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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

23.885942, 45.079162

Mon. Feb. 2. [2 February 1914] Off at last with many leavetakings. M.
has given us corn, but only 1/2 a load. I gave him a Zeiss glass. He
interceded for 'Ali but I explained and he agreed. Everyone asking
for tutun. Grey cloudy day and very cold later with no sun. The Arabs
are moving - work for the women who complain bitterly of the constant
moving. We crossed over to a valley to the W and marched up it - it
drains[?] to the Hausah - till we came to the edge of the hills. They
drop down abruptly in a great broken mass of sandstone. Great
scramble down. In the sandy valley I found the curious awaiherri
growing, rootless and leafless like a big asparagus. All the plants
green, ghutba with its .... like green and others. From below we can
see very clearly the conformation of the hills, red sandstone below
and grey volcanic rock above. The outlying tells table topped. The
sandstone all riven and broken, without water to smooth it. Great
purposeless ruined gashes running up into the hills. We found our
dulul here and camped on account of the trees. Read ....... Feverel
and walked over the broken tells. The sandstone at the top
granulated; the hill tops strewn with what looks like petrified camel
droppings. We are on the brink here of the Ga'rat al Tubaiq. Beyond
a red welter of small tells standing in sand - a barren world which
leaves its seal on the soul. Cloudy and windy. The camel had
wandered up the valley without a shidad. She had a sore on her back
and the crows made it bigger. The men branded her below the
wound, behind the ears, on the nose and on the tail with a burnt stick.
It is so cloudy I said to the men Yeji matar? They answered God is he
who sends good. But there is probably rain S. of us.

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