When the men had all had their turn at the canteen we were taken to the sergeant's mess where drinks were served, & at about 1.30 the men were formed up & marched down to the wharf where, with a little trouble over some who would break back, most were got on board & towed out to the "Osterley". 1 officer per unit had to go back, the remainder being allowed to remain on shore until the second batch arrived, which was to be about 2.15.
It was my good fortune to remain ashore, & in this time I had a ride in a rickshaw up to the Post Office where I sent off the cable, & then down to the native quarter for a hurried look round. I made very few purchases, prices being much higher than I thought reasonable, & similar chances offering, than say, in Egypt.
Hurried down to the wharf to find no sign of the barges being ready to leave the ship & that all the other officers but one had gone to one of the swell places for lunch. The 2 of us had an ice-cream, meantime being shown fans & silk goods by pressing salesmen, & then went back to find the barges approaching. Some of the officers did not turn up, & when the artillery, light-horse, etc had disembarked, we got them in their units preparatory to marching off.
There was a lot of bungling about the moving off, no one knowing who was supposed to be in charge, & it was with some difficulty that I prevented the body breaking away off the wharf & scattering. As it turned out they might just as well have been allowed to go at once, for as we moved up the street