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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
Chirol, Valentine
India ยป Delhi

28.7040592, 77.1024902

Wed. 7. [7 January 1903] Left the hotel about 9 and drove up to the
Durbar amphitheatre - delicious and undusty[?]. All the native
followers were packed outside. Met Mr Chirol and Mr Stewart and got
out and walked among them photographing. Most wonderful.
Ladakhis in masks, Jaipuris in coats of mail, elephant carriages
belonging to Ulwar and Baroda, gold and silver guns pulled by
bullocks to Scindia, enchanting Shans in big hats beating gongs,
gorgeous elephants with leopards painted on their faces, musicians
of all sorts, men in grey wadded armour, camel carriages, gold and
silver palkis with long ......... horses and seats supported by cheetahs
of silver, gorgeous covered ekkas drawn by bullocks. Met Major D.S.
[Dunlop Smith] and congratulated him. They all loved being
photographed. In the arena met the Martindales, Mr Landon
introduced[?] Coble to me, a charming person. Sat just behind Jaipur.
In the show we had armed men on stilts, dancing half naked Arabs,
rearing horses (one man fell off and his horse as nearly as anything
came over backwards) a reaching[?] elephant, men armed with
shields and swords who went past fighting a sham fight, drummers on
elephants who drummed like mad (and one blew his nose with his
fingers just in front of the Viceroy) long haired Baluchis, armed men on
camels, Kashmiri giants, 7 ft 4 in high, a Nabha dwarf, every fantastic
thing that the mind of man could conceive. One band in uniform had a
bandmaster in a long black coat who beat time, with much agitation of
mind, with his walking stick, Jeend had a fine gold and silver carriage,
Patiala's jibbed just in front of us and Bikaner and an aide had to go
down and push the wheels - finally they took the leaders out; the
Shans came past walking in their soft shoes and beating drums of a
wonderful fascinating note, like a breath of silence in the midst of all
the turmoil. We got in to lunch about 2; I went to sleep and at 5 we
went out shopping and called on the Lawrences but they were out.
Sibyl and I dined with the Gordons. Most amusing. Mr Cookson was
our host. After we had drunk the King's health and the desert [sic] had
been handed round the head piper came in and played a dirge round
and round the table. He went out and came in again with 12 others
and they played on bagpipes for half an hour. In the middle he came
and stood behind the Col. drank a bumper of port at one gulp and
gave our health in Gaelic. He was wounded at Elandslaagte through
the arm and through the bagpipes. Talked to Susan who was dining
with Tom Booth. There was lovely old regimental silver on the table.
We got in at 12. Sibyl rather bad. [Written at top of second page of
entry:] The naked fighting men clothed only in shield and sword belt
were Nagas a tribe of warlike ascetics. Rajports[?]. A......... Vol 1 p

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