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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

36.1581669, 43.2532598

Tues Ap 27. [27 April 1909] Left camp at 6.15 with Fattuh and a
zaptieh. We had to ride rather inland to avoid the Tigris floods. Crops
in the valley and long dry grass on the Upper ground. At 8 we came
to El Mangul which is a few ruined huts. On the opposite side of the
Tigris are the tells of esh Sha'ir, near the Zab mouth, two
Jaweiyyats[?], upper and lower and Tell Keshaf. At 9.25 we got to
Hadra [Hadr, Al] a biggish village. Soon after we met an effendi
under an umbrella. He had been sent down from Mosul [Mawsil, Al] to
look into some cases of murder that had occurred owing to a dispute
about crops. 5 men had been murdered at the place I slept at at
Hadra (the effendi was going to exhume the bodies) and 10 more
were fatally wounded. He stopped and asked me in French how I
liked the desert. I replied by asking news from C'ple [Istanbul
(Constantinople)]. He said the Salonica [Thessaloniki (Saloniki)]
troops had taken 2 barracks. I said "Did they get them easily?" "We
don't know." "Inshallah" said I and he left abruptly. We came out on
some high ground with a fine view of the Tigris and Tell Nimrud, the
junction of the Zab [Zab, Great (Zei Badinan)] and all the rest of that
historic country. I stopped to photograph, lost my crop and we
stopped 1/2 an hour looking for it. We left at 11 and rode by the
riverside, rough country, till 12 when I lunched. At 1 we got to the place
where the Jebur were ferrying over and just caught the boat. Locusts
all day, they were escaping from them. So up to Tell Nimrud with
Sheikh Askar of the Jebur. A pitiful sight with the inscrips. winged genii
and statue standing half out of the ground. All deep in grass and
flowers and the colour of everything too lovely. Back to Askar's tent
where we had coffee and apricot jam and so ferried over the river and
got to the other side at a little before 5. Rode over a bluff and
galopped [sic] through sweet smelling crops - no locusts. Got to
Hammam Ali at 6 and found the camp a few minutes further on. There
is sulphur water at H. Ali. Blue sky and water, green corn all day.

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