Excuse me for my long delaying in returning to you your “Robinson Crusoe” which I read through with great interest. I had finished reading the book and was about to return it when my cousin came to see me. Never having seen the book, She was so interested in it that I had to retain it longer. However, I hope that in view of the additional delight thus afforded by your book, you will overlook my negligence in not returning it sooner.
Thanking you again for the loan.
I am afraid that you will think me unpardonably negligent in not having answered your letter dated 7, December sooner, but when I have told you the reason, I trust you will be convinced that the neglect was excusable. When your letter arrived, I was just in Hong Kong. As my family could not forward it to me during my absence, it has been, therefore, lying on my desk until the moment when I took it up. Now the first thing I have to hasten to do is to write to you these few lines to express my deep regret.
I enjoyed many pleasant sights during my trip. I shall be pleased to give you an account to of them when I see you next.