Original Letter

            France

                        26th March, 1918

 

My Dearest Maidie:–

I got a great haul out of the old mail sack tonight, three letters and ‘Land & Water’. Your letter of the 17th, which was missing, came in with its friends of the 20th and 21st. Its tough not getting a letter each day but I do enjoy getting them in bunches. Talking about letters the one I wrote you yesterday must have been awful for I was very sleepy and almost frozen. To-day it is much better and I am warm as toast. The trouble was that my sweater coat got mislaid and sitting still in a draught all day and a cold draught at that isn’t conducive to comfort. This morning however I trouvé Monsieur Sweater and everything is lovely. Once upon a time if I sat in a draught for five minutes I was sure of a cold but now I can sit in one for hours and never feel a bit the worse. According to all accepted rules every one of us should be sick for conditions make it necessary for us to do the things which according to the health theorists ought not to be done. A lot of men living, eating and sleeping in a small dirty hole sans ventilation, going for a week and more without a bath, only a wash and shave in the morning – sleeping with all one’s clothes on, shivering in draughts, eating food that cannot by any chance be cooked under conditions required by Domestic Science Schools, and in spite of these things we are as healthy as lice. Speaking of those same things, I haven’t seen one since the 6th February.

I got my hair cut very very short but not trimmed right off – the barber said it would bring cold weather, but I am going to as soon as we get out. Also I have never got around to getting iodine that also will be attended to when we come out. I use my hair tonic each morning and fool myself into thinking that I am holding my own.

Since you told me that Leicester has gone into the Mortars I know that I saw him the other day. We were on different roads, going different directions and he was not with his old lot but behind another outfit of the same Brigade. I couldn’t believe that I was mistaken but there is not much chance of falling out on the line of march to verify anything, they discourage that sort of thing. Now I wonder why he did that?

This war is developing at a goodly rate according to the ‘Daily Mail’. Well it will be over all the sooner, the hotter the fire the sooner will it burn out. And I do want to see you before July. I just can’t see how I am going to manage to wait so long because every day gets harder to endure. I never knew what lonesomeness was before, every day since I left you it has got more acute and I haven’t been away two months yet. What it will be like by July 25th I can’t imagine – it will be very serious for you, I know. Last night Miller got a bottle of H.P. Sauce and I poured it on my bully beef freely! So you see I am making no effort to be continent. Botany is my hobby from now on and probably all my next leave will be spent in the study of ferns. I haven’t forgotten a bit of what I learned of them but I want to brush up my knowledge.

Dearest, I love you like all the world today – and I want you a lot, want you to love me to take me in your arms and never let me go ever.

            Your own Ross