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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Baring, Evelyn
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper
Egypt ยป Cairo

30.0444196, 31.2357116

Cairo. Friday Dearest Mother. We are gradually making up our minds not to try and leave on Monday. I don't think anyhow Dr Madden would allow it and in any case he wd think it very unwise. He told me this morning that Father had had a very sharp attack and that he thought Monday wd be impossible. In face of that, we shd not be justified in leaving. It's a great bore and I am very sorry not to be back for the party but I don't feel it's really so very important that we ought to take a serious risk for it. Personally I'm quite happy and I shall enjoy going to Mena next week for a few days which we shall probably do. Since we have to stay one might just as well enjoy it. Father will probably pick up quite quickly at Mena and I don't see why he shouldn't be quite happy pottering about on a donkey.
I lunched with Lady Anne today and spent a couple of hours in her charming garden. I forgot to tell Hugo that she loves being photographed - no, I think I told him. We have become great friends. Today as I went away she said "How shall I do with not seeing you again?" It's not a demonstrative affection, quite prim and formal in fact, very odd altogether. But I take a great pleasure in wandering about with her through her orange groves and listening to her funny disjointed talk. You will realize her quite well from Hugo's photographs. I had an interesting talk with Moritz while he was teaching me to take squeezes of inscriptions after a manner of his own (an excellently simple one by the way.) He talked of the govt of Egypt with profound admiration for Lord Cromer, but he said he cd not understand why we let the people do and say the things we occasionally do let them do and say - in their papers for instance. I said it was the English way and if we attempted any other plan we shd have old Stead out here denouncing us as tyrants and oppressors, or something of that kind. He said "But he doesn't know anything of the country. No one wd believe him." Not believe him! I tried to explain to Moritz what English people are like, that we like judging by what we call common sense and that's a thing every Englishman is born with, a thing, moreover, quite independent of knowledge or special experience or anything. Yes, it's great fun talking to a German. You cover the ground. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

We had a bridge party after tea today. Sir A. Hemming was our fourth. Also Sir W. Garstin payed us a long call and was delightful. I do like him so much.

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