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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell written for Charles Doughty-Wylie

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

31.577183, 47.6849007

Ap. 16. [16 April 1914] It blew like mad yesterday till 8 o'clock, we
were heaped in dust but by some miracle the little tents stood firm.
When at last it was still - and cooler - I had a bath and went to bed,
and thank heaven, to sleep. Today was just as hot but less
disagreeable. We rode west for 6 hours and came to a place very
famous in the mouths of the Arabs. Wizeh is its name. It is really very
singular. There is a little ruined fort, which I have planned and
photographed and some 100 paces away an immense rocky hole in
the ground. We climbed down a couple of hundred feet - no perhaps
not so much - and then entered a rocky underground passage,
twisting and turning. We were well provided with candles and we went
on boldly through this strange crack in the rocks. Sometimes it
opened out into a great hall, sometimes it was so low that we had to
creep through it, flat on the sand. And at the end we reached a clear,
cold pool, fed by a spring in the rock. We waded into it and filled all
our drinking water flasks and one water skin which the men tugged
through the passage and lifted over the rocks. We had left lights at
various points on the way to guide us back, yet the place was so
strange and gate-of-the-pit-like, that I was not sorry when we saw
daylight again. "Ha!" the light of the world!" said Fattuh. And we
came back into the world of men with our treasure of clear water. We
had been under the earth for near on hour. In the fort there is a finely
built well, now choked up, which they say lies over this subterranean
spring, and I should think they are right and that the fort guards the
water hole. It is just like the other forts in the east side of the Syrian
desert - I must publish them all now when I get back. I can't date them
- any age from the 9th century to the 14th perhaps.

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