Just a moment ..

These letters on a subject now almost hackneyed are too long to insert here. She was not, and did not pretend to be, an expert on music) but she cared for it very much. I told him a lot about the book and he expressed a desire to see it. I shall send him the poems and preface from Berlin, Mr. Strong cannot come to town and has not yet finished the preface. One line to say we had a most amusing party at the Portsmouths yesterday. I made the acquaintance of Miss Haldane, whom I have long wished to know, and I am going to tea with her tomorrow.

  • “Upon my head!” said I, “We salute you,” and rode away.
  • You are for ever winding round deep sand pits, sometimes half a mile long, with banks so steep that you cannot descend.
  • Yesterday morning there ‘débouchéd’ in our office Mr. Cazalet, who is working with Fabian Ware out at the front.
  • We are getting so much material that it will certainly make a book.

Late in the afternoon another hail storm broke over us and clearing away left the distant hills white with snow. We had come to a place where there was a little scrub which would serve as firewood, and here we camped under the lee of some rising ground. Our companions have three big Arab tents, open in front, and we our two English tents, and oddly enough we are quite warm in spite of the rain and cold wind. I don’t know why it is that one seldom feels cold in the desert; perhaps because of the absence of damp. The stony, sandy ground never becomes muddy.

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So I went off to Lord Sykes and lunched with him and heard a very good account from him. He said he was trustworthy and extremely brave, and on these qualifications I engaged him at once. Mark Sykes also says he can’t cook, but it’s 5 years since he was with him and we will hope he has learnt.

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Sheikh Muhammad had only twenty or thirty of his five hundred tents with him, yet the camels filled the plain like the regiments of an army, each household marching with its own detachment of camels. We heard that we were still 6 hours from Wady Musa. One of the great difficulties of this journey is that no one knows the distances even approximately and there is no map worth a farthing.

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I went to visit her and her family after dinner yesterday–they are quite close. I found the mother a pretty charming woman who has had ten children and looks ridiculously young . Two sisters and presently a brother came in. The mother talks nothing but Arabic so the visit was conducted in that language with great success Ferideh interpreting from time to time.

I sat on a bench and watched them dancing round and knew just what you felt like at Oxford. I had a real busy morning and settled all my summer clothes and ordered a gown at Mrs. Widdicombe’s. I hope it will be ready before you come as I should like you to pronounce upon it. Tomorrow I intend to spend an hour or two over my Hafiz things and get them all straight. Green and I started out in a splendid gondola and went nearly to the Lido amidst a crowd of boats. It was very gorgeous for the Municipio appeared in splendid gondolas hung with streamers and emblems and rowed by 8 gondoliers in fancy dresses of different colours.

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Heaven send us better ground to-morrow. It rained hard till 8 o’clock this morning and the desert turned into paste. But it dries quickly and by 10 we were off, at the bidding of my impatience. We had no more rain though it remained cold and grey. We have with us to guard us against the Arabs of the Mountain the oldest old man you could wish to see.

  • It begins “The Arabs are the oldest race on earth; they date from the Flood!!” Comes my housemaid, “The hot water is ready for the Presence,” says he.
  • A Christian lady sent me a delicious dish for breakfast– some flat thin bread with cream rolled up in it, slightly salted.
  • But the Sheikh was not to be comforted.
  • I hear to-day that you have your convalescents 20 of them .
  • I shall not let this happen again if I can help it.

I shall not soon forget the Cilician plain. The heat of it is surprising and as I told you ‘passim’ it is most of it under water. We plunged today for ten hours through mud and swamp and sluggish waters, and at last we have come out onto a rather higher bit of country on which the barley is standing in the ear. In a month everything will be burnt up and all the people will have fled to the hills. I don’t wonder Anavarza had such a fine necropolis–all the inhabitants must have died off regularly every summer from marsh fever, mosquitoes and snakes.

Without that we could not have got perfect impressions of these things for the stone is so rough that it is extremely difficult to get anything like a good rubbing. We are getting so much material that it will certainly make a book. Shall write the historic and epigraphic part and I the architectural. I think it will be well worth doing, for this is the first time that an accurate study has been made of any one district in these parts, hitherto people have onlY travelled through and seen what they could see and gone On.

We rode on talking cheerfully of our various adventures till after ten which is the time when my companions lunch, so I lunch too. The camels were going rather languidly for they were thirsty, not having drunk since they left Damascus. But our guide, Ali, promised us some pools ahead, good water, he said. When we got there we found that some Arabs had camped not far off and nothing remained of the pools but trampled mud.

  • My companions are two nurses, two doctors and the ship’s officer.
  • Up the cleft, a deep valley full of corn and scrubby trees which had expended most of their energy in growing along the ground, and got into our camp at 6.
  • No Arabs march in rain and I had to give way.
  • If it can’t possibly go by post it must go through the military forwarding officer, but it takes 6 months Will you tell Marte.
  • And crab pizza, dips, melts, salads, nachos… basically crab everything.

We bustled up and arrived only a few minutes late. It was most entertaining; we were taken into every corner, above and below. We descended through trap doors and mounted into Valhalla.

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I expect I shall get my reading ticket to-morrow. I had a very nice evening with the Ritchies–Pinkie Was there and she played the piano, and we talked and it was very merry. I think they are coming to you for Easter. But in truth the real basis of Gertrude’s nature Was her capacity for deep emotion.