|Donald D. Smythe, Professor of Geology|
Peiyang University, Dept. of Geology
May 17, 1924
Dear little wife:-
The weather has become so hot that it is uncomfortable, have had to go into whites and a sun helmet. A little bit of heaven has come to my house though so it isn't so bad, my other coolie quit and the new one is named T'ien (heaven). From his glum face you would think that he was better acquainted with hell than heaven though.
School is about over, the Seniors have one week more of lectures and the other students two weeks before exams. That will leave us about a week free before the field trip starts on June 15th. We expect that to take three to four weeks after which I start for the five sacred mountains in Shansi. Wu tai shan west of Pao ting fu. I have not yet been able to get the sailings from Tientsin to Kobe yet but believe I can make connections since there are two lines and each has sailings every five days.
I forgot to tell you that when you reach Kobe have everything you will need for five days packed in your hand baggage. We will leave your trunks on the pier so that they won't have to go through the Japanese customs. They are strict and sometimes cause delay. If you have not already done so apply for your passport as soon as you get this letter. I sent you directions in the last letter together with a $50.00 draft.
The American Legion had a barbecue last Sunday. Don't think that I ever drank so much beer in my life, it was a hot day and as near as I can reckon I drank six quarts, didn't even make me feel wabbly. They had some races, I won two prizes. 2nd in the 100 yd. dash and 1st in the potatoe race. The prizes we small brass pigs "suitably engraved." It sure was one grand day.
Did you know that if you were a dutiful Chinese wife and had not given me a son before your next birthday that you should sell all your jewels and buy me a concubine? fact. In any case the concubine's children are suppose to belong to the wife. A chinaman has only one wife, the rest are concubines.
It is after nine but it is so hot that I can hardly think so guess I will go to bed and try to sleep.
With lots of love,