. We make 

Lois Gertrude. 91 

or ruin our children by the use of the God- 
given power we Lave over them. Oh, that we 
all felt more awake to this and taught our 
children the word of God more like the people 
of Israel were commanded to do — writing it on 
the posts of the house ; " i\nd these words 
shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach 
them diligently unto thy children, and shalt 
talk of them as thou sitteth in thine house, and 
when thou walkest by the wa}', and when 
thou liest down and when thou riseth up." 
How much more conformed to God's will 
would their lives be, and mothers woula have 
less cause for heartache. 

I prefer this way, to that of giving them an 
education in worldly things (such as teaching 
them to dance, that they might shine in society, 
and all the other paraphernalia to prepare them 
for this style of life). This latter way I consider 
most dangerous, and while some children may be 
able to withstand the influence and yet become 
spiritual Christians, I believe the majority will 
choose the world instead of Christ, and by 
these very things we teach them, they will be 
weakened for life's duties and totally unprepared 
for eternity. My one regret is that I was not 

92 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

more alive to all these things while the blessed 
day of opportunity was mine. If these words 
might only be used to stir up other mothers to 
realize more fully their responsibility ^-and priv- 
ilege, I shall be thankful. 

Lois, like the rest, was passionately fond of 
flowers. When a wee child she used to watch for 
the first dandelions and white clover. With the 
latter they used to weave great wreaths and play 
with them every day. Buttercups and daisies 
were her delight, and many were the offerings 
brought home to me, and a bouquet I must 
always wear, pinned on with her own hands. 
Pansies and chrysanthemums were other favour- 
ites of hers. Her favourite fruit, flowers, books 
and songs — all seem to suggest to us our great 
loss. Her songs we feel we can never sing 
without her, and everything about us seems 
changed because of her absence. 

She was a natural elocutionist, and many 
were the home entertainments which she helped 
to make delightful with her witty or touching 
recitations, — one moment making us laugh with 
delight, and the next, cry. If this talent had 
been specially cultivated, certainly she would 
have excelled in it. 

Lois Gertrude. 93 

She was a most tender-hearted girl, and could 
not bear to give pain or see anyone in distress. 
This only developed as she grew older. She 
was converted in July, 1893, when but nine 
years old. She had been attending a meeting 
for children, at which her Sister Vida had given 
herself to Jesus a few days before. Lois did not 
seem to have anything to repent of, as we could 
see, and we thought she was all right ; but one 
evening on coming in from some gathering, 
instead of finding all the children asleep as 1 had 
expected, I found them in a great commotion. 

Wilbur met me in his night-clothes, and 
said, '' Mama, what's the matter with Lois ? 
She woke us up singing, and now she is laugh- 
ing and crying." I went to her room and found 
her rejoicing in a most natural, childlike way. 
She threw her arms around my neck, her face 
just beaming with the light of heaven, and said, 
I'Now, mama, I'm ready to go to India, or 
anywhere God wants me to go." From that time 
she reckoned herself a child of God, and was 
always ready to testify or pray in her sweet, 
child-like way. We have often known her to 
work for the conversion of others, praying for 
persons by name. 

94 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

She and her Sister Vida, although such 
opposites in disposition, were from childhood 
devoted to one another. They were together 
in everything, one not being able to enjoy any- 
thing without the other. If one's doll was 
broken, the doll of the other was carefully put 
awa}^ until the broken one was replaced. A 
box of sweets could not be enjoyed until the 
other one had them too. One seemed to be 
the complement of the other. I am glad they 
were saved the sorrow of separation. 

Lois was, as we called her, grandmother to all 
the children, and had a wonderful motherl}' way 
with the little ones, which was a great help in 
the home. She always said she was going to 
study medicine and be our medical missionary, 
a sa\'ing which during the last year or two had 
grown into a deep conviction. She loved her 
Bible, and read many chapters daily, as her 
diary shows, and had many uncommon verses 
which she had memorized and could tell where 
they were. She had special verses for every 
day in the month, and often gave us her ^' find" 
for the da}'. On the 9th of May, 1898, I find in 
her diary this entry, — " My verses for to-day, 
are Matt. 9, 29 : ' iVccording to your faith be 

Lois Gertrude. 95 

it unto you'; Mark 9, 23, 'Jesus said, if thou 
canst believe, all things are possible with him 
that believeth', and II Cor. 9, 8 : ' God is able 
to make all grace abound toward you ' " 

Once, when I was talking to them about their 
education, and regretting that we had not the 
money to send them home to finish their school- 
mg, she said " Mama, ' the Lord is able to 
give thee much more than this ;' this is my 
verse in IF Chron 25, 9." Since that day it has 
been one of my anchor texts. 

In her diary for 1896, we find several notes 
of great interest to us, such as, " My text for 
this week is, ' Blessed are those servants whom 
the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watch- 
ing, ' " and in another place, " I am sorry I was 
naughty to-day ; I will try and never be so 
again ; ' Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and 
thou shalt be saved.'" 

The following gives us a glimpse into her 
inner life: " I have been trying to be good and 
get full marks this week in conduct and in 
everything (this was about her school life). One 
of the girls put my name down when I never 
spoke, so one mark is off already. Mama is 
is away to the South Villages, so we all have to 

96 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

be mama, and are trying our best. I read 
Psalm 20. I must go to bed now; so good- 
night, my dear old diary." 

In the beginning of 1897 we find under notes 
for that year : "1 am going to be a very good 
girl, with God's help.'' 

2. " I am going to try and make everybody 

3. " I wish to remember the Golden Rule." 

4. " I wish also to have good lessons." 

5. "My text for the year, is, " Except the 
Lord build the house, they labour in vain that 
build it," Ps. 127, I. 

On Sunday, March 6, 1898, we find this- 
sweet entry : " I went to all the Sunday services 
to-day. I got a great blessing. God help me 
to be good. 

' Oh, how sweet the glorious promise 
Simple faith may claim ; 
Yesterday, to-day, forever, 
'Jesus is the same.' " 

Another in the same month : " We went to^ 
the Zoo to-day. Mama could not go, so I 
brought her a pansy." 

A few days later, she writes : " I am asking 
Jesus for an organ." She had saved different 
sums of money since quite a little girl, hoping 

Lois Gertrude. 97 

to gather enough to buy an organ. When only 
four years old her papa gave her a little pig, 
which she fed and cared for, and when we 
removed from that place, it was sold, she keep- 
ing the proceeds for her organ. 

Later, when we came to India, the old 
melodeon on which she had practiced as a 
child was sold at our sale. When the men 
carried it out of the house, the children 
hid their faces, as though they could not bear 
to see the old friend go. Lois had a quiet 
cry to herself. 

Her papa handed her the money it brought, 
and told her to keep it for a new one. Another 
friend gave her a sovereign, and often even her 
pocket money went into this fund. 

At the beginning of this year we found she 
had money enough to buy a little American 
organ which was offered very cheap, so her papa 
purchased it for her, and she was delighted with 
it. We took it to the hills, and this organ, and 
the boys' violins, and Vida's guitar lie beneath 
those awful ruins. 

They each had their bank account, and 
handled their own money. We find they had 

98 The Darjeeltng Disaster. 

saved a good bit of their pocket money ; for 
there are still sixty rupees (|2o) to their credit. 
This we have put into their " Memorial Building 

Another entry, dated March 27, 1898, runs: 
"To-day I read Luke from the 13th to the 20th 
chapter. 1 got a great blessing this evening. 
Oh, God, help me to help Wilbur and Herbert. 
' Walk while ye have the light.' 

"'Tis done, the great transaction's done, 
' I am my Lord's and He is mine.'" 

On her birthday in 1898, we find these 
verses, taken for the last year of her life, — Isaiah 
54, 10, 14: " For the mountains shall depart 
and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall 
not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant 
of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that 
hath mercy on thee." 

The 14th verse is underscored : " In right- 
eousness shall they be established. Thou shalt 
be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear ; 
and from terror, for it shall not come near thee." 

These seem to us like prophecies fulfilled in 
her death. 

Lois Gertrude. 99 

The mountains did depart, and the hills were 
removed, but I believe the Lord's kindness did 
did not depart from that dear girl, and it 
was in the keeping of His covenant of peace 
that he snatched her out of the destruction 
caused by the fury of the elements on that 
awful night, and this prophecy was literally 
fulfilled in saving her from fear and terror in 
the hour of death. He folded her in his loving 
arms and bore her away to be forever with him. 

A part of her diary for 1899 was dug out 
of the ruins. It has a few characteristic 
entries. On June ist, we read, "To-day I 
made out a routine, and mean to keep it with 
God's help. I took the daily prayer-meeting 
this afternoDn at the school. My verse was, 
' Call upon me and I will answer thee and 
show thee great and mighty things which thou 
knowest not.' " 

June 2nd : " I did not go to school to-day as 
it was very rainy, but wrote letters instead. 
1 found out that my great grandfather on 
mama's side was a Methodist preacher ; my 
grandpa on papa's side was a (local) Methodist 
preacher ; my honourable dad is a Methodist 
preacher, and my kids will most likely be 

loo The Dakjeeling Disaster. 

Methodist preacher's kids." This last shows- 
how full of wit and mischief she was. No girl 
ever got more joy out of life than she. 

She speaks in these entries very affectionately 
of her bosom friend, Flora, the daughter 
of one of our missionaries. On June 24th, 
our last Saturday before we left them to return 
to our work, she speaks of the glad, joyous 
time, and says, " Flora came. She is such a 
sweetheart. L love her so much. I think God 
meant us for each other." 

June 27th " Mama and papa, with Frank and 
Esther, left for Calcutta to-day." 

She afterwards writes of the Fourth of July 
they had together, and the state dinner, as they 
called it, which they cooked and served them- 
selves, having invited their principal. Miss Stahl, 
and Flora, to dine with them. 

Her spiritual life seemed to develop rapidly 
this year, and to her joyousness there seemed no 

She had a way of getting around her papa \ 
in fact, every one. It was difficult for anyone 
to refuse a request she made. She seemed to 
make only reasonable ones, and had such a 
loving, irresistible way about her that we would 

Lois Gertrude. ioi 

deny ourselves anything to please her. And 
gladly would we have given our lives to have 
saved her from pain and death. 

Oh, how cruel it seems that her bright life 
should have been crushed out and that dear 
form bruised and mangled. Just think — thrown 
nearly 200 feet down the mountain side and 
found buried in the sand, all but her pretty 
white hand. She was dug out by friends, and 
carried to where kind strangers prepared her for 
the burial. 

Then from the spot where she had often 
heard the word of God, and had played the 
organ for Sunday School, and united her voice 
in the singing the beautiful hymns of praise — 
from the little church in the hills, they bore 
her all covered with her favourite chrysan- 
themum, and laid her away, long before we 
could reach her. No " good bye, mama" nor 
parting word. 

But our hearts would break should we dwell 
on this part of this awful mystery. So we try 
to drive it all away and think only of her 
glorified spirit, happy with God in Heaven. 

She wrote just a few weeks before : "Mama — - 
you have written to all the rest, but not to me for 

102 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

a long time. I think you have forgotten you 
have me." The thought of not having her would 
kill me — and the future without our darlings i& 
so dark and dismal that to-day we feer we can 
never face to-morrow. But as we turn from the 
busy whirl of life to see the sunset each day, we 
say to ourselves : It is one day less until we 
shall go to them, — one day nearer home. 

As we think of Christmas without them, it 
seems impossible for us to ever live through that 
once joyous tide again — and we catch ourselves 
breathing the prayer " Come Lord Jesus, come 
not only for our sakes — but for others — and make 
this sad world glad. Usher in the time John 
spoke of when he said, ' Behold the Tabernacle 
of God is with men, and he will dwell with them 
and they shall be his people, and God himself 
shall be with them and be their God. And God 
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and 
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow 
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, 
for the former things are passed away.' "' 

In her writing desk we found the following in 
her own handwriting. Surely her ambitions 
have been realized and she is now all she hoped 
to be. 

Lois Gertrude. 103 

JO ^ a '^cCotJZA.' 

'^^oA.eA. C^ l%9q. 

dLo-L/y gLaZ . 

How perfectly she must play and sing now. 
I remember on two occasions — once on my 
birthday anniversary, I was awakened from a 
sound sleep, by Vida playing her guitar at the 
door of my room. Another time, only a year 
ago, I had gone to sleep earlier than usual, and 
was awakened by Lois playing on the piano 
and she and Vida singing so sweetly. 

I thought, at first, I was in Heaven — so sweet 
were the sounds, that it seemed the angels were 
singing. Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. 
Methinks one day I will be thus awakened by 
their music, and will open my eyes in Heaven 

I04 The Darjeelixg Disaster. 

with them all about me — each one trying to be 
first to greet m.e. 

When I shall meet with those that I have loved. 
Clasp in my arms the dear ones long reftioved, 
And find how faithful Thou to me hast proved, 
I shall be satisfied. 

Horatius Bona?' 

Chapter VI IT. 

In the clear morning of that other country 
In paradise 

\Vi:h the s.ime lace that we ha^ e loved and cherished 
She shall arise. 

Let us be patient we who mourn, with weeping, 

Her vanished face. 
The Lord has taken but to add more beauty 

And a diviner grace. 

And we shall tind once more beyond earth's sorrows 

Beyond those skies. 
In the fair city of the sure foundation 

These heavenly eyes. 

The name of our first born, V:ca Maud, 
would have been David had she been a bo>-. A 
friend suggested the feminine ci Da\*id, which 
is Vida, so her name is that of her father's, and 
the pronunciation suggests the country oi her 
birth — the Land of the \'edas. She opened 
her eyes nrst in a little mtid cottage in the 
beautiful city of Bangalore, July 20, iSSj. She 
was dedicated to God at her birth, and again 
publicly in baptism, September 10, the Rev. 
Ira A. Richards officiating^. 


io6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

She went to America with her parents, — 
her father being very ill, — starting when only 
seven months' old, by sailing vessel. The 
moon and the stars and the sea-bitds were 
her first friends, in all of which she took a 
lively interest. After nearly four months 
on board she landed in the noisy bustle of 
New York city, which so frightened and 
bewildered her that she never was happy while 
there excepting the day we returned to the 
ship where she saw her friends, the sailors, 
and the only home she knew — the dear old 
vessel which had brought her safely through 
man\- a storm. 

She began her missionar}- work in travelling 
from place to place with her father and mother 
while they were speaking on India. After a 
few months she settled down as a preacher's 
baby, who is usually the centre of much loving 
attention and kind thought. 

When only three years old her grandfather, 
who lived with us, and of whom she was very 
fond, died. As the funeral passed out of the 
church and she saw her grandma leaning on 
her father's arm weeping, she ran up to her 
and catching her by the dress, called out, 

ViDA Maud. 107 

" Don't cry, grandma, Vida will take care of 
you now." Her little heart was almost broken 
to see her grandma's grief. 

.From infancy she was a child very difficult to 
control. One of strong passion, with a temper 
beyond an}* power to subdue, and yet a 
child with a most affectionate nature and of 
sterling honesty. She hated falsehood and 
deception with all the powers of her being. 

Many times we knew not what to do, 
and confessed our inability to guide and control 
this strange child, and earnestly prayed for the 
day when Vida should find Jesus and the new- 
nature He alone could impart. This was con- 
stantly kept before her, and she, too, became 
desperate about herself, and often sought earn- 
estly. That blessed da\^ came, and she was 
converted at a camp meeting held at Mountain 
Lake Park, Maryland, July 2, 1893, when eleven 
years old. 

She and her sister Lois, two years younger, 
at an invitation for seekers, knelt at the 
altar together. The first meeting closed 
without her getting into the light. She came 
home deeply convicted of sin, and after prayer 
together and a bit of instruction she returned to 

io8 Tiib: Dakjkkling Disaster. 

the afternoon service and again went to the 
altar. She was brightly converted, and testified 
before a large audience to Jesus' saving power. 
Her face beamed with joy, and many hearts 
were moved by her sweet, childish testimony. 
She was a changed girl from that time, although 
she had much to contend with, and it was no 
easy thing for her to live out her high ideal of 
what a Christian life should be. 

Shortly after this, in a holiness meeting, she 
sought definitely for the blessing of sanctifica- 
tion, and no one who knew her ever doubted 
her receiving it. Her joyous, childish simplicity 
in it only made her a greater blessing to others. 
She did not always retain this blessed experi- 
ence, but she was never satisfied without it. 

A young man, a backslider, came to 
that convention so dejected that he was 
almost in despair and ready to take his 
own life. He was a perfect stranger, but the 
child noticed his sad, hopeless face, and went to 
him with so much joy that the man was over- 
powered by her influence. 

