Just a moment ..

No other flowers have the same delicate exquisiteness except indeed those that Fra Angelico puts beneath the feet of dancing saints; but then they are dream flowers. And so are these, I believe growing in delicious dream gardens that exist only for us mountain people. Shortly before their departure the present Bishop of St. Albans, then the Rev. Michael Furse, came to stay with us at Redcar. He was a Don at Trinity College, Oxford, when Hugo was an undergraduate there, and they became great friends.

  • Mr. Cazalet brought a tangled bundle of letters and lists which we had been working to compare with ours and to be put straight for him.
  • I feel, however, pessimistic as to receiving anything, and I expect I shall have to take to Arab dress next summer.
  • Presently a horseman came galloping over the plain, shooting as he came, into the air only.
  • We struggled on the 18th for an hour through the mud and irrigation canals of the Dumeir husbandry–a horrible business with the camels slipping and falling.

I don’t suppose so much money has passed hands in the Karadagh since the time of the Byzantines. I’ve been working all today from dawn on the big apse on which I first began. It still remains a complete puzzle and one I fear will not be elucidated. I shall give it a day off so as to think about it and then do another day’s work on it. The walls we have uncovered seem to have no meaning and they are such bad work that it’s a stretch of the imagination to suppose that there is any consecutive idea in them.

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SO up they came, six of them, all in a serried row and sat in my tent and drank more coffee and smoked more cigarettes. It’s my private conviction that that’s all they can do, any of them, and they all do it together every day. They appear to have given their advice collectively as regards the hiring of a cart for my luggage and even the buying of candles and rice, so to-day they have been unusually busy.

I’m very proud of this contrivance, but if we have a ghazu of Arabs I shall certainly be the last to fly, and my flight will be As one Who runs a sack race. I’m Off to-morrow with an escort Of 3 soldiers and all promises well. I shall meet Charlotte here, spend another couple of days, and then with her, Over the hills to Baalbec and the Cedars. Beyrout , from whence by boat to Jerusalem. To-day came the joyful news of the relief of Ladysmith. We are going for a long ride to-morrow.


There are such a lot of things to buy and arrangements to make. Meantime I spend my days quite pleasantly. To-day was fine and I worked with my theodolite all the morning on the roof and went for a walk in the afternoon. We walked up on to a hillside and climbed to a top of an eminence whence we had a glorious view over Damascus and its gardens, still brown and gold with autumn leaves and then straight into the desert where I am going. I saw the little volcanic hills to the S.E. Where I shall make the first stages of my journey and I wished I were already among them.

  • The men have shot partridges, and caught fish in a most ingenious way.
  • This morning we moved into Qasr Azraq, which stands among palm trees, surrounded by a multitude of springs.
  • They go to Nuremberg and Rothenburg on the way, enjoying themselves ecstatically everywhere.
  • There is in Dumeir a very beautiful temple, rather like one Of the temples at Baalbek.
  • Arthur appeared before lunch; he is such a darling, looking older and thinner, and very wise about the country and the people, having seen and observed a great deal and drawn conclusions which are well worth hearing.

It began to be very stuffy and airless; here, though we are only 6 miles away, there is always air, except perhaps between two and four in the afternoon when one generally sleeps. We are much higher up and much nearer the hills and all round us are watered fields where the corn is almost ripe for cutting The joy of this climate! I do think an English summer will be very nice after it. Since last I wrote the goal has been reached; we have been a week in Bagdad. I’ve had no news actually from Bagdad, but I hope I shall get letters this week. I need not tell you how much I long to hear exactly what it is all like.

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I hope it will see the light somewhere. All the tribal and other material on which I’ve been busy for a year has now reached the point of publication for official circulation, and I’m beginning to reap a harvest of proofs from India. When once it’s printed and put on record I shall feel that the first goal is attained. It’s not history, but it will furnish an exact account of the country as we found it. In and out of all other work it has been, and is still, a constant thread which gives me increasing satisfaction as I get a better grasp of it.

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This week Mark Sykes passed through and I have seen a good deal of him. I have just heard that Neil Malcolm has arrived from Gallipoli–I think he is chief staff officer here; I have written to him and asked him to dinner if he is not too great for such invitations. Last night we had some rain, and the first deep valley to which we came there were small standing pools, which the camels drank greedily.

“I am now become one of the prophets-at least I make merry in their room so to speak–and it’s a very nice room, I may add, and I am sitting writing at my own writing table with everything genteel about me.” I am very sorry to leave this nice place. What do you think is our fortnight’s bag?

I must come back here from Damascus some year and explore it all thoroughly. We rode all day with the Lejah on the left and Mount Hermon in front of us, flanked by the Lebanus. The corn is ripe here and they are plucking it out by the roots, which is their form of reaping.

  • The seafood at Saltwater is simply superb, all freshly caught and expertly prepared-whether it’s shrimp and grits with bacon and gouda, fish tacos made with the catch of the day, or blackened mahi over jasmine rice.
  • You know we have a head office in London under Lord Roberts at 83 Pall Mall.
  • The evening begins with the chef’s selection of antipasti with a taste of the delicious fare and personal, polished service to follow.
  • I have made the acquaintance of all the leading inhabitants of Amman!
  • There was sorrow in the tents of the children of Hassan.

And I’m not sure that one can ask more of woman. They came down in the morning, a few of them, to look at me, but they don’t interrupt me–I just go on working. This morning we rode out with the Sheikh at 6 o’clock. I went castle hunting and he rabbit hunting. His equipment was the more picturesque for he came hawk on wrist, with his greyhound at his heels. While we were saddling our mares the greyhound foraged about for stray bones; when the hawk saw her eating he was very angry and screamed to her for food, but the sheikh would not let me give him any till we came back.


I’m still in hospital but I’ve made a very rapid cure and I hope they will let me go back to Basrah in a day or two. I’ve been quite extraordinarily comfortable and the kindness of everyone is past belief. It really was very pleasant to find oneself here with all the trouble of looking after one’s own self lifted off one’s shoulders. I’ve done little or nothing but eat and sleep and read novels, of which I found plenty here.