4th University Company
Nov. 24, ‘15
Dear Edna: --
It will no doubt be a surprise to you to hear from me again in Canada at this date. Probably you have pictured me in the throes of the landsman's dread, seasickness, and have thought that just about this time I would give anything for the sight of the land, but such is not the case.
Just as we had everything ready last Friday a further stay in the proceedings we ordered and now we go tomorrow. I said last time we were going for sure at a certain time, but now, I can say it with more certainty for the Captain has told us to the date, hour and minute of our departure.
We take the train for Halifax at 5 P.M. tomorrow and arrive in Halifax 6 P.M. the next night and likely sail the next morning.
I am very glad you wrote when you did though I was sorry to have you at it as early as 7 a.m. for I imagine that in Room 327, as a rule, 7 a.m. finds you still dreaming of the night before. If your habits at College are anything like mine use to be, you rise about 7.25 and reach the dining room door about 7.35. Old McIntyre and I had the art of quick washing dressing down to a science. Had it not been for the fact that our room was on the same floor as the dining room and the nearest door to it, our attempts would certainly have often ended disastrously.
I had a long letter from Prof. Lee a few days ago in which he gave us a very breezy account of College doings as a member of the Faculty sees them. He writes a very interesting letter and seems to have every detail at his fingers ends.
You think my imagination is too elastic. Well, I think I would not be very far out if I could only catch a fleeting glimpse of "Granny" and her knitting needles. Of course, I shall be waiting and watching for that pair of socks and I am sure I shall ever so much lighter on my feet with those you have made, on.
My pedal extremities are again as well as ever and I feel finer than silk..Am sorry that Crawford and Hawthorne are still in the hospital though, and will not be in a very good sailing condition. Steve and Brown, are, as usual, full of vim and life.
The latter two and myself are together most of the time and we have a hard time abiding by the rules we should. As it is, I have been up to the carpet 3 times since coming here and the others about the same number. I was up before the Captain this morning for being late in getting in last night and received my third warning. However this is not very serious as we have a clean sheet when we land in England and the past is forgotten. Crawford & Hawthorne never do anything wrong so we are hardly in their class..
We have been entertained on all sides during the past week or so and have certainly enjoyed ourselves. Last Monday the Khaki Club invited us to the theatre and Tuesday night the Y.M.C.A. gave us a big time here. Then on Thursday General Wilson inspected us and on Friday the Duke of Connaught looked us over and told us all the nice things that thousuands of others have heard. Then on Saturday afternoon the girls of McGill entertained us to afternoon tea. The humorist Stephen Leacock was there and gave some readings and we had dancing for an hour or so.
Tomorrow afternoon they are giving us a farewell social hour and then we put on our packs and kits and turn our faces Eastward. Last night one of our churches gave us a concert in our honor, and tonight the McGill men are giving us a smoker in a big hall they have there.
The latter reminds me of what you said about being good. I think you put it as nicely as it could possibly have been answered. You are evidently doing something along the line of being good since you speak of your Bible Study groups and Y.W. and Y.M. Conference. I am glad you were honored by being chosen one of the delegates and that you had such a pleasant time. I am afraid the army is a poor place for anything along that line, though there is no place where it is needed worse. However, we have about a dozen young preachers in the Company but an outsider would be a long time discovering them.
I was glad to learn who the new teachers are. Those that you omitted I think Prof. Lee told us about. I saw Miss Patrick in Regina at the Normal School last fall though I did not meet her. My sister, Cora pointed her out to me.
Tell Miss Thompson I shall look for that letter when I get across to the other side and I shall return the compliment. I am sure she is very busy. I know what amount of work her position entails.
You are really anxious to now who made that remark in Winnipeg are you? Well you just think which one of your girl friends knew you heard from me occasionally and then think who her gentleman friend was at College and you will probably not have any difficulty. To assist you I might say he is a Dist. Rep. in Manitoba.
I have been expecting the "Gazette" before this but evidently it is late in coming out for I have not received it. However ‘being late' is an old time failing of the "Mag" and I heave a sigh of relief that I am no longer responsible for its lateness.
I expect you received a couple of packages a few days ago one of which contained a likeness - or perhaps not—of my physiognomy. I am sorry the photo is so large and cumbersome. It was pretty the fault of the mount being made too large. I am looking forward to a photo of a winsome little maiden, coming along through the mail sometime it is convenient for you to arrange it. I also took the liberty of sending you a couple of our popular songs which we sing when we are marching. Of course they are not new and you have sung them often, but I thought you might not happen to have them on hand. I am not sure that they were in the right key to suit you. Let me know, will you?
We have this afternoon to ourselves to get any private affairs fixed up before we leave. However I have things in shape ready to start, with one or two exceptions, so you see I am taking a little while to think about you and talk about nothing. That accounts for there being so little news in these pages. I shall try to tell you more after the trip across and I shall hope to hear from you often. You will not forget that it takes a long time for a letter to get from W'p'g' to Shorncliffe, and if you can realize how much your thoughts and letters will be appreciated you will drop a big long letter into the Atlantic pretty often.
So in the meantime "Keep the old Fires burning"
Sincerely your friend,