It took a long time- a long book, written in a style I'm not accustomed to, and then, a lack of interest on my part in getting familiar with every bush and rock formation in the middle east.
It turns out he had shot her in the back of the head.
Here's another passage which reflects the challenge of creating unity in these communities:
p. 627 Book X, Chapter CXVI.....
As he arrived in a new area...
"The morning airs flashed the olive-yards to silver, and men from a great goat-hair tent on the right called us to guest with them. We asked whose camp it was. 'Ibn Smeir's' they replied. This threatened complications. Rashid was an enemy of Nuri Shaalan's, unreconciled, chance-met. At once we sent a warning to Nasir. Fortunately Ibn Smeir was absent. So his family would be our temporary guests, and Nuri, as host, must observe the rules.
Tooling on the cover of the first public printing, showing twin scimitars and the legend: "the sword also means clean-ness + death"
Lawrence had considerable expertise and understanding of the Arabic culture given his extensive experience living and working among the people. As he preparaed the final stages as the conquering forces took over Damascus, he was concerned about how the British would interact or interfere with what he hoped would be an Arab process:
"My head was working full speed in these minutes, on our joint behalf, to prevent the fatal first steps by which the unimaginative British, with the best will in the world, usually deprived the acquiescent native of the discipline of responsibility, and created a situation which called for years of agitation and successive reforms and riotings to mend." (p. 636)
And here we are, almost 100 years later. Who is unimaginative, now?