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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her father, Sir Hugh Bell

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Bell, Sir Thomas Hugh Lowthian
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

50.725231, 1.613334

Jan 16 My dearest Father. I am so dreadfully sorry about Kirby - the good true friend. We shall all feel his loss, and you must feel it bitterly. Bless you, my dearest; you will have to put up with a little more love from your children to fill the gap. And now I want to tell you about your £50. Mr Malcolm told me to clean up and inhabit a big gaunt room in our house. I have papered it, and matted it, and chinz curtained it all at my - or rather your - expense and it looks so charming and so cheerful. One needs a little cheerfulness when so much sadness comes in. That was all wonderfully cheap, and besides that I've ordered beautiful files which will save me an incredible amount of manual work - I have so much to do that any saving of needless work is an immense gain. And I still have a lot in hand to spend on books and files and ledgers as we want them. It's so nice to have a free hand and feel it's costing the Red X nothing. I provide Mr Cazalet with all his books and files too. He came down today with a lot of valuable information and all his books to be made up, which meant two hours of hard work in the middle of the day, packed into the usual day's work. But it is well worth it and he is so nice. Flora went to Rouen today and I have got Tiger Howard. Lord R. [Robert] selected her and I love having her. She is going to be very methodical I think, and quick. And oh I hope I may never have to work with the Russells again - that's the truth of it. They sat there and I never knew what they were thinking, but if I had had any horrid secret in my past they would have found it out with their watchful eyes! Now they are gone to run their own show, and I don't care how they run it, for it's not my business. But here it was my business and I had to see that it was being properly done. I'm so thankful Maurice isn't out. No matter how boring it is for him in England, the anxiety when he comes out will be terrible. At any rate as the weeks pass the weather will get a little better. He seems to have had an unusual number of casualties at Newcastle, poor darling.
We are doing something, we really are. And people are grateful - you should read the letters that come in every day. Even to relieve the flood of misery a little is something. I have sent in some names to Lord Cunliffe with a very begging letter. I hope he will be able to do something for us. It will be most kind of him. Lord R. gives me a very free hand - he is the best of chiefs. Please tell Mother the hats have come. They are lovely - exactly what I wanted. Above all so light and cool. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

It's clear to me you are working far too hard.]

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