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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Mon 15. [15 May 1905] Up at 2.30 and off at 4 with great regret.
Gave the sheikh 2 mej. Our corn for the horses for 5 nights was 15 ps!
We got down to the station at 7 and settled up affairs. I then went with
Fattuh to Eregli [(Cybistra Heraclea)]. I travelled with the Engineer of
the Section Herr Bakkhus. He says the Greeks and Armenians are
never to be trusted in the long run without a European superintendant.
They always end by embezzlement. The govt ought to wish the line
to be built on to Adana [(Seyhan, Ataniya)] as it wd then connect with
the sea and become useful and the indemnity over the mts is no
higher than for the cheap bit across the plain. As soon as it gets to
Adana they will run twice a week a through train night and day. They
hope to run the whole line by petroleum when they get down to the
wells. They have already made experiments with engines which
have proved successful. The part between Urfa [Sanliurfa (Edessa)]
and Mosul [Mawsil, Al] will be very difficult as it lies over sand. The
rails will be laid on the sand, but continually will have to be filled up
with cement which will be very expensive. There is a scheme for
running the water from Bey Sheher Lake [Beysehir Gˆl¸] down into the
Konia [Konya (Iconium)] plain but he thinks the completion of it is far
off. With water all the plain is immensely fertile. Got to Eregli at 12 and
drove to the hotel kept by the Blancs an un....... place but it proved
clean. Eregli is a hole and it was very hot. I stayed indoors all the
afternoon and went out after tea. Wonderful gardens and a nice
minaret with bands of blue on it. A big vaulted building near it which is
now barracks. Dined with one Schreider who is trying to buy land
here for the purpose of growing almonds, a most profitable industry,
but so far he has not advanced much. I promised to write a picture
postcard to Rosa Blanc. They are Austrian Jews.

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