Il y a des siècles que nous sommes sans nouvelles de vous. Si je n'avais des soupçons très fondes à l'égard de l'infecte Manager de
Notre dernière lettre restée sans réponse date de
r i '
Nous avons d'autre part d'assez belles perspectives au point de vue plantations, surtout avec l'expérience que j'ai pu acquérir en
Inutile de vous dire que nous serions les gens les plus heureux du monde si vous vouliez bien nous faire le grand plaisir de venir passer quelque temps chez nous à
Au revoir, très cher ami, nous vous envoyons tous deux nos bien affe
P.S. Notre meilleur souvenir a toute notre chere famille s.v.p.
13 August 1920
Our last letter has gone without response since December 1919, and was accompanied by a “registered” photo of our little Jean, whom we adored, and whose death we announced to you. I hope that the letter and photo arrived, but I am not far from believing that your response was stolen by the Manager and destroyed after he read it.
I can't get over that most sorrowful episode of our life: the loss of our only child, our joy and our shared happiness. Since this misfortune, until our departure from Joco Estate at the end of April, our life was full of trials. The Society charged me with more than my ordinary work, verifying the accounts and refusing those of the Manager at least until they were signed by me and certified as correct, that one ceased his gropings and wouldn't be consoled. He couldn't be contented however with his salary ($650) but was a big drinker and party-goer, making more than $1500 to $2000. I would have overlooked a case of whisky a month, but I couldn't accept having such an important sum stolen from the Company, nor the continual disputes and incessant annoyances on his part that rendered our life worse than a labor camp, and was so disgusted with the proceedings and the procrastination of the Society in settling the question that I gave my resignation.
Since we were close to Cochinchine and, as you well remember, we didn't have any savings that would have permitted us to live independently, we decided to take our chances here, persuaded when we received the best reception since the one we were given by the John Bulls in Singapore, which represented too much comfort, I believe, to be the only ones to have a place in the sun. As soon as we arrived, someone took an interest in us and soon after we were each named as professors in a college not far from Saigon with the promise of being named to more important functions after a brief delay. Effectively, we are going to receive my nomination as “bursar” of the College de Saigon, the most important in the colony.
We have, on the other hand, rather nice perspectives from the point of view of plantations, especially with the experience I acquired in Malaysia, but all these are just plans.
And you, what news? We hope that you are in good health, as well as your whole family, and that your affairs continue to go well. What became of your planned union with the charming fiancée you often talked to us about when we had the joy of reuniting in Paris.
Is it necessary to tell you that we would be the happiest people in the world if you would do us the great pleasure of spending some time with us in Saigon? Your room is always ready and it would be such joy for us to receive you!
Goodbye dear friend, we both send you our very affectionate friendship.
P.S. Our best wishes to all your dear family please.
Handwritten list in English:
1 ash tray
Polish & Brush
Rug for Floor