My dearest wife -
I have put off writing till the last moment; thinking that I could make some arrangement for getting home at Xmas, there was a rumour that we could get to Vernon for ½ fare, & that we would get a weeks leave & 2 weeks pay & it was only to-night that I found out that there was nothing in it, the fare is fare & one third, that would be 2500 & there is only four days leave & we only get one weeks pay & may not get that till after Xmas, so you see, dear, how impossible it will be for me to get away, I was hoping against hope that I would be able to give you a big surprise & spend Xmas at home, but now I will have to stay here, if the fare had been 12 or 15 dollars I would have tried to borrow the balance & went home, although I would only have had one night & one day with you, there are quite a few who are going to Vernon, but they are all fellows who either have money or have friends who send it to them, Bob Griffiths says he is going, he says he is going to borrow it from his officer, he might get it, but I dont think he will, Bob is greatly disliked here, he tells everything he hears to the officer & several times he has got men into trouble, & they have it in for him, yes, he is officers servant, but if he does not look out he will lose that very soon.
Dearest, I was very sorry indeed to hear that George & Eileen were so sick, I wish I had been there to feel their poor we heads hot, I do hope they are better now, keep them good & warm & dont let them stay out too long.
If the landlord calls again for the rent & you are short, dont give him any, he can do without it better than you can & another thing, you remember, just before I came away he reduced the rent to seven dollars as times were so hard, you gave him two dollars too much, tell him that the next time he comes, and if he gets nasty about it, go & tell Watts or Mr. Vallance or Hawthorne about it, it is up to the fund anyway to see that you are not annoyed by men like him & if you put it up to them, they should fix it up for you, I spoke to Dr. Jones about the Govt allowance & he says you should get it soon, it calls for $2000 per month & dates from the 1st November, he says that there is sure to be delay at first as all names had to go to Ottawa & the money is sent from there & it takes a little time to get things straightened out at first; but once they start, the money will come regular, I have signed all the necessary papers & had them witnessed, both for the Patriotic fund & the Govt Allowance over a month ago, so they should surely do something soon.
I am sending you the photos I got, dear, & I dont like them, the fellows here say they are very poor, I look dopey in them, I think, I will go to a good studio & get a couple of good cabinets taken, just for you alone, but that will have to be after the New Year.
The B.C. Horse are getting their new uniforms & they are all kicking, the new clothes are all Khaki like ours & there is no show to them, it certainly makes them look a lot different, they dont look such swells, a lot of them want to exchange into our regt but they cant get in.
If I get paid before Xmas I will be sending something home for the children & you, but dont expect too much, dear, or be disappointed if you dont get it till after Xmas, as if we dont get paid till after, you may be a day or two late in getting it, I have been pretty poorly all week, but I am all right now & fit as a fiddle, the Pipers band sleeps in this building & they are practising just now, the din is awful & I hardly know what I am writing about, so I will just close with best love & Kisses from
Your loving Husband
P.S In case you dont get my next letter by Xmas, I have to wish you & George & Eileen & Happy & Joyous Xmas, I only wish, dear, that I could be with you, we would all enjoy it then – Your Jack