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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Sun 30. [30 April 1905] Rather a profitless day. Rode at 6.30 up the
gorge with Ali and an old Yuruk and the aged party who owns Fattuh's
kadish. The gorge was a most wonderful place with high cliffs on
either side, rising steep up to about 500 ft. The oleanders just out, bay
and wild olive and the red trunked white flowering shrub. In the winter
the water races down and makes it impassible. Now there is a stony
track up it. After about an hour we came to the bas reliefs high up in
the cliff and scrambled up a breakneck climb over rocks and through
brushwood. They were funeral stelae, very rude but not without
charm, some 11 or 13 of them. So we climbed down to our horses
and having praised God who had delivered us from such perils, went
to the Yuruk's tent and drank coffee. They are off in a few days to their
Yaila. They come from Ermenek, the name of my old friend was Hajj
Hassan and he knew how to write. In a fortnight or so this whole coast
will be deserted. I suppose some must stop behind till after the
harvest. Returned to lunch and sleep after which there came a kaik to
take me to the Armenian castle. Much bargaining - we finally settled
for half a mejdieh[?]. The boat usually carried manure. Two ragged
soldiers joined the party, one wishing to gather grass for his horse in
the castle court, Fattuh with my gun in the hope of finding pigeons
(they were there - till we came) Mahmud and a promiscuous one or
two more. Fortunately the traverse was short. The castle occupies
nearly all the island. There was an Armenian inscription over the door
of the main tower. The court was overgrown with grass and bushes
and olives and in it great blue flags were flowering. There were also
the largest grey blue thistle balls I have ever seen. Fortunately this
castle they cannot carry away piecemeal. The land castle is being
demolished inside for the bazaars at Mersina [Mersin (IÁel)]. One of
the sailors told me there were lots of jinn in the island. He showed me
a plant with a trefoil leaf that was a good charm against them. They
don't do anything but whisper to people of weak intellect and drive
them mad. Bathed in the pool by the watergate. It was full of fish.
Drew out one of my churches to scale. An appalling amount of fleas

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