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It is quite empty still, but we are going to clean it out and build it up as soon as possible. We anchored last night just above Ctesiphon. Our big camps are the only unfamiliar objects. Sir Percy made me most welcome and said a house had been allotted to me. I went off to see it and found a tiny stifling box of a place in a dirty little bazaar. Fortunately, like a good traveller, I had not parted from my bed and bath. These I proceeded to set up and further unpacked my box which had been dropped into the Tigris, and hung out all the things to dry on the railings of the court.
It was breathlessly hot. Fortunately they responded with alacrity. I dined with Sir Percy, armed myself with a loaf of bread for breakfast and returned to my empty house to sleep. By good luck my servant turned up late that night, so that there was someone to water tea for me next morning. I confess, however, that after having done my hair and breakfasted on the floor I felt a little discouraged.
It was clear that something must be done at once, and I proceeded to hunt for one. The first thing I tumbled on to was a rose garden with three summer houses in it, quite close to the Political Office and belonging, fortunately, to an old friend of mine, Musa Chalabi.
I decided at once that this was the thing, but a kitchen had to be built and a bath room, and sunblinds to be put up--a thousand things. My old man Shamao has engaged me a cook and the Englishman who runs all the supplies Col. Dixon is my faithful friend, having been charged by the I. And my roses I must tell you are glorious. Oh, but it is hot! I wonder when they will reach me here.
Meantime all my acquaintances and friends have flocked in to see me.
And it is all wildly interesting--War Office telegraphing for signed articles from me, etc. Bagdad is a mass of roses and congratulations. They are genuinely delighted at being free of the Turks. The rest for another time, I am so busy. I love seeing them and they are most useful for purposes of information, but they eat up the hours. I have the most amusing reunions with gentlemen I met at Hayil and Najaf and Heaven knows where besides. Next month it will be 10 degrees hotter at least.
My programme is to ride from 6 to 7: Very shortly I shall begin the day an hour earlier and try to come in at 7 for dinner. At Basrah one could get nothing--lived on tinned milk and butter for a year, and at last I lived without them because one grew so sick of tinned things. Here I have fresh milk and butter and sour curds every day. And then masses of roses everywhere. My duties are of the most diverse kinds. We are very shorthanded. The head survey man is an enthusiast, and gives me a free hand.
To-day there arrived by miracle two charming black satin gowns from Marthe which makes me hope that my new cotton gowns may presently arrive also. I shall rejoice when I hear that muslin gowns are on their way Oh if it were as near the end in France!
Is Maurice still out of it? Every time a post comes in I dread to hear that he has gone back. He was invalided home the following year and then had a command in England. The days melt like snow in the sun. To-day I was in the office from 8: I spent a couple of hours yesterday before breakfast inspecting an exquisite 14th century mosque and a tomb of the same date and seeing what repairs were immediately essential. The two learned men who dwelt in the respective mosques were my enthusiastic guides.
I took the Revenue Commissioner with me, Mr. We must have a trained architect out as soon as possible. Storrs from Cairo Sec. I hope the plan will materialize. I would like to go back there, though it will make my heart ache a little. They were all so kind to me, the German excavators, and no war can put an end to the affectionate esteem in which I hold Koldewey.
We have not got nearly enough clerks and typists, one never seems to roll the stone finally to the top of the hill--it rolls back for want of mechanical appliances. But Lord how glad I shall be to have them. The event of the week has been the arrival of Mr.
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An admirable plan it is having such interchanges. This is how I pass my days: Occasionally I inspect an ancient monument on the way back--I did so this morning. A bath and breakfast and so to the office before 9.
I have a cup of coffee and a bowl of sour curds at People drop in all day.
"The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft
But the end of the day finds me with two or three unfinished things and no hope of getting at them the day after. I come back to dinner in my garden at 8 and I generally go to bed at 9: I must tell you I love Bagdad, and the people are so outgoing--partly propitiatory no doubt, but they are glad to have us.
It is not for my own sake, but because it greases the wheels of administration--it really does, and I want to watch it all very carefully almost from day to day, so as to be able to take what I hope may be something like a decisive hand in final disposition. They are beyond words outgoing to me. What does anything else matter when the job is such a big one? General Wauchope has been here, Mr. Only it makes my letters Scrappy. And I feel so ashamed when I get splendid screeds from You two who are just as busy.
I ride daily in the early morning on MY love of a pony, and keep fit thereby. I really must have another copy of Amurath; will you please send me one. The post brought me a letter from Mother this week--and also, what do you think?
I hope they are swallows, so to speak, announcing all my summer clothes. However, I shall just have not to dine out when it gets hot.
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Storrs leaves next week. He has done us an infinite amount of good. One becomes so provincial seeing no one from outside. The great event in our circles is the arrival of Fahad Bey, paramount sheikh of the Amarat, an almighty swell and an old friend of mine. I stayed with him in the desert three years ago on my way back to Damascus. I hope that with his help we shall get a move in among the tribes.
We had the most tenderly affectionate meeting I assure you. At that they almost wept with gratitude and declared that they would forthwith send me a beautiful mare. But I said no, it was a kind thought, but I could not take presents and therewith I went down to talk to Sir Percy. The great pleasure in this country is that I do love the people so much. We revel in fruit here. The excellent oranges are nearly over, but the apricots have come in in masses and small sweet greengages, and now the good little melons have begun.
One morning last week when I was out riding I paid a very early call on my way home on the son of a celebrated old warrior a Circassian whom I knew in the old days. And I found, too, a great man of letters, a native of Bagdad, who is writing leaders for me which I send to the Egyptian papers, and we sat round and sipped tea and coffee and talked and I went away feeling that I really was a part of Bagdad.
There are so few of us, you see, that each one is absolutely salient and each is a focus for so many hopes and fears. But oh to be at the end of the war and to have a free hand!
Dearest Parents, I had finally to take desperate steps to cure the above mentioned cold. I lay flat on a bed in a draught in my nice cool room in the office for 3 days and saw no one, and curious as the treatment seems it has now restored me to rude health. We had a conference with him one morning, in which he ended by describing the powerful effect produced by a letter from me last autumn--I wrote to him from Basrah.
We took him to see an exhibition of flying yesterday to his immense delight. He said he had never enjoyed anything so much. The former appears to me to be unanswerable and the latter both brilliant and moderate.
They are as good a plea as I can make for the Arab race and I want people to listen. The motive of his journey was as follows: