For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Don's letter from his father Jack

Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, 11th Oct 1897

My dear Don,

It certainly is a long time since I wrote a letter to you, all for yourself, and, unless I am very much mistaken, it is some little time now since I had a letter from you. However, perhaps there is one on the way to me now, and our letters may cross. I think my chief item of news is that I am very likely about to shift my gardeners for about the fifth time since I have been here. I am now living in what used to be Mr. Steve Harper's house, near the Sikh Barracks, & the house is wanted for some of the officers of the regiment ( Malay States Guides): so it is more than likely that I shall move along to quite close to where we used to live in the house near the Public Gardens: our first house. The house is occupied by Mr. Ridges, who has just lost his wife, and who is at present in England, and with whom, when he returns, I shall live.

I don't think you would recognise the Parade Ground and its surroundings now, if you returned, everything is so altered. And as for the number of little children, of all shades and colour, who play with their ayahs each evening, it is something wonderful: and very pretty to watch. I pass most of my evenings on the Club verandah.

I have still two dogs; and the same monkey that "Tabeks" ( that is, touches his head = pulls his forelock), but as the monkey is always getting loose, and has a great inclination to bite strangers, I am disposed to giver her away.

The present “Kabun”(i.e. gardener) is a very clever fellow, and he manages to get quite a prize collection of pot plants. I only wish I could hand them over to Emily, they would make a rare show, but I am afraid the greater numbers of them would not stand the climate, leave alone the voyage home. I am sending by this letter what stamps I have by me: to add to the collection or for purposes of exchange. Well, now, my dear Don, I must write “au revoir” and hope that I shall hear from you soon Your loving father JR