"You look so sad," she said; " it's because 
you want Jesus. Come along with me and 
find Him." 

ViDA Maud. 109 

He went forward as a seeker, and never left 
the place of prayer until he too was happy in 
Jesus. He wrote of this to us after our return 
to India, saying he could not resist her, and that 
he felt she had been the means of his salvation. 

She went to school but little in America, and 
found it difficult to get along with her studies, 
but being desirous of having a good education, 
she became a persevering student. She was 
specially fond of history and mathematics. She 
was also a great lover of the beautiful in nature 
as well as in character. Flowers and ferns were 
her delight ; buttercups, daisies and wild 
flowers being special favourites. She had a 
passion for music and motion, and had she 
been thrown into such surroundings in her 
younger years she would have been led away 
by gaiety, dancing and dress. 

She was a splendid letter writer for one of 
her age, and could write most interesting letters. 

At twelve years of age she returned to India 
with her parents and soon entered on her 
school duties with a persistency which showed 
that she would win in the end. She had 
dedicated herself to God for mission work, so 
took up the study of the Bengali language, and 

no The Darjeeling Disaster. 

living with the BengaH girls in our school she 
soon understood and spoke it very well. She 
•was also able to read and write it. For a year 
she had been helping in mission work. 

She had been conducting a native Sunday- 
school, taking two of our Bengali girls with 
her to help in teaching the children. After 
the Sunday-school she would go into the homes 
among the women and talk and sing with 
them. Her Sunday-school numbered seventy- 
five children.* She loved the children and 
women very much. They now gather around 
and ask for her, and wonder why she does not 
come to them. She also helped me in the 
prayer-meetings among the girls, and we had 
looked forward to her help this year. She at 
her own request, had been appointed the 
Sabbath-school superintendent for the next 
year. How can we do without her ! 

The following is an extract from an unfinished 
letter written to a friend in America which we 
found in her writing desk : 

" I am vice-president of our Epworth League 
and head of the Spiritual Department and 
working for the conversion of the young 

* See photograph. 

ViDA Maud. hi 

" I know I am right with God myself, and do 
want others to feel the sweet peace I have in 
following Christ. There are very few young 
people who profess the baptism of the Holy 
Ghost. There are a good many converted, but 
they don't know that there is a higher life for 

" I was talking of our English girls, but there 
are several of the girls in mama's school (native 
girls) who have found that place in Jesus. 

" I do want to tell you about a little Sunday- 
school which mama opened away out in a 
village where the people are very poor. I call 
this my Sunday-school.* I go there now on 
Sundays. First, we open with a hymn ; and 
you should hear those dear children try to join 
us, one making awful faces, another holding the 
notes too long in one place and racing in 
another place, while most all are flat ; but it is 
so touching. They are all little boys and girls, 
some with only a little cloth tied about their 
waists. We then have prayer, and it is pretty 
hard to keep their little tongues quiet and their 
eyes shut. I take two Bengali girls with me ; 
then two boys from Mr. Chew's school come 
and help us. 

* See photograph. 

112 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" After the prayers we have the lesson ; then 
the children receive a ticket. Mama gives 
■them a little ticket ; then when they have four 
little ones they have a larger one, 'then four 
more big cards gives them a big card to keep. 

" While Sunday-school is going on I take 
one of the girls and we go to visit the zenanas- 
where we have met such nice bos (or young 
wives), and we sing and give them the lesson 
also. It is so nice, but I feel very sorry for the 
poor people, and I do wish that I could help 

Vida was an earnest Bible student, — read her 
Bible from real enjoyment of it. She often 
read it as some girls read novels, — sitting down 
and finishing a whole book without putting it 

She at other times carried out prescribed 
plans for Bible study ; was always anxious to 
attend Bible readings, working out subjects 
suggested, and had many verses memorized 
and their place fixed. The most enjoyable 
hour of the day of late years has been the 
evening hour, spent with the other members of 
the family in music, and in calling up old texts 
and learning new ones. Vida played the 

ViDA Maud. 113 

violin, but her special instrument was the 
guitar. She played sweetly, often accompany- 
ing with her voice, which was so adapted to its 
soft music. 

Her sister Lois was the organist ; and the two 
boys with their violins, together with Vida and 
Lois with their instruments, often formed a quar- 
tette whose home concerts made the evenings a 
delight. Now there is a blank in our home 
which can never again be filled. How perfectly 
they must play and sing together now ! The 
piece which Vida and Lois often sang together, 
Lois singing the alto, was : 

" In our Father's blessed keeping 
I am happy, safe and free : 
While His eye is on the sparrow 
I shall not forgotten be." 

Vida's plaintive soprano rings in our ears 
yet. They all sang together so often, '' Behold 
the Bridegroom comes, be ready," " When 
the Roll is called up yonder I'll be there," 
these being the favourites of the boys. A 
favourite, and one sung so much during the 
past year, was, " Peace, Perfect Peace," and 
" There'll be no dark valley when Jesus comes " 
and " We'll never say good-by in Heaven." 

Oh, those darling children ! How can we ever 

114 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

do without them ! Some days the dreadful 
silence seems unbearable ; but in the morning 
we will have them all again, praise His name. 

For the encouragement of others ^trying to 
overcome evil dispositions and to live a true 
Christian life, there are many things in Vida's 
diary which should be knov^'n. In her diary 
for 1896; three years ago, she has written : 

April ist. "Had a nice talk with Mama. 
I am going to try to be a better girl 
and let my light shine. — ' Let your light 
so shine before men that they may see your 
good works.' " 

May 5. "I solemnly promise, with God's help, 
to never speak another unkind word as long as 
I live. People may think it impossible, but I 
do believe with all my heart what God sa}s : 
'Things which are impossible with man are 
possible with God,' so I go to Him .... 
God helping me I try. V. Lee." 

Underneath we find the word " Broken " 

July 2nd, this year, 1896, we find the words, 
"Three years ago to-day I was converted." 
Another entry on July 4th, shows her plax-ful- 
ness : " I received such a nice ]it:le dolly, only 

ViDA Maud. 115 

two inches long. I don't know what to name 
her. Lois is her godmother." 

I find in the back of her diary a Httle play 
for the youngest children, Ada and Esther. 
She evidently said it to them sometime. 

Ada is — My honey, — violet-bud, — rosie-bud 
Ink-pot,— duck-pie, — curly-burly, — Pearly, — Pussy cat : 

Esther is, — ^Vida's Dumpling — Daisy-bud 
Honey-suckle, — lilly-bud, — chika-biddy. 
Ranee, — darling, — lovie-dovie, — pigeon-pie meti. 

So often she speaks of having been naughty 
during the day, and being so troubled about it. 
She comes away and seeks pardon, and can not 
rest until she has obtained peace. 

Sunday, x^ugust 16. "1 got a blessing this 
evening ; I had a great treat — a nice talk with 
Mama, which I hardly ever get. I am going 
to be a better orirl." 

If mothers only took more time for confiden- 
tial talks with their boys and girls, how much 
trouble it would save. Some of us would give 
worlds for the blessed opportunity again. We 
would make more use of it than ever before. 

Her diar}^ for the year 1 897 could not be found. 

Her text for the year 1898 was, " He that 
ruleth his own spirit is better than he that 

ii6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

taketh a city," and all throughout the year 
' her struggle to live out that text was most 
heroic, as many entries show. *- 

February i8. "I am afraid I am not getting 
along as nicely as before. I am naughty again 
... I feel very bad because I have not read 
my Bible. I believe that I can not be good 
without my ' morning watch.' " 

Sunday, April lo. " I did something against 
my conscience ; I read some in the book, ' Out 
to the Wilds.' I felt bad, but had a real nice 
talk with Mama on 2nd Thess. 3 • 3 : ' The 
Lord is faithful who shall stablish you and keep 
you from, evil.' i John, i : 9: 'If we confess, — 
He is just to forgive . . . and cleanses me from 
from all unrighteousness.' " 

April II. " God has kept me to-day, except 
once I scolded Mama about giving Esther 

April 14. " Had my ' morning watch,' and 
was the only girl in the class who had her 
physiology lesson. Mama is so sweet. Read 
to-day Josh. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 chapters." 

April 15. "I am longing for a talk with 
Mama. I was helped by reading about His 
care for his people, Luke 14th chapter." 

ViDA Maud. 117 

April 21. " Lots of lessons. I did not go 
for a drive, but stayed at home to pray and talk 
with Jesus. I got a blessing. I had spoken 
cross to Mama about my dress. I read three 
chapters of Peter, and nine chapters of Joshua." 

April 29. " Miss C . . . . , my teacher, is 
very nice. I played my guitar at literary so- 

May I. "The last Sunday before going to 
the hills. Mr. Warne preached a nice sermon, 
and I said good-by to friends." 

May 2. " Started for Sonada to-day. Miss 
Gardner gave us a nice box of sweets, cake, etc." 

May 3. " Very sick while in the sleeper and 
coming up the hills ; but our verse which we 
took for the journey, was, ' In everything give 

thanks.' It did not rain, and Mrs. B 

had a nice dinner for us." 

The following shows her taste for reading : 
*' Started to read ' Quixote.' I would rather 
have a history book, but shall read my Bible 
first always." 

Sunday, May 15. "I wished to read all of 
2nd Samuel to-day, but read from the first 
chapter to the 20th. Oh, I do want to be God's 
child !" 

ii8 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

May 19. " Had a long walk of about two 
and a half miles. Dr. Mulford sent word to us 
.to keep on pads* (spiritual pads) and ' keep 
hips back ' (physically). I read ist Kings from 
the 7th to the 17th chapters. I feel Jesus' 

May 20. " I was not very happy to-day be- 
cause I did not read God's word and did not talk 
to God. In the evening I practised my guitar." 

Sunday night, May 22. " I read 2nd Kings, 
the first 14 chapters. I do want to be a good 
girl to-morrow. I do not feel at all good or 
comfortable and peaceful, but all bad and mean 
and unhappy without Jesus. I wont go to 
sleep before I get blessed." 

May 25. " Read 8 chapters in 2nd Kings. 
Mama sang, ' Oh my Redeemer' while I played 
the accompaniment on the guitar. We are 
reading ' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' " 

May 27. " 1 wrote to Grandma Jones and 
Cousin Eddie. I am not very happy ; did not 
do just right. Oh ! that I were in the ' secret 
place.' " She speaks of this so often. 

Again, on Sunday, May 29 : ''I do want to 
get into the 'secret place.' Read Psalms i8th 

Referring to pads used in Cricket. 

ViDA Maud, 119 

to 36th and I St Cor. i8th to 29th chapters 
[19 Psalms and 12 chapters in one day]. I 
did not to go to sleep in the afternoon, but 
read instead." 

Sunday, June 5. '' We had a nice little 
meeting (at home). I do wish I was in the 
' secret place' and had a real strong Christian 
character. Went for a long walk in the morn- 
ing, and read the Songs of Solomon and five 
chapters in John." 

Tuesda}-, June 7. " I did not have a nice 
day. Mama feels heartbroken about Lois and 
I disagreeing. I am sick of myself Read six 
psalms, from the 38th to the 43rd." 

June 8. " Lois taken ill. She was caught 
in the rain. Mama is so sweet. She says that 
she believes God will answer her prayer and 
save mer 

June 12. " I started a few days ago the 
study of the Kings. It's very interesting. I 
have lost Mr. Campbell White's Bible reading on 
' Personal Work.' I do feel so badly about it. 
I do hope that Jesus will show it to me. (I 
found it.)" 

This last entry shows her habit of taking 
everything to God in prayer and expecting an 

I20 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

answer. Prayer during that terrible night of 
the landslip, was not just forced by the fearful 
■occasion ; it was the habit of her life. She knew 
what it was to turn to God about everything. 

During this month of June, 1898, she 
seemed to have one of the greatest conflicts 
of her life. Satan seemed to beset her on every 
side. I, in trying to bring it to a crisis, told 
her that her spiritual condition was alarming, 
as the following entry shows : " Mama said 
I died to-night she did not think I would go 
to heaven. I am feeling badly. Read Ezra 
from chapter 2nd to the end of the book. I 
will try again with God's help." 

The next day she writes, " I made a spiritual 
pad for myself. I was a much better girl to- 
day, through Jesus only. Mama said so too." 

June 18. " Mama is so sweet to-day. I 
played my guitar. Papa still very sick. I do 
hope he will get well very soon." 

Sunday, June 19. " Papa is better. Started 
Christian's journey in 'Pilgrim's Progress.' Had 
a great victory to-day. I feel so happy to- 
night. I am reading Job." 

June 21. "We had a "state dinner" for mama 
and papa (play\ and a home entertainment 

ViDA Maud. 121 

afterwards. Had my geography lesson, but I 
did not have my 'watch and pray' to-day, so 
I do not feel so happy. Read Proverbs, first 
5 chapters." 

June 22. " I went to see the Bengali women. 
"VVe are reading 'James Garfield.' We are 
trying how many new words we can get from 
this new book. Read to-day 8th chapter of 

June 26. " I wish I had not played train 
to-day with the boys. I did not get a rea 
blessing, so am not happy. Mama promises 
me a gold mohur when I can play my guitar 
book through." 

The above shows how tender her conscience 
was, and how she looked daily for special 
blessings. This she felt she missed by taking 
part in some game she felt not suited for 
Sunday. How many of us are content to miss 
the blessing which comes from communion with 
God and spend our time on Sunday in a trifling 
way, if not in out-and-out worldly amusements, 
or in otherwise violating the day. 

June 27, Monday. " I wish I was hid in the 
' secret place.' I do not feel safe out of it." 

122 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

June 30. " Mama went to Calcutta to-day. 
I fixed all the children's clothes. I feel happy 
to-night. I want to do right." 

July I. "I bathed the children and looked 
after home. Papa said, Mama would be 

Sunday, July 3. " I did not take time to 
read my Bible during the day, but to-night read 
the 1 2th chapter of Isaiah. I never saw the 
second verse as I do now: 'Behold God is my 
salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. 
Jehovah is my strength and my song.' ' My 
Song' — so I can be happy if I have ///;//." 

Oh ! if we could all learn this secret which 
our dear girl had learned ; i.e. that our happi- 
ness is in Him, not in the world, nor in worldly 

July 8. " Mama wrote that she laughed over 
my letter as much as she did about Wilbur's 
slipping over the pony's head the day we went 

to C I played 'Blue Bells of Scotland' 

perfectly, and walked nearly three miles." 

July 12. "I am not very happy because the 
house is not very tidy, and I know papa does not 
like it. I am a real naughty girl." 

July 21. " I weigh 130 pounds." 

ViDA Maud. 123 

July 31, Sunday. "We are back in Calcutta. 
Mr. Campbell White preached one of his 
beautiful sermons in the morning. He said, 
" We each have 499 souls to save in India 

Sept. 18, Sunday. "Mr. Warne preached a 
sermon on Holiness. I do not feel as if I was 

holy enough by far. Mr. B died, and 

I spent the day and night with his daughter 

Sept. 26. " Test examination again to-day. 
My verse, ' He will bring all things to your 
remembrance.' I do hope I will pass." 

She did pass ; also passed her eighth standard 
in the final examination, to her ijreat delight. 
This year she was taking the two years' course 
of high school examination in the one, and had 
set her heart on passing the "high school" in 
November, 1899, and the Entrance Examination 
of the Calcutta University the following March. 

Vida from her childhood always had special 
love for old people. She liked to be with 
them, and in nearly every place we have had a 
home, she has had some old, blind or helpless 
person whom she visited regularly. When only 
five years old there was a crippled saint of His, 

124 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

to whom she and Lois used to carry their little 
basket of fruit, or flowers, or some other dainty, 
•regularly. When only ten years old she used 
to take her Testament every Sunday- afternoon 
and go over and read to an old blind lady. 

Many of these old friends, we believe, gave 
them a warm welcome that nicrht when the 
angels carried them through the gates of heaven. 
She was anxious that her old friend in Calcutta 
might be visited while she was away. 

We all went to Darjeeling together, May ist, 
this year (1899,) after much prayer about the 
selection of the house, and when we saw the 
beautiful two-storied building covered with ivy 
and surrounded with lovely flowers, we thanked 
God for selecting us such a beautiful place. 

As we rejoiced over it, how little we thought 
it was to be our darlings' tomb, and that with this 
beautiful spot should perish our happy earthly 
home with so many of its delights. 

