I have been thinking that you had some reason to be surprised that during my long residence in so distant a region you had never yet received a letter from me.1 And I also was surprised that until this year I never received a letter from any friend or any Brother of the Order, nor even so much as a message of remembrance, so that it seemed as if I was utterly forgotten by everybody, And most of all I was grieved at this when I heard that rumours of my death had reached you.
But now I wish to tell you that last year, in the beginning of January, by a certain friend of mine who was attached to the court of the Lord Kathan Khan,2 and who had come to his majesty the Cham, I sent a letter to the father vicar and the friars of the Province of Gazaria, giving a short account of the whole state of affairs with me. And in that letter I begged the said vicar to send you a copy ; and now I have learned from some persons who have just arrived with the messengers of the aforesaid Lord Kathan to his majesty the Cham, that my letter did reach you, the bearer of it from this having after a while gone on from the city of Sarai to Tauris. I do not therefore think it necessary to detail the contents of my former letter nor to write them over again. I will only mention . that the first matter spoken of was about the persecutions which the Nestorians raised against me, and the second was about the church and houses which I had completed.
I have now had six pictures made, illustrating the Old and New Testaments for the instruction of the ignorant ;3
1 This is clearly what he means. But he says : Vos non sine caus€t mirari quod tot annis in provinci t tam longinqud consistentes, nunquam meis litteris recipistis."
2 Qui fuit ex sociis Domini Sathan Cham." This seems to refer to Ghazan Khan, sovereign of Persia ; but, according to Deguignes and D'Ohsson, he died in 1304. It is, therefore, perplexing that in 1306 the writer should still speak of the Messengers of the said Lord Kathan" as just arrived, which he does a little further on.
3 This is the passage alluded to in the Pope's bull appointing John to the archbishopric (see note above, p. 203).