My dear Gertrude
No letters now for two weeks - so I will be expecting some more any day now - and I ought to have a little more time for replying - however I must be thinking of Canadian Christmas letters & that will also be time although I mean to make such as I do write, very brief this year.
To-morrow is the day of test - & with reasonable luck in the exam. I ought to be secure. As an exam it is rather curious however. In ordinary examinations - matriculation etc - you have one or more papers each of ten or so questions on each subject & anyone who knows his subject reasonably well must find a certain amount at least that he can answer. Here - one paper of ten questions is the whole exam. - & it covers ten separate subjects - one question only to a subject & each set of course by a different examiner. So that unless you know every subject very fully - you are liable to be unable to answer the question at all & loose all the marks for the subject. However I know all my subjects reasonably well. I have worked steadily all the time & have not overworked these last few days - which is a mistake some make - Also I have done more exam work in my time than the average cadet & am a good deal quicker at understanding things than most - so that I will have little excuse for not getting through. We have however covered a tremendous lot of ground in a very short time.
Yesterday after noon I put in two hours cheering on our Rugby team - who were playing the New Zealand Head-quarters team. We were beaten but not badly. & it was a good game. A healthy afternoon two - bright & sharp with a strong wind blowing. After that I felt fresh for a long evenings work.
Today I am taking it more or less easily but want to do some looking up before tea. Spent the morning with eleven cleaning up generally in a leisurely way - Then set out for Fletchley - a village three miles away - with another man & had a splendid walk - a high wind & a bright sun. An interesting Church - & village. I must go again. We had to be back for dinner at one so could not linger long. We improved most of the time by cross questioning each other on & altogether had a good refreshing two hours. Tonight I hope to get to church as usual.
I had a letter from Frank Robertson during the week. He is back at Srantham - hes been in France again - managed to last out 3 months this time & then back with trench feet. It seems rather a peculiar time of the year to contract such a complaint. He came across an officer in France in hospital - from Toronto who knew the Goulds well & said that Mabel was somewhat of a "star" these days.
The papers to-day report the London Scottish as taking a prominent part in these recent operations - so Mother will feel a little anxious about Berk until she hears fromhim subsequently.
I have just finished a rather interesting tale. It may sound strange amidst so little spare time that I have done it but I have managed it in my usual steady but slow way-ten pages or so by candle light last thing at night. I think that imaginative reading last thing or at any rate towards the end of the day - in freeing the mind from the tension of its ordinary work - is as useful as "jerks" just thing in the morning is for the body. This has taken me just six weeks to read. "The Broad Highway" by Jeffrey Farnol a much talked of book seven years ago, compared to Lorna Doone. It is certainly a good story but as unnatural & artificial as Lorna Doone is natural & real. It has irritated me a good deal in places - & how the lady of the book came into the situation in which she is found & why she "carried on" as she did - I cannot at all make out. Its interest was a little enhanced in that I opened near Shooter's Hill & then moves over in this direction, most of the story being enacted near Tonbridge - within 20 miles from here.
There are rumours round that our four days leave next weekend is to be cancelled - as so near Christmas but I hope not. The train service is a little bad - or rather awkward from the point f view of those at home - unless they leave the door unlocked & dont stay up for me. I ought to arrive at Doncaster 7 minutes after midnight but trains are apt to be late these days - we leave here normally after the 2nd lecture on Friday afternoon - about 3:40 & catch the 4-45 from Uckfield.
I must get to my reading if I am to do any before tea I hope all is well with you. Give my best wishes to everyone at "13q"
With best love