1 A.M., 23 March, ’16.
I thought for sure I had something to say to you tonight yet somehow, though I am full to over-flowing with thoughts, I cannot put it — or them — into words. Again, as you see by the time above, I am writing just after everything is all nice and cozy in the wards, and I can at last get a minute alone with you. . . .
Do you know, Lal, I feel — I feel sort of “washed out” — weary — words won’t come.
I guess I want a change or something. But it makes me so mad. When I am busy with my work, I hear or see something and I say to myself, now tonight I’ll tell Lal that; but when “to‑night” comes, I am all in, — and dispirited — and cannot find the energy to remember anything.
Yet of course we shall win. The French and Ourselves are a victorious army. It’s in the air. It’s everywhere. The atmosphere speaks victory.
Yet, — always remember — of course — it was the silent British navy that did it. That was the Ace of Trumps, — and it has not been played yet, though our opponents have known now, for a year, we held it, and it was the winning card.
Have you seen Bairnsfather’s book of cartoons? Not in the same class as Raemaker’s, of course; yet, on the humorous side, awfully good in their way.
Today I had three letters from patients who had gone back up the line. I am keeping them to show you — one Canuck, two English. It’s good to feel they’ve remembered. If you know of any particular people who make a practice of sending cigarettes, and etc. to boys at the front, I can send addresses of men leaving here to go back, all the time. We issue cigarettes, etc. in the wards every day — practically all the packages contain addressed P.C.’s to the senders, and I know of a good many that have been sent back with thanks. It isn’t so much here, though, that kind of thing counts; but after they leave to go back up to the trenches — that’s when a fellow needs a pal, and we try to keep in touch. Canada has done splendidly, from what I can see by the gifts that are passed through us; but always there is the need of more. And now when we are coming to the final round, before the knock-out, I hope the energy will, if anything, be redoubled.
What has gone before is as nothing to what is to come. . . .
In South Africa, I worked hard, I thought; but just because I took a chance on my life, every other day, and was in the saddle hours on end, that wasn’t real work. This is work, with no excitement — no relief — and withal no credit. Because at the showdown all our work will be for-gotten. But about all that I do not care. All I want is an end — to go home — to you, and to Billie — to play with Billie — I am tired — and I want you both. I want a little peace.
But that’s now. Tomorrow is another day. And no matter how many days of this are in store, good work shall be done — for you — in your name — by me. And with a jolly good heart.
It’s only sometimes — I’m tired.
Darling — my heart goes out to you now.