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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
Littmann, Enno
Sykes, Mark

33.5138073, 36.2765279

Mon 27. [27 February 1905] Mark Sykes left the morning of the day I
arrived. He had apparently had a tiresome journey. He lost one of
his best horses and suffered much from the cold. He went to Homs
[Hims] by train. There was a hard frost in the night. I went out to see
the Americans who were camped near. Dr Littmann I found I already
knew. I made acquaintance with Mr Butler, Mr Norris (Greek and Latin
inscriptions) and Mr Prentice (maps) I gave them one or two
inscriptions they had not got. At the hotel I found Selim Beg and we
went to see the Consul whom I found rather on the offensive on
account of the govt anxiety about me. I explained my case and
assured him I was on the best of terms with the officials of Salkhad.
He then relaxed and we became good friends. I spent the morning
fussing about telegrams, letters etc, getting money from Mr Asfad [i.e.
Asfar[?]] at L¸tticke's and paying off the muleteers. Mahmud goes
back from here, a good riddance. I keep on Habib and his father,
paying Habib 2 mej a day as before, Ibrahim 18 piastres and they
arrange for another beast and man for which I pay 18 piastres. I gave
them all T£1 tip. At 3.30 Mr Richards came to see me and I took him
at 4 to the American camp. He left shortly but I stayed. Had tea and
talked till 6 when it grew too cold to sit there any longer. We cfed [sic]
travels, they gave me maps and showed me casts. The most
interesting of their finds seems to be the head of Baal Samin from Sia.
Also their work at Umm ej Jemal where they got lots of Nabathaean
inscriptions. They and I are the only people who have camped there.
We discussed the great Arab question, the troubles with the
Circassians at 'Amman and what will happen when all the W Spring
pasturage is under cultivation. The Arabs do not seem to be at all
alarmed by the advance of the Saltieh Xian cultivators; Namrud's
chief difficulties were with the govt which commandeered camels. But
the Circassians also have taken a great deal of the Belka pasturage -
eg Wady Sir [Wadi es Sir], (The present governor of Kerak [Karak] is
not a Circassian) and the Arabs hate them. The hostility of 'Amman
from whence they get water and stores must be a great difficulty.
There are 2 rather nice old English women in the hotel. One of them is
doing the pictures for a colour print book of N Syria. She has already
done Jerusalem [(El Quds esh Sherif, Yerushalayim)] and the S.
Copied the Americans' maps all the evening.

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