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Marseilles [Marseille] Sat. Nov 20 P&O. Arabia. Dearest Father. I've arrived safely so far. We got here at 9 but the ship didn't arrive till 12 and I spent some dull hours hanging about the Quay - hours not very much enlivened by making the acquaintance of the Bp of Jerusalem [(El Quds esh Sherif, Yerushalayim)] and his wife. Finally we got on board and having seen my things safely disposed in a cabin with 2 other women in it - but the Purser swears he will eject one of them - I went into the town and lunched with the Brassey party at the Hotel du Louvre. But I did not feel energetic enough to accompany them to Notre Dame de la Garde and I came back along the Quays and watched French soldiers being shipped in great numbers and German prisoners cleaning up the warehouses. We don't leave till tomorrow at 4 AM - it's annoying to spend an uncomfortable night on board to no purpose, but I suppose I ought really to rejoice that we are not held up for several days. The ship is crowded - innumerable women and babies. If I had babies I don't think I would take them travelling about at this juncture. Besides the Bps I have scraped acquaintance with a young man who came back wounded from the Persian Gulf last year and is not going back to rejoin his regiment either there or in India. He told me all about the beginning of that campaign, to my deep interest. Unfortunately he was wounded after 11 days of it, so he could not tell me much.
Helen Brassey has with her a Freeman Thomas boy who is going out to his father's staff in Bombay, and a Miss Brand. They are nice little cheerful people. We all sit at the Captain's table together.
But oh dear I shall be glad to get off this crowded ship. I don't suppose we shall arrive till Thursday. My dear love to you both and to M. [Maurice] if he is back. Gertrude.
I'm sending a line to Milly.