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Date: December 31st 1916

Dec 31/16

Dear Hazel -

I wrote you a letter yesterday but as it wasn't a very good one I will try and write a better one tonight. I rec'd two from you today - one was posted on the 6th and the other the 8th so they were both delayed probably at the Army P.O. I was much interested in your letters as usual and read that one of the 8th several times. You sure must be having a good time this winter. We have been having fairly good times lately altho we have been living rather high. Tomorrow is N Y but we wont have a holiday as we have to go on a long route march. I am not sorry at all because I always feel rotten after a holiday and hate to start work again.

I hope you wont misunderstand the letter I wrote yesterday. I don't remember just what I wrote but perhaps I never should have sent it. You remember some of the yarns I used to tell you last winter; well apparently I haven't gotten over the habit. but I just meant to have you think that I will certainly be back some day because I think it myself and there is no reason why you shouldn't too.

Some of my letters may seem very cool. It isn't easy to write loving letters over here when one's moods are not always the sweetest and the conditions we live under somewhat rotten. However I know you understand my position thoroughly and hope you are sometimes able to read love between the lines. I really hope so because I want you to know that I write to you so often because it seems a little like being with you. It seems the same way when I hear from you altho I know that I have a long long trail to travel before I ever see you again. I suppose however that we should be very thankful if we ever meet again. I some-times imagine just what it will be like when I go back but of course I dare not think very long about that. I would give a whole lot just for a good hug and kiss now wouldn't you) I am sure you would just like the ones we used to have occasionally? I think perhaps we would appreciate them more now wouldn't we?

I suppose that will read rather slushy but when one really means it, it shouldn't be called that. You would have died the other day if you had been here. Yappy Smith got a letter from some girl in Delaware that she intended sending to her fellow who lives near Delaware I forget her name but when Smith showed it to all the fellows it was the limit. Whatever she does in the future I'll bet she won't get her letters mixed. at any rate it wasn't nice of Smith to show her letter which was by the way a very loving and rather slushy letter.

I see in tonights orders that the Brig-Col wishes all his men a happy new year and says that peace may not be declared in 1917 but the Allies are certainly near the crest and by next summer will be advancing down the farther slope on Germany. He is certainly optimistic but I suppose he has reasons for being so. I hope that we see at least a few months of active service but of course I wouldn't want the war prolonged for that reason. You know we feel just as rotten here in Blighty as we used to feel in Canada. The boys in France have "something on us" and we have to get there before we will be their equals. Tomorrow there will be an addition of four million men to the British Army. When they get trained look out for the something doing in the British sectors of the lines.

The lights have just gone off so I will have to finish this by candle light - rather a novel way to write but of course one has to do lots of unusual things over here The lights have a bad practice lately of going off about this time and I am inclined to think that it is not entirely accidental. Some of the boys have gone in to the wet canteen to write but I know you want a letter at all if it was written in a saloon.

It is raining like the deuce tonight so I guess I wont be able to go to church. I guess I will go over to the Y instead. They are having a good orchestra there tonight in addition to the usual service.

Well Hazel dear I hope you are able to read this - I can't. I seem to have become a rotten writer lately. I suppose because I am nervous when I am writing to you - not. We had a good new years dinner today - George Bill and I. We ate so much that we didn't feel at all right when we came back to camp but when I found several letters and two from you my condition improved immediately as it always does when I get your letters.

I am afraid Hazel that I am rather an awkward lover do you think so? I always seem to get things twisted someway but my intentions are perfectly good at all times. I wrote to Roy Marsh & Earl today. I got dandy letters from them and of course had to answer them right away. Does Roy still go with Gracie. She denied that she ever went with him. Mother writes that Gerald Zavitz is getting married at xmas and Floss & Leah are going to business college. I feel sorry for them as they were very unfortunate to lose their mother and I can't see why they should want to take positions. I wrote to Leah and told her so too. I understand she is going with Blosdale quite steadily. I would much prefer McInroy. I suppose tho I shouldn't worry about other peoples love affairs should I. My own should be more interesting and they are.

Well my dear girlie I must stop

Lots of love

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