DEAR MR. GOKHALE,
For the time being I am at Cape Town watching the course of events.
I do not want to inflict on you any news as about the struggle. I
shall be as brief as I possibly can.
Mr Andrews and Mr Pearson are truly good men, we all like them very
much. Sir Benjamin has disap¬pointed us. He has hardly done any
good and he may do a great deal of harm. He is weak and by no means
sincere. Even now he has hardly grasped the details.
And he undoubtedly, consciously or unconsciously, fos¬ters divisions
among us. Mr Andrews will tell you all about him. But I thought that
I should give you my impressions of Sir Benjamin.
If there is a settlement in March, I propose to leave for India in
April. I shall have with me probably about 20 men, women and children
who will live with me. These will include the school children who
are likely to come. I do not know whether you still want me to live
at the Servants of India quarters in Poona or how. I shall be prepared
to do so immediately after I have paid a visit to the members of my
family. It is likely that the number living with me may be augmented
by some members of my family who may wish to share my life and work.
Please do not consider yourself bound to keep me at the Society's
quarters. I am entirely in your hands. I want to learn at your feet
and gain the necessary experience. No matter whether I am staying
somewhere under your guidance or not, I shall scrupulously observe
the compact of silence for one year after my arrival in India. The
vow of silence as I have understood it does not include the South
African question and may be broken at your wish for furthering any
project about which both of us hold the same view.
My present ambition you know. It is to be by your side as your nurse
and attendant. I want to have the real discipline of obeying someone
whom I love and look up to. I know I made a bad secretary in South
Africa. I hope to do better in the Motherland if I am accepted.
May you benefit in health by the change and the calmer atmosphere
on the continent.
This letter will be in your hands about the middle of March. If you
deem it necessary to say anything to me about my movements, you will
of course cable. I assume too that you will not want me to go to Poona
before you return. If you did, I should of course go.
If I am enabled to leave for India in April, I propose to use the
funds you have sent for our passages which shall be all deck. I have
no means of my own and Phoenix can hardly supply funds now. It is
drained totally dry.