Near Town of Barlin
March 12, 1917
You can never imagine how glad I was to receive your last two letters - I received them both yesterday. Girlie how wonderfully different those letter were to the sarcastic ones you wrote from Saskatoon. I just know what loneliness was doing to you. You were looking on the adverse side of life and gradually making yourself believe that everything and everybody was going against you. Even your poor hubby!
You can never know how glad I am that you are with old friends again. It's worth something dear to know that there is someone who cares enough for you to make you put the present dull outlook on one side, and look upon the good things of life once again. Every line of your last two letters I've read over and over again, and every time I read them I feel as 'tho someone has given me a priceless gift, because I can't help but see that you are at least happy as can be expected, which goes to say a whole lot from the mood I have imagined you to be in for the last few months. And so I am very much indebted to "Ree" and Fairwheather, and can look upon them always as true friends - "the friends in need".
I guess I shall soon be losing my staunch friend Harry. He sent in his certificate yesterday, and I don't suppose it will be long now before he leaves us. I'm glad he's going, 'tho I do envy him his luck. And so Marie Louise is expecting a "wee stranger". Poor jealous little Budsie - and yet you were never jealous of Mrs. Mooney were you? Ho, Ho!
Oh! You saw Paul L'Heureux did you? Did he mention having seen Harry and me? And he didn't like your little demonstration of affection? Poor Paul! I'm afraid you won't find me raising any complaints if you care to hug me on my return. Curses on it! How much longer have I got to stay in this damn country? I laughed when I read in your letter at the relief you have felt in Vawn - not having to worry about the potatoes freezing, fires, etc. Such little worries Dear. The boy I am on the car with is just such a one to worry as you are Hon. We all laugh at him because he worries about the most minute things. We saw an aeroplane going back to the aerodrome during a rain storm one day and he said "I wonder if that fellow is very wet?" The next day he was wondering again about whether he reached the aerodrome safely. We are always kidding him, giving him something else to worry about.
And so Alan Kirkum is being returned to Canada. Has he also been wounded? I have not seen him since last summer and I happened to mention that Marie Louise was getting married. He could hardly believe it. He said that L'Heureux's were writing him regularly but had never mentioned it to him, and he thought I must be mistaken. I was rather sorry for him because I think he always had special feelings for Louise. I haven't seen Jack Wilkinson for a long time - I must look him up again because he is liable to be in touch with the Meota boys before I do. Harry had a letter from Russ yesterday. He said that Tobey and Art are in France now. Have you seen Mrs. Russ yet? She is a rather nice looking girl from her picture.
We are getting lovely weather now. Have had a week of sunshine with clear and frosty nights, and the clock has been advanced one hour already. It makes a lot of difference too. It stays light until nearly eight o'clock. Not too bad for March eh?
I find it hard to write a letter tonight because I am writing in the mess and the boys are playing a card game called "Hearts". From the noise, laughter, and strong language that's being used, it's hard to concentrate your thoughts.
I simply had to quit last night Dear, it was impossible to go on writing. Have to get up at 4:30 AM tomorrow morning to take the A.D.M.S. up to the advance posts. I'm not very stuck on this getting up in the middle of the night - and then we have to wait around for an hour or so, usually.
When you write again Hon tell me how Gregory is running the two stores. Who is working for him and so on. I suppose Grey had to pull out at last. He sure stuck with it as long as he could. I have been giving Muriel a littler fatherly advice lately. She seems to have fallen for a Canadian who was in her ward. He is a man about 35 years old, and tells her is a very wealthy and all that stuff. From what I can understand he has a wife living, but she deserted him after he came overseas. He asked her permission to visit our home and Mother wrote and told me they are expecting him anytime. I should be awfully mad if she ever got mixed up with a fellow like that, so I wrote and told her my opinion on the subject. She's really a pretty little kid, but I'm sorry to say, she knows it!
I must write to Marie tonight, and a wee note to Bubs, so you must excuse a short letter this time. I am anxiously waiting for your answers to questions in my previous letter. Since receiving your last two letters, I am feeling very sorry indeed that I wrote the way I did. But there - what else could I do? One letter from you is brim full of love, lavishly given. And the next, altho' it may contain lots of love, was only on the surface, and grudgingly given! And then what else was I to gather about your remark except that doubt seemed to be creeping into your heart - and that I cannot stand, You always asked me to be fair to you. I WILL. I promise so Girlie, I must ask you to be fair to me
Oh! My lovely girl, if I could only come back to you right now, how happy we should be. I KNOW we should. I would soon make you forget all.
When Gregory was talking to Russ the other day, he said he was anxiously waiting for me to come back and take up my old job again. And Russ was saying he didn't suppose I should be very anxious to work in a store again, and honestly, I don't think I shall be Girlie. I want to be my own Boss, and I want to be in a position to give Bob a fair start in life. And there may be another than wee Bob to consider - do you think so Sweetheart?
But you must bear up little girl. It will be quite a little time before this war finishes. Russia has let us down very badly - in fact worse than people dare make out. It is absolutely their gain and our loss. Everything on this front seems to drag along. What a blessing it would be if we could only set to, and finish it right out.
Our unit is getting new faces every day. I told you our Colonel had left us, didn't I? - the man that bought all the orchestra instruments. We had two old boys go away yesterday; one was gassed and the other had diphtheria. And two of them went back to Canada on compassionate grounds. One fellow's wife was very sick, and the other boy was the sole support of a widowed mother, and she managed to get him back.
Well, I must quit Darling. God Bless you and wee Bubs. Keep cheerful sweetheart, and hope for the best.
All my love to you dearest Girlie,
Ever your own,
Is your September allowance still being sent to Sakatoon and forwarded on? If so, leave it at that because it's hard to change the address very often. So always have it foirwarded from 727.