Baker, James

Letter
Date:
May 25, 1943
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
May 25th, 1943

Moncton, NB.

Dear Mom,

It seems like a long time since I last wrote you and I have a great deal to tell you. First of all, I received your two parcels OK, and many thanks for being so prompt in delivery. I shall certainly look after the letters and return them to you as soon as I can. I don't think I can start on the book this week because I have no money with which to buy a copy book downtown that I have had my eye on for sometime, but it cost $1.25 and I am absolutely flat. So I will have to wait until next Monday - payday. I don't know why I have been so broke this past month - but ever since I came off leave, I never seem to have any money at all. I was never this way in England and so far as I know, I am not spending any more. Certainly I am not spending as much on pleasure because most of what pleasure I get is free. I have had two birthday parties this week, one on Saturday which was my birthday and one last night which was Tuesday. They were given to me by some friends of mine that I have met just recently. I also got some birthday presents and two lovely cakes. Mrs. Robinson had 23 candles on it by mistake - but I only blew out 22, so that was alright. She turned out all the lights in the living room where we were sitting and brought it in lit up. It looked marvelous! Of course we all wished very hard when I cut it and as luck would have it, I got the lucky horseshoes in both cakes, so I should get my wish. I hope so anyway. The other cake was given to me by Mrs. Moore - the lady whom I told you I met down in the library. I guess one of these parties made up for my 21st birthday which you may remember I spent in the middle of a 3 day route-march from England.

One of your letters that you sent me is evidently missing (as are also some of the letters you forwarded on to me) because you make a reference to a job with Mr. Thrift as though you had mentioned it before and it was a complete surprise to me. How long have you been working there? What are you doing? Do you like it? This last letter I have got is dated May 17th and the previous one was about May 3rd so evidently, one has got lost. I am glad you understand about Sadie and I am sure she will be only too glad to come out to you if she can. She doesn't know anything for sure yet, but said she would let me know in plenty of time, so I can tell you. I will also tell her what you have said so it will clear up any doubts she may have.

I am also glad you know about what I had to do with Hazel, but I don't want you to start jumping to conclusions the other way either. There is nothing definite between Mary and I either. She knows I love her because I told her I did, but there is certainly no engagement between us in fact, I haven't even asked her to marry me. How could I? What have I got that I could even remotely consider asking her to marry me? What could I do? When I said that my heart was safe in Mary's keeping, I only meant that I loved her to the exclusion of all other girls, I mean she is the only one I would think seriously about but how she feels about me, I am not entirely certain. I know she certainly does want me to keep writing and I know that I am more than a friend to her, but how much more I don't know. There is only one thing I know for certain, and that is that if I get my commission as I hope to do and go back to England, I am going to ask her to marry me and I know that if she loves me sufficiently she will, because we talked about it one day and she said then that if she ever loved a man who was on Operational Flying she would marry him right away so that she could get her happiness right away while he was still with her. You know how I feel about it, I don't think I should get married while I am doing dangerous work like this because I don't think it is fair to Mary. But Mary said she would never consider a long engagement in a case like that, so that if I ever did get up enough courage to ask her and she accepted me, we would be married right away, or as soon as it could be arranged. But as I say, there is nothing definite between us. She knows how I feel and she has already turned my love down once. I suppose in many ways I was a fool, but I never could get enough self-confidence to ask her for anything definite. Anyway, we are both very young yet and have the whole of life before us. I do know this though - that if we ever do get married, I think it will be something wonderful for both of us because each one of us is a complete complement for the other. My ideas about marriage have undergone a complete change during this 3 years and I would do my utmost to make her happy.

By the way, have you got Mr. Sayers' parcel of Woodbury's Facial Soap off yet? Please send it as soon as you can. I have had an airgraph from her recently. She misses John very much of course, has had no word about where he is or anything, only cables saying he is safe and not to worry.

She is working with Mrs. Beverly at the club and is very glad to be back in harness again. It gives her something to do and keeps her from being lonely, for I imagine the poor soul is very fed up. Jean Louis is also trying to get a new job where he can make more use of his abilities but somehow, I don't think he will be able to move from where he is.

I had a letter from Blake recently in which he mentions a story and a photograph of Stanley and I in the Daily Province. Did you see it? You have made no mention of it in your letters so I was wondering if you had missed it. Maybe it was in the letter that I haven't got yet. And also while I think of it, can you tell Mr. Smith of the Surrey Leader my new address so he can send my paper here instead of to England. I have had two letters from Mary recently too - one of them May 11th, but there is no reference to my parcel which I thought was rather strange. She should have got it by then. Maybe she will mention it in her next letter...hope so anyway, I should hate to have it go down.

Last Sunday, four of us went out on a picnic with some girls we met on Saturday. We had a wonderful time, the weather was ideal. We had a camp fire and cooked a very creditable dinner and supper. I think if this Sunday is a good day, we will do it again. But the best thing of all was going horseback riding.... I never knew how much I missed riding. It is nearly six years since I was last on a horse, but I can still hang on! It was very exhilarating! Mary loves riding too so when I go back, I will have to see if I can go with her. I think that is all. There is no word of posting yet, but it may come suddenly, like a bolt from the blue! There is an Air Vice-Marshall working on it now so maybe something will happen soon. Now all my love to everyone as always.

Your loving son,

JIM

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