January 16, 1920
I was too tired to finish this last night, and I see it is very futile stuff, in view of the wonderful experience which should have inspired it. I fear you will think I had forgotten my responsibilities to my family, to go out on such a venture. I think, however, if you had been here, you would have told me to go, because I could have explained the reasons I had particularly in view, and you would have appreciated them.
Bull and I had lunch at the Continental yesterday, and I had the misfortune to be discovered by the Contessa di Villamarina, of whom I have written you before. She at once sent Percy White, one of the journalists here, over to hand me the enclosed card, so Bull and I wandered up to her rooms for twenty minutes which reminded one very much of Kipling’s British aristocracy in the Orient, Mrs. Hawksby, etc., etc.. Then we spent the afternoon with the dealers who will be the death of me. It’s fine to be able to buy after all these years, but oh my, the work and the responsibility! Is this bronze falcon at Tano’s for 15 pounds as good a purchase as the other one for which Kyticas is asking 20? Would the Art Institute people value a silver bronze statuette of Imhotep more than a fine artist’s model of a lion in limestone relief? Let me see, I forgot to enter that last tablet from Nahman’s which he offered in a University lot, and which must be shifted to the Art Institute invoices. Etc., etc., etc.
Dr. Phillips has just called to see me about cholera and typhus inoculation. There is no such thing as typhus inoculation, and there is no danger if one keeps clean and free from vermin. As to cholera, he will secure the toxin from the army surgeons and inoculate the whole group just before we leave. So have no anxiety. Now I must run and do a hundred and fifty things that ought to have been done long ago, among them secure the Shepheard’s Hotel stenographer for a huge pile of correspondence which has got beyond me.
Worlds of love to all my dear ones,
There is no time to read and correct this.
For the full story of my exciting trip you should come to the special exhibit “Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919-1920,” at the Oriental Institute!
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