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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

Nov 14 SS. Lotus. Dearest Mother. It's beautifully sunny, but windy, rather windy. I had a girl in my sleeper who is going out to be married to a man called Shakespeare in Calcutta. I know about his brother; he is a very able man on the Persian Gulf. Her man is in the cavalry. So we made friends this morning. I slept soundly for 9 hours and don't therefore feel at all tired by the journey. This seems a comfortable boat. I have a woman in my cabin but I think I shall presently be able to get a cabin to myself by paying a small supplement - which I shall be so extravagant as to do. It does make such a difference for a whole week! I haven't quite finished Mrs Wharton. It's very good and readable as she always is I think. It was a great solace to me on the way. Also I had a volume of poems by Rupert Brooke which interested me. The man's a poet and sometimes touches a searching string. It was nice to wake up this morning and see the sun shining on the olive trees.
I hope you went with Elsa to buy the lellow [sic] ball. Wasn't it nice when they turned up! Tell Elsa I was so pleased to see her and her family. And my love to dear Aunt Bessie too.

I hope you will have some peaceful weeks in London. You have had a very wiry time this autumn and you never make any complaint when your children harry you from pillar to post, bless you!

I wonder if we all realize enough how much love you give us. No, I'm sure we don't realize it nearly enough. Only sometimes it comes over us in our better moments darling Mother.

No, I have not taken the other cabin. It's a supplement of 200 francs and my companion gets off at Alexandria where we arrive on Tuesday. I can't really reconcile it to my conscience to pay £8 for 4 nights. On the other hand my camp is on board! isn't that splendid! It has caught this boat after all. I've scraped my finger and made the page all bluggy. We have 2 days at Alexandria, Tuesday afternoon till Thursday morning. I shall not of course go to Cairo. It's not worth it and too expensive. But I shall see some things in Alexandria. Ever your loving daughter Gertrude

[Note on back of envelope] Your Belloved telegram just came

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