O Babel, Babel! An Armenian doctor (member of Baku Committee) came to see me, I took him down to the office. On the road I met a Turkish naval officer coming to surrender. I went into the office and found Lt. Sokolov of the Russian Navy waiting to see me, also Lt. Poidebard of the French Army [most likely to be this man]. In the hall was waiting a Persian Gendarme officer we are going to use as a spy – and also a Greek merchant, who came with information which he gave through the medium of Hindustani, our only common language.
At last we got a mail with Daisie’s letters up to March 21st. Poor Daisie! what a terrible time she has been having – Living with the Starrs and Dr. Starr murdered at night by Pathans, poor fellow. He was stabbed in 5 places by men and lasted till the afternoon, when he died.
* Dunsterville was a renowned polyglot, speaking English, French, German, Russian, various Indian languages (such as Pushtu and Hindustani) and Arabic. It was his multilingualism which was a key reason why he was chosen for this mission.
General Baratov returned my call and spoke for 3 hours without taking breath re the Russian evacuation, Russian financial requirements and Russian tactical considerations. I do much listening and the time is not yet for me to talk. The road ahead is reported dangerous and every animate and inanimate thing is out to stop me, but if you face the obstacles they disappear as a rule. Turkish, German and Austrian agents, all over the place, and hostile Bolshevik soldiers several thousand, blocking the road between here and Enzeli – it is lively.
Arrived Baghdad 8 a.m., breakfast with Sir P. Cox. Staying with the Commander-in-Chief, Sir William Marshall, met Stuart Wortley, Q.M.G. (possibly this man?) and several other old friends. I have a tough job in front of me – it is difficult to get through Persia with things as they are, and arriving at Tiflis safely, there may still be great obstacles to overcome. This is a beautiful house on the banks of the Tigris, and it is romantic to hear the waters of the ancient river lapping on the bank below my window.
In the forward journey there is the risk of traps by tribesmen, or German and Turkish plots. In Tiflis, German paid assassins or truculent politicians. But God is with us always and I thank him for an intensely happy life with my beloved wife, even if it terminates at 53.
Tiflis = Tblisi, capital of Georgia
Very interesting work cross-examining a Turkish spy captured at the Malakand who pretends he’s a Russian – his Russian is very feeble and I’m afraid he’ll be shot.