- 6 Mar 1913
Girset [?], Java. - Received his father's letter of 20 January at Batavia, but there was no time to answer it before the mail went. They have been as far as Djodkakarta [Yogyakarta] in central Java, where they visited the great Budddhist temple Borobudur; this was 'as fine as anything [they] saw in India. They came here on the way back to Batavia; it is 'surrounded by seven large volcanoes', and they visited two of the craters.. [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson is going to Bintenoy [?], while Robert returns to Batavia and will stay two nights with Bessie's half-brother Herman [des Amorie van der Hoeven], who manages several estates and is a 'very pleasant intelligent man'. They sail on 8 March for Singapore, but will not sail from there to Hong Kong until 15 March; will probably visit Deli in Sumatra in between. Will only have a month in China if he returns by the train leaving Pekin [Beijing] on 21 April in order to get back to London by 4 May. Not sure if he will receive any letters posted after this one is received, but gives an address in Pekin, which he expects to reach about 6 April. It is the rainy season here, but they have had a 'very pleasant impression of Java', though he does not 'find the people so interesting as in India'. The Dutch have certainly 'made more of a success of Java' than the British have of Ceylon; cites population growth. It is very hot in Batavia, but 'quite cool and pleasant' up here in the hills. Will be 'very glad to get home again', though he has had, and is 'still having, a wonderful time', and is especially looking forward to seeing something of China. Has just finished "Cousin Pons", which is 'a depressing story. The world can hardly be as bad as Balzac paints it'.