Hot and sticky, but still alive though tortured with prickly heat, sandflies and mosquitos. Saturday night I had to attend the Boxing and give the prizes and make a speech at 1a.m. Such perspiration!
Motor to Shabkadr and rode for 3 hours all round the frontier with the C.O.’s of regiments for instruction. Home by mid-day. Hot unbearably hot.P
Daisie returned by the evening train – rather hot and tired.
Susanna’s birthday bless her! 4 years old. I wish she’d stop getting older. It is cooler now, but we have had a month of record and the honour of a special article in the Pioneer. Very lonely without Daisie.
Frightfully hot. 120º [49ºC] in the shade yesterday and sandflies biting me to pieces. When I opened my box at Simla in the Commander-in-Chief’s house and took a clean shirt out, a scorpion jumped out of it! Glad I didn’t put it on with the beast inside it. A fine piece of War news at last. The Boers have captured South West Africa and so one of the side Wars is ended.
Arrived Peshawar 8 p.m. Hot and rather cross at losing my leave, and not to be able to be at Susanna’s birthday party.
My lecture in the theatre – a nasty hour 3 p.m. Very crowded and distinguished audience with the C.-in-C. and the Lt. Governor – it went very well: Saw so many people I wanted to talk to, but couldn’t. Such a rush. Left immediately after lecture and caught train back at 6 p.m.
Arrived Kalka 6 a.m. Left by motor rail at 7.45. a nice bath at the station. Very absent-minded, left my satchel in the train, braces, tie and tie-pin. Recovered the satchel from a passenger on another train later on. Arrived Simla fine, but so cold in a silk suit. An A.D.C. at the smart liveried Rickshaw in which I drove to Snowdon, the Commander-in-Chief’s beautiful residence, just in time for lunch. Sir Beauchamp Duff, very cheery but worried. In the afternoon the Chief drove me all round Simla in his phaeton.
I hoped to stay in Simla till the 10th and then at Murree till the 19th, but my leave is cancelled and I have to return to Peshawar immediately after the lecture, because General Campbell is at Cherat and there is no General at all in Peshawar. So I have 4 nights in the train and all this expense for 1 night in the hills and a hundred rupees fee for my lecture.
Arrived Pindi 6 a.m. Daisie left for Murree at 9 a.m. in the motor bus and I left for Simla by the 1.30 p.m. train. Met Major Little an old friend of the 26th Punjabis. He had lunch with me on the train as he was on his way to Ferozepore to take over command of the 20th Depôt from Elliott, who has gone to Simla sick. We sat for some hours in the restaurant car and had long interesting talk on religious matters – he is a Roman Catholic, and one has to be tactful to avoid quarrelling. R.C’s are so easily aroused to fury.
Fiercely hot and glad to be off. The sand-flies tear us to pieces. Still we get good flowers and have on the table geraniums, sun-flowers, Plumbago, Dianthus, Phlox, Aster, Snapdragon, Pelargonium – the latter 4 just expiring. The frontier seems fairly quiet, but a reverse in the Dardanelles might set India on fire at any moment and we wait anxiously for good news from anywhere and it never comes. The Russians in Galicia* are being thoroughly well hammered owing to lack of ammunition. Left at 11. p.m.