During the two months we remained Vida 
seemed to grow more affectionate and cling to 
her mother, and so much of the time wished to 
be with me. 

ViDA Maud. 125 

About two weeks before I returned to Cal- 
cutta she seemed so disturbed about herself, 
because she sometimes spoke impatiently and 
unkindly to the others. 

One day she said, " Mama, I feel I must get 
the victory over this habit, or I fear I will lose 
my religion. I must get back that blessing I 
once had, of full salvation, or I fear I will lose 

I said, " Yes, Vida, you must get a victory 
or your life will be ruined. Why not get it 
to-day ? " 

It was Sunday, and neither she nor I were 
very well, so, while the others went to church 
we got our Bibles and had a blessed search 

After selecting a number of His promises 
on which to lean, we got down before Him and 
poured out our hearts to Him. We together 
sought for the fullness of His love. 

Oh ! that blessed hour together. I fear I did 
not fully realize all it meant. As we finished, 
I said, *' Vida, dear, do you take your Saviour 
in all His fullness and trust Him to keep you at 
all times?" 

126 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

"Yes, Mama, I do. I trust never to let go 
of him again." 

She arose so comforted and threw ^er arms 
about me, calHng me her "sweet Httle mama" 
(for she was so much taller than I and bigger 
in every way that of late this had become a 
favourite expression of hers — "my little mama"), 
pressing her cheek to mine with a caress I shall 
never forget. 

The next three weeks, which were my 
last with them, she was gentle and loving, 
and so helpful in every way that the joy of 
those days will linger until I clasp that 
dear, brave girl in my arms again in the 

After much prayer we decided that it was 
best to leave the children with Vida while we 
returned to our work in Calcutta, as we were 
buying property and altering the house there 
which would require three or four months. 

It was so hard for us to leave them, but the 
children were so happy going to school to- 
gether, and Vida was so proud of being trusted 
in charge of them, and all were so sure they 
could get on nicely together. 

ViDA Maud. 127 

I remember the last night ; I could hardly 
sleep, and kept praying that if it was not the 
right thing to leave them, the Lord would show 
us so plainly we could not be mistaken. I 
decided, should the Lord send us, before the 
train left that morning, a good cook-woman to 
stay with them night and day, I would go ; if 
not, I would remain until we could make other 
arrangements. Next morning a nice hill woman 
came, and everything was arranged and we 
came away. 

Vida and Lois fixed our tiffin, and then came 
to the station. I remember how erect and 
brave Vida looked as she bade us goodby at 
the station, and how I had to harden my heart 
and call up all the courage I had, to leave 

Many regrets have since come, but He whom 
we have always trusted. Who promises to lead 
in the way we shall go and to guide with His eye, 
must have guided us in leaving them, and it 
was a part of His great plan to prepare them 
for the higher work for which He felt he must 
take them at anv cost. 

Their papa returned in August and spent 
three delightful weeks with them, taking Esther 

128 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

back ; whom it seemed advisable to leave with 
her brothers and sisters until we got settled. It 
was arranged even after her papa's ^return, to 
bring her down, but Vida felt it was so much 
better for her to remain, and we yielded. Some- 
times we can hardly bear the regret for this 
decision, but the Lord had need of this dear 
child too, and we believe we will understand 
why by-and-by. 

By-and-by when our work here is finished 

And the gates of the city appear 
And the beautiful songs of the Angels 

Float out on our listening ear. 
When all that now seems so mysterious, 

Will be bright and as clear as the day, 
Then the toils of the road will seem nothing 

When we get to the end of the way. 

Chapter IX. 

Many of the children's best and most in- 
teresting letters had been sent home to friends 
before the parents knew they would be needed 
for such a time. The following are extracts 
from some they still have with them : 

SONADA, July ^th, i8g8. 

Monday Night. 

Mv Own Sweet, Darling Mama : — You 
are such a dear good mama to send me that 
pretty ribbon. I don't really deserve such a 
nice thing. 

We were all delighted with our presents, 
Esther still carries her watch around with her, 
and it is a great temptation to use the cup in the 
same way. 

Lois seemed to enjoy her birthday, and it was 
not until to-day that she discovered that one 
of those little cakes was her birthday cake. 

To-day, being " America's birthday," as 
Wilbur says, they each had a pistol and 


I30 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

candy ball, and, even Esther, played they were 
fiehtinsf the Engrlish. The bovs made four 
.swords on purpose. The four marched, while 
they sang "The Star Spangled Barmer" also 
sounding their whistles and shouting " Three 
Cheers for the Red, White and Blue." 

In the evening, I played on my guitar, but the 
dampness let down the soprano string, and 
there was a great discord. I soon got that 
right, but how we missed your voice. I never 
was made, like you, to lead. Esther had us 
sing that verse over twice : 

' ' When I was playing with my brother, 

Happy was I. 
Oh I take me to my dear old mother^ 

There let me live and die." 

Then she said " Why did he want to 
die when he got to his mama ? " So Papa ex- 
plained it to her, but she was sure she would 
not like to die when she got to you. 

I have all the stockings washed up for 
this week. I hardly know what to do for 
Herbert, poor boy, it is a waste of that 
good yarn of mine to mend his stockings. 

The boys were so delighted because Papa 
let them go to Darjeeling alone to do the 

The Children's Letters. 131 

Bazaar and cret the bread. So thev two set ofY 
looking very well and tidy ; they have each 
grown about three inches since Papa told them 
to go and get a soup bone. 

Papa says for you to remember that " good 
women '' are scarce and for you to take care of 
vourself there in the heat. I am so crlad vou 
left Esther ; she seems to enjov herself, thoug^h 
she does miss you much. She is better now, and 
sits b}' me at meals. Kisses from us all. Papa 
sa}'s everything is stattisquo. With much love, 
Good night, Mama dear. 

Your own dearest 


Darjeelin^ letters written by Vida to her 
parents in Calcutta. 

Vidas letter to lier Father on his birth day. 

June 28, i8gg. 

My Owx Darlings : — It is almost going to 
bed time but we wanted to send Papa a birthday 
letter. I hope you will like the paper cutter, 
dear, it is from us all. ]\Iany happy returns of 
the dav ; mav vou have manv lon^ vears with 

132 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

us still, as we can't get on without you yet, 
'We are going to try and be your good children, 
especially I, and cheer you now that you are 
getting older. 

1 want to be really and truly your Vida 
Maud, which means, you know, " your beloved 
heroine." I wish I could get the victory over 
self and be a true heroine. 

You spoke of showing the people that I can 
pass, but really I feel very discouraged about 
it, I have such a lot to learn, — but you have 
enough to worry you and I wanted this to be a 
birthday letter. 

Now the children are all nicely fixed in the 
train on the way to dreamland. 1 am trying 
to be their mother. I only want to wish 
you again many good and best wishes for your 
birthday. Papa, then say good-night. 

This is a very funny birthday letter, it 
is only a common one, but I think you will 
count it as full of love and fondest kisses as a 
daughter ever sent her father and mother. 
Remember me now, as always, your 

ViDA Maud. 

The Children's Letters. i33 

Letter written on her last birthday 

July 26th, i8g^. 

My Own Precious Mamma and Papa: — 
This has been one of the happiest birthdays that 
I have ever had. 1 woke up this morning and 
found Wilbur, Herbert, Lois, Ada and Jessudar 
all around me, and Ada handed me a slate 
covered with nice things. I never expected any 
thing, and they had no chance to go to the 

But I felt very sorry and sad to think 
how cross I have been to them so often, and how 
mean and naughty I have been to you some- 
times. How can you love me ? I hate myself. 

You said for me to be more loving and gentle 
to the children than you have been. Oh ! dear 
Mama, I will never be half so good as you are. 
I only wish I could be quarter as good ; but I 
am really trying, and pray hard that I may get 
the victory. 

Lois gave me a set of silver locks (links and 
studs). I don't think she should have spent so 
much. Wilbur and Herbert gave me a horseshoe 
brooch, silver — dear boys ! Ada gave me some 
pretty flowers, rosebuds and fuchsias, which I 

134 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

think so much of. Jessudar gave me a string of 

beads. Lois sHpped and hid the ribbon and 

chocolates, so I didn't see them until this morn- 

ing, so it was such a surprise, for 1 never ex- 
pected anything else as the ribbons you sent in 
Lois' basket I took for my birthday present 
from you, and I thought the nuts had taken the 
place of the chocolates. 

What a dear, sweet Mama and Papa ! The 
books are just beauties. I have been reading a 
good deal in that book that Mr. Ross gave Her- 
bert, about Wicliffe, but I never thought I would 
receive his biography for a birthday present, and 
I hear so much about Luther in history but I 
knew nothing of his life, and the life of Paul too. 

Lois has an examination on it this year 
and it will help her, besides I want to study his 
life myself. Thank you. Papa, ever so much. 

I do want biographies and now we have six to 
add to our library, — Clive, Nelson, Wicliffe, 
Lawrence, Livingstone and Luther, but I like 
mine best. 

Mama, you can't guess how much I 
prize that ribbon. I have often envied other 
girls who had that kind of ribbon, yet I did not 

The Children's Letters. 135 

exactly envy them either, for I have the best 
Papa and Mama in the whole, round world. 
Papa said he was proud of me. Oh, you will 
never know the good it has done me to be 
trusted up here with the children. 

I wish Papa could have come down the 
hill and had part of my lovely birth- 
day tea that Lois (such a pet) gave me. And 
indeed I looked often up the hill to see if you 
were really coming. 1 think every thing is 
pretty straight. Lois is getting a nice dinner 
too, — roast chicken ; come and have a bit. 

I got a letter from Mr. Fraser. It has been 
rainy and cold and windy to-day, but Jesus 
whispers " Peace within." I forgot to tell you 
about some more presents I got. Suee gave me 
a good sized cucumber and five pears. The wind 
whistled " many happy returns of the day " and 
blew down a large branch of ivy to me. The rose 
tree, the one near the drawing-room window, put 
out such a beautiful, yellow rosebud, and the 
dhoby [washerman] gave me the present of bring- 
ing the clothes. Well, we have had a nice dinner, 
Flora sent me a birthday wish in the form of a 
poem ; she is quite a poet. Well goodnight. 

136 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Lois is sending you some doilies. We have 
had a very nice time to-day, especially I. 

With all the love I can give and piles of 

From your seventeen-year-old 

ViDA Maud. 

P.S. — You naughty Mama to say " Sweet 
Fifteen " to Lois when it is " Sweet Seventeen'' 
and '-Bashful Fifteen." 

But I will forgive you for Lois is a very 
'' Sweet Fifteen." 

" Peace ! perfect peace ! our future all unknown ? 
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne." 

[This ending of her birthday letter seems like 
a prophecy to us all now.] 

Sunday Morning. 
My Own Sweet Mama : — How glad I am 
to tell you that Esther's fever has gone, she 

hasn't got loi, only a little over 100 

Lois is a very funny doctor, and I am afraid 
will have to reform before she becomes a good 
one. Early in the morning before I was awake, 
she gave Esther a big piece of cocoa candy 
which Mrs. Munroe had sent ; now wasn't that 
foolish ? Now 1 must say good-night. Oh if I 

The Children's Letters. 137 

could have but one kiss from each of you it 
would do a world of good. The children are 
asleep and, thank God, Esther sleeps peacefully. 
Always your own daughter, 

P. S. — The boys are so good, especially 
Wilbur, and help such a lot. 

A letter written just after the three birthday anni- 
versaries. Esther^ August 2^th ; Wilbiir^ 
August 26th ; and Hei^bej't, the Jist. 

Mall Villa, No. 2. 

September ist, i8gg. 

My Own Dear Papa and Mama : — We 
have had such a nice week. I rather like birth- 
days. Wilbur was very proud of his Bible and 
Mama's letter ; he reads both every day. I 
hope he will keep it up. 

I captured the package and letter before he 
could turn round, and as a letter came to 
" Ranee," [Esther's pet name,] he never suspect- 
ed any thing. Next morning we gave both to 
him. We hid them in his shirt, but to our 
dismay we found it was a dirty one, and he was 
putting on a clean one. 

138 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

What could we do but declare he had only 
worn the other a day or so, and that we 
believed it was quite clean enough to go to 
bazar in. So he went off to show us how 
dirty it was. There was silence, then he said, 
" Cunning chaps you are. I see why you 
wanted me to wear the dirty shirt." We gave 
the little book in the afternoon, hid it in his 
Bible box. Herbert gave Jiis present at break- 
fast. Lois and I, also Ada and Jessudar, had 
given ours before. 

Esther had a real nice time on her birthday. 
Ada enjoyed herself just as much. Mrs. M. sent 
birthday cards. Miss — was going to send a 
donation but hers came to be a no-nation. May 
be it will turn up some day though. Our beau- 
tiful kid gloves went " up the tree," too 

We are getting on much better now, that the 
children are well again. Let Esther stay up, it 
won't be long now, and it is so nice. We want 
her so badly. Pray for me. 

.... I am sorry Ada's letter did not get 
off yesterday. Pray for Ada ; she is seeking a 
clean heart,* and I believe she was converted 

* See Ada's letter, page 54, written the day before they were 

The Children's Letters. 139 

last night ; she seems so different this morning. 
I think that Jessudar is moved and wants a 
clean heart too. We have been praying for 
Ada and I know you have too. Ada says she 
feels so happy, and there is such a sweet ex- 
pression on her face. Oh, I do hope it is true 
conversion. . . . Esther is a darling, no trouble 
at all, she is playing with dolly now. Don't 
take her away from us, she is all right. 

My Dear Papa : — ... We had a nice 
little evening at the Emerson's last night ; it 
was our Sunday School social evening. I 
played my guitar. The boys both played 
beautifully. Herbert played " Home Sweet 
Home " and " Annie Laurie " and Wilbur, 
" Blue Bells." I put Ada and Ranee to bed 
and left Jessudar and Sebe with them. We 
came home early. Mr. Emerson is going down 
soon, so it was a kind of good-bye ; there were 
not many present. .... I really should take 
more time with my Bible. I don't feel 
satisfied. I am afraid it (this blessing) will not 
stay. 1 wish I had faith, but I believe I have 
almost all I ever had. I believe in God and 
know he can do it, but I want to feel it will stay 
forever, then I could be happy. I am still 

I40 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

seeking for a fuller salvation that can keep me. 
Pray for me. I must have it and before I see 
• you again. 

With ever so much love and feisses, 

Your own girl ever, 


From a lettei' greatly prized by her mother : 
written Sept. ^th, i8gg. 

Darling MamA: — The children are not 
homesick, at least they don't show it much ; 
only they wish to see you so much, and I try 
to be brave and not be cross or ugly to them. 

I am really too big to be "Homesick" 
because it won't be long maybe until I will be 
away from you. 

But I will come back and help you. I prom- 
ised God that when I was converted, although 
I am so naughty. I have made up my mind .... 
I am yours forever in the work God has given 
you, and I will study hard and prepare for that 
work. I have always wanted to go to America 
so, so bad, but we can't afford it, and I believe 
now, that Jesus will give me patience and I will 
wait. You never sent a verse in your last two 
letters, they are so helpful. Don't forget next 







Two Child- wives fi-om Vida's Sunday School. 

The Children's Letters. 141 

time. Papa always remembers. Pray for us all. 
I haven't time to read this over, 1 must go 
to my lessons. I left the soldiers trying to 

catch " King Lear." We are 

getting to know each other better, and will try 
hard, all of us, to be real ladies and gentlemen 
and make our home a home. Thank you 
Papa, for the last verse you sent me. 

God bless and keep us all very close to Him. 
Oh ! pray for me. I will be victor in the end. 
Now with many, many armfuls of love and 
kisses and hugs. We are all your darlings. 
Don't want Esther ; it is wrong to covet you 
know. Will be all right. 



This letter was written about two weeks 
before she went to heaven. 

My Own Dear Papa and Mama : — I have 

just received your dear letter I wish 

that the contracts [referring to the new house] 
would come to a close, so you could get to 
work, or if it drags on so slowly, you will not 
be ready for us : and we want to come back to 

i42 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

I am afraid that Papa has not bought him- 
self a new coat and pants for this winter, 
-I won't be able to walk with him with my 
nice skirt unless he does. I can make my last 
winter's dress do nicely by letting out the 
tuck, so you get yourself a suit, instead of me 
a new dress ; mine is all right and good. 
Mama must have a new dress too, I wish I 
could give it to you. 

