8th March 1933

Letter : Herbert Davy ( Nanking, China ) to "Chanji" Dadachanji ( India )


Dear Chanji,

     A hurried answer to your so welcome letter of February 4, I note your dates and numbers, and will try and make the best arrangements I can.

1)  I have visited the foreign hotel and on Saturday I am going to inspect the very large Chinese Hotel which alone is able to accomadate as many as 16 to 20 persons see if it is fit or no. I have also my eye on some houses but this, though more private, involves many more problems - besides it might be hot. I have sometime in which to think this all out. I will provide students as interpreters to help the parties. And we will have a car - at your disposal in Nanking ( Nanjing ).

2) For the second part of your visit I would suggest going to Peking ( Beijing ) - where I can get fine accomadation for the whole party together. It is wonderful and full of interest, charm, excursions.

3) Two weeks in Peking - if the climate is favourable ; if not hot, then we'll go to the Western Hills outside Peking. Cooks ( Travel Agency ) have promised better service and apologised for last July. I told them what I thought about it.

Sorry about the robes - give them to Kitty ( Davy ) to do what she likes with them. I will pay you for the duty.

I hope the present to B. ( Meher Baba ) and Pendu ( Irani ) were amusing and acceptable on His birthday.

How are you ?  all well I hope. Many thanks for your words and messages. I am meeting more of the respectable Chinese but not so much of the students. Some of our schemes are progressing but the "Fund" idea is ? --------? standing still, owing to the politics, etc. etc.  Anything may happen to the government.

Have decided not to see about tonsils now. Still is very cold here. Love to all, with you and to those coming from England soon. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Your letter of 14th Feb. has just come will outline new arrangements  ----------- P.T.O.

PAGE 2   9th March 1933

     In answer to your letter of 14 Febuary. Just arrived.

     I have been thinking also about health and heat and your plans. May 22nd to May 28th - to do.

     I now propose that you go to a hill station at Mokunshan ( Kunshan ) near Hangchow ( Hangzhou ), ( Has the great beauty spot of China ), where I can get a house and reliable food etc. for the party. 4 hours journey from Shanghai or more + 1 hour is Mokunshun. I will meet you, take you there, you see settled in for a day or two ( I will bring my own cook and maybe a student to act as interpreter for you all ), then I will return to Nanking to finish off my work.

June 4 - 10th, 11th & 24th.

    After 10 days you can come by road - in a special bus from Hangchow to Nanking. Here stay only two or 3 days at the 2 Foreign Hotels. I will finish up my exams and pack etc. Then we can take the train to Peking - 36 hours - for this journey. I can probably secure a special carriage, or at any rate all in one carriage together ( through Dr. Han Lih Wu ).  Peking is glorious and has very good hotels, wonderful things to see ( if the Japanese are not making trouble there then ).

June 24 - 25 to do -

    Train to Peking to Tientsin -- 6 hours -- and from there boat to Japan or the Pacific. Airplane from Nanking to Peking  - 200 dollars   

    I am writing to a German Lady I know who usually runs a boarding house or rents a large house at Mukunshan, if she agrees then she will supervise house, food vegetarian ( she knows my tastes for I stayed with her in Shanghai ).

    I will pay a visit before hand to see if it is quite suitable, and confirm arrangements.

    If this fails, we can try Nanking or Kuling (Guling ) a hill station up Yangts(z)e near Kiukliang (Jiujiang ). According to Chinese Lunar Calendar this year we have 2 months of May so it may be cooler than usual in May and June. I hope so.

    If Nanking is hot then I shall stay here and finish my work, and arrange somewhere cool for B and co elsewhere. There is a seaside place at Tsingtao (Qingdao ) , but it is very foreign mainly German and Japanese, it is not real China and is full of foreigners.

    A trip up the Yangtse Gorges is a wonderful experience about 21 days, only you will be tired of boat travelling, so we had better rule that idea out.

    I will slow down on the outside activities and now concentrate on the arrangements for B and co ; as you say it is not easy because there are so many difficulties in China over food, water, etc., Bandits, wars.

    Would B like me to give Him in Shanghai a Suitcase, like a miniature wardrobe trunk for hanging up suits, draws for handkerchiefs ?

    Must stop. Love to all many thanks for your letters.

 Love from   Herbert




Editor’s Note :  None of the arrangements mentioned in this letter came to pass.  Meher Baba’s next visit to China was on the 30th January 1935. Herbert Davy had returned to Europe by mid-1933.

This letter was typed from the original hand-written letter by Anthony Zois