0Saturday. 18th March [1911]—Cairo
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18 March 1911 — Cairo
Saturday. 18th March [1911]. After spending 3 pleasant weeks on board the Dahabeeyah “Cleopatra” guests of young Hugh Whitaker we left with great regret and the whole party, Hugh, his mother, Miss Hanbury Tracy, Eda Alderson & I started off for Alexandria by a 9.30 a.m. train. One gets attached to the Nile & one is also sorry to leave the blue skies of Egypt & the warm climate & knows one is going back to Europe to grey skies and cold—besides one is returning to work & responsibilities & ones holiday is over. We had been invited by Mrs Hopkinson whose husband is head of the Eg. Police at Alexandria to lunch with them today before embarking for Venice on the Austrian Lloyd “Cleopatra”– We found that we had time to do so before sailing so we accepted. Mrs H. met us at the station & drove us to Commandant’s House. We arrived a little before 1—& were to sail at 4 o’cl so we had just time for the expedition. Mrs H. told us that Alick Yorke had stayed with them for 2 days last week on his way to Sicily & she thought him very feeble & we agreed that he was in a frail state & made us anxious. Col. H. was at lunch & we were a pleasant little party. Mrs H. is still a handsome woman & had made the house comfortable & pretty as an Englishwoman knows how to do in every country where she lives. I asked if there were any news of Lord Kitchener as I supposed he was on his way back from Mombasa & was to come to stay with me at Venice. He is believed to be at Pt Said on his way to Naples—so I wrote out a telegram to him there & carried it off to give to “John” our interpreter to send off today. About 3 o’cl, we thought we ought to go on board our ship so a carriage was called & we drove off. We went only smoothly for some time till we came to a sort of central square where a large tram car stood still– Our carriage was crossing the tram rails when round a curve came another car straight at us. The conductor shouted & rang his bell & seemed unable to stop. Our driver could not get on faster. I saw what would happen & sure eno’ next minute the train struck our hind wheel—& I was flung out on to the ground—then Eda came on the top of me—& then all was dark, the carriage was overturned & the hood of it was over us. The next thing one felt one was being dragged from under it & we were both on our feet—dazed but alive. The blood was running down over Eda’s face, but she kept saying “I’m all right”– On getting into a shop she took off her hat & found she had merely a scratch on the head from a hair pin. By this time a passing Englishman had joined us & was most kind & helpful. The shop man was anxious to stop the bleeding with tobacco from his cigarette case—but our friend would not allow it—dipped his own handkerchief in water—put it to her head & bid her put on her hat at once to keep out dust & sun—& told me the wound was nothing. I asked if he would get us a carriage as we were going by the Austrian Lloyd. He said we must [not] delay as there was not much time to lose. We had not even sat down & all had happened so quickly– He called a carriage put us in & gave the driver directions where to take us. I thanked him hurriedly & we were off. He offered to accompany us but we agreed it was not necessary & we reached the quay in a short time. Having to cross a railway level I felt that the tram wd come & finish us off—but we got all right & Mr Biddulph met us at the gangway with cheerful greetings. On getting on my feet I found I was rather lame with one ancle—& I said “We have just had an accident & have been nearly killed will you give me your arm”– He conducted me to my cabin & there I drew breath & rested– Took a hot sea bath & got into bed & was all right. Eda’s wound proved nothing & she was not even much shaken. As it happened we did not sail till 5 p.m. so we need not have feared to lose our passage–

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