We were all talking the other night, of what 
we would all do for you both, and I am sure 
Frank would have joined, if he had been here. 
Wilbur says he won't charge any thing for your 
teeth being fixed. Lois will doctor you free. 
The rest of us, you know, arn't so sure 
of our money as they are, and Herbert, 
'' Professor Lee" will keep your home comfee. 
I will try hard to keep up your work. Yes, I 
am sure God has called me to it, and will be 
with me though it is strange he should have 
made me of such funny stuff. I never saw 
a girl, like me, before or after. I don't believe 
there has or will be such a naughty girl. 

I think it is harder for me to be good than all 
the rest. But I know that God has not given 

The Children's Letters. 143 

me anything to do, nor will he ever, without 
the grace for me to use. He will prosper 
your work. You don't know how unworthy I 
feel for such a place. Your work is His work. 

So in a few years (D.V.), for you and Papa 
are getting old now,- — ^just think, Papa — fifty next 
birthday, isn't he? — you will be able to see your 
work progressing and yourselves taken care of. 
Because God never throws off His own when 
"hoary hair their heads adorn." 

You and Papa must never speak of dying now, 
when we are all just beginning to live. God 
has lots for you to do yet (no sons-in-law will 
come to bother you unless they are willing to 

T know I have been so very naughty 
and hastened your ages, but you will never 
know how I have been struggling for two and 
a half years, yes, really three years against God. 
I am afraid sometimes there has been no peace 
in my heart, once in a while I seemed to get back 
to God but only for a few days at a time, then 
it was all dark again. Oh ! I hope those days are 
over now. I never have known such misery and 
I just could not be good. 

144 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

I have given all over to the Lord and 
Oh if it would only stay all right. This 
is one reason why I dread Calcutta. But 
I trust God will keep me. I don't know how 
He has held on so long. Oh pray for me, I 
never can stand any such days again. But 
I have peace and happiness now. I have told 
you what I didn't expect to. 1 told you what 
was in my heart. I am God's for your work. 
Trust me and believe me, 

Ever your loving and affectionate, 


P. S. — I never can forgive myself for the way 
I have treated my dear Papa. No girl ever 
had, or will have a better, kinder father. Oh 
forgive and forget, Papa darling, I am truly 

*Dr. Lois is progressing ; she pro- 
tests that I have said nothing good about her, 
but you know I think her the best girl in the 
world, and she really is 

With piles of love and kisses from all,, 

Your girl, 


^See Lois' ambitions, page 103. 

The Children's Letters. 145 

Vidas last letter. 

September 22nd, i8gg. 
My Own Dear Mama and Papa: — I thoueht 


I would take a moment to write you a note, 
as to-morrow at this time I will be with Miss 
S. (D.V.). We are all well; my cold is gone; 
the children are at school. Esther has gone 
out with Jessudar and her bucket. 

To-day is one of those days when the air 
is " laden with the breath of flowers" when 
you feel like dreaming, when the sun is shining 
not too strong, but throwing sunbeams into 
the room, until you are warm and feel happy 
even deep down in your heart. 

This is the way I feel just now, only a little 
troubled when I think how soon the examina- 
tion is coming, and this makes me feel like 

The birds are singing and we all join to 
thank God for such a day after the rain of 

You know Lamb always has some such long 
introduction and I'm afraid you will feel just 
like I do when I read them, if I don't tell you 

146 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

some news now. The service of song takes 
place to-morrow ; Lois will take part, but I 
■really did not have time to attend the prac- 
tices, so did not join. I believe it h going to 
be real nice 

Mr Oh, I don't know his name, is 

so nice. He preached on Sunday. Lois 
and I went both times, though it was rain- 
ing. I hope he preaches this Sunday too; he 
is such a dear old man, I wish he would come 
down and see us. He came and introduced 
himself. I don't know whether he knows we are 

the Lees or not I just feel like 

having a long talk but I must go and study my 

lessons We all send piles of love and 

kisses ... I want to see you so much. I am 
very happy this morning, but I am not satis- 
fied. Do pray for your girl. Here is a big 
kiss for dear " Octavius Noel," [a pet name for 
baby Frank] and Papa and yourself. 

From ViDA. 

Tkzs card was sent the morning of the awful day. 

My Own Dear Papa, — It is raining hard, so 
we are not able to go to Sunday school ; it is 

The Children's Letters. 147 

Mr, E.'s last Sunday. The nice minister is the 
Rev. P. R. Mackay. The service of song came 
off nicely. It is just pouring and we have heard 
-a landslip come rolling down just now. 

We are all well, and send piles of love. 

Your own girl, 


[A few hours after, she was in heaven.] 

Extracts from Lois' Letters. 

Letter to Vida when she was ill in Hospital, 
February^ i8g8, with diphtheria. 

My own Darling Vida : — .... I have 
been wondering all day what I could do to 
tnake you happy. I would like so much to 
come in and give you a great big hug and kiss, 
but as I can't do it myself, I send this dolly to 
do it for me. Remember this dolly was born 
two months before our Ruth, [Ruth was born 
May 7th, 1893]. I hope you will soon be better. 

Your own sister, 


148 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

This note was sent to her friend Flora on her 
i^th birthday. 

144, Dharamtala Stj<eet, 

Calcutta^ October i6th. 

My own dear Sweetheart Flora, 

Many, many happy returns of the day. 

And may you live to see eighty-six more. 


From Darjeeling. 
Lois' letter on her Papa's birthday. 

Mall Villa, No. 2. 

June 26th, i8gg. 

The day after you left. 

Now your birthday comes again, 
One more link in life's long chain, 
May this day be bright and blest, 
On your life may blessing rest, 

Friday Night, Sleepy time. 
My precious Mama and Papa : — We are all 
safe and sound, and getting on fine, though 
it seems rather strange without you. 

We have had a lovely day ... I got dinner 
all myself, and after dinner, we four, with Luce's 
[the hill woman] help brought the organ up- 
stairs to the boys' room. We sung a few 

The Children's Letters. 149 

hymns. Then had prayers, Vida and Jessudar 
[the Bengali girl] read the 103rd Psalm, and 
we all went to bed and slept soundly. 

It is school time, so with hugs and kisses for 
Esther and Frank, and wishing Papa the happiest 
birthday he has ever had. 

With piles of love and kisses for you both, 
Ever your loving, 

'' Grand Mother Lois." 

My Precious Mama and Papa : — It seems 
ages since I have heard from either of you. 
Vida is getting all the letters and praise and 
being called " doctor" and it makes me feel so, 
so jealous. Esther is much better to-day. 

I never dreamt the Doctor's bill would be so 
much, but Vida and I will earn it. If you and 
mama take me on as your family physician 
when I'm big I won't charge quite so much. 
Don't worry about Esther, whatever you do, we 
are taking good care of her. . . 

It must be boiling in Calcutta to-da\% but 
it is simply beautiful up here, a perfect day. 
The sunrise this morning was one of the most 
beautiful I have ever seen. The sun had not yet 

150 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

appeared and the horizon was streaked first 
with a rich, deep orange, then a more del- 
icate shade, and so on, until it came to 
a pale soft yellow. I wish you and papa could 
have seen it . . . 

We are all well and happy, studying hard. 
I help Wilbur for more than an hour every 

day Ada got your letter yesterday. 

We are all looking forward to the warm 
feathered nest. [The new home in preparation 
for them in Calcutta.] 

We have been having a fine time 

opening the basket, and finding such lovely 
delicious treats inside. You always seem to 
know just what we want. Those custard apples 
are just beauties ; the hulwa " scrumpshush ;" the 
figs delicious ; the nuts excellent ; the mango- 
steens lovely; and the amras "nectar for the 
gods" (Vida thinks.) Everything reached all 
right : there were just enough mashed custard 
apples (but delicious) for tiffin, and Oh ! but we 
did enjoy them. They are really my weak 
point, Mama. 

Good-bye, love piles, always your 


The Children's Letters. 151 

A part of Lois' last letter^ written just a week 
before she went to heaven. 

Mall Villa, No. 2, 

Sept. ijth, i8gg. 

My Darling Mama and Papa : — I received 
mama's dear, welcome letter the other day and 
was very glad to get it (although a little insulted 
at being called " duck legs.") 

We had a lovely little social at Mr. Emerson's. 
He asked us to take our instruments. I played 
for the hymns and solos, WMbur and Herbert 
on their violins, and Vida on her guitar. 

Everything went all right. ... 

He thanked Winnie and me for presiding at 
the organ for Sunday School. It has been 
good practice and I can play by first sight pretty 

well now There is to be a Service of 

Song, "Jessica's First Prayer," in aid of the 
Sunday School Hall Fund, next Saturday. 


Lois' letter written on her birthday, July 2nd, 
was a beautiful one and brought joy to the 
hearts of her parents. This, with other such 
letters, had been sent home to relatives. 

152 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Her Father had sent her two books — bio- 
graphies belonging to the series called " Men 
with a Mission." She spoke of the preface in 
one of the books and said, " I believe t am a girl 
with a mission, and feel the necessity of being 
holy, for my life verse is, " The Lord hath set 
apart him that is godly for himself." Psalm 4, 3. 

A fragment of an exercise written by Lois in 
class one day during her last summer. 


" The great city now called Calcutta, was 
formerly a flight of stairs leading from the sacred 
waters of the Ganges, up the muddy banks, to 
the shore, where stood the temple of the goddess 
Kali, worshipped by the Hindoos, and it was 
here they came from all over India to wash away 
their sins in the water of this sacred river. 

" Gradually buildings sprang up around the 
then-called Kali Ghat, and in the seventeenth 
century, when the East India Company was 
formed, a factory was built and, in time, for the 
defence of the Company, Fort William was con- 
structed. For some years afterwards the place 
was called ' Fort William ' by the English. 
But in the end it came to be called by its 

The Children's Letters. 153 

native name ' Kali Ghat,' now modernized into 
' Calcutta.' 

" Calcutta is situated on the Ganges, ninety 
miles from the Sea, and in the monsoon 
district. The cold weather lasts from the middle 
of November to the middle of March, then the 
hot and dry weather lasts until the middle of 
June. The rains then set in and last until August. 

"Calcutta is called the ' City of Palaces ;' it 
contains many large and magnificent buildings." 

Wilbur's Letters. 

Darjeeling, Mall Villa No. 2, 
July ^th, i8gg. 

My Dear Mama and Papa : — I am writing to 
you for it is my turn. This letter will be more 
of an '' Essay " than a letter, for I am going to 
tell you just how we spent " The fourth of July." 

I bought some fireworks. Vida and Lois 
invited Miss Stahl and Flora to lunch (or rather 
dinner) which we called our "AMERICAN State 
Dinner." Herbert and I got up early and 
went to the bazaar and got the things for the 
state dinner. Jessudar and the Nany came 
with us. While we were away Vida and Lois 

154 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

killed two chickens and cleaned them, and had 
the beets boiled ready for slaw. Miss Stahl and 
-Flora came at 2 o'clock and we fired off some 
fire-crackers after dinner. We had for desert : 
mangoes, peaches, lichees, plantains, figs, 
dates, pomegranates, and the little chocolates 
which you sent up. We have the grapes and 
big chocolates yet, though they are disappearing 
one by one by two-legged rats. 

After coming from the market we spent the 
morning practising for a concert which was held 
in the evening in the dining-room of the Girls' 
School. And we played ' Old Folks at Home" 
all together and it was a success. After it was 
finished Mr. Hart gave us an address and said 
that he wished the English would be beaten 
again, and after he was finished Miss Stahl 
allowed us to fire some fire-crackers. We went 
home and fired a big fire-cracker in remem- 
brance of you and papa, and after singing " My 
Country, 'Tis of Thee ! " fired off our last fire- 
cracker and then said prayers. 

We have been having prayers every day, and 
Vida has been praying that when we go to 
Calcutta you will have two gentlemen instead 
of two boors. 

The Children's Letters. 155 

Pray for us all ; we are getting on nicely ; 
don't worry about us. Ada sends her love to 
Esther and Frank. We are praying for you 
every day. I will write another letter soon. 
To-day is a very nice day ; we could see the 
snows all day till 3-30. 

Your son, 


Wilbur's letter written on his last birthday 
Mall Villa, No 2. 

August 26, i8gg. 

My Darling Mama and Papa : — I got your 
nice birthday letter this morning and papa's 
present. Vida kept my Bible and letter, and 
this morning put them in my banyan before I 
awoke, and when I put it on, I felt something 
heavy which scared me ; then I had a nice laugh 
to myself when I found it was my Bible. I 
then dressed and read your nice letter. It 
made me feel like a man, no longer a boy (nor 
baby) as you said. Vida did not like you tell- 
ing me about the cake and chocolates, for she 
had hidden them from us, also the nuts, to 
surprise us. 

156 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Esther is very well and happy, and the girls 
say they will not hear of Esther's going down 
until we all go down together. So do not 
trouble about us. *, 

I am getting on nicely with my violin. I 
have had perfect lessons ever since papa went 
down, and Mr. Burnett says it is only my 
bowing that is bad. 

I am going to try hard so as to pass first and 
get "the bicycle" which you and papa are 
going to give. Tell papa that my Bible just 
looks like him and you. It is just the very kind 
I wanted ; the two verses you and papa gave 
me were nice. I am giving you a verse and am 
putting in a few words : — Psalms 64 : 13, " and 
(his) pastures are clothed with flocks (of them 
who love him) and (his) valleys also are covered 
over with corn, they shout for joy, they 
also sing." 

May God bless you, papa, and little Frank ; 
and now mama, do not worry about Esther, for if 
she goes down she will suffer with the heat and 
be sick ; she is all right up here. Good-bye. 

Love to all, 

Your man, 


The Children's Letters. 157 

Wilbufs last letter wintten three days before 
the landslide. 

Mall Villa, 
September 21st, i8gg. 
My Dear Mama : — I got your nice letter 
on Sunday last. I am glad to hear that the 
house is about ready for us. I am very home- 
sick for you, papa, and little brother Frank. 
He must be about big enough to " play horses." 
I am trying hard for a horse which has never to 
be fed (except oil) and never gets tired. 

Vida got Rs. 30, which you sent, from Miss 
Stahl and gave me one for lessons. Vida has 
been writing letters and learning ver\- hard ; 
she deserves a bicycle if any one does. She 
has been so kind to us. 

Lois is teaching me the piano. I have a half 
hour's practice at school every day while the 
girls are at dinner. Tell papa we need two or 
three sets of violin strings. I read my Bible 
every day and have done so ever since my 

We all send love and kisses now, for I must 

With love from 


Chapter X. 

" And God shall wipe away all tears from 
theii^ eyes, and there shall be no more death, 
neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there 
be any more pain. ^^ Rev. 21. 4. 

" He shall swallow up death in victory, and 
the Lord shall wipe away tears from off all 
faces'' Isaiah 25. 8. 

The first telegram brought us the word that 
Wilbur had escaped. We were so benumbed 
by the awful news concerning the other children 
that we did not think of his being injured, and 
even expected him down on the next train with 
the other school children. 

How little we knew of what that dear boy 
was passing through ! It did not dawn upon us 
until some friend telegraphed, " I saw Wilbur 
Lee. Doing well." Then we began to fear he 
might be hurt. Not until two day^ after did 
we get the word that he was badly injured. 


Wilbur's Story. 159 

We then said we must go to him at once. 
Some said it would be impossible for me to go, 
the roads were so torn away ; but I thought I 
must go to my boy ; if he was suffering, I 
must be with him. The one thought of reach- 
ing him spurred me on through every difficulty. 

All through that long, uncertain journey — 
walking, riding, climbing — nothing seemed too 
hard for me, if I could but reach him. All 
along the way everybody we met brought good 
tidings of Wilbur. 

At last the journey was over, and, at 10 o'clock 
on Friday, we reached the Sanitarium in 
Darjeeling. Oh, the joy of clasping him again 
in our arms ! We found him propped up in bed, 
very bright and cheery, and seemingly getting 
well rapidly. 

He was very much affected, and burst into 
tears of joy when he saw us ; but we soothed and 
quieted him, and he was soon telling us all about 
what he had been doing, and asking us questions 
about home and ourselves. 

He took his baby brother in his arms and 
played with him — so delighted was he to see him. 
Then he asked for his box, and, opening it, 
showed us his bottles of scent and handkerchiefs 

i6o The Darjeeling Disaster. 

\vhich many kind friends had given him. He 
told me how kind every one had been to him, 
and seemed specially fond of the house doctor 
and the Sister, who were untiring in their devo- 
tion to him. 

He showed me the names of the ladies who 
had called on him, or had sent him some 
delicacy, or in any way had shown him a kind- 
ness. He had asked a friend to write down 
all the names, saying he would write to each 
one a letter of thanks after he got well. 

