Mr. Waller to Mrs. Waller.

Dear Wife and Children: I know you will all be heartbroken to hear that I have been charged with the violation of two certain articles of the French authorities. One is the violation of the order of the French naval division of January 18 by sending two letters, one to you and one to Mr. Tessier; also one to our young Hova friend who worked so hard to aid you in raising the money, and who wrote me that he had succeeded in getting the money, and sent me a list of things which he wished from London. The letters to you and our young friend were inclosed under cover to Mr. Tessier and addressed to him at Antananarivo. They returned here and were opened by the [Page 385] French authorities, after which I was arrested and all my correspondence seized from my house, though there was nothing at the house, as I have not written anything against the French politically, but only individuals, in matters nonpolitical. So by sending you the letters referred to and the one to Mr. T. and R., our young Hova friend, I have been found guilty of “corresponding with the enemy” and condemned to twenty years’ imprisonment in a fortress as a political prisoner. Never was a greater wrong done an innocent man. I shall therefore go to prison without a word and have the matter submitted to the authorities in France by my Government at Washington, and I am sure that the justice of the French people will not allow me to remain in prison when they shall have read my letters to you, Mr. Tessier, and our Hova friend.

Therefore I am happy to inform you that I am feeling very well, and that I shall take the bitter pill quietly and await the action of the American and French Governments and my thousands of friends at home in America to finally determine this matter.

While you will be greatly grieved, yet you must bear up for the sake of the children, with whom I hope you may be able to return home soon, and I think that the arrangements will soon be effected for your departure. We have friends up there who will doubtless aid you in this terrible hour of adversity. At any rate, God seems to speak to me and say that my family shall not suffer.

Paul will have full instructions from me how to aid you and try to get you home where the people, knowing my misfortune, will stand by you and the children. If Paul should fail to send you the money soon to leave for home you had better see all our friends, of whatever nationality, and raise the money for your return, and make a note for the amount for one or two years, at reasonable interest, as all my property is now in your hands, and you have my power of attorney. I shall make a duly executed will for you and the children before I leave for the place of imprisonment, which I will inform you as soon as I know, and until which time you will send——