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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Sun. 18. [18 January 1903] Off at 7.30 to see the foals fed. A delicious
crisp morning. They keep them near the tomb of Fetb[?] Jung of
whom no one knows anything and use the tomb as a storehouse for
grain and oats. We saw first the foals all eating ........ grain out of
troughs, quite tame and not minding being handled at all. Then the
mules for the transport - Col. F. [Fagan] says they have quite broken
down the prejudice against mules - then some camels and lastly the
two year olds. These were summoned by a bugle call and came
galoping [sic] from the open country - they have ever so far to wander
in - jumping bushes and ditches, a cloud of dust behind them. The
trainers and breeders are all natives and the Imp. Ser. cavalry of
Alwar is beter mounted than any other. On the way home passed the
Raja's private railway station erected at enormous expense of red
stone brought from Gwalior, and got out to see the polo grounds, the
pride of the State, inches thick in manure and soft and springy like
English turf though brown. It takes armies of men to weed and water
them. Home for breakfast after which we went to the station, Domnul
with us. Train 1/2 an hour late. Enchanting station crowd - I
photographed some begging holy men with begging bowls, staves,
bare legs and shoulders clad in flesh coloured cotton wraps. One
had a roll of cord round the top of his bowl, a cheerful small pock
marked man, looking as if the begging life suited him. Got to Rewari
at 12 and lunched. Delhi at 2.45. Drove up to Maiden's hotel and got
our luggage and Muni and exchanged politenesses with the
Hanmers. Sibyl has gone to Bombay and home. Delhi half
dismantled domes of triumphal arches laying about, auctions going
on (they say the things have gone for more than they were worth) and
tents and furniture piled up. The station full of horses and carriages.
Got off our dear narrow gauge into enormous carriages. Off at 5.
There was a boring man at the station at Alwar who wd interrupt my
peaceful photography by introducing "a cousin of His Highness the
Maharaja of Tonk" a fat, rather cross Oriental in a frock coat and white
socks. Finally he said to me: "Are you simple tourists, or may I put
you down as business men?"

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