Friday.—The dinner party was uneventful. I sat next a Mrs. ——, one of the silliest females I ever struck. Her only noteworthy remark was that of course the Germans were well equipped for the War as they had been preparing for it for arcades and arcades.
It is wet again to-day. No mail has arrived. I start for Agra after lunch. I have had a delicious holiday. My address now will be:
“Attached 1/4 Hants Regt.,
I.E.F. ‘D,’ c/o India Office, S.W.”
and post a day early.
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NAINI TAL CLUB.
August 4th, 1915.
I got a telegram on Sunday asking me to take out a draft to the 4th Hants, in the Persian Gulf, so my address till further notice will be “I.E.F. ‘D,’ c/o India Office, S.W.” I thought I should hate the idea of going to the P.G., but now that it’s come along I’m getting rather keen on going. We have been kicking our heels so long while everyone else has been slaving away at the front, that one longs to be doing something tangible and active. The P.G. is not exactly the spot one would select for a pleasure trip: but on the other hand there is likely to be more to do there that is more in my line than the purely military side of the business. The main trouble there is sickness and I’m sure a lot of it is preventible: and though in a battle I should be sure to take the wrong turn and land my detachment in some impossible place, I don’t feel it so beyond me to remind them to boil their water and wear their helmets.
I don’t know when I’m off, having heard nothing but the bare telegram. They don’t want me back in Agra till Saturday, so I shall almost finish my full fortnight’s leave. It has been heavenly here and the memory of it will be a joy for months to come. The forests are lovelier than ever: the ferns which clothe the trees are now full grown, and pale purple orchids spangle the undergrowth. Wild dahlias run riot in every open bank, and the gardens are brilliant with lilies and cannas.
It rained with drenching persistence for three days, but the last two have been lovely. I got up early this morning, rode up a mountain and saw the most superb view of the snows. The brown hills between me and the snows had their valleys full of rolling white clouds, and the result was a study in deepest blue and purest white, more wonderful I think than anything I’ve seen.
The whole station turned out to the Anniversary Service to-day. It is dreadful to think that we’ve all been denying our Christianity for a whole year and are likely to go on doing so for another. How our Lord’s heart must bleed for us! It appals me to think of it.
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August 5th, 1915.