[25 October 1918] Baghdad Oct 25 Dearest Mother. I'm still slowly
getting over malaria - it does take a long time, but I'm certainly better
than I was last week. I hear the IGC will be up in another week or 10
days and I shall then go away with him for a short holiday which will
complete my cure. His ship is luxuriously comfortable and he himself
is the most restful person. Meantime I'm having a lot of most awfully
interesting work and am longing to be quite fit in order to tackle it
properly. We have also begun our advance on the Tigris - all goes
well, thank Heaven. I'm so anxious that our Commander in Chief
should have his share of success - he has deserved it.
tragedy has happened at Tehran [(Teheran)]. I think I must have
written to you about the Military AttachÇ, Sir Walter Barttelot, with whom
I used to ride at Gulhak before breakfast. He was also our host on the
night expedition into the hills which I described to you. He has been
murdered in his bed by a jealous husband - I know no details but I
profoundly believe that there was nothing in the whole business but
wicked Tehran gossip. The wife in question, Mrs Maclaren, left
Tehran a month ago and passed through here on her way to England.
I didn't see her in Baghdad, partly because I was having influenza at
the time and other partly because, though I had seen very little of her
at Gulhak, I thought her Class B lady and had no special wish to
renew the acquaintance. Also she had quarrelled with the Marlings,
the wrong quite on her side, as far as I could see, and I didn't want to
be mixed up in any dissensions. It's a truly shocking business. Sir
Walter had a wife in England and a boy at Eton, about both of whom
he used to talk to me continuously. He was a nice, pleasant, not
particularly brilliant British landowner; we made rather friends, just
because he was the sort of man I knew at home - at least that was my
feeling about him. He was not well suited in his Tehran job and was
longing to get away. I told the C.G.S. this when I came back, a
successor was found for him, and he would have probably have been
back in England before the end of the year. Oh dear, I'm so sorry for
his wife and boy. Maclaren I thought a dreadful man - class W, if not Z.
He is a consul.
I send you at last my Kurdish diary which I have
carefully censored myself. I'm afraid you'll find it rather dull as there is
too much local politics in it. The international politics I've cut out. But
would you please let Domnul see it and Milly - I promised to send it to
her though I don't think it will amuse her. It's not for publication in any
form, even thus Bowdlerized.
There's a letter by Col. Yate in the
Spectator about Persia, my Chief (whom he calls Sir Frederick
Marshall, his name being Sir William) and an allusion to my journey to
Persia. It reaches the highest summit of idiotcy being entirely wrong
from beginning to end.
So much for Col. Yate. You might tell
Domnul this - indeed perhaps you would send him this whole letter as
I shall not write to him this week.
I never thanked Father for sending
me his article in the Contemp. which I thought brilliant. Col. Wilson had
given me two speeches, no sermons, by his father, who is Dean of
Worcester, so I sent him in the Comtemp. docketted "My parent's
turn." He returned it with this minute: "I should like to print 100,000
copies and circulate them wherever the English language is spoken."
So my Parent was a success in the office. Ever your very
affectionate daughter Gertrude