Halifax 40 Inglis St
Mar 23/ 1915
My dear Beau.
I must try and answer two letters I have had from you of late but I admit that I am not the writer of letters I used to be. Whether it is that one dictates so much that to take up ones pen seems like a labour or whether as one gets older other and seemingly more important claims upon ones time occupy attention, I don’t know but I think I or anybody else should remember that to very many the receipt of a letter from a distant friend is of real importance and pleasure and the habit should be persisted in.
Today is one of the first warm ones we have had. This is Whitsunday and there is a tradion about rain for seven Sundays, I think, if it rains on that day, so I hope it keeps fine. Millie and Rachel and I were to have gone to Wolfville for the week end and the 24th. Unfortunately it poured rain yesterday, and we stayed home but after all we are not sorry as late last night Clifford arrived from Amherst where his Regiment has been quartered and he says the Expectation now is to go to Valcartier for further training and shooting before going abroad as Infantry instead of Mounted the Regt having volunteered as such.
Gordon has just been offered a Commission in the [?] but as he could get very little satisfaction as to the duties he would have to perform, and could not easily break off at Anapolis, he did not accept but expects to take a course here so as to qualify for a Commission in Canadian Service his name having gone in long ago. Douglas is about half way through his course at Wellington Barracks for a Lieutenancy. I do not want him to volunteer for active service however as it might change his whole life, and the Ministry needs him.
I had a nice letter from Dean Schofield the other day written “en route.” I hope he and his family reach Victoria safely and make good. He is hoping to see you soon Lawrence Bullock went off with the 25th on Thursday. He will make a fine soldier.
I hope your Arthur may remain in India although I suppose he is anxious to get to the front I wish you were here so that we could discuss the war in its various phases. The ultimate end we do not doubt. It is the awful carnage through which our armies must pass ere we reach the goal that matters and that often makes us sad and weary of it all. Canadians have taken their place alongside the British Veterans and have not been found wanting. The Western Regiments have suffered severely and when the 2nd Contingent comes into action we in The Maritime Provinces must expect to hear bad news. It will be many months I fear before it is all over. I wish all Neutrals would come in with Italy and finish the wretched business up quicky
We are arranging about the painting. Trade is fairly good but carrying a very large stock in order to secure it in many cases before the advance makes us very hard up. Our love to you all.
Arthur B [?]
[postscripts added to the margins of various pages:]
Sorry you are losing your Bishop. Powell would not accept I know He is not strong enough physically and has accepted a Toronto Parish
Rachel is very well and very sweet but I do miss my Gertrude
Do not think we forget you and that I do not appreciate the letter with particulars of your Dear ones heroic death. And you must have found it hard to write