My dear Delia,
Here we are within three marches of Lhassa. We arrived here three days ago and since then have been busy getting the troops across the river. We have not crossed yet but I have just learnt this afternoon from Colonel Waddell that I am to cross with my hospital tomorrow at 9am. We cross in two large barges captured from the Tibetans which are hauled across by ropes, dragged by our men on the other side of the river. The river is not more than 300 yards across but the current is very swift and strong. We were all much upset by the drowning of Major Bretherton, Chief Supply and Transport Officer, and the General's right hand man. He was a great friend of mine and always gave me anything extra I required for the Hospital. He was up here - Siliguer - some weeks before the Expedition started, arranging Commissariat for the Troops. That he of all men should die so untimely.
I am writing outside my Tent facing the river. Along the sandy road in front of me, troops of laden mules are passing to the ferry - these mules and "kits" are to cross the river this afternoon. It is like being encamped on the front of some watering place as there are about two miles of sand and hillocks which we occupy. The
We are all very excited about seeing Lhassa but hope we shall not stop there for very long. If we could get back by October I ought to be off home by the first Transport - I think there is quite a fair chance of this. If I don't get leave at once I shall swear!! The Tibetans three months privilege leave I rather fear is only available in
I was glad to hear that you were all well at No 32. I sent off three parcels of "loot" of sorts so from Gyantsee which I hope will arrive in due course. I think you had better give most of it away to friends with my compliments - it is only valuable as coming from
I was delighted to get Amy's letter as well as yours. She is enjoying her stay with you immensely. Strange to say I was thinking of
Remember me nicely to Tim
Your Affectionate Brother