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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 letter plus envelope, paper

38.963745, 35.243322

Dailé June 21 Dearest Mother. Torrents of rain are streaming down onto my tent, the first heavy rain we have had for 5 weeks and more. I hope it won't go on very long or it will probably run in under my bed where I keep all the long rolls of my big plans. We have had rather a disagreeable few days as regards weather; first 2 days of great heat (I was digging with 30 men on one of them and had to be out the whole day long in the sun). Then we had 2 days' wind which is the most intolerable thing possible and almost prevents one from working at all as one can scarcely dig or measure and if one goes to one's tent to draw one finds it a kind of dust heap inside. Last night the wind brought up a thunderstorm and it rained a good deal in the night and this morning it was quite grey and cool. Sir W. [William Ramsay] and I profited by this to go down to Madensheher to finish up some odds and ends. We had a good morning's work and got through a great deal but early in the afternoon the rain began in torents [sic] and we were finally driven back to Dailé where we arrived wet through. We have had a two days' visit from Löytved, my friend the German consul. It was very nice having him. He and I rode together one day across all the mountain to look for a reported ruin which we found and planned. It was a chapel and monastery. We came back over the very top of the hills, by Mahlech, the Hittite inscription place, a wonderful ride. It was one of the windy days and there was a hurricane on Mahlech but we sat under the lea of the chapel and eat the excellent lunch my soldier had brought up and then Löytved distinguished himself by finding 2 inscriptions on the arches of the chapel which we had none of us seen, so poor Sir William will have to toil up there again to decipher them. (The thunder is going off like great guns just over our tents - it's rather delicious.) I think we have still about a week's work here and it's the most important week of all for we are now beginning to get our views and our information into some kind of shape. This consoles me a little for I should have had to have been going away now to get home in time for Elsa's wedding. As soon as we have finished here I shall go straight across to the Karajadagh [Karaca Dag] and it will all depend on how much I find there how long I shall be. It's practically unexplored. Will you go on writing to Konia [Konya (Iconium)] for I can't get letters anywhere else. I am become quite the architect I must tell you. I have pages and pages of mouldings all beautifully drawn out and my plans are most elaborate. I don't think anyone has ever published any of these Anatolian mouldings before - one book will be very bahnbrechend, you'll see! If only we could feel a little more certain as to dates, we should be better pleased; but it's all guess work, alas! Still we shall be the very first who have taken a single district and studied it carefully and thoroughly and that's something. I'm so glad the new motor is a success. Your Brassey party sounded nice, or did you spend all the time in your room? Dear me! it will be very pleasant to be back again in the bosom of my family. Still I'm very happy. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude
I propose to stay at home for a good long time after this.

IIIF Manifest