Srinagar, Kashmir

Friday, June 7, 1929

Gosh what a day. Hawkers started things out in proper fashion after breakfast. My boy friend didn’t show up with my box as scheduled, so at eleven I started after him. On the way to the 3rd Bridge where his shop is located, I bought a many-colored single blanket, of wool, but a coarser grade. Only paid 3-4-0 for it, $1.20. Felt a little conscience-stricken over getting such a thing for practically nothing. Nevertheless, I didn’t hesitate to bargain the man down nine cents. Armed with this, I went to the shop. This man has been, rather, is supposedly putting a coat of arms and monogram on a carved box I bought a dozen days ago. Unfortunately I paid a 50% deposit, 5 rupees. Now I find the man extremely unreliable. We had planned to leave tomorrow, but as we could not get our stuff packed and shipped off today, it will be necessary to remain until we can do so; thus saving a probable tax upon returning into India. This cuss knew we were leaving and has kept very much out of the way. Probably thought I would have to leave and he could then pocket the deposit. If it isn’t that, I don’t know what then, for he has already lost an order for another box from Mort by his poor tactics. But far be it from me to get left in the lurch. Hence the trip to his shop today. He was absent as usual. When I left, I had a ten-rupee table wrapped up on my blanket, leaving a note [telling him] to come get it. So far he hasn’t.

A dealer today told me the wood was maple, not walnut, but they all knock each other, lie right and left—till you can’t believe a one. At any rate, I shall probably return to the shop for my box in the morning, and if still not there, take something else as further security, to insure his coming. What a rotten lot these people (hawkers) are.

My money didn’t come from Delhi today, but will tomorrow, I trust. Things are in a nice mess. It is next to impossible to get a box in which to ship things home in, let alone paper or packing. I have a nice box, but don’t know whether I can use it—as yet. I’d hate to have to send that table home [but he did just that, thank goodness!].

While Frank and I were away, the man came and said he could not get our Ladakh pass—as we suspected—meow! He hung on for over a half hour, pumping Mort with questions—what every one in our respective families did. Frank’s was a washman who beats clothes over rocks by the riverside; Dad is a movie actor who knocks ’em stiff in wild westerns, a two-gun man. He is quite wealthy and wants me to become an actor, but I prefer a mechanical engineer’s life. At last it got too much and Mort sent him off under pretext of a headache.

The big event of the day came when Abdulla brought in a large strawberry shortcake this evening. We sure went through it in a hurry. Then Abdulla got a picture album and he and another man proceeded to wreck it and his picture of Ladakh. It was too hard on our eyesight and all evening we have been reconstructing it. It is only 12:35 AM. Have to get out early tomorrow to get through.

So ends another diary (III). Next edition will be a Blue Book on India—from Kashmir to Delhi, Agra, Benares, Gaya, Darjeeling, and Calcutta.

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