No ladies are allowed at Landi Kotal fort, but Sir George Roos Keppel gave me special permission to take Daisie up to have a peep at Afghanistan, and Pears, the Political agent, Khyber, asked us to lunch. We started in Major Finlay’s car at 9.30 a.m. after the parade service of Intercession, 2nd anniversary of the Declaration of War – Arrived there, 30 miles up hill about 11.30, wandered about the country, had lunch and returned by 4.30 p.m., roasted to death as we had the top off the car to see the view. It is hot and sticky after the rain.
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
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.
It is really hot now, the bungalow is generally 92º [F]*, but we keep fairly fit and cheerful. We miss Susanna very much, but she is well looked after and happy in Murree. I go to Simla on Sunday to lecture on Wednesday. Daisie goes to Murree and I join her there for a few days leave after the lecture. We shall both be glad of some fresh air.
Killed a huge scorpion in my bathroom. Shall have to give up bare feet. Gave a Lecture on the War to the Masters and Mahomedan Students at the Islamia College.
Lecture to-morrow to the men of the King’s and the Royal Sussex. Then in the evening by train to Risalpur; dine with Crocker and lecture in the open air at 9.45. Next day to return here. I do not like leaving Daisie one night alone with things as they are.
Wore my plumes at Church parade for the first time and felt very shy! My lecture was so successful that two C.O’s have asked me to give it to their men, and Crocker, the Risalpur cavalry Brigadier has asked me to lecture at Risalpur.
Peshawar gardens are rather wonderful, here, in the middle of June we have on the dinner table, Asters, verbena, Phlox and Dianthus, rather seedy ones, but quite pretty and homelike. We dine to-night with Sir George Roos-Keppel.
Dining with all the regiments is rather hard going on my poor little liver. To-morrow I am again going out to Shabkadr to look at camps with General Campbell. I gave a lecture at the Club to-day on the war which seemed to be a great success, which was gratifying.
Took Daisie out in Motor car to see the site of battle-ground at Shabkadr and Matta. The country was very beautiful. It is getting hot. I get up about 6 and ride about. Breakfast 10.30. Office till 1.30 no lunch, sleep till 4.0., then tea, bath and out at 6.0.