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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

34.802075, 38.996815

Sun. 19. [19 February 1905] Still very cold but fine so I resolved to
start. The man who had promised to take our corn - for there is none
ahead - wd not come as it was so cold; the good Habib took it all.
Said goodbye to Milhem Effendi and to Yusef Effendi the Kaimakam
and took a Druze Zaptieh with me from him - name of Yusef. We went
by Orman ['Urman] to avoid the snow, plunging through mud and
stones. Orman is a big village with several carvings in it. Met a Xian,
family name of Ra'is whose 3 sons are in America, all prospering.
One sent him £30. So on for another 2 hours when we began to get
into snow. Devil's own ride from there. Near Abu Zurek - which the
Pal. Ex. map marks on the wrong side of the Wady Rajil, - we got into
a snowdrift and my horse plunged and reared and was nearly down.
From there to Saleh a great snow plain. I got off and walked. It was
endless. Wind and sleet. Saleh lies on a hillside. Trees about. It
must be charming in summer, now it was all snow and ice and slushy
pools. Not a dry place. We went down to the old water tank near the
Khan, but it was horribly exposed. So I went up to the sheikh's house,
Muhammad ibn Nassar, and presented Melham's [see also Milhem]
letter to his nephew Najib. He took me into the mak'ad made a fire
and tea. In came other nephews. Fa'is and Najib were both with
Oppenheim and thrilled to see his book which I had and gave them.
In came the Sheikh a very kind old man who insisted on my staying
the night there. I gladly agreed and the servants went to the Khan. He
has 6 sons, intelligent charming boys. The two eldest were at school
in C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)] and one was a govt. servant in
Damascus [Dimashq (Esh Sham, Damas)] but fell out with his chief
and left in a huff I gathered. Muhammad was prisoner 3 years in A
Minor after the war. We talked all evening chiefly about the Jap war
and Russia. They asked after Ld Salisbury and regretted to hear he
was dead. They had heard of Chamberlain and I converted them to
Free Trade! Very intelligent charming people, real gentlefolk. At 8.30
quilts were brought in, the Sheikh, Yusef and I established ourselves
on the Divan and went to sleep. [Written at top of third page of entry:]
We took 7 hours over a 4 hours' ride today

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