Not very hot and we are both fit. A few carnations still in the garden. I have just returned from Simla where I went to be invested – glad to have it over, functions are unnerving. Daisie went to Cherat for the 4 days to stay with the Tarvers. I left on June 28th, very hot travelling, arrived Simla 29th, lunch time, staying with Sir Beauchamp Duff, Commander-in-Chief – it was nice and comfortable at Snowdon. The investiture went off well. Mrs. Scott (wife of Col. Tommy Scott, Mil Secretary)* gave us a rehearsal the night before and we learnt how to make our bows and how many bows to make and how to walk backwards without tripping up over our spurs.
We dined at Viceregal Lodge, about 50 of us, and after dinner about 100 big wigs came in to see us invested so we had plenty of spectators. Mrs. Scott said we were a credit to her. I took into dinner Viscountess Errington and was very pleased to have the smartest and prettiest woman in the room. We talked so much I got no dinner. She was a daughter of Lord Minto, so knew her way about pretty well. Called on the Bishop who is going to make me a lay-reader. Arrived here Sunday evening, Daisie arrived Monday morning from Cherat by motor car.
* The Military Secretary for the India Office at this time is listed as General Sir Edmund Barrow, not as Colonel Tommy Scott. I have researched Scott but cannot identify any Colonel of that name, or of that name who served in the Indian Army at the correct time.
I gave an address in the Soldiers’ Home the other day on “how we can lead the Christian Life in the Army”. And again on Thursday, we are to discuss it. There are some very fine characters among the men here. I am to go to Simla on June 30th to be invested with my C.B. by Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy. Daisie goes to Cherat for the 4 days. The War goes on well. Verdun remains unfallen after 4 months hammering. The Russians continuing their triumphant progress against the Austrian. Our garden is full of doves, and they simply roar in the early morning. I never heard such frightfully vigorous “coos” in my life.
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.
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.
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.