A Treacherous Journey to Joppa

Nov. 19

Struck tents, after 5 days stay near Jerusalem. Before starting, went again to Garden of Gethsemane and Mt of Olives, and enjoyed view more than last time, and in morning light City and surroundings look more picturesque and interesting. Started on way for Joppa about 11. Lunched at Kiriath Jearim and camped at sweet wells. Great event after dinner - most of party gone to bed when violent storm of wind and rain came on and two of the tents down. Men rushed about like mad, and shouted as though they were fighting for lives. Our tent all right; but evidently a rough night is before us, tho' 'tis quite calm just now.

Nov. 20

Last night very rough and stormy; but our tent stood well, and I slept best part of time. Dr Gale is in very poor condition and Weaver out of sorts. Breakfasted at 7; rain coming down in torrents. I suggested to keep Saloon tent up and send on baggage, so as to have dry clothes to change into; but got no support. So all rushed on to horses in the rain and set out, those well enough going on as fast as possible, and doing the eighteen miles to Joppa in abt. 2½ hrs. It rained incessantly, and at times came down most furiously. I kept up my umbrella all the way; but got wet thro' up to my thighs, and a strip of wet down my backbone. I came in 2nd, and came to the 12 Tribes Hotel, where, after much delay, they got 2 charcoal fires going, and we began to dry ourselves - my trousers by standing over the fire, and my shirt by sitting with my back to the fire. Boots took all day to dry - I went about in a pair of borrowed Arab shoes. We came through Ramleh, ancient ... and should have called at Lydda and some other place had the weather been favourable; but coming at a gallop near all the way we saw little or nothing. The orange groves extend some distance round Joppa and the smell from them is pleasant. Poor Dr Gale succumbed, entirely losing his mind, and had to be left at a wayside place until a ... doctor could be sent to him. They got him to Ramleh, where he passed the night. Weaver, on arriving, was about done up and got to bed and took some medicine.

Surf is running very high, and there is no prospect of getting away tomorrow. Had a bathe, and had not to go deeper than my ankles to get waves up to my neck. Walked through town to see house of Simon the Tanner - a couple of rooms near sea side. Town very dirty; with lots of offensive smells.

Nov. 21

In Hotel at Joppa. Last of our 30 days; but not the last in the country: for sea continues rough, and nothing yet heard of steamer. Dr Gale brought in by wagon and carried in. He is quite childish - mind gone. Weaver no better - did a little nursing for him. Commencing Hotel bill from noon to-day. 4 of party went to other Hotel.

Nov. 22

Sunday again - bright and fine; but sea rough, and no steamer yet. Thought of having bathe; but breakers too violent. Dr Gale worse, and quite helpless - made his bed in sad state. Got him moved to private room near hospital for to have better attention. Weaver no better; called in Doctor who says it is an intermittent fever but not much developed. Keep pottering around and helping him what I can.

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