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Date: January 20th 1943
Esther (sister) and Bill

Hello Collinses,

And I could use one of them now. The weather is perfect and the island itself is beautiful, with the blue Mediterranean sparkling all around it and through it, and everywhere. Great big sun and oversized moons. Of course even the best of places must have their drawbacks and so has this. There is quit a scarcity of most things so that prices are sky high - shirts at $4.00, shoes at $15.00 whisky at $20.00 a bottle and the cheapest towel costs about $1.00. However, we got a weekly ration of cigarettes and chocolate and more than enough to eat - so that I may be dirty and ragged when I leave, but I will be tanned and healthy and fat.

The water is still a bit chilly for swimming and nights a bit cool, but by next month I will be able to unpack my bathing trunks if the moths haven't beaten me to it. Seeing so many Maltese people reminds em of being back at St. Pat's with the Scucluna's and Zammits and Fenichs etc. There are hundreds of people here with the same names so that they all must be cousins. The towns must have been beautiful in peacetime but are pretty badly battered now with many families living in one room cut out of solid rock in the sides of the cliffs or hills. The peasants all have donkey carts, no shoes, and the few I've talked to have been to Canada at one time or another but decided to come back here to thaw out.

I've been working fairly hard in the few weeks I've bee here but that means that I'll get my six month's rest sooner, always with the hope of being given some post back in Canada. I believe Frank has gone on to India so that between the two of we will have covered every continent except South America and Australia but I'm not interested in them right now.

I hope everything is going well with your tribe and please don't send any parcels, etc. to me here. I'll probably be moved before they get here.

Hoping you are all in good health as I am.

Love to all the kids and fondest regards to your Bill,
Your brother,