July 14th, 1943
Dear Mom and Dad,
Why on earth shouldn't I be glad that you have bought that acre of land for me? I am thinking there will come a time when I shall be very glad of that land. And if the stand of timber is as good as you say in your letter, it will pay for the land all by itself. I don't think I would touch the timber awhile, as it will probably be more valuable later on. Of course you are much nearer the scene of things out there, and I trust you absolutely to do what you think is best for me at least. If you want to sell the timber, do so by all means, if it should be saved, save it. I should like to look it over and decide exactly how I will go about clearing it up and building upon it. As you know, my plans for after the war are extremely nebulous, to say the least. I am not even sure that I will return to Canada at all. But if I do, I shall certainly live no other place than BC. - around Vancouver. I have nearly seen all Canada now and there is no place that can touch where we live for sheer contented peaceful beauty, except England. It is very beautiful around here too, but I miss the pine trees and the ocean breezes. By the way, will you look after the taxes for me taking it out of my pay as it comes home to you? And also look after the Life Insurance Policy? I had a letter from the agent today saying the policy had come through and that you would receive it, as I expect you already have done so. It was a very nice friendly letter - not at all formal in fact, it was just like its writer, friendly and cheerful. He was more like a father to me than an insurance agent. I still think it was a good idea.
Received Hilary's parcel and Mary's letter today. Hilary's book was swell - HV. Morton's "In Search of England". This seems to be an account of England before the war which is something I want to know about, therefore, I welcomed it very much and shall be sending it to you as soon as I have finished it. Isn't it wonderful to have friends. Fancy her remembering my birthday even though I am so far away. Poor Mary, she is having a hard struggle I am afraid and if it is true that the soul conquers thru adversity, she should win pretty soon. I think she is a good deal like me in a way in that she feels so out of place where she is. We were neither of us made for this business but I guess we have that in common with about 90% of humanity, we just feel our displacement more or rather I suspect it affects us more vividly. But she came in to this with such high ideals and hopes which are slowly being crushed and trampled underfoot by the ruthlessness of life in a barrack room because - whatever else it is, life here is certainly ruthless in its expose of weaknesses and strengths. I warned her when she first came in and certainly told her enough before she came in so that she should have known what she was going into. But I am rather glad in a way that she is experiencing this, because I am certain it will do her good in that she now knows that there is another side of life besides that she has led heretofore. Poor Mary, I shall never forget her first cry of disgust and shame when she discovered that human beings could have lice too, and that there were people in the world who didn't necessarily believe that it was imperative to have a bath once a week. It may hurt her a little, it may hurt her a lot - I don't know, but I think she is strong enough to overcome it.
Please send Mrs. Sayers her parcel of soap soon because she will be sure I have forgotten all about it if she doesn't get it soon. I have had one or two letters from her. Poor soul, she is still very cut up about John's going away from her. I don't know where he went to, she has never told me.
I wish you were down here Dad. I was swimming in Lake Ontario this afternoon and I saw thousands of fish about 15 ins. long. I was told they were lake trout but if they were, they are the tamest lake trout I ever saw! We have had a glorious day today, firing 4 gun Browning turrets on the 200 yard ranges. They make a terrific racket, but what a destructive force! They absolutely chewed that wooden target to pieces in about 20 minutes. It was terrific!
Well. I guess that's all for now.
Love to all as always,
PS.If you get a chance, don't hesitate to put all the money into the land. Save about $100.00 in an attainable form though, in case I decide to get married when I go back to England.