Request a high resolution copy

Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Saud, Abdulaziz ibn

29.812349, 42.751129

Mon. March 16. [16 March 1914] I paid off Mashkhur giving him 5 mej
for camel hire and 5 mej bakhshish over and above the 10 reals
which was the shart at Hayyil [Hail] - these he had received there.
The old man, Salim, who had agree to come with me, battal this
morning. We engaged a young man called Zaid who went off to get
his dulul and never turned up. The Sinjara were rahilin and we all
rode off together, horsemen and camels and flocks. One man with a
lance. We went off on our way and 2 hours later one of the old men
who had sat round our campfire and brought us milk turned up with his
brother behind him on the dulul. The brother he deposited with us as
rafiq. We rode all day over broken ground, broad flat bottoms
separated by low banks. Patches of green grass and yellow
flowering weeds of dandelion kind, and the blue grey ajram which has
not greened yet, and the blue grey shih. Cold and windy. About 2 we
saw tareh[?] ahead and sheered off a little to the left, coming into
camp under some banks. The 'aishb fairly good. The men brought in
kamr (chamr) which they toasted over the fire. Our rafiq has
innocently told us the true story of Ibn Rashids raid. They reached
Skakah [Sakakah]; the people abandoned their houses and took
refuge in the qasr. The Shammar pillaged the houses - provisions
were all they found for the valuables and the women were in the
castle. Did you not take Jof [Jawf, Al (Al Jauf)]? said I. No he said wa
ash shuf ma shufna. Sahih? said I. Egh Wallah. Wallah? said I. Egh
Billah. Ali says that Mashkhur was strictly charged to convey me to
the Amir. I asked him whether he thought that when in our rafiq's tales
"Ibn Rashid" said Ya Shammar - so and so - it was Sa'ud or Zamil?
Ali said Zamil, Sa'ud was only the resm[?]. He says his uncles have
been offered blood money by Ibn Sa'ud if they will come back to
'Anezeh but they have refused, saying they must have life for life.
Their idea is to profit by the Rashid help and arms, to take 'Anezah,
and their revenge, send away the Slaim - and then hold 'Anezah
under the protection of Ibn Sa'ud. The Rashids have been ruined by
their family quarrels says Ali and are on the decline. If it had not been
for the support of the Ott. govt. they wd have gone long ago. He told
the tale of Ibn Sa'ud's recapture of Riyad [Ar Riyad (Riyadh)]. Ibn
Sabah offered him 500 men but he asked for 14 only, 2 being his own
cousins. They rode out and alighted at Der'aya [Ad Diriyah]. Abd al
A. and his 2 cousins went alone at night to the town. He climbed on
the back of the other 2 who hoisted him over the wall of the qasr into
the haram. He knocked at the door. A slave girl sleeping at the door
woke and answered. He said "Go fetch 'ammatik." She brought A. al
A's wife, Umm Nirah, saying "One knocks at the door." Umm N.
came and said Ent min. She feared it might be Ibn Rashid's rajajil.
He answered Wa min enti? She said again Ent min? He said None
other than Halalik. She opened and fell on his neck. He said this is
not the time for kisses and for love, ba'd ain inshallah. Then he called
the women and asked them where Ibn Rashid's rajajil lodged and
who slept in the qasr. He hauled in his 2 cousins by rope and they
crept over the roofs, found the rajajil sleeping, killed the chief man and
the others threw up the game. He sent for the remaining jaish, the rest
of the 14 and brought them into the qasr. Next morning the town was
apprized of the fact that Abd al A had come back and held the qasr
and acquiesced in the accomplished fact bit ghasb[?] ,whether they
liked it or not. Ibn Rashid's rajajil, to the number of some 50 were sent
away and it was only when all this was done that Ibn Sabah's jaish

IIIF Manifest