I asked him about that night, and he said, 
" Mama, let me begin at the first and tell you 
all about it." 

I said, " No, son ; you will have plenty of 
time to tell me, so do not tell me all to-day. 
But 1 wish so much to know if you tried to save 

He then told me that they first tried to 
escape from the south side and to get down to 
Nos. 4 and 5, [the nearest houses,] but they 
cam.e to a flood of mud and water rushing down 
the hill-side, as Wilbur said, " like the Ohio 
river." It was impossible for them to cross it. 

They then went out the back way, going 
up the narrow foot-path to the road, and 

Wilbur's Story. i6i 

started to the house above toward the Mall, 
but they found the road washed away, and 
nothing left on which to tread. 

Vida then led them back down toward 
Lebong, the opposite direction, but they were 
met by insurmountable piles of earth and debris. 
Boulders were rolling down the mountain 
side, trees were falling, and stones flying 
through the air. The rain poured in torrents ; 
the roar of the cyclone and the pitch darkness 
were enough to terrify the bravest heart. 

Vida found she could not keep them together, 
and said, " I am afraid we will get lost from 
one another, and I promised papa I would 
take care of Esther. Come, we will go back to 
the house, and, if the Lord wishes, he can save 
us together, and, if not, he will take us together." 
So they returned and went upstairs and built 
a fire and began to dry their clothes. They 
knelt in prayer several times asking God to pro- 
tect them. 

Soon they heard some one knocking on the 
front door. They went down and found a poor 
native man, all crippled, and his face bleeding. 
He told them their house was going to fall ; but 
he was so ill and shivering with the cold that 

i62 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

the children became interested in him instead of 

Vida took a cloth and wiped the blood 
from his face. They tried to lift him inside, but 
he fainted away. She then took the durry 
[large rug] from the floor near by and wrapped 
him up in it. Two other native men passed 
the door, and said, " Children, the mountain is 
falling down, and you had better leave." 

The children told them they had tried, — how 
could they get away ? The men then passed 
on, not able to render them any assistance. 
The hill woman who cooked for them helped to 
get everything in from the out-houses, — the 
cooking utensils, etc. ; and just as she came out 
of the cook-house the last time, it was washed 

The native man lying at the door became 
conscious again, and said he must go to his 
master at Nos. 4 and 5, and went away, dragging 
himself along the ground. He says the last 
time he saw the children they were kneeling 
together in prayer. 

Vida took them all back upstairs again to the 
Are, and while praying, the corner of the room 
cracked open. 

Wilbur's Story. 163 

I found it agitated Wilbur very much to tell 
me about it, so I checked him ; but he said, 
" Mama, I must tell you about Vida. She 
sprang to her feet, her face just beaming as she 
said, ' Children, the house is coming down, and 
we will soon be in heaven.'" 

"But were you not afraid, Wilbur?" I said. 

" No, mama ; God had taken all the fear 
away, and we were all so happy. We felt just 
as if we were in the train coming home to you. 
We said to each other, ' Now if papa and mama 
and Baby Frank were only here, so we could 
all go to heaven together, how nice it would 
be.' Oh, Vida's face ! Mama, if you only could 
have seen her ! how beautiful she looked ! Her 
face shone like an angel's as she talked to us. 
She then led us into another room, and again 
we knelt about the bed, and we all prayed. 
Jessudar (our Bengali girl) was kneeling with 
us, and with hands clasped and looking up to 
heaven, she said, "C^ ^^T^^^t^, ^t^Tfi-Jf^^ >^^^6| 
^l^f^^l «^^" [Oh merciful God, take us now]. 
These were her last words. 

" Then there came a tremendous crash. I 
sprang to my feet with a lamp in my hand just 
in time to see the wall come in, and I knew 

i64 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

nothing more until I awoke in the darkness in 
the mud and water below. It was still raining 
hard. I could see two lights in the , distance, 
and I tried to get to the one I thought nearest 
me. I walked a little, and then fell down 

Wilbur had been thrown more than a hundred 
feet down the mountain side. When daylight 
came there was not a vestige of the house left. 
The beautiful flower garden and trees were 
gone ; nothing but fresh earth and roots of 
trees, and boulders piled up so high that no 
one could recognize the spot on which the 
house had stood. 

In the house just near, only farther out on 
the mountain side, twenty-four persons had 
stayed all night unable to get away, and 
expecting every moment that their house 
would go, the stones rolling down on the 
roof all night. Two gentlemen attempted to 
get to our house several times, but the mud 
and water were so deep and the darkness so 
great that it seemed impossible. 

As day dawned two ladies were looking out 

from the porch to see what had become of their 

-servants, when on a little knoll some distance 

Wilbur's Story. 165 

away they saw a muddy object rise up and throw 
up its arms, and then fall back. As it grew 
lighter they discovered it was our Wilbur, and 
called to him to lie still, that they would send 
him help. What joyful words these must have 
been to the poor boy who had been trying so 
long to attract attention. 

Some kind gentlemen went to him, wading in 
mud and water up to their waists. After 
a desperate struggle, an old gentleman reached 
him ; the boy threw his arms about him, so 
grateful was he to him for coming. They 
carried him, through much difficulty, to the 
house, where they washed the mud away, 
put on warm clothes and wrapped him in 
blankets, and then sent for the doctor. 

He w^as very cold. In the meantime they 
put hot bottles about him and brought him 
some brandy. This he refused to take, say- 
ing : " It's wrong to drink brandy ; I can't take 

A lady said to him, " No, it's not wrong, 
Wilbur, for you to take it now as medicine. Do 
you not remember that verse where Paul told 
Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's 
sake ? so it's right for you to take it now." 

i66 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

"You are sure it will not be wrong?" he 
said. "Then I'll take it." 

' The doctor came and dressed the terrible 
wounds on his head and found, that, although 
badly cut and bruised, he had no bones broken. 
He was then sent to the Sanitarium, where all 
that kind friends and human sympathy could 
do was done. 

That first day we arriv^ed Wilbur seemed well 
and bright all da}-. What a blessed day it was l 
His sister Lois' ring, which had been taken 
from her finger, was handed to her papa soon 
after our arrival. He gave it to Wilbur, who 
showed it to me and was trying to clean the 
mud out of the sets. He asked me what we 
would do with it. 

I said, " We give it to you, Wilbur, as no one 
deserves it more." 

He thanked me, and with tears in his eyes 
he put it on his finger, where it stayed until his 

During the day he said to me, "Do you think 
I will be able to go up for my examination this 
year ? I fear I will not earn my bicycle." 

I assured him he should have his bicycle 
whether he took his examination or not, which 

Wilbur's Story. 167 

seemed to greatly please him. He kept refer- 
ring to the other children several times during 
the day. 

He also asked about the house. " Is there 
none of the beautiful ivy left that covered the 
house?" If there were, he wished to take some 
of it to Calcutta. He told how well the two little 
children were, and how they had grown ; also 
spoke of their all having gathered ferns and 
grass to take home to me. 

I said to him, " Wilbur, there is one thing 1 
wish you to tell me about. You know you 
could never quite say that you had been con- 
verted ; that you had really been saved from 
your sins. How was it that night with you?" 

" Oh, mama ! " he said, " I know I have been 
converted ; that Jesus is my Saviour, I was 
not afraid to die. I knew it was all right. It 
has been a great blessing to me to help take 
care of the children this summer. It has made 
me a better boy. It has been good for us all ; 
for we have lived for, and loved each other more 
than ever before." 

Toward night he became restless, and com- 
plained of his head hurting him. He grew 
worse, and, after a troubled sleep awoke, scream- 

i68 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

ing with pain, his jaws having shut, catching 
his tongue between his teeth. I then feared 
tetanus, which it proved to be. Oh, the awful 
suffering of the next two days and nights ! Yet 
between the spasms, he would be so bright and 

Friday evening he asked me to read his chap- 
ter to him, and we read, " Let not your hearts 
be troubled .... I go to prepare a place for 
you " (14th. ch. of John), and prayed with him. 
The next evening, he had suffered so much 
during the day, that I suggested instead of 
reading we should repeat a few verses. We 
each repeated a verse. 

He then repeated the one, "They that trust 
in the Lord shall be like Mount Zion, which 
can not be removed, but abideth for ever." 
And he added, "This is Ada's verse, mama." 

We then prayed. He had just passed 
through a very severe paroxysm, but he prayed 
too. His prayer was, " Oh, Lord, I thank thee 
for not letting me die in the dark, that awful 
night. Bless papa, and mama, and Baby Frank ; 
take care of them. Bless me and take care of 
me, for Jesus' sake, Amen." 

Wilbur's Story. 169 

He had said to me during the day, " Oh, 
mama, that awful pain ! Why does God let me 
suffer so ?" 

I had been asking myself the same question 
all day, and the answer seemed to be given me 
as I said, " To make you perfect, I suppose, my 
darling. Be patient ; there is a land where 
there will be no more pain. We will ask God 
to help you bear this terrible suffering. He 
will give you no more to bear than he will give 
you grace for." 

He was very brave and patient. He would 
often put his arms around my neck and draw 
my head down on his pillow, and patting my 
cheek, would say, " My precious mama ; you 
are my sweetheart." 

How these loving words linger with me yet ! 
And another time he embraced his papa, and 
then asked for Baby Frank, and drew him down 
to him and kissed him. He seemed to know 
every one, and had a word for everybody. 

Sometimes he seemed to be gone, but would 
revive again after the paroxysm wore off. His 
papa said to him, "Wilbur, if you see Vida and 
Lois before I do, give them our love." 

I/O The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" Yes," he said, " I will ; but why ? Do you 
think I'm going now ?" 

We said, "You are very ill ; it looks as if you 
would go to heaven soon." 

"But," he said, "did you not ask God to 
make me well, mama, and don't you believe 
he will ?" 

I said, " Yes, I asked Him to make you well, 
but it may not be best." 

"Yes," he answered, " God worked one mira- 
cle to save my life, and, if best, He can work 

After another severe spell, I said, " Is Jesus 
with you, Wilbur ? " 

" Of course, mama." 

" Are you afraid ? " I said. 

" Oh, no ; I am not afraid. Don't you and 
papa be afraid." 

Once when I asked again if Jesus was with 
him, he answered me, " Of course," as he 
did so many times, and said, " You thought I 
was gone, mama, but I am not. 

" But are you afraid to die, Wilbur ? " I asked. 

" No, mama, but I wish you and papa and 
Baby Frank could go too." 

Wilbur's Story. 171 

And oh, how I wished we might go with 
him ! A little later in the night I had to leave 
the room. 

He drew his papa down, and said, " Papa, 
go and comfort mama." 

His papa said, " What shall I say to her, 
Wilbur ? " 

"Tell mama I am so happy in Jesus." 

I prayed constantly that the Lord would 
spare him, but we came to where we felt we 
must crive him into God's hand's, willins: for 
Him to take him if it was His will. 

A few hours before he left us it seemed to 
me it would kill me, and I went alone in my 
room, feeling that unless God wonderfully 
helped me I never could meet it. 

As I was praying that the Lord would take 
him out of the suffering, in my anguish God 
seemed to come so near, and gave me such a 
glimpse of heaven, with Wilbur just entering in 
and the other children greeting him — all so 
happy — that the awfulness of death seemed to 
be taken away, and I myself made to rejoice 
with them in their victory. 

So real was the vision that I seemed to re- 
ceive from it supernatural strength that bore 

172 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

me through those awful days that followed. 
The hour that Wilbur's spirit left the poor, 
^ bruised body to join his brothers and sisters, 
their spirits seemed to hover all about us. They 
seemed to come to take him home. It was an 
hour of victory for them, and also for us. 

As we marched to the cemetery the day we 
laid his dear body away, the clouds hung over 
us all the morning ; but, just as they lowered 
the casket into the earth, the sun burst forth in 
all its warmth and brightness, lighting up the 
grave and all about it. 

It seemed to say to my heart, 

" Oh, death, where is thy sting, 
Oh, grave, where is thy victory ? " 

and I seemed to see beyond all this, when 
Jesus would come and bring them again, and 
we should be forever with the Lordx 

" Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord, Jesus Christ." Oh, that 
blessed day. How we rejoice even now in 
anticipation of its glory. 

Oh, how sweet it will be in that beautiful land, 

So free from all sorrow and pain. 
With songs on our lips and with harps in our hands, 

To meet one another again. 

Jessudar the Reno;ali Girl. 

Chapter XI. 

Into our training school a short time ago 
came little Jessudar, not more than nine years 
old. At the very mention of her name my 
heart thrilled for a lovely girl by the same 
name, I had rescued from an awful life some 
years ago. And now God has sent another, 
wonderfully delivering her from a life of shame. 

Her father and mother were Hindus — the 
former dying when she was quite small — leaving 
her mother with five children and no means 
of support. Only God knows the story of their 
sufferings, as they worked in the rice fields, 
gathering a little here and there, enough to 
keep soul and body together. Only God 
knows the anguish of that mother's heart as 
she often heard their cry of hunger — for a 
Hindu mother has not one whit less a mother's 

No one but God knows the temptations to 
which she was subjected, nor the evil influence 


174 The Dx\rjeeling Disaster. 

of her surroundings, with no knowledge of a 
Saviour — no protection anywhere. 

Only those of us who know the, sad story 
of Hindu widowhood, and see it enacted about 
us everyday, can form any conception of a41 
Jessudar's mother passed through. One day 
when the children were hungry and naked, with 
no hope of food or help from any source, the 
tempter came to this woman in the form of a 
wicked man, who fixed his hellish eyes on 
little Jessudar, and said to the distressed 
mother, "You are in great straits. Sell me 
your little daughter and I will give you rupees 
eight (I2.25) for her, which will feed you all for 
some weeks." 

The mother looked on the sweet face of her 
child and her heart sank within her, as she 
thought of Jessudar's future. She shrank from 
the deed and answered her tormentor, saying : 
*' No ; we had better die together." 

But this man was not so easily put off, and, 
showing the shining silver said : " No ; you 
take the money now, and I will not claim the 
girl until she is old enough to be married, then 
she is mine." 

Jessudar, the Bengali Girl. 175 

The mother looked at the money, and then at 
her hungry children, and being deceived by his 
enticing words, yielded, accepted the money, 
and Jessudar was sold. 

About this time the mother met with some 
native Christians of the village, who became inter- 
ested in her and began to teach her about Jesus, 
and soon after she forsook her idols, and, the 
following Christmas, she and her children were 
baptized. A short time afterwards this wicked 
man, in company with a few of his Hindu 
friends, came to the mother and claimed the 
child he had bought. She refused to let her 
go, saying she was still too young. 

One day, when the mother was out of the 
house, he came to the child and ordered her to 
come with him. She refused to obey, at which, 
in spite of her entreaties, he bound her, and 
carrying her away, hid her in his house. The 
mother turned to her Christian friends, who 
immediately went and by force took the child 
from him. These friends, feeling that she was 
unsafe with them, brought her to us. 

Jessudar soon became happy with us, and we 
find her a most lovable, obedient child. A few 
evenings ago we taught her her first prayer, and it 

\j6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

is sweet to see her learning to sing the songs of 
Jesus with the other children, and hear her as 
she joins them in prayer. She is most attentive 
as we tell the story of Jesus, and as a token of 
her desire to serve Him, the other day she took 
her iron bangle [a relic of Hinduism] from her 
wrist, and throwing it on the ground, said, " I 
have nothing more to do with these things, 
neither am I bound by them ; I intend to serve 

She is a most industrious child and takes 
interest in everything about her. She knew 
not even her alphabet, but will soon be reading, 
so intent is she on learning. 

As I think of the awful life of prostitution 
from which this child has been saved, I do 
praise God that she is with us, and that we 
have the blessed work intrusted to us of leading 
her to Jesus and training her for Him. 

This is one of the many phases of our much- 
loved work. There are many bright young 
lives all about us, crushed to the earth, bound 
by cruel galling chains that only the power of 
God can break ! There are many Jessudars to be 
saved, and time is going, oh, so swiftly. Oh! that 
the Church of God was awake to this great work \ 

Jessudar, the Bengali Girl. 177 

We are thankful for the hearts God has 
touched, and the friends he has raised up to 
become partners with us. 

The above was a leaflet written nearly four 
years ago when Jessudar first came to us and 
little did we then know through what portal she 
would go from us. Several attempts had been 
made, by the wicked man from whom we had 
rescued her, to entice her away — he having suc- 
ceeded even in leading her mother away — and 
bringing her with him, hoping through her, if 
possible, to get the child into his hands. 

