From Jute to Jungle – instalment 3

While Mary was still in single figures and Robert sixteen, he was taken ill with a hacking cough.  Day and night he coughed and seemed to grow worse.

‘Please God heal Robert so he can be a missionary for you,’ Mary earnestly prayed.

But Robert grew weaker and suddenly died.  He died of consumption for which there was no cure at that time.

Broken-hearted, Mary cried ‘I’ll tak, his place on the mission field.’

‘Don’t be silly, it’s a job for a man,’ said Mrs Slessor as she began to make plans for her second son John to go to the mission field.

The tragedy of his son’s death became took much for Bob, he drank more and more and was fired from his job.  Feeding the family was so difficult, but it was Bob who came up with a solution.

‘Let’s make a fresh start.  I’ve heard there are jobs in Dundee and then I’ll be away from my drinking friends.’

‘Yes, but what about my friends?’ moaned Mrs Slessor

Somehow they managed to pay off their debts and made the move to Dundee to a ‘single end’.  About 30,000 people lived in these inferior dwellings where the streets were open cesspits and the smells overpowering.  Bob managed to find work and Mrs Slessor went to work in a jute factory.  Things seemed better for the Slessor family, but how long could it last.

more to follow …………….