April 23, 1924: Journal Entry

23 April, 1924

My goodness, I believe that my life has become fodder for an adventure story!  Perhaps I ought to give up on archaeology entirely—goodness knows it would be safer—and concentrate on writing novels about my experiences.   Of course, in order to write a story, one must understand the mysteries that the reader does not. And therein lies the fundamental problem when it comes to such a change in profession: I have not a clue as to what has happened or why!

Perhaps a list is in order.  I wonder if my jumbled thoughts can be ordered in any coherent fashion, though…

Points to consider:
  •  Ungodly shrieking conversation of the jackals.   Is this natural?   Is this some sort of omen?  (Is this question valid at all or do I merely want to blame those hideous creatures because of the fright that they gave me?)  ((Purchase ear plugs!!!))
  • What can make a man stiff and immobile, yet not cause him to overbalance?   Drugs would surely not produce such an effect—at least I cannot believe they would, from what little I know.  Hypnotism, perhaps?   I have never experienced it myself, but have been told by several friends that it does indeed work.   Who am I to scoff at it?
  • What kind of thief goes to all the trouble of sneaking into the encampment only to be so foolish as to cause a noise loud enough to wake the people around him?  The answer: one who was hired to do the job by someone else, it would seem, and someone who was certainly no professional himself. It is possible that the thief acted alone, of course, but unlikely, I think. 
Oh, it is no use!  I am simply too edgy and tense to sit here and write any further.  I must go and do something, must try and unravel this mystery by discovering more clues rather than staring at my observations on paper.  There will be a time for messy lists at a later time.

I will take a little time to write Peter a note wishing him a swift recovery and assuring him that I will visit soon.  Then I believe that a trip to the antiquities tent is in order.  With all that has happened, I do not think that anyone has taken inventory of the damage.  On that subject, I spoke with the Major this morning and told him that I would be more than willing to pay for the construction of an actual building to house the antiquities, but of course that will take time to construct.   Money does not always buy rapidity here in India, much to my disappointment in this case.   Soon, though, I hope that we will all be able to sleep without fearing another rude invasion.

April 22, 1924: Journal Entry

22 April, 1924

There is really no point in writing about today. In particular, the very odd experience that I had this morning. I will never forget it, not even if I begin to lose my capacity for memory as I grow older. I think that, if I wrote it down, I would become obsessed with the pages and would revisit them often, revising the account, deleting, adding, making the tale an eternal palimpsest. So, no, I will not write about it.

April 22, 1924: Telegram

March 9, 1924: Journal Entry

9 March, 1924

India is just as I remembered it—almost. I cannot help but feel inadequate, for my knowledge of the language here is practically non-existent. With time, no doubt I will become a little more familiar with it, but right now I feel so overwhelmed with the actual purpose of my being here—i.e. the excavations and all the work and research that entails—that I fear I have learned little more than the obligatory pleasantries. For now, that must do. But I do so hate being the typical foreigner—or, worse, the British Imperialist—who has little knowledge of the language and culture.

An old acquaintance from Egypt who will no doubt become a friend over the course of the work this spring, is one Peter Cox, and it was quite a surprise to see him in India. I believe that my brashness put him off a little bit, so perhaps I shall hold back in the future. Admittedly, that is not likely. No doubt he will soon learn more about me and my ill manners and will perhaps grant me a little latitude, though goodness knows I do not deserve it! Yet I cannot help but be myself. I am always afraid that one compromise, however small, might lead to others and then spiral out of control. It is a silly fear, yes, and probably baseless, but I fear—naturally, as some of my female friends would say—any limitations to my person and my freewill. Were women truly the equal of men, perhaps I could relax and could be a better person. As it is, I have an excuse, albeit a very bad one, to be exactly as I am.

I have not met any of the administrators yet. Two of them are away at the moment and the other…well, I have been warned about the Major and am not eager to meet him before I have to. I fear that I may need a good night’s sleep and all of my wits to convince the man that I do indeed belong here as a scholar as well as a financier.