She often came upstairs for us to protect her 
from them. She had never been out of our 
home, had become a good, useful girl, and was 
very much interested in her lessons, as well as 
her work. She had sought Jesus and had 
become an earnest little Christian. 

As we were breaking up house-keeping in 
May, we felt it would not be safe to leave her 
in Calcutta ; so we decided to take her with us 
to the hills, which we did. She was very well 
and very happy with us, and was devoted to our 
children : so much so that when Mr. Lee and I 
were coming down to our work and leaving 
them behind — Vida said, " Mamma, let Jessudar 

178 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

stay with us ; she will be so much company and 
such a help to us." So we decided to leave her, 
having arranged for her to go to ^.chool with 
them in the afternoon to learn Kindergarten 
and English. 

She used to take part with us at prayers and 
in the little home prayer meeting the same as 
one of our own children. She had received a 
Bible the year before as a prize for good con- 
duct which she read daily, and always seemed 
very penitent for any wrong she may have done. 
She was about thirteen years of age and had 
become a promising girl. 

On that night she was with our children as 
they knelt in prayer. She prayed too, commend- 
ing her spirit to God. So when Vida opened 
her eyes in heaven — after that terrible crash — 
and looked about on her little charge, her last 
thought on earth being for their safety, it must 
have been her first in heaven, I have no doubt 
she rejoiced to find faithful Jessudar among the 
rest. And we rejoice here to think of her as 
safe eternally, and hasten to rescue as many 
more like her as the Lord may permit. 



Most touching letters of sympathy have been 
received by Mr. and Mrs. Lee from the Secretaries 
of Temperance Unions, Conferences, Leagues, 
Boards, Missionary Bodies and Young People's 
organizations ; from all denominations of Chris- 
tian people and every part of the world — each 
containing beautiful and appropriate resolutions 
and tributes, but space will not permit their 
insertion here, nor allow the publication of but 
a very few of the hundreds of private letters from 
so many parts of the world. 


Lady Curzon in a telegram to Mrs. Lee, said : 

Will you allow me to express my deep sorrow and sym- 
pathy at the grievous blow that has fallen upon your family 
Every woman and mother in India will be feeling for you. 

The Bishop of Calcutta expressed his sym- 
pathy in the following letter to Mr. Lee : 

September 2'/th, i8gg. 

Reverend and Dear Sir : — The tragical news 
received from Darjeeling leads me to claim the Chris- 
tian privilege of offering you my most true sympathy 


i8o The Darjeeling Disaster. 

in your bereavement, which is so terrible that I can 
hardly write or think of it. I have so lately left 
Darjeeling, that the desolation in which it is pl^unged poss- 
esses for me a most vivid reality. But the tears are in 
my eyes when I thmk that your own home has in a 
moment been bereaved of all that had made it so bright 
and beautiful before. I can but commend you in faith 
and sympathy to the hands of Him who alone can send 
such wounds as yours and alone can heal them, praying 
that even now the light may spring up in your darkness 
and you may humbly and faithfully accept His av>'ful and 
holy will. 

Believe me. Reverend and Dear Sir, 

Most faithfully yours, 
}. E. C. Cat.cutta. 


Cincinnati^ October 6, iSgg. 

Dear Brother and Sister Lee : — The Advocate 
came to hand last night, bringing the news of the cable- 
gram which had been sent, but which, for some reason, 
the people at the Mission Rooms did not forward to 
me. I have seldom been more shocked in my life 
than when we read that five of your dear children had 
perished in the land-slide. It seemed to bring the 
awful calamity very near to us. Those children had 
become well known to us, and especially to my wife. 
We have talked together about how useful they would 
become, and Vida seemed nearing the age when she 
could begin active mission work. We move in a 
sphere of mystery, but of all the mysterious events 
which have befallen us as a mission, this seems to me 
the most inscrutable, and this awful tragedy which has 
overtaken your family, is simply stunning to one's sen- 
sibilities and thoughts. 

I do not suppose we will ever get much light on this 
problem until we rejoin the lost ones in the other world. 
In some way, however, light in a measure will un- 
doubtedly come to you. Instead of breaking up the 

Extracts from Letters. i8i 

work, or even putting it back to any great extent, I shall 
not be surprised if this becomes the means in God's 
hands of rousing our peonle to greater efforts than ever. 
It will undoubtedly produce a great effect in this country 
and it cannot but unite our people in a more determined 
way to establish the work of God on everlasting founda- 
tions in India. 

The cablegrams distinctly state that a service for the 
dead has been held over the supposed entombment of 
your children. 

A note from Miss Knowles explains that you had taken 
a small house near Ida Villa, and that you had gone 
down, leaving Vida in charge of her brothers and sisters. 
No doubt you were in Calcutta when it occurred, and it 
must have been an agonizing time to you to have been 
thus cut off from the children. I suppose also the tele- 
graph line was interrupted so that some time must have 
elapsed before you knew the full measure of your loss. 

In your sorrow you will have the sympathy, I may say, 
literally of a million souls. God help you and comfort 
you. The death, no doubt, was painless and although 
the grave seems a frightful one, it after all, I think, would 
not be saying too much to remark that God has buried 
them. We have laid away three of our little ones in quiet 
graves, and yet we cannot understand what it would 
have been if all three had been taken from us in a 
moment's time. The mysteries of life are many, the 
mystery of pain, the mystery of sorrow, the mystery of 
bereavement and separation. All these things belong to 
problems which cannot be solved this side the grave. 

I arrived home last night after a very laborious cam- 
paign. If God wills I will see you in about three months. 
In the meanwhile may His grace sustain you. His love 
abound in you, and His everlasting arms uphold you. 

My God help you, I can say no more. I am sure He 
will help you and I am also sure that in the years to come 
when we all meet in the other world we will be able to 
say with a depth of meaning which is impossible now, 
that God hath done all things well. 

In great haste. Your sympathizing brother, 

J. M. Thoburn. 

i82 The Darjeeling Disaster. 


Chi'isfs Hospital, October 6th, i8gg. 

Dear Brother and Sister Lee : — What can I sayl 
If I could sit down beside you and weep wj^th you, it 
would be much more in keeping with my idea 6f showmg 
sympathy. How thankful we are to know that you know 
how to trust God in an hour like this, and that there wdll 
be no element of rebellion in either of your hearts. 
What peace and comfort God can give to such ! It has 
seemed to me like the burial of Moses — as I have thought 
that you could indeed say, that God himself did it. I 
have a peculiar feeling for your dear children They were 
so much a part of the mission — and what blessed mission- 
aries they would have made— nay, were already. But the 
higher service is better. God's best for you and yours. 
If the dear people over here, who love you and your 
work would only have it in their hearts to put up a 
memorial building for your Bengali children, what a 
fittmg thing it would be ! Let us have the privilege of 
giving the first hundred dollars in the hope that many 
more hundreds will follow. May the Lord soothe and 
comfort as only He can. He knows what He is doing 
and we can afford to "wait patiently" for Him. Dear, 
dear friends, I am persuaded that riches of grace will 
abound toward you, and that you will be able to do 
more for India than you have ever done. " Call upon 
Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you and ye 
shall glorify me.'''' I am sure this promise will be 
verified in your case. 

With much love for you and tenderest sympathy. 

Affectionately yours, 

Anna J. Thoburn. 


The following was received from Lady 
Woodburn, wife of the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal on the morning of Wilbur's death : 

Extracts from Letters. 183 

The Shrubbery^ Darjeeling: 

Dear Mrs. Lee : — When the sad news, this morning, 
of your little son reached me, my first impulse was to 
write to you, and then I felt the words v/ould not come 
to express all I felt for you, in your overwhelmmg sorrow. 
You and Mr Lee have been little out of my thoughts 
since we heard the terrible news of that Sunday night. 

The consolation must be so great to think how the 
dear children passed away, their hearts full of love and 
obedience to you, and their last conscious act — prayer. 

My whole heart goes to you in sorrow and sympathy. 
One knows where your darlings are, but the awful blank 
is with you, of where they are not. 

They are indeed in God's safe keeping and may you 
who are left, be comforted and supported till life's 
journey ends. 

With deep, deep sympathy. 

Yours sincerely, 



Philadelphia^ Pa., Nov. 24., i8gg. 

My Dear and Most Sorely Bereaved Friends : 
— Since the tidings of your great trial sent a shock of 
pam through our whole church, and far beyond it, the 
bare thought of writing you a word of sympathy has 
paralyzed my pen all the time., until I saw Mrs. Lee's 
letter in the Christian Advocate. For such a triumph of 
grace as that letter evinces I thank God from the bottom 
of my heart. 

I send up my prayer with thousands more that you 
may have measureless comforts of the Holy Spirit. 

One of my jewels for forty years has been : " My God 
shall supply all your needs., according to his riches in 
Glory, by Christ Jesus. '''' 

Mrs. Foss joins me in kindest sympathy. 

Yours most truly, 

C. D. Foss. 

1 84 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

R. LAIDLAW, ESQ., London, Eng. 

October 6th, iSgg. 

Dear Mrs. Lee : — I feel that I must send you a few 
more lines to-day, not that any words of mjne can bring 
you any consolation, but I just want to say liow very dis- 
tressed we all feel. We have not passed a day or night 
since we got the terrible news without having the dear 
sweet faces of your children before us, and now poor 
Wilbur has gore too, to be with the others. The tele- 
grams tell us how dear Vida told them all to pray ; she 
knew where to seek strength in moments of trial. One 
was spared a few days to carry you a message of comfort 
and consolation. 

You and Mr. Lee have the profound sympathy of many 
thousands in this country. May the little one that 
remains be spared to be a joy and a comfort to you, and 
may the Lord abundantly sustain and comfort you is the 
earnest prayer of 

Your very sincere friend, 

R. Laidlaw 

REV. R. BURGES, Secretary of the LS.S.U. 
Mr Burges was a special friend of the Lee 


MiLssoorie, joth September, i8gg. 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lee :— My heart's love to you ! 
The God of our Father's be your God nozu. Words fail 
me. I have been in the Vale of Tears for eleven months, 
and I know, in some measure, your darkness of home and 
heart. But He is able. Your childrsn, who were my 
friends, are with the King and see Him in His beauty. 
The grand re-union is not far off. They are safe and we 
are pressing on to the place where they are. 

We now see parts ot His ways ; this is why we grieve. 

Love deep and strong, 

Yours ever, 
R. Burges. 





Extracts from Letters. 185 

REV. W. S. MATTHEW, D.D., Editor, 
" California Christian Advocate." 

Sa7i Francisco^ Noveinbei-- 2jrd, i8gg. 

My Dear Brother and Sister :— You can scarcely 
imagine in how many homes in America the sad 
story has been rehearsed, and at how many family 
altars you and sister Lee and the dear baby boy 
have been remembered. I think your dear wife's letter, 
published in last week's New York Advocate^ is the most 
touchingly beautiful thing I ever read. /\s we all sat 
about the sitting room table, Tuesday evening, after 
supper, I undertook toread it aloud to the dear ones of 
my own family ; but I broke down again and again. 
Finally I did manage to finish it, and we all wept together 
with you. Our hearts can only cry, God bless you and 
keep you.' But what a glorious picture remains in our 
minds of those brave children praying together and 
trusting God amid the horrors of that awful storm ! Surely 
their sweet faith and triumphant death must make a 
profound impression upon the people, wherever known. 
Thank God for such examples of his saving power as are 
given us in the sweet lives and glorious translation of 
your six dear ones ! And how glad are all our hearts 
that the Father above has spared you one sweet lamb of 
the flock to comfort you m these days. God bless him 1 

Dear Brother and Sister, tears rain down my face as I 
try to write, and I can only say, God bless you. Surely 
He will keep and comfort you. My wife joins me in all 
I would say. 

Always your friend, 

W. S. Matthew. 


My Dear Mr. Lee : — I never met a family of children 
which so charmed and interested me, and I shall never 
forget the happy afternoon we all spent together at our 
first meeting in Darjeeling. We looked forward to many 
happy days in their company, and had planned to find 

1 86 The Darjeeltng Disaster. 

ponies for all the children and have a good day at Ghoom 
Rock on my return the following month. 

My wife and I were strongly drawn to them all ; their 
winning and natural manner appealed at once to our affec- 
tions, and I feel I should like my own boy>3 to grow up 
with such ideals as lived in yours. 

They will always live in our memories and we greatly 
prize the photographs you have so kindly given us. 

Our hearts go out to you both in deepest sympathy. 

Sincerely yours, 

Walter Davies. 

C. M. D. 

Calcutta^ October i6th, i8gg. 

I cannot conceive of a more truly appropriate time, or a 
more beautifully appropriate attitude, to pass over, than 
that of prayer- — the attitude in which your darlings received 
their last call " to go up higher." And may it not be pos- 
sible that the incense and the fragrance of that beautiful 
prayer may linger round the eternal hills forever? 

The whole picture of your dear Home is to me indes- 
cribably beautiful — so sweet, so bright, so divine. One 
evening your darlings form a miniature heavenly choir 
the next evening they are members of the Heavenly choir 
itself! How inspiring I Truly " they were lovely and 
pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not 

And your brave, patient, darling little boy ; how can 
words express the pathos and patience of his sufferings ? 
His brightness, his thoughtfulness, on his sick bed, and, 
after all, to be called to join his dearly beloved sisters and 
brother in Glory ! How unspeakably beautiful ! Just 
as if his special mission had been to come out of the 
gloom to tell how his dear sisters and brother had passed 
into their eternal home, and then joins them immediately 
himself! How angelic ! What an unspeakable comfort 
it must be to you, my dear friend, to know that your 
darlings were like flowers in bloom fully ripe for the 

"Extracts from Letters. 187 

I sincerely and devoutly pray that our Heavenly Father 
may grant you both all grace, and faitb, and strength and 
fortitude, to bear this grievous burden, and to enable you 
to say, " thy will be done". "The Lord giveth, the 
Lord taketh avv^ay, blessed be the name of the Lord.'' 

Yours in the Lord, 

C. M. D. 


Dear Brother and Sister Lee : — May the Great 
Good God bind up your broken hearts. I know you will 
be brave in Him. We pray for the consolations of the 
one whose sorrow was greater than any sorrow. 

Words are cheap and do not serve one's purpose at 
such a time as this. Be assured of the most cordial 
sympathy of us all. The children remember well your 
precious family. 

Yours in Christ's behalf, 

W. W. White. 


American Presbyterian Mission. 
Mrs. Holcomb was one of the first to suggest 
the memorial building in the following to Mrs. 

Lee : 

Mission House^ Jhansi^ yth Octobej^, i8gg. 

My Dear Mr. and Mrs. Lee :■ — The measure of your 
awful grief God alone knows and He only can comfort 
you. " It is the Lord." How much of the brightness 
and the joy of earth has been quenched for you — how 
near has heaven come down to you ! I have thanked 
God for the precious infant spared to you. When He 
committed to your keeping this dear child, He knew, 
though you dreamed not of it, that the other children 
lent to you were to be taken back to Him who gave them, 
and in tenderest love this little one was sent to be your 
comfort in your unfathomable grief. 

i88 The Dakjeeling Disaster. 

In connection with you I have been thinking" much 
of a dear friend at home — now with the Lord, who, when 
but twenty-two years of age, was called to give back to 
God her husband and her two children. While at the 
home of a brother, coming down late for breakfast 
she found on her plate a card on which haS been written 
the following lines : 

" Enough ! the dead have had thy tears. 

The living need thy care, 
A sinner in a dying world, 

No time hast thou to spare." 

When we knew this lady she was seventy years of age, 
and her life had been spent in doing good. She told us 
that the message on the card seemed to her a message 
from the Lord himself. She felt a peculiar compassion 
for children. I do not know how many homes she 
had establ'shed, but through her efforts thousands of 
children had been rescued and trained up for God. I am 
sure that you will seek to ease your heartache by trying 
to bring brightness to other lives. I know how deeply 
interested you are in the children of India, and I ha\'e 
thought how suitable it would be, and how beautiful 
a memorial to the precious children God has taken, 
if an orphanage ur a home bearing their name could 
be established. I am sending you by money order a small 
contribution toward this object now, but I may be able 
to send you something in addition later. 

May the God of all comfort be with you in this time 
of sorest trial. My husband unites with me in this. 

With deepest sympathy and much affection I subscribe 

Your sincere friend, 

Helen H. Holcomb. 


President Obenlin College. 

