Letter 21st 17
Dear Aunt Lizzie:
At last I have left the ranch in a year leave, & been able to get into the khaki & much to my relief have been able to get into Charlie's regiment. Of course I am a novice in military matters & he is a veteran with 7 months service to his credit, so we are not in the same platoon but in the same building & always meet three or four times a day sometimes more.
He is a thoroughly good boy & certainly makes me proud of him as a son, both he & Dolly have certainly got to be the light of my life, with Dolly I have so much confidence that I have given her power of attorney to deal with all of my affairs, for of course one never knows both Charlie & I may never leave Flanders. Supposing anything should happen will you please write Dolly & tell her what a comfort both her & Charlie have been to me especially during the last three & four years. Don't think by the above that I am expecting to go, but I want my children if I should, to know what their father thought of them, it eases the pain of separation quite a bit.
Meanwhile we are all in Victoria, & Dolly is feeling the wrench of parting from the ranch quite a lot, & of course just now I have not a lot of time to spare to be with them, for all, our hours are short, the kit that a soldier carries takes constant cleaning & a good many otherwise leisure hours have to be put in polishing & cleaning, & being strange to it all of course it takes much longer than it will after I get used to it. Just at present my feet bother me a lot but the doctor expects to fix them up all right.
but here we get very little news of what is really happening, we are expecting a big drive next spring and no doubt about March or April we shall D.V. be ready to sail, at least we are all hoping so it would be too bad to put in all this training & then not be able to get to the front, not that I think there is much fear of that, after lasting so long it will surely continue long enough to enable us to be in the great push. Our barracks here are pretty draughty & we are not taking too well to the hardening up process but of course it has to be done & I hope by xmas anyhow to report that I am in fine fix & ready for anything. of course so far we have no Conscripts & are hoping too see any before December, for we have a good bunch of soldiers & the conscripts are sure to be largely undesirable. I have put our address on the top please write Dolly a line if you can for she needs cheering up, with the old home & all the men [?] & her old school fellows all gone she is takng it too much to heart.
Still if we are all spared to be reunited in [?] [?] in 1920 we shall sure appreciate our many blessings in a way we never did before.
The Lord is leading us by very dark paths these days, but doubtless sometime, somehow, we shall see that all is for the best, but in joining I simply did what I knew to be my duty, & since doing so everything seems to fit into place, both places founds tenants almost at once, here in Victoria, we seemed to tumble on our feet right away with a nicely furnished house at $16.00/month. (cheap for Victoria) [?] you know I never make a parade of my feelings but ever since a month ago when I made the decision things have come our way in a way that shows that god is leading us. Eight or ten different arrangements with different people all on short notice & never a hitch in one. isn't that a little more than mere coincidence, anyway it seems so to me, especially bearing in mind the semideserted & overworked condition of the Okanagan.