St. Austell, Cornwall
March 17, 1916
Here I am again, this time in the Garden of Eden. Oh, I wish you were here to enjoy the wonderful scenery of Cornwall, the kindness of the Cornish people, everything that has made these last few days an experience I shall never forget. You must think I am over enthusiastic about English scenery, but I just wish you could have been in the back seat of a touring car with me yesterday afternoon as we sped over about 60 miles of the finest roads imaginable and looked over scenery that I had no idea existed.
I simply cannot describe it. You must come and see for yourself. Of course I don't mind being your guide. You are well aware how much delight it would give me. But perhaps I had better explain how I happen to be here.
I had a wire from a friend of my old uncle who lives here saying that the old man was very ill and gradually sinking, so I immediately got 6 days leave and hurried down here. I am glad to say the old man rallied and though still very weak is gradually improving. When you consider that he is over 90 years of age, his recovery is almost miraculous, for, for 3 days he bled from the mouth and nose continuously. I am so glad he is better for he is one of the most interesting and lovable old men I have ever seen. He has a wonderful memory, is posted on every movement that has happened during his long life and has endured with such patience and cheerfulness a life that has been one of continued sadness and disappointment that we cannot help but love him.
I could tell you many things about such an interesting old character but time and space forbids. Enough to say that I am proud to be even a distant relative of one whom thousands of people in Cornwall have known and loved for 50 years, whom all, young and old, affectionately call "Uncle Joe". Today a box of candy came from my sister for old "Uncle Joe". We have corresponded with him for many years and have always wished we could meet him. The old man years ago used to be well known in London as the laboring man's champion and has spoken before thousands in Albert Hall or other of the largest buildings with the late General Booth and the old Earl of Shaftsbury. I have benefitted by the influence of the old man in Cornwall among the miners for when they found out I was "Uncle Joe's" nephew, they could not do enough for me.
I cannot write very much just now for I have almost every minute planned for me by my good friends and I cannot sit down very long. I wired for an extension of my leave and last night got a reply saying I might have 2 days extra. On my way back I am going to spend a day with a cousin in Surrey, and I want to spend a day in London as well. Coming down, I was in such a hurry I spent only an hour in London.
The mail from Canada has been quarantined for 16 days so I have not heard from you since the first of March, so I am expecting some mail when I get back.
My old Uncle just asked me if I was writing to my sweetheart in Canada. I told him I could hardly say that but that she was the nicest girl there, but even though that is true I must stop for someone is here waiting to show me about the country a little more.
So I must close,