Baker, James

Letter
Date:
September 19, 1944
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
Sept. 19th, 1944

Dear Mom and Dad,

I wonder how I am going to write this letter. I am almost tempted to make the bare announcement and let it go at that with no explanation or apologies, but I know if I do that that you are going to think harshly of Sadie and I don't want you to do that because what has happened is really not her fault or mine: it was inevitable I guess, and the face of circumstances has proved too strong for her to fight against. You see, we have decided that it is ‘no go' between us: we can't possibly go on with what we had planned and so we have decided that it is best that we should part while we are still friends and/or before we get to hate each other. I have seen this coming for some weeks now in fact, I first detected it when she went down to East Grimstead. I don't think she has ever really given up loving Ken and I know she has never forgotten him and after all, how could she?

Lately, she has been thinking more and more about it all the time because she is working with a boy who reminds her very forcibly of him: in fact, she says he might as well be Ken for all the difference there is between them. I think she is all mixed up inside and has transposed the one into the place of the other until now, she cannot tell the difference between them. I know she no longer feels towards me like she did: I knew long before she told me because loving her as I do, my every sense is sharpened - more acute, and I could detect things that otherwise might have passed unnoticed. That is why I surprised her so by the extent of my knowledge of what she was thinking. I knew every minute what she was going to say and what she had to tell me. But in spite of the fact I had time to prepare myself, it was a tremendous shock when she finally did tell me. Poor kid, it took a lot of courage to face it out and I admire her tremendously for it. I think it was worse for her really: than for me. I have rarely seen a girl cry so heartbrokenly and I know she wasn't doing it for the effect it would have upon me. So now you know - or at least you have some inkling...I can never explain it satisfactorily to you I know, and I am not going to try. That is something that is between Sadie and me: alone. And the sooner it is forgotten and buried, the better. I am well otherwise and busy. We have started night flying and are nearly ready now.

All my love,

Jim


SEPTEMBER MIST
written on grounds of Lady Astor's Estate - Clivedon, 1941

I watch the silver mist come stealing,
Cold, grey clouds of mist concealing
The fallen leaf, the withered reeds,
The yellow grass, the ripened seeds.
Autumnal colours - red and gold
Are cloaked by mist, their blaze is cold.
Silent the river steals along,
Hushed in voice - no lilting song:
The face of the river cold and grey
Runs and carries my love away.
Love has drifted away from me,
Gone on the river: silently.
"Come back!" Come back!" Tis thus I cry
But echoes are a mocking sigh.
The muffling mist is all I see:
my love will ne'er come back to me
My heart was bold but now it's cold
Like grey September mist.



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