AGNES LES DUISANS, Arras Sector
August 25, 1918
Another 10 days that you've had to wait for a letter. But I'm awfully sorry girlie, it just seems utterly impossible to get an opportunity to write a letter, and then I've been very sick for the last seven days with dysentry. There are quite a lot of us down with it, or should be down, but we are continually moving so that unless you go into hospital you've just got to carry on. I hate the thoughts of ever going into hospital because when you return you may get sent to another unit. So, I'll just stick around, but I'm cursed weak - it seems an effort just to stand up at all.
Oh, say, I received a letter from you about 3 days ago that was written on May 18th, and posted on August 2nd, the day you went to Saskatoon to get the photo taken, and all the shops were closed! Did you lose it, and was it lost in the Saskatoon post office all that while? Budsie, you're a prune! After waiting two and a half years for that photograph, you pick on a day when everything is closed up! Gosh, I was disappointed, but there, I hadn't better say anymore, or you will say I'm nagging again. But you can't stop me from telling you what I think when I get home again and I'll make you feel like two cents!
Did you see the full page devoted to Meota in the Optimist. Gee, there was lots of news but I miss old Harry now, I have nobody to talk it over with. I am enclosing a cutting taken from it about Geore Patterson being pulled- he's a poor skunk that guy. But what do you think of His Worship Joe Lemay? I think that's the funniest thing that ever happened. Can't you imagine Alder Brehart appealing to Joe LeMay for his client, or W.W. Livingstone denouncing him, and poor old Joe summing up evidence, and then imposing a $100 fine? I can just picture the whole trail, and the only thing I can think is that Joe must be a different fellow to the one I knew as Joe the wrestler. Now he's a J.P.! And, a see Gregory had a lady clerk on the day goods counter. A Miss Vi Cowan. She has returned to her home and has been succeeded by Miss Price of Saskatoon. I suppose old John is just in his glory, eh? And is Grey still there? They must be doing quite a little business now. I don't think you would ever want me to go back to work in the store would you?
I had one letter from Harry while he was in England. I don't know if he has left there for Canada yet.
I saw a Gotha aeroplane brought down last night about 11 o'clock. The crew were all killed. There were about 12 searchlights on him, two of our own planes were engaging him, and anti-aircraft guns and machine guns were firing, so he didn't have much chance of getting away. It was a beautiful moonlit night and I could see him distinctly through night field glasses. It was a very big plane.
August 26, 1918
I was called out in the middle of this letter yesterday, so will add a little bit more to it now Buds.
I went out on a long trip and did not get back until it was almost dark. I was just getting a snack to eat when the Sgt. detailed me to ride the cycle to Headquarters Divisional - Gee, I hate going to a new place after dark, having to locate your surroundings etc. You can imagine what despatch riding to H.Q. means, and just now we are sending Fritz a few more miles towards his happy land! We had two more casualties this morning, and one of them was the Quartermaster, the fellow I had out all yesterday afternoon. It's a change to be despatch riding again but I don't mind it just at present because the roads around here are in first class condition, and the nights are very light.
Do you hear from Ross pretty regularly? It's funny but I don't seem to run across him at all these days. As soon as we come out of this scrap, I am going to take a few hours off and hunt him up. Nor do I see Tobey and that crowd anymore.
Reading in the Optimist the advertisement for the coming North Battleford Fair, brought back to me some very pleasant memories. Didn't we have a royal old time when we drove in the buggy with old "Bones" for the day? I was just the proudest little boy that ever walked, believe me. You were awfully sweet to me that day little girl, and I spent many happy hours afterward reviewing the events of the day. I wish I was able to go with you again this year for old times sake. I'm afraid we didn't break any records on our return trip that night did we Hon? But that was a common occurrence on our drives as we were usually encumbered with your dear beloved "Bones". Wasn't he the most obstinate old devil the Lord ever put legs on? But I suppose I ought not to grumble, because he was the means of many a pleasant outing for us wasn't he dear? But the tears that were shed, and the hard words used over his departure. Heavens Maud!
Budsie, it seems to me that almost anybody and everybody owns a motor car now. Things must be looking good out there. you know Hon, whenever I am driving the car alone, I often let my thought wander and imagine you are with me, or that I am on my way back to you. it's a poor satisfaction, but I must say it's a great comfort to me little Sweetheart. I love to think about those days gone by, and am certain that our days together cannot be far off. This time next year I shall be with you Hon, and that's certain! I am glad of one things Buds, and that is I am evidently not ageing any - either in looks, or actions. What makes me think so is because I was just showing the boys in the A.D.M.S. Office the pictures of you and Bobbie and they would not at first believe that I am a married man. One of the boys here is Sgt. Dutton's brother. Sgt. Dutton often tells me to be sure to remember him to you and Bobs Dear. I'm awfully lonely now that Harry has gone. I miss dreadfully the cahts of home that we used to have.
Try and send lots of snaps Dear, but please get someone to take them of you! Must I write and ask Tommie, or will you pluck up courage and ask her. I have more pictures of HER than of YOU, but I haven't kept all of hers. I daren't write and kid Tommie about what she wrote dear. Her letters to me are all so child-like. She would think I was trying to get fresh. It makes me laugh when I think of her saying say such a thing tho'.
Have you received any of the Moving Picture magazines yet Buds? I don't like to think of you sitting up night after night with a sick woman for a few measly dollars little girl. Why can't you be satisfied with, and use, the money I have sent you? I feel like two cents whenever I think of you having to work for someone else, but I can't get any satisfaction from you. You won't tell me if you get enough money or not, and you never act on upon my suggestions - as usual, you go your own gait. Why won't you go to Vancouver? If you need more money, I will get it for you Dearie. But I'm sure you don't need it, and, Bob and Irene are awfully anxious that you should go. I shall be unhappy this whole winter if I think you are putting in a miserable existence in Saskatoon. I am sure you will be unsettled, and want to do some postman's job, or some other work that you think is patriotic. Forgive me Darling Girl if I am starting to work. I am sure it is not absolutely necessary Girlie, and it only makes me feel a poor prune for not being able to send you enough money to keep you comfortable at home. But, enough said.
A despatch to go up the line right away. Forgive me for gatting noisy Darling.
Ever your own boy,