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T. E. Lawrence to his mother



I've been waiting for sure news before writing to you: but the Air Force authorities drag too slowly. So here it is. I'm to go to India this winter: perhaps in September, perhaps in November, perhaps in February. It's the ordinary overseas draft, of the R.A.F. pattern. Most airmen do a turn abroad in their seven years' service. The Mesopotamian term is 2 years, the climate being bad. Egypt is 5 years: India is 5 years. I'm glad I'm not going to Egypt, for there is the risk of trouble there.

In a way I'd rather have stayed in England: but the warmth, if there is any, will be welcome: and it is good to be out of England when Cape brings out that abridgement of my Arabian book. I made the abridgement myself, and it is a severely plain one, but to sell it Cape must advertise it, and his best way of doing that will be to rake up all the old silly stories about me. I shall be glad this autumn when the real book is finished and distributed. All the work of the little book is done, already: a good thing, for with this uncertainty about going abroad I do not want more liabilities than I can help. Your cheque turned up: many thanks for it: but it is bigger, I fancy, than the money I have spent.

Florence wrote to me some while ago that you might come home with Bob in 1929. I hope so: and not go out again!

They wanted me to go out on a Commission of Enquiry to China, the other day! I told them I was happily engaged in the R.A.F.


Source: HL 362
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 9 February 2006

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