Letters

18 July 1907

From/To: Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

[18 July 1907] British Vice Consulate Konia [Konya (Iconium)] Thursday 18 Dearest Mother. I am very much afraid I shall be delayed a few days by a tiresome incident that has arisen. I must tell you Fattuh is ill. He gave his head a horrible blow on a low doorway 2 years ago when he was with me and he has been ill on and off ever since. He suffers terrible from acute pains in the head and I fear there must be something wrong. I cannot of course leave him in this state to go back to Aleppo [Halab] without trying to do something for him and I had therefore determined to take him with me to C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)] to see a very good doctor there. But he is an Armenian and the difficulties they put in the way of their travelling are inconceivable. Yesterday when I sent his teskerek to be visÇed the authorities here said they had no power to allow him to go to C'ple even with me. I telegraphed at once to the Grand Vizier and to the Embassy asking for a special permit for him but it will probably take a day or to [sic] to get it. If I don't get it (a contingency I don't anticipate) I shall be obliged to go via Smyrna [Izmir], where I can take him I think, and let him see a German doctor there who, I hear, is a good man, but I am positively sickened by the idea of having to return to Smyrna and spend some days there. However I would do a good deal for Fattuh and this is not much, as I should come on to C'ple by sea and so home by Graz as before. I expect I shall hear from C'ple in a day or two and meantime I shall use these days of delay by doing a thing I ought to do, namely going down to Ivriz near Eregli, to see a new Hittite monument and Christian sanctuary which have been discovered there and not yet recorded in any way. I leave tomorrow morning and shall be back on Sat evening so the time is not wasted. I hope to get off on Monday, either straight to C'ple or via Smyrna. It's a great alleviation to be staying with the Wylies - they are dears, both of them. I've had a very pleasant restful two days. It's pretty hot but one sits out in their big garden under the trees and Lîytved and others drop in to call.

The rules and regulations of this country are damnable. And I do so pine to set off home! Your affectionate daughter Gertrude

Previous page