S.S. Varela March 23/19 Sunday
We reach Bombay tomorrow, & go into hospital at Colába, a sort of suburb as it were of Bombay. There, I’m told, I come before a medical board, who decide what’s to be done with me- We left Basra last Monday, & reached Bushire in the Persian Gulf next morning, & stayed there all day, embarking patients & supplying the force there with a barge load – 600 tons – of fresh water: as there is no fresh water at Bushire & their own condensing plant was temporarily broken down (awful writing, but the ship is rolling & very shaky!) We reached Karachi yesterday, & stayed there a few hours. I met Nepean, of the 5th Gurkhas, you know, he knows Miss Loder(?) Ruth’s friend & was nursed by her I fancy in London- His regiment was disembarking on return from Mesopotamia.
We left again at midday & are now rolling about on the high seas again. I always associate Karachi with our embarkation there in Sept 1914, when it was fearfully hot, & Ben was there too, in the “Dilwara”; I don’t think she will ever forget it! It’s been quite a nice voyage, not too rough, & I think it’s done me good, though I don’t feel quite up to form yet.
An Indian patient fell over board today, so we had a little excitement. He was very difficult to see – such a tiny speck in a huge expanse of water – but we turned round at once & went back on our tracks, lowered a boat & he was back on board 20 minutes after falling in, really quite a smart piece of work. He swam vigorously all the time – he was in the water about ¼ hour I suppose- & missed the lifebuoy which was thrown to him; but seems none the worse now. Hardly the thing to do is it, to fall overboard if you’re being invalided to India! It’s the first time I’ve known it happen on a voyage, & it was quite exciting while it lasted-
I’ll post this at Bombay tomorrow. But I’m afraid it’s missed the mail, if it still goes out on Saturday as it used to. I’ll have to use stamps again now! I’ll write again as soon as I know my fate
Best love to all yr loving son