126 Robert St.
Toronto, Jan. 29, 1916.
We're still alive down here although at present the weather is bad enough to send any mutt to the graveyard. Day before yesterday it rained to beat the carp; yesterday it was very mild and very, very foggy. Today it is a whole lot colder than it was warm yesterday. You know we always have our window up a few inches at night and when I woke up this morning I could see my breath. You can bet a shilling I put that window down in a hurry. There is quite a breeze outside and Mrs. Loftus is having trouble making the furnace stand to its guns. I'm writing this epistle in the dining room (the warmest room in the house) and my fingers are so cold I can't write any better even if my intentions are good.
I suppose you've already heard about the card I sent Miss Pangburn. I haven't received an answer to it yet, but I'm not so terribly shocked because I believe I (accidentally?) forgot to put my address on it.
I won't be home next week as I expected and I guess it will be the 2nd or 3rd week in February before I can get away. I hope the skating continues for I would like to have one night on Joe's old pond. But the paper says "warmer with rain tomorrow" so dear knows what may happen during the next week or two.
Lawrence and I went out to Doc. Coynes' for tea a week ago today and after supper we played Lost Heir till 11 P.M. Doc. Is just the same jolly fellow and he kept us laughing all night. We had a dandy time. Mary & Mrs. Livingstone are living with them at present. Mary is improving although she is still very weak and cannot walk without support. She is taking treatment every day. And I suppose you've heard of the two little "Coynes." They are going to be just like their dad - bright as silver dollars and always getting into mischief.
Lawrence went to an Anglican church on Spadina Ave. last Sunday night and I went out to hear and see Mr. Dunn. The whole battalion goes to church in the morning but we go where we like at night. Mr. Dunn preached a fine temperance sermon in his regular style - lots of force and gesticulation - and I felt right at home the minute I dropped into a pew. Their church is quite small, smaller even than ours, and was packed. I spoke with the minister for a few minutes after service and he said Mrs. Dunn intends having the two of us out for tea some evening.
Saturday afternoon I was having a quiet snooze before sprucing up to go to Coyne's when the phone rang & Eileen Ainslie wanted to speak to me. I couldn't go to the phone but had Mrs. Loftus tell her to call again in half an hour. It was then about four o'clock and we had to be at Coyne's by 5.30 so I got ready for the evening and had just got dressed when Eileen called again. She was over at Uncle George's and wanted me to go right over & see her because that was the first chance she had of getting out of "jail" and she didn't know when she could get another. So I beat it over there and stayed till about 5.20 when Douglas got out the car & drove over here for Lawrence & took us out to Coyne's in the car.
Gee! I am certainly writing this under difficulties. Lawrence is reading the paper & has run across some French which he is reading out loud & trying to translate to himself ï¿½copy ï¿½ "effort" let's see what does that mean? I guess it means brave ï¿½ &c." He takes those streaks of holding conversation with himself about every so often. I sometimes can't help listening to him and laughing to myself. I don't know whether he knows he's doing it but I dare not say anything because he is so touchy.
Well, to continue where I left off - Eileen made me promise to call on her Wednesday between 7.30 and 8 P.M. They have to begin their studies at 8 sharp. So in fear & trembling (because they had given me some terrible descriptions of their "boss") I rang the bell at the college at 7.35 Wed. But I was suprised to find that instead of being ordered off the grounds I was led with much courtesy into the drawing room. Then the maid took my name and proceeded to call my two cousins. We had a very pleasant time until 8.10 when the Mistress in charge (I forget her name) appeared with the intention, I presume, of telling me it was past eight. But as soon as I saw her I got up and began putting on my coat so she turned around & retraced her footsteps. The girls were mad but couldn't help laughing. I had to laugh too. But I am going to call again next Wednesday as the girls told me Miss ï¿½ said I was always welcome 1st because she always admired anyone who was fighting for her & 2nd because I am a Highlander. Hows that for spreading it on eh?
I called up Frank Keillor today on the phone & he is going to have us out for tea some evening in the near future. We are certainly getting our share of invitations for supper don't you think?
The postman has just brought three letters, one for me from Shaw & and two for Bobe. Bobe is now busily engaged in reading his & for my life I don't know whether it is for himself or Mrs. Loftus or me that he is reading it. I'll have to be careful or first thing I know I'll be copying down what he is dictating. I hate to read any person's correspondence but in a cas like this what can a poor guy do.
Tomorrow morning we parade to church & in the evening I intend going out to hear G.M. Dunn again.
I have become acquainted with 8 or 10 real nice fellows in our co. and it makes things a whole lot nicer. We are going to ask the major to put us all together in the same platoon. I don't believe I ever felt so blue in my life as I did the 1st week I was down here. I expected to run across a few unsociable fellows but I was put in a platoon with a bunch of regular roughnecks and Lawrence was put in a different platoon. Since then however a lot of nice young chaps have joined and I have been put in a different platoon. As soon as the battalion is up to strength we are to be moved again and allowed to bunch together so that any number of friends may be in the same platoon.
Now, I think if I keep this up any longer I will get writer's cramp - in fact I can almost feel it coming on now. I started this at 3.55 and right now, as I look at my indispensible wrist watch it is exactly 4.54. To all the folks at home are sent the best wishes of
Pte. G.L. Scherer. No. 799147
134th O.S. Btn. C.E.F., 48th Highlanders
P.S. I have read Shaw's letter and quote from it as follows. (Perhaps you've heard it before). It refers to Mr. M.J. MacP. "One day he said to Mr. Craig, ï¿½Mr. Craig, what would your clerks do if you didn't pay them on Saturday night?' ï¿½Why,' said Lorn
ï¿½They would all get up and leave.'" I understand Mac. has been trying to get hold of about $200 salary which has not been paid up to date. I see he is just as popular as ever.