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Date: December 27th 1917
Shorey Neville

Ward F 5
No. 4 Con. Mil. Hospital,
Basingstoke, Hants. Eng.
Dec. 27/17

Dear Muriel,

We are two miles out in open country from a nice little town; and the war isn't anywhere about. You wouldn't know there was one, were it not for the thousand or so cripples that ornament the corridors and the countryside.

I have been getting properly acquainted with town folk, and generally enjoying the Yuletide, and the fun has only half began to commence. For exinstance: a lot of us buyed tickets to a Christmas forest in the town for today, and lo and behold a general, Jones by name and bones by trade, chose this afternoon to inspect the hospital. Result, sixpenny ticket saved! So we are still under the military. Though some people try to help us to forget it.

Classes in all kinds of things are being opened up, and as events suddenly shaped up in the last couple of days, I am likely to be transformed from a meek and passive student of languages ancient, into Chief High Mokeemuck of the Department of Biology and Chemistry. Bump! Hope I don't wake up! The other morning the chap in the next bed accused me of buying my civvy suit while I was asleep. Apparently I had had all kinds of trouble in getting trousers of the right pattern.

Did you succeed in reading that whizzbang properly? It was the only means I had of letting you know my whereabouts. I have known the stunt to succeed, and thought I would try it on. Apparently you didn't quite compré. Have another look at it.

I never met Miss Shaw until 1912, and did not know until two or three years later that she was A.M.s sister. Or it may have been the other sister, older and larger. The younger one was teaching at Weyburn at that time, and was the life of Summer-School. About the first I remember of her was rescuing her from the tender mercies of Prof. Bates, who had just put a pail over her head, preparatory to leading her into the lake. She played real baseball, and could catch barehanded longer at a time than Bates, Will Green, or I. She had a blue checked overall that she apparently wore day and night, and was continually shepherding the entire galaxy of youngsters.

The last time I saw A.M. was in March, '16, at the winter fair, and he at that time did not think he would enlist, so you rather surprised me. I think he was the first person I told that I was intending to do so. He knew he could not stand army life.

I didn't miss that Thanksgiving goose one little bit, and since then I have been so full of the roast beef of old England and good turkey that I am getting very like a good fat bean-hole.

Pleasant dreams,