Sunday, April 1, 2012

Charley to Marlene: Turkey

January 1868

Dear Marlene,
Mary and I have found ourselves in the most exotic of places!  While travelling home to Scotland we met the most interesting man who is in the business of railroads!  His name was Solomon Willard.  His father developed machinery for an early tramroad in Massachusetts and Solomon was on his way to Izmir to observe the Ottoman Railway.  He was such an enthusiastic man!  I found his descriptions of Istanbul to be fascinating.  Mary just smiled and nodded, already acquiescing to what she knew was coming!  I am such a rascal to her it is a good thing she loves me so!  So after a short stay at home I am off again on an adventure, but this time with the delightful company of my daughter.  We are wandering the alleys and nooks of Istanbul, letting our noses drink in the exotic smells of spices and tobacco and sounds most foreign to us.  We were privileged to observe a dervishman or also known as a  “whirling dervish”.  He is a muslim “holyman” who spins round and round.  It is a most interesting spectacle to see.  His robes are very full so that when he spins they flare out most dramatically Mary has rendered him very accurately and beautifully for you along with the Turkish word for their god, Allah.  Before we left Fintry I sent a fella who works for me to Paris.  His or rather our plan is for him to ingratiate himself with Msr. B.  His name is Francis Laird and he is a most able and resourceful man.  He should arrive by the end of the month so do be on the lookout for him.  Once his is there and settled in the two of you have work to do!
Affectionately, Charley


  1. Oh my gosh. This is wonderful. The whirling dervishes are so fascinating.

  2. Oh the Dervishmen! Never thought of them :D am loving following your story too, anew character is always exciting :D XXX

  3. Brilliant! love your story and your whirly pic is just perfect! M

  4. Fabulous picture - so full of movement and mystery! Love the story.

    Janet xx

  5. Good idea and a lovely painting, captures the spinning so well.
    Jen x

  6. Looking at your card it feels I can see the man swirl and hear all the noises in the background! ♥