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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Thurs Ap 18 [18 April 1907] Endless bothers about getting horses.
Demitri went down early and returned with 2 at 3 mejs each. So then
we went down to the khan where Fattuh buttonholed Aristo the khanji
and soon suceeded [sic] in getting horses. But they had to be
brought in from the chair and that lasted till 10.30. Sat in the kahweh
and talked to two old parties, one from the Gharb, one from Egypt. Off
at last and up the most beautiful road in the world over the Ak Sivri but
a wind like the very devil. A lovely road winding between the hills,
great fir trees, fruit trees in flower, carpets of the blue anemome the
many pettalled [sic] and forgetmenots. And streams all the way.
Presently we met Mr Ballard coming from Nebi K. and stopped to talk
to him. Got to Eski Hissar about 4 and walked through the miserable
little Moslem town with a cheerful party. Fine big stones, carved and
uncarved built into all the mud houses. Saw an arched gateway of the
town wall and the big marble cella of the temple with Moslem patterns
carved on it, the cypress etc. So back to the horses and waited for an
hour in the howling wind by the well, a Roman relief in the wall
opposite us. At last the baggage horse came and we set off at 5 by
deep roads and through a great pine wood. All very lovely. An hour
and a half brought us to Ileina. Fattuh found a friend here, Jamil Beg a
binbashi who had come from Smyrna [Izmir] with 27 men to capture
brigands. He was a Circassian from Aleppo [Halab]. He lodged us
in the best house in the village, that of Tahir Agha - he had quartered
himself and his men there also pocketing the 2 ps per day food
allowance of each of his men and making the Agha feed them. The
Agha nevertheless was most cheerfully hospitable. Jamil paid me a
visit and was most pleasant. He told me he had trained his men so
that they wd rather die than turn before a foe. His father and his
grandfather had been soldiers, all his people. He intended to go off
brigand hunting that night, but in the middle of the night Fattuh woke
me and asked me for the Agha's gun and cartridges. It seemed that a
brigand had been caught and brought in, an old Turk armed with a
martini and a revolver. His name was on Jamil's books as a
notorious person.

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