January 4th, 1917.
My Dearest Ones:
This letter is written to welcome you to England, but I may be with you when it is opened. It was glorious news to hear that you were coming—I was only playing a forlorn bluff when I sent those cables. You're on the sea at present and should be half way over. Our last trip over together you marvelled at the apparent indifference of the soldiers on board, and now you're coming to meet one of your own fresh from the Front. A change!
O what a nine days we're going to have together—the most wonderful that were ever spent. I dream of them, tell myself tales about them, live them over many times in imagination before they are realised. Sometimes I'm going to have no end of sleep, sometimes I'm going to keep awake every second, sometimes I'm going to sit quietly by a fire, and sometimes I'm going to taxi all the time. I can't fit your faces into the picture—it seems too unbelievable that we are to be together once again. To-day I've been staging our meeting—if you arrive first, and then if I arrive before you, and lastly if we both hit London on the same day. You mustn't expect me to be a sane person. You're three rippers to do this—and I hope you'll have an easy journey. The only ghost is the last day, when the leave train pulls out of Charing Cross. But we'll do that smiling, too; C'est la guerre.
Yours always and ever,