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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

36.3339926, 36.8442861

Thurs 30. [30 March 1905] Beautiful fine hot day. What with the town
and new muleteers I did not get off till 10. Shellun, Homsi and Mr
Barnham came to see me off. Mr Barnham thinks the future of the
country is blood - he believes the Turk will be driven out. I wonder.
My muleteers are Faris and 2 boys, Yusef and 'Umar. My soldier Hajj
Najib a Kurd. Very hot as we rode over the arid plain. Nicola
accompanied me in a carriage till we got onto the Alexandretta
[Iskenderun (Alexandria ad Issum)] road - there is a cafÈ just there.
Presently we left the road and went up into bare rocky hills. Lunched
at 12.30 and waited for the mules till 1.30. About 2 we passed Yabit
'Ades but I refused to camp there as too early. Nejib and I rode off in
front in the bottom of a winding valley past sites marked in the map but
which are nothing but a jubb or an invisible ruin. So at 4 or past we got
to Kbeshin where there are a few ruined walls and Kurd tents of
shepherds who come here in the spring. They have walls and
spread the tent stuff over for a roof. The one I went into was
delightfully cool clean and light and big. The Kurds were charming
people. They made us very welcome and as the mules did not come
insisted on our dining with them - it was by this time 5.30. So we all sat
and eat burghul and a little meat in it and leben. At 6 or a little before
we heard that the mules had been seen at Fefertin[?] and that they
had gone on to the Kala'a and so we went off too and by hard riding
over the rocky paths just succeeded in getting in with last of the dusk
at 7.30. The mules had arrived - Mikhail in a furious raging temper like
a wild beast. Got the tents pitched and went out and sat on St Simon's
column under the warm dark. One great star looking in through the W
arch, the first soft sweet night of summer. When I got back things were
still as stormy as possible. Fed the muleteers on bread and had tea
and cold meat myself. So to bed at 9.30.

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