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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
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1 letter, paper
Iraq ยป Baghdad

33.315241, 44.3660671

Baghdad {Friday} Thursday 6 Belloved Father. It was a delightful surprise to have a letter from you this morning and it was also the most delightful letter in the world. I wonder how anyone can complain about anything when they have a Father like you. I can't tell you what it was like to have you here. One takes for granted where you are concerned that no matter how unfamiliar or complex the things may be that you're seeing and hearing you'll grasp the whole lie of them at once, and it's only when I come to think of it that I realize what it is to have your quickness of intelligence. Anyhow I feel certain that you know the general structure here as well as we know it ourselves and I'm enchanted that you should, not only because it makes my job so much more interesting knowing that you understand it, but also because it's good for us all that you should be able to put in a word for us at home.
Our thoughts must have crossed when I was drinking tea out of your thermos for I was anxiously wondering whether you were wanting it! I felt dreadfully sad at missing a few hours of your society and wished I had stayed till your ship actually left. However, as you say, long goodbyes aren't very profitable. My journey was most comfortable and lunch at Diwaniyah [Diwaniyah, Ad] was unexpectedly good. When I got home the house seemed terribly empty without you - my dogs did their best to comfort me but it wasn't quite enough. Marie thank goodness is well again.

I lunched with the Tods yesterday - they inquired tenderly after you. So did all my servants; says Mizhir: Some people have faces so heavy that they make the world dark; and some faces so light that everyone rejoices to see them. Hadkrat al Walid has a light face, God bless and preserve him." I love it when you sign yourself in Arabic - clever Father! But you should write [Arabic characters] Al Walid, the Father. Darling I must stop for I've just time to catch the post - there have been such quantities of people this morning. Bless you dearest. Your devoted daughter Gertrude

I do hope you'll arrive before the 7th.

IIIF Manifest