May 14th 1939 – Razani

Went up to Horse shoe in 12th. It is very pleasant up there, sitting in the sun for 8 hours. All quiet save for the buzzing of flies and the odd bee. I try to learn a little Urdu while I am up there. Two horses graze down below. The silence is broken from the ranges under Bakhshi picquet. I take out a short gasht to examine the neighbouring nullahs and we put up a partridge and a hare. I suddenly realise we have gone a bit too far, and that I should be for the high jump if we caught it. The badmash near Bakhshi puts in a bit of “tachdung-ing”. There is a heavy sweet smell from the scrub and the yellow mossy flowers. Whilst I am having lunch, there is a mighty rushing of wind behind me. On looking round, I see a narrow tornado, about ten yards wide, sweeping up the hillside. One end hits me, and whips off my topee and glasses.

Before the Red Flag appears, I spend half an hour watching 7022 cemetary. I see nothing there, but sure enough later on the gang opens up. We put a couple of bursts from the V.B. into the cemetary, but I don’t believe anyone was really there. The guns put a nice piece of shrapnel just beyond the gabristan.

District are all up here now. I encounter the I.O. He says the Brigadier sent ‘Bakhshi Joe’ a chitthi saying if he didn’t cut it out, he would get his house blown up. ‘Bakhshi Joe’ has stopped, but another has taken his place. He  said that all these chaps wanted was to be such a nuisance to the Sirkar, that we’ll say “you ought to be on our side – come and be a subedar khassadar @ Rs20/-” All except Ipi, who is honestly thinking of his religion.

Steward of 2/13 is up here on a Mountain warfare course, and is staying in the mess here.


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