In return for which I shall give him a cloak. The new moon is just setting in a wonderful clear sky, the fires are all alight in the Arab tents; it’s all very lovely and primeval, but I prefer a solitary camp. Most wonderful of all were the mountains of Persia, range beyond range and white with snow.
- However, I told them that Kerim Khan would look after us, and after that I forgot all else in the excitement of working at the palace.
- Your encouragement to me to remain here came just at the right moment and I have decided to let them appoint me official Correspondent to Cairo.
- I write to one parent, but it’s meant for both.
- As Gertrude was then at home with us and also during most of the preceding year, there are no letters to us concerning Molly’s engagement in the previous November, or her marriage.
- The photograph does not, I think, exist.
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All the desert was scattered over with the flocks and tents of the Beni Hassan and we found some of the tribe camped under the ruined khan. It was hot, the first hot day we have had, and I was feeling rather tired after eight and a half hours hard marching–but the khan brought back my energies. For it is a really Splendid ruin of I should think the 9th century, about The time of Samarra, and it opens up all kinds of interesting questions as to old roads and as to the date of Ukhaidir itself. I set about the plan without delay and worked on till the light failed and the camp fires of the Beni Hassan gleamed out red all over the plain. It is a wonderful sight the desert in the spring.
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I have just been watching my people make bread. Flour was fortunately to be got from the mill below us; they set two logs alight and when they had got enough ashes they made an immense cake, 2 ft. across and half an inch thick, of flour and water and covered it over with hot ashes. After a quarter of an hour it had to be turned and recovered and the result is most delicious eaten hot; it becomes rather wooden when it is cold.
She was, he explained, sick of a malady which comes with great suddenness. Fortunately she was one of the 3 weak animals we have with us. I should have been obliged to sell her at Hayil and she would not have fetched more than a pound or two.
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(His name is Hanna–sounds familiar doesn’t it! but that H is such as you have never heard.) I rode down to Jerusalem alone–the road was full of tourists, caravans of donkeys carrying tents for cook and Bedouin escorts. I made friends as I went along and rode with first one Bedouin and then another, all of them exaggerating the dangers I was about to run with the hope of being taken with me into Moab. Half way down I met my guide from Salt, east of Jordan, coming up to meet me. His name is Tarif, he is a servant of the clergyman in Salt and a Christian therefore, and a perfect dear.
I Studied my grammar this morning and went to the London Library where I looked through volumes and volumes of Asiatic Societies . There were there Lady Edward, William Egerton, Alfred Lyttelton and Victor Cavendish who came in from the House announcing that he must be back in 30 minutes but finally stayed till ten. Is tremendously interested in his politics, talks of nothing else; it is very nice to see, as genuine enthusiasm always is.
- I should think life presents itself nowhere under such easy and pleasant conditions.
- We have three men to watch over us tonight and being within the castle walls I think we are safe from attack–at least I hope so; one is never very safe at Ukhaidir.
- I must tell you that I was in some trouble about my muleteers.
- We came down the same road that we had come up-but-the Ghor had withered.
Next year this lies fallow and the fallow of the year before is sown. Over the second shoulder we got on to a stretch of rolling hills and we descended the valley to Ayan Musa, a collection of beautiful springs with in Arab camp pitched above them. I found the loveliest iris I have yet seen–big and sweet-scented and so dark purple that the hanging down petals are almost black. Half an hour later my camp was pitched a little lower down on a lovely grassy plateau.