Original Letter

            France

                        11th February 1918.

My Dearest:–

I am back again and as happy as circumstances permit – which isn’t so very. Prescott is on leave and Stuart Moore is Adjutant and everything is, therefore, agreeable on the Western front. Turkey got his parcel and was overjoyed therewith. Les Gateaux au Rhum were in good condition and he and Miller raved over them.

My trip back was a nightmare or would have been if I had been alone but supported as I was by Charley Holmes and Jimmie Parker I rather enjoyed it! Shall I tell you all about it?

Alors. When I got to the Gare du Nord I took station under the great clock as arranged but saw sight nor sound of my friends – at 11.35 I decided that they were either going to be late or else scarcely on time so I went in to my train. An M.P. examined my move order but I camouflaged his examination by asking if a good looking well dressed sober industrious Warrant Officer Class II had recently passed that way. Of course he did not know, how could he, poor soul, with half the Canadian Corps and all the Australian Corps trailing past him. However he promised to watch out for Charley and to tell him that I had got on the train when he came.

By this time the train was packed to the hatches. I cruised the length of the train and finally two Canadians boosted and pulled me in through the window of a corridor car. They had no seats but were occupying standing room in the corridor. In a few minutes Charley and Jimmie came along and we boosted them in as well – then there was something less than standing room. They claimed that they had waited for me! – it was a deadlock. Our instruction were to change at Amiens which we were to reach at 4.30 a.m. Somehow or other the hours wore away and eventually we arranged things so that one of us could sit down. We took it in turns until Amiens. We piled off there and an egg-headed M.P. told us that we were to change at Abbeville so we packed back onto the train only this time we saw space in a first class coach and we copped it. We reached Abbeville about 7.00 and got off. As a matter of fact we should have changed at Amiens or failing that stayed right on the train until we got to Etaples. All this we found out after the train had pulled out. We got something to eat and rambled about until noon when we got a train to Etaples. We had to stay there over night and got a train at 9.30 next morning and finally got home. Sunday evening. Etaples, my Dear, is one place that I am most anxious never to see again. We tried to find a hotel or boarding house – anything where we could stay over night. But over every door big and small, dirty or clean, had a sign over it [sic] bearing the inscription “for Officers Only”! We went to the camp and slept in a tent.

I have completed that paper and sent it off to Larry. Walter, who wrote me about Fred’s death, did not mention hearing from me at Christmas, a small omission when you come to think of it – letters from me being so common. However my purpose holds to write to some of them.

This place does not seem so very interesting as of yore. The fact is I am more than ever anxious to be with you, not for a day or two but forever. I had not got over my shyness in fourteen days its only tantalising a man anyway. As you say the years are slipping away and we should be getting on with our life together. So far as making a home for our children is concerned – well I want to be with you and enjoy you to laugh at you and have you laugh at me to love you and adore and delight in you for the rest of my life. For you are the bestest there ever was, my Own, and you have all my love.

            Your own

                        Ross

P.S.

Charley Holmes thinks that I am the luckiest man in the world – of course I am.