My Dear Bereaved Brother: — Though The Indian 
Witness I have been made acquainted with your un- 
speakable affliction. The overwhelming loss which has 

Extracts from Letters. 189- 

drawn to you such world-wide sympathy. Your sorrows 
touch me very closely. The missionary circle in Calcutta 
are very dear to me. Be sure that my family have 
remembered you in our prayer to the God of all comfort. 
Mrs. Barrows joins me in deepest sympathy for Mrs. Lee 
and yourself Your resignation and ^racious acceptance 
of God's will are a wonderful evidence of the proof of 
that Gospel which you have gone to India to proclaim. 

Believe me, dear brother, 
F'aithfully and affectionately yours, 

John Henry Barrows, 

Extracts of letters from friends who knew 
the Children. 


Superintendent of Government Printing in India. 

Air. Ross had them often in his house while 

in Calcutta. He was a friend to wliom the 

children were orreatl}' attached. 

Edi7ibu7'gh^ Scotland^ September 2Sik, iSgg. 

My Dear Mrs Lee : — I know you will not think I am 
claiming too much to share your sorrov\ with you and } our 
husband. The dear children. Of all the little ones in 
India, they had the biggest place in my heart and I am 
glad to think I had a big place in theirs. It seems to- 
day as if my own had been stricken down. May the 
Infinite Comfort which you have been privileged to carry 
to others in bereavement be yours at this time is the 
prayer of all in this house. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Wm. Ross. 

190 The Darjeeling Disaster. 


An old Quaker lad\', who once lived with the 

children, writes : ** 

How the dear ones were looking forward to helping you 
in your work. Lois said one day, ' Sister Gore, when you 
read of some big things we children are doing some day 
in India, you will be glad you knew us, and spent a 
winter with us.' Yes, I am glad I kne'v them. 

The following" is from two lady evangelists in 
the United States, who were present when the 
two older girls were converted : 

Can it be our darling Vida and Lois are gone from us 
in such a fearful way. I am all broken up and can hardly 
write to you as I think of it. 

"N'ida was a rare child. I never saw her equal. We 
did love all your children and were interested in all that 
concerned them, but Vida had a place peculiarly her 
own, perhaps it was because in one sense she loved and 
trusted us perfectly — and yet, other children love and 
confide in us, but no child has ever had the place in our 
hearts like Vida. It was her own rare beautiful nature, 
her spirituality. 


This letter is from the wife of the Editor of 

the Indian Witness, showing how the children 

were loved bv our missionaries in Calcutta. 

Their death was like a family grief to us all. 

46^ Dharamtala St, Noveinbe}- 2gth, i8gg. 

My Dear ]\Irs. Lee : — Thank you very much for your 
'kind invitation for the thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. 
We shall be very glad to come and thank God with you 

Extracts from Letters. 191 

for the precious memories of the dear ones. How I miss 
them every day I cannot tell you. But how wonderfully 
they have been just lifted into the beautiful life beyond, 
and I love to think of them there. It seems a fitting 
place for them — beyond the sin and sorrow of this world. 
I thank God every day that we ever knew them and for 

'"Tis better to have loved and lost 
Than never to have loved at all " 

and past memories are only a promise of future joy I 

I often tell Muriel that perhaps Esther talks to Jesus 
sometimes about her, and it is a very sweet thought to us 
both, to think of having friends before the throne, j 

With a great deal of love. 

Yours affectionately,, 

Retta L. Robinson. 


Union Missionary Society of America. 

Miss Gardner, who was a special friend cf the 
boys, writes to Mrs. Lee, after having sent sever- 
al telegrams : 

How much it all means to you no one knows better 
than I do, who knew those dear children so well. I did 
so pray that God would spare Wilbur, but it was not His 
will, and so is not mine, and is not yours. I did not half 
realize how much I loved them. Their winning, coaxing 
ways, especially the boys, come to me over and over, night 
and day, and make me realize how great the desolation 
in your hearts. I could not read the account given by 
Wilbur before he joined the others. I try to think of 
them, as I know they are, brighter and happier than ever 
they were on earth, bright and happy as their lives were 
here, and I know you think of them that way, too, gone 

192 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

on only d little while before. Believing as I do in the 
speedy coming of Christ, it seems only a little while. 

Always yours in this hope, 

and the deepest sympathy and love, 

Sarah Gardner, 


8S, Oakhill Ave, Delaware, Ohio. 

My Dear Mrs. Lee :— The mail that brought the 
news of your great sorrow brought a sorrow to me. I 
don't need to tell you how I loved them all, from Vida 
down to dear little Esther. They always seemed like my 
own brothers and sisters. 

Vida and I w^ere like sisters and used to have such 
good times together. She was such a help to me and 
her sweet, Christian spirit will always be an inspiration 
to me. Dear Vida ! how happy she must be now, and 
that thought takes all the sting out of the sorrow. 

Lois, too, was such a dear, sweet child, always ready to 
help some one and to give a smile. She has all the 
music she wants novv'. I shall always love the guitar for 
Vida's sake, too. 

Then there was Wilbur with his bright, l:oyish ways 
and his laughter-loving heart. I used to love to hear 
his hearty, infectious laugh ; and Herbert, whom I always 
called "my little brother" especially. He and Wilbur 
used to play the violins so happily together, and — they 
have the harps now. 

Then Ada and Esther whom I loved next to our own 
little Muriel. When I try to think of Calcutta and your 
home \vithout the six dear ones, oh ! I can't bear it. 
I never thought when I said good-by on the 27th of 
March that it was the last we would see of them. 
- Mrs. Lee, if you only knew how I would love to put 
my arms around you and ask you to let me hug you for 
the sake of the dear children. This sorrow has come so 
close to me. 

Extracts from Letters. 193 

It is lovely to know that they were all ready, and that 
they are so happy now. I believe that my life will be, and 
has been, better for having known and loved your dear 
ones, and I feel as if I will need to work harder than 
ever to make up for what dear Vida longed so much to 
do m the mission field. 

Dear little Frank ! how I would love to sister him. 

Will you not think of me as one who loved your dear 
ones next to my own dear ones and as a second daughter 
as it were .^ If I were there and could, in a small measure, 
be another daughter to you, how gladly would I do it. 

May the God of all comfort be your Guide and Stay — 
yours and Mr. Lee's — is my earnest prayer. With my 
sympathy, and love, 

Ever lovingly and affectionately, 

Bessie Ellice Robinson. 

MRS. TOMORY, Free Church of Scotland. 

My heart is sore for you when I think of your empty 
home and of those lovely children of yours. Of all your 
children I felt specially drawn to Lois, perhaps because 
I saw more of her than of the others, just a short time 
before I left Darjeeling she and Ada came to a Band of 
Hope meeting. I had a long chat with Lois. When they 
were leaving, Lois put her arms around me and kissed 
me, saying, "I want to kiss some one as I cannot get my 

May God be very near to you in these dark days. 
We often pray for you and Mr. Lee. 

With loving sympathy, 

I am, yours very sincerely, 

Mary C. Tomory. 

MRS. BROCKWAY, London Missionary Society. 

A friend of mine sitting behind the dear children in 
Church one day, inquired after service, " Who were those 
children with ' Holiness to the Lord' written so plainly 
on their faces ?" This description fitted them exactly. 
From the day I saw them on their arrival in India, to the 

194 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

last happy times we spent together in Darjeeling the 
impression left was a prayer that the same Holy Spirit, 
who was moulding these young lives so wondrously, 
- would in like manner so deal with my own little ones 
in the far-off homeland. * 


Sec. of the College Y.M.C.A., Calcutta. 

My Dear Mr. and Mrs Lee : — I have just returned 
this morning from Mussoorie. A telegram was handed 
me from Mrs. White as I came in, saying, " We are 
safe." I cannot help thinking that your loved ones would 
like to send you a similar message this morning from the 
presence of the King ; " Safe in the arms of Jesus." 

After joining a search party in Darjeeling 

composed of a number of prominent men, who 

did all they could to find the bodies of the 

children, he writes : — 

But we were glad we had gone, for we did all that 
seems possible to do, to find either the bodies or anything 
from the house. 

It was a great blessing to me to be with you all during 
the closing days of Wilbur's presence here, and I feel 
that I shall always be a better man for the experiences I 
had. His own victory and yours were to me a fresh proof 
of the larger victory that God makes possible, to every 
one of us, in our daily life. 

I was thinking much of you yesterday in connection 
with God's test to Abraham — Gen 22 : 2, 12. God knew 
how severe the test was — "thy son — thine only son, — 
whom thou lovest" : — and He knows in your case also. 

Some of us feel unable to sympathize as we want to, 
because of our lack of experience. You will probably 
never meet any one who has had a greater sorrow, and 
you will therefore be prepared to sympathize, as few 
people can. 

With fullest loving sympathy. 

Yours most sincerely, 

J. Campbell White. 

Extracts from Letters. 195 


Newcastle^ N. S. Wales ^ 

Australia^ Dec. i8th, i8gg. 

Dear Brother and Sister Lee : — Yours of loth 
ISIov. to hand, together with the paper containing the sad, 
sad news. I can only partially realize its awful truth. 
To say that I am sorry and sympathize with you in 
sorrow, would very inadequately express my feelings in 
the matter. 

When I looked at the paper, and the full import of its 
contents dawned upon me, I had to close it for some time, 
so little did I previously realize how strong was that 
strange mysterious bond which bound us. It seemed as 
if it were my own brothers and sisters that had been so 
suddenly called into the Master's more immediate 

On Sunday morning I spoke to our Sabbath School, 
and the teachers and scholars in the afternoon passed 
the enclosed letter of bvmpathy. As I spoke, I saw many 
of our scholars m tears, and after the meeting some of 
the little ones belonging to the Junior Endeavour Society 
got together, and, ot their own accord, drafted and wrote 
the other note of sympathy. I feel that their death has 
been blessed to the lasting benefit of many in these parts. 
And did I say death '. ! Nay, rather, " Translation."' The 
Master has called upon you to lay your costliest gift 
•on the altar of sacrifice, and you have obeyed. 

I have tried to express my deepest sympathy with you 
in your loneliness, and have failed, and so must leave you 
in the hands of the " sympathising JesuB," God bless 
you my Brother, God bless you my Sister 1 1 and prosper 
the work of your hands. Many a little one in these 
parts remembers you at the Throne of Grace. 

Yours in His service, 

Grantham Giddy. 

Chapter XIII. 


David H. Lee was born in Carroll County, 
Ohio, 1850. His father, Jonathan Lee, was a 
man eminent in the community for his deep 
piety and sterling Christian character. Young 
David was converted at eight years of age while 
kneeling in prayer with his godly mother, in the 
little old church on the hill, at Harlem Springs, 

Whilst his work has led him far from home 
to foreign lands, of this place he has often 
been heard to say : 

There is a spot to me more dear, 
Than native vale or mountain ; 

A spot for which affection's tear 
Flows grateful from its fountain. 

'Tis not where kindred souls abound, 
Though that were almost heaven ; 

But where I first my Saviour found, 
And felt my sins for~iven. 

He was educated at Scio, Ohio, — at what was 
known then as the "one study university" — 
now Scio College. 


Kev. D, II. Lee. 

The Lees, and Their Work. 197 

After preaching a year and a half in the North 
Ohio and Pittsburgh Conferences, Mr. Lee 
answered what he felt to be the call of the Spirit, 
and arranged to go to India as a missionary. 
He came out in connection with the pioneer work 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, amongst the 
English-speaking people of India ; and with no 
specified salary, shared some of the privations 
which are not now so necessary where the 
churches are built and the parsonages provide a 
home. He left home on the 2nd November 
with $50, which went towards paying his fare. 

William Taylor, afterward Bishop, who was 
then Superintendent of the Bombay and Bengal 
Mission, provided the fare from London to 
Bombay, where he landed on December 18, 1875, 
He was kindly received by the members of the 
mission then working in the city, among whom 
was the revered George Bowen. 

After a few days in Bombay, Mr. Lee came 
to Calcutta, where J. M. Thoburn, now Bishop, 
was beginning his work amongst the English- 
speaking people of the city, following up what 
had been inaugurated by William Taylor. Thus 
he became associated with the beginning of the 
work of our church in Bengal. 

198 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

His first appointment was, however, to Agra, 
, where he preached regularly twice on the 
Sabbath, and also during the Aveek, and was, in 
addition, principal of the Agra Collegiate School. 
At Bombay, in the end of the year 1876, the 
South India Conference was formed, embracing 
that part of India not then included in the 
North India Conference. Mr. Lee became one 
of the charter members of the South India 
Conference, and served in its different stations 
until February, 1883, when a failure in health 
compelled his return to America with his wife, 
{itee Miss Jones of the Union Missionary 
Society) whom he married in 1881 whilst at 

By permission I use here the following sketch 
of Mrs. Lee's life taken from the appendix of 
her popular book " Chundra Lela :" 

"I was born among the hills of West Virginia,, 
of poor, but hard working parents, and knew 
from the first what it was to suffer hardship. As 
early as possible I took my share of the daily 
toil. Very soon in life a longing, such as I can 
never describe, took possession of me to have 
an education. I have walked two miles in the 
deep snow day after day, over a rough road, to 

The Lees, and Their Work. 199 

get to the little school house which afforded 
the only opportunity for learning in our part 
of the country. God sent a man to teach that 
little school who did much to encourage and 
help me, and also to lead me to seek in God 
the help 1 needed most. He has since become 
a great preacher, but his work began in that 
little school house. 

" I soon got all I could in our country 
schools, still I could not be content, and longed 
more than ever for greater opportunity than 
West Virginia then afforded her daughters. 

" My mother used to say I never shirked my 
work for anything but books ; but no one could 
understand how hungry I was. Physically, I 
was frail ; in disposition, gloom.y, unhappy and 
discontented ; yet God, in His mercy, led all the 
way through the darkness of these years. 

"At the age of fourteen, an aunt came from 
Ohio to visit us, and offered to take me into her 
family if my father would let me go. Thus the 
way opened, and the fall of 1871, the time of 
the Chicago fire, found me attending college at 
Scio, Ohio. I worked for my board and studied 
as I could. I was so glad of the opportunity, 
I was willing to do anything that I might get 

200 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

on with my studies. Yet God only knows 
■ what a shrinking, timid, miserable creature 
I was. 

" During the revival held early in the year 
1872, the great turning point came in my life. 
The music teacher of Scio college, a soul-seeker, 
said to me : ' I am asking God to convert you 
at the beginning of these meetings, so you can 
help bring the other girls to Jesus.' She was 
the first one who had ever put hope into my 
heart. Such a thing seemed too high for me — 
too good to be possible ! 

'^A few days later 1 was under deep con- 
viction — so wretched I could not study, 
work or sleep. In the evening meeting, 
when the minister invited seekers, I felt I 
must go or be lost. I went, alone, and was the 
first to go. On the second evening, after such 
darkness and agony of soul, as, may be, but few 
ever experience, I was wondrously saved ! My 
conversion was like coming out of the blackest 
of darkness, where I had been chained, a con- 
demned criminal, into the bright sunlight and 
glorious liberty of the children of God. How 
I praise God that He ever, in His mercy, found 
my poor soul ! 

The Lees, and Their Work. 201 

" At that time I promised God to do His will, 
and life from that day was beautiful ; and I, a 
changed, happy girl. The next three years 
were spent in college, planning for the future, 
doing what I could in the Church and Sunday 
School, seeing many of my class-mates and 
college friends converted. But soon a settled 
conviction came over me that God wished me 
to go as a missionary to India. The place I 
knew very little about, and the work I felt very 
unfit for and unworthy of. 

" I am sorry to say I fought against this con- 
viction, more probably because I was afraid it 
was imagination, and yet, the more I fought, the 
farther away from God I seemed to get. In the 
meantime I finished school and tried to settle 
down to teaching. But God troubled me, 
upset my plans and sent me sorrow, to let me 
see how much I needed His grace. In the 
midst of miy first grief, at the loss of a dear girl 
friend, I fell on my knees in submission to God 
and said, ' Oh, Lord, I will go anywhere, if Thou 
wilt with Thine own hand open up the way that 
1 make no mistake, and give me Thy presence 
and love in full measure.' I arose comforted, 
restful and happy, leaving it all with Jesus. 

2C2 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" One whom I had loved quietly, unknown to 
him or any one else for several years, and to 
whom I had always been true, was a young 
minister in the Pittsburg Conference, and had 
formed a large part of the sacrifice I made, 
when I told the Lord I was ready to give up all 
and go to India. What was my surprise, when, a 
few weeks later, I returned home from my school 
work, to be told that this same person was going 
to India under William Taylor (now bishop), and 
was to leave in a few days. I said " good-bye" 
and let him go away to India without ever 
telling him of the two years' struggle and the 
consecration I had made. 

