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[Page 13]

better than anyone else. One would have thought that as he is a senior naval officer in the Mediterranean that he would have been given command of the Fleet, operating against the Straits. But for a ridiculous sentimental reason he is relegated to the charge of the dockyards at Malta, because we with our absurd kid glove manner of conducting warfare, do not feel it would be fair to employ a man against the Turks, who at their own especial invitation and request has learned Something about them by endeavouring to trade their Navy.

I found Admiral Limpus an extremely sceptical about the whole Expedition. He said that the attack on the 18th of March ought never to have been made as the forts and defences are far too strong. Now we have given the Turks warning that we intended to strike, and they will be already for us on the peninsular itself. He told me that he would send me forward to the fleet by the first boat making the journey, but that no warship was going up at the present time, and that therefore I must not mind if I traveled on a collier, or some other equally uncomfortable craft. I replied that I would go in a rowing boat if necessary, as my one object was to get there. That evening I dined at the Malta Club and much to my surprise who should walk in but J. W. Taylor, late Head of the greatest gambling saloon in London, at whose house I have played many times. He is now a Colonel in His Majesty's Service, and was on his way to Alexandria in charge of a ship laden with mules. We dined together, sat up very late playing billiards.

Friday April 2nd
I received a telephone message early this morning from Admiral Limpus saying that an oil tank steamer "Sunik" was

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