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Date: September 22nd 1916


Sept. 22nd 16

Dearest Heart:

I'm beginning to feel quite at home in London and no longer does my heart fail me when I want to take a bus or a tube. I found my way out to Alice's to-day quite alone and it was a long enough journey for me to study maps cooly so I learned a lot. I found poor little Pete in [?] with a pain in his tummy around the appendix region. Alice called the doctor in and he said it was probably not serious but to guard against chills and to look out for [?] attacks of the same kind. Peter was very happy as an invalid and seemed to be rather enjoying his pain.

[?] and Nanny are awfully disgusted with themselves for not being in France on my account but I tell them I am quite happy here for a while. If they don't go soon I can find quarters somewhere else and in the meantime it gives me a comfy feeling in my mind just to have them invitation for it seems man like a bit of home where I can go if I feel the least bit lonesy.

You would never guess what [?] and Nanny were buying to-day. You know they have to wear the Red Cross uniform which is rather dull and they actually bought stockings to match - the eternal feminine will out - I wonder what the war office will say. Probably admire, as men do.

I ran across Broddy Duggan here to-day. He is some kind of an instructor at Shorncliffe. I was telling him about your Trench Mortors and he knows them and thanks they are lovely little toys. Charlie Duggan, the one who flies, is here too but I haven't seen him yet. I don't think I told you about the aerodrome at Oxford. We went to see it one evening and it was most interesting to watch them come home to roost like so many crows. I had never seen them so close before and I particularly liked the dainty way they shift along on the ground after they come down. They are truly wonderful. This war has evolved some remarkable things. I suppose you have heard of the ‘toad tanks' which are doing such extraordinary things on the Somme. Even the Germans admit they are wonderful and effective. I have been wondering if "Canada" is of much interest to you. Would it be better to send a daily paper or even a weekly one or do you see papers English ones regularly enough to keep posted. I registered to-day at the Canadian officers and the man I talked to knew Nanaimo and [?] and Dr Roche Rather funny wasn't it. He said to come in any time for help of any kind - they were there to take care of Canadians. I think I am going to like London.

I forgot to tell you yesterday about a huge patch of bright red flowers we saw from the train at Sutton's They were simply gorgeous, so bright and velvety, someone said they were salvia. I believe it comes next in beauty to that lovely field at Bramshott.

Billy and Peter loved hearing about the Huns with their hands and faces blackened. Why were they blackened to terrify? or to be more invisible?

Love and kisses my Arfa
From your little pal
Alice Leighton