" The next six months were days of waiting in 
which my faith was put to some severe rests. 
With my consecration I had asked God to open 
up the way with His own hand, and I had pro- 
mised my mother I would never apply to any 
missionar}/ society. I was back in the old 
homestead in West Virginia. Sometimes I 
wondered if I had been mistaken in the call, 
and would God ever open the way. One day 
after several weary weeks of suffering with 
typhoid fever, they all thought I was dying 
and were gathered about my bed. 

The Lees, and Their Work. 20: 

" A cold shiver passed over my frame, and I 
said to a dear aunt who was bending over me, 
' Is this death?' 

" She answered softly, 'Yes, dear. Are you 
afraid ?' 

''I said, 'A^o.' 

" And then God seemed to say to me, ' If you 
live, will you live for India ?' 

" I answered back, ' India or heaven, which 
ever be Thy will. Oh, my Father !' Then what 
peace filled my soul ! 

"A few moments later, God turned the whole 
course of that awful disease and I rapidly 
came back to health. 

"A short time afterwards, I was sitting alone 
in the veranda pondering these things and 
wondering when God would open the way. 

" Just then my uncle called to me from the 
road telling me he had a letter for me. The 
post-mark was ' New York ;' the address in a 
strange hand-writing. I hurriedly broke the 
seal, feeling somehow it contained the light for 
which I was asking. 

" It was a letter from the now sainted Mrs. 
Doremus, of the ' Union Missionary Society,' 
the first women's society in America. She 

204 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

stated that Dr. Thoburn, in passing through on 
his return to India, had handed her nay name as 
a candidate for missionary work in India, and 
enclosed was the list of questions I was ex- 
pected to answer. 

" I had never met Bishop Thoburn and knew 
very little about him, and how he had gotten 
my name I knew not. I afterwards found 
that he and my pastor at Scio had been school 
friends, and that the Bishop while visiting 
him had asked for young ladies likely to make 
missionaries, and from him obtained my name 
and address. 

"My age, as well as other things, were against 
me, as I was not twenty-one, but in spite of all 
I was accepted by the Society, and on Nov. 4th, 
Centennial year, I stepped on board the steamer 
bound for India, the happiest soul the sun ever 
shone upon. 

" Early in the voyage a deep conviction came 
over me of my unfitness for this holy calling. 
One of the parting gifts had been Dr. Steel's 
' Love Enthroned ;' the more I read and prayed 
and thought, the more wretched I became. Not- 
withstanding my bright conversion, my Christian 

The Lees, and Their Work. 205 

life had been an ' up and down ' sort of an 
experience ; a constant struggle with evil 

" Other members of the party seemed to be 
convicted at the same time and two or three 
entered into the blessing of perfect love. But I 
got more wretched until I felt that unless I got 
a clean heart and could find a place of constant 
victory over sin, I could never go on to India to 
preach the gospel to her sad daughters. 

"At Liverpool, a noble man of God — an officer 
in the India army — came on board as a passen- 
ger. His face shone with the love of Jesus. 
One day he handed me a slip of paper on 
consecration, and asked me if I could take each 
step it marked out, and i{ so, to sign it. 

" Among other things were the words : " I 
take the Holy Spirit as my Sanctifier." I 
prayed all day, and was determined I would 
not sleep until I could conscientiously sign that 
paper. I was worn out, so threw myself on 
my bunk, saying, ' Oh Lord ! take temper and 
all else connected with sin and give me that for 
which my soul longs,' and a flood of peace 
came into my soul such as I could never 

2o6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" I lay there singing softly to myself — 

' The great Physician now is near, 
Jesus, blessed Jesus,' \ 

until the waves of the Red Sea lulled me to 
sleep. I lived this life as best I understood it, 
for the first sermon I ever heard on sanctifica- 
tion was after I reached India, and preached 
by Bishop Thoburn. But oh ! how much God 
has had to teach me ! 

"x\fter reaching India, I began the study of 
the language, and to work among the Bengali 
women of Calcutta. For five years I went in 
and out among them, spending much of my 
time in their homes. God gave me to see some 
bright and definite conversions among the 
women in the zenanas. And yet how imper- 
fectly I felt I did this work ! 

" The two paths which sometimes had been 
so near each other and at other times so wide 
apart that oceans rolled between, at last came 
together. God plainly led me, and the other 
part of my life, until the two became one by law, 
who had been so long one in soul. Thus, after 
five years of missionary service, I was married to 
David H. Lee, not to leave our work, but united 
to work together for the salvation of India. 

The Lees, and Their Work. 207 

"Two years later, on account of my husband's 
health, the Lord showed plainly He wished us 
to return to our native land. 

"It was a sad day, the day I left Calcutta in a 
sailing vessel, with a wee baby in my arms and 
a sick husband by my side. It was a long, 
weary voyage of nearly four months, but our 
Father was still leading and brought us through 
storms and calms around the Cape of Good 
Hope, and safely home, at the cost of less than 
$200, and that not missionary money, but sent 
in answer to prayer. 

" India was on our hearts at home, and while 
we tried to do faithfully what was intrusted 
to us by the church there, our hearts used 
to lone^ for India. I would dream about the 
imprisoned women in the zenanas, and of 
sitting among them, telling them of Jesus, 
and would awake so disappointed to find 
I was so far away from them. How I prayed 
and waited ! God had to give me a mighty 
baptism of freedom and of power before I was 
ever able to speak in public. 

"After receiving this, wherever I went I 
pleaded lor the Bengali people, that the gospel 
might be sent to them, for while some of the 

2o8 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

oldest mission stations are in this province, the 
millions are practically untouched. Wherever 
I told of the need of the people of In9ia, God 
blessed me and persons became interested, 
but the different Societies said ' our old work 
fills our hands ; we cannot enter new,' and 
wherever I turned, the way seemed blocked. 

"God sent our children into our home, one after 
another ; each one, in the eyes of the church 
and the world, making it more impossible than 
ever to return to India. Every one of them 
was, as soon as born, consecrated to God and 
laid on the altar of India. 

" Whenever we spoke of our desire to 
return, we were commended for our interest 
and devotion to the work, but were frankly 
told that there was no money to send or sup- 
port us. Still the burden was upon me, until 
one night, after much prayer, my Father assured 
me that my work was not done in India, and 
that He was able to send us the means. 

" I astonished my husband next morning by 
telling him that I was going to trust God for 
$20,000 for a missionary fund. Even he 
seemed a little doubtful, and thought I was 
beside myself, and w^ould soon get over it, but 

The Lees, and Their Work. 209 

I never did. I went on praying day and night, 
asking God to use me in any way He saw best 
to gather it. It is wonderful how He led and 
blessed me. 

** At first I held meetings, taking my baby 
with me, but soon the Lord showed me that 
He had another plan, and put it into my heart 
to write about the people and the work I 

*'My first article was, 'J^ssudar, the Kidnapped 
Girl,' and was published first in the Western 
Christian Advocate, and afterwards in many 
other papers. Money began to come through 
the mail, and many very dear friends have been 
found thus. 

** In 1893, the sum had reached |4,ooo, which 
came from persons of all denominations. One 
Sabbath, after weeks of earnest prayer, God 
gave me the answer in the verse—' Commit thy 
way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he 
will bring it to pass.' 

" I was so sure it would come that I arose 
from my knees and wrote to my husband to 
get ready to return to India. I, at the same 
time, wrote to several friends sa\'ing I believed 
the remaining 1 16,000 would soon come. In 

210 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

less than two months afterwards a Christian 
■gentleman gave the fund $15,000! " 

[Although this money has not yet been realized,. 
the interest was paid for three years, which sup- 
ported the Lees, and aided the work until the 
Lord raised up others, and the work goes on.] 

"October, 1894, found the fund complete, 
and we and our six children on the good ship 
which carried us back to India. Our youngest, 
Esther Dennett, was a baby seven weeks old when 
we sailed from New York. It was with a heart 
full of thanksgiving to God for the privilege of 
going as His messenger to the lost ones, that I 
watched the ' Goddess of Liberty ' fade in the 
distance, and again bade farewell to the dear 
home land. It was with joy of heart such as 
no words can express, that, after a voyage of 
six weeks, my eyes again looked upon the great 
plains, fern clad hills, and beautiful palm 
groves of dear, old India. 

We believe God led us to begin our work in 
Calcutta, the metropolis of India, and a strong- 
hold of idolatry. We live in the midst of the 
people and expect to spend the remainder of 
our lives for their salvation. Our one desire is 
to be completely in his hands that his will 

The Lees, and Their Work. 21 r 

and way may be accomplished through us. 

"We are opening up different departments of 
work just as God sends it to us, trusting Him 
for all we need. We are asking God for good 
substantial buildings, and a part of the money 
for this has come; we know He will send the rest. 
Children come to us without bread, others flee 
for protection from the awful curse of child 
marriage ; others who have been sold into sin 
turn to us to be led back into the path of 

" Some wish to prepare to preach the gospel, 
both young men and women, and we have had 
much joy in being the link connecting a number 
of these worthy cases with God's children at 
home, who feel specially led to educate these to 
represent them in India. 

" To what proportions this work will grow we 
do not know. At present we have thirty-eight 
girls and sixteen boys in training. We take 
these trusting for their support. We believe this 
to be only the beginning of a great movement. 
There is no end to the evangelistic work among 
the hundreds of thousands of imprisoned zenana 
women of this city, and a vast field is open for 
^' from house to house" medical work. The 

212 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

number who suffer and die for want of proper 
treatment- is appalling! 

''''Eight inillions die in India annuatly ! 

"Half of these are children who go home to 
Jesus. Of the other four millions ninety-nine out 
of every hundred go down to a Christless grave. 

" Think of this great host of more than a 
quarter million marching into eternity from 
India every month without the gospel !" 

The above was written by Mrs. Lee, at the 
request of a number of friends, in 1897. Since 
then their work has grown and opened up in 
many directions. They have in the Home and 
Training School over one hundred girls, besides 
about twenty boys. 

During the past five years, twenty have gone 
out of the home into the work* as teachers and 
Bible women. These teach in the schools and 
work in the zenanas — a work which has grown 
up around the home. 

The Lees are now joining in the work of 
rescuing widows and children from the terrible 
famine. They have already taken in 30, which 
gives them a family of 150 souls. The Marwari 
widows saved trom that famine district they 

* See Photo 


The Lees, and Their Work. 213 

hope to train for Bible work, and through them 
to reach the Marvvari people, of which there 
are thousands in Calcutta with no mission work 
among them. 

They also are opening up work in new parts 
through workers trained in the home. Already 
they have an interesting work in the suburbs of 
the city, day schools for girls, and a night 
school for boys who work in the shops all day ; 
also Sunday schools and preaching. Mr. Lee has 
many interesting cases of inquirers among the 
Hindu students, of whom Calcutta now has over 

They also contemplate starting a branch 
school out of the city where the industrial 
department can be more successfully worked. 

Many friends seemed to fear that the Darjeel- 
ing disaster, which so suddenly crushed their 
home, would also crush them and they would 
be compelled to give up their work. But 
although the pruning has been most severe, 
God in his mercy has sent equal grace and 
strength, until, instead of crushing them, it 
has, we believe, better fitted them for this great 
work, and it has already given an impetus to 
the work itself it could not otherwise have had. 

214 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

Many wonder at these friends and some have 
even said, " Oh, this mother does not realize 
her loss." But she herself says, " Some days it 
seems that the weight of that terrible mountain 
in Darjeeling is upon my heart, and would crush 
out my life. As I think of the four lovely forms 
of those dearer than my own life, crushed and 
buried by it, and of the other two lying in the 
cemetery on the other side of the hill, it seems 
impossible to live. 

" There is another baby grave in the beautiful 
home land, making seven in Heaven, and one 
darling left to share our loneliness. When the 
evening tide comes, the longing to hear their 
footsteps and their ringing laugh is greater 
than words can express. But I quickly turn 
away from these thoughts and with a cry, 
only Jesus can understand, I look to him and 
he just seems to lift me above earth, and the 
lonliness and weariness (for the weariness 
caused by fighting sorrow is different from all 
other kinds). 

" I sometimes seem to be all but in the heaven 
land and see the loved ones so joyous and 
happy, that before I know it I seem to be 
sharing with them in the victory. The one 

The Lees, and Their Work. 215 

heart desire of these days has been that God's 
purpose in all this stupendous mystery might 
be fulfilled in me. 

"So much has been accomplished already. 
It has enabled me to see life as never before, 
and to see my own weakness and nothingness. 
It also has put heaven in the right light — the 
one thing for which to live. 

"The Bible has become a new book, and its 
promises are my food and drink. Oh, how my 
soul feasts on them. Jesus has become my all in all 
as never before — and to know him, whom to know 
aright is life eternal, has become my one study — 
and to be blameless in his sight my one aim. 

" ' Only one day at a time — and one to please.^ 
Now while, with redoubled energy, I work to 
make Jesus known to those about me ; and 
the desire to save as many as possible of his 
little ones in this heathen land, has become 
greater ; still in it all I live like unto one who 
waits for his Lord. And while it seems almost 
impossible to rejoice and sing as once I did, my 
heart wells up with gratitude to God for his 
mercy in sparing to me my husband and our 
precious baby Frank, and permitting me the 
joy of still living for them and the work. 

2i6 The Darjeeling Disaster. 

" But above all I praise Jesus for himself and 
for the fulfillment of his promise : * Lo, I am 
with you alway ' and for his saving power. So 
I rest in him and leave the future in his hands, 
but 1 have joy in the thought that one of these 
days the end will come. " The silver cord will 
break." Then I shall see Him whom my soul 
loveth and shall have the unspeakable joy of 
presenting to him those whom he gave me and 
those also whom he sent me to bring from 

Some day the silver cord will break, 
And I no more as now shall sing. 

But, oh, the joy when I shall wake 
Within the palace of the King ! 

Some day my earthly house vvill fall 
1 cannot tell how soon 'twill be, 

But this I know, my all in all 

Has now a place in heaven for me. 

Some day, when fades the golden sun, 

Beneath the rosy-tinted west. 
My blessed Lord shall say " Well done ! " 

And I shall enter into rest. 

Some day ; till then I'll watch and wait. 
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright 

That when my Saviour ope's the gate. 
My soul to Him may take its flight. 

Chorus. — Then I shall see him face to face, 
And tell the story saved by grace. 




Mrs. ADA LEE. 

This is one of the most interesting missionary books 
now being circulated, and wonderfully quickens missionary 




Awful Deception of Hinduism 

I. Birth, Marriage, and Widow- 




Breaking her Fetters. 

II. The Temple of Jaganath. 


Money Making and Preaching. 

III. The Temple of Ramanath. 


Chandra Lela baptises her own 

IV. Sorrow and Suffering by the 




Should Women Preach. 

V. As a Fakir. 

Wee Glimpses of My Life 

Lady Curzon says: — "I am very grateful to you for your most interesting 
little book, which I have read with great care." 

Bishop Welldon— the Metropolitan of India. "Thanks for a copy of your 
book. It is an interesting and touching story." 

Bishop Foss — of the Methodist Episcopal Church, says: Chandra Lela is an 
exceedingly fascinating picture of the conflict of Christianity with the 
hoary and decrepit heathenism of India." 

The following minute was passed in one of the largest representative Mis- 
sionary gatherings in India — the Central Conference — ^^ Chandra Lela. 
the heroine of Mrs. Lee's interesting biographical sketch, was introduced 
to the Conference. Her narrative, in Hindustani, of the steps by which 
she was brought to a saving knowledge of Christ was listened to with 
deep interest." 



Methodist Publishing House. 
Bible and Tract Society. 
Methodist Publishing House. 
Methodist Publishing House. 


Mrs. Fannie Sperry, Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, 

or any Bookseller. 



( 25 cents and 50 cents ; 
1 12 As. and Re. 1-8. 


Beautifully Illustrated Booklets and Leaflets 
should be read by everybody/ 


" Jessudar, the Kidnapped Girl." 

" Died as a Christian, Burned as a Hindoo." 

" Kamal Dassee, The Bengali Widow." 

** What it cost a Bengali Woman to become a 

" Child Marriage, the Curse of India." 



MRS. LEE, 147, Dharamtala Street, Calcutta; 


Mrs. Fannie Sperry, Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, 

U. S. A. 


"The Darjeeling Disaster" 



may be obtained from the above. 

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The Darjeeling disaster : its b 
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Warne, F. W. W2lild $% 


The Darjeeling disaster: its 


bright side