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Date: March 16th 1918

Aux Rietz France March 16, 1918 Budsie Dearest Girl: I received another letter from you today, and such a sweet one. And now you have made me feel like a cad for writing to you in the way that I did. I should have been brave enough, and had sense enough, to know that the lonely life you were leading was getting the best of you, and I should have let things go at that, and have taken no notice. But I know you can and will forgive me Dear if you stop and consider that the life I am leading also tells on one. The things I used to read in your letters made me worry so much. I noticed that something was going wrong and I used to brood over it, and at last decided to ask you directly what was the cause. Oh, Budsie little girl, think if you can of the lonely monotonous, uncertain life we boys are leading out here. Think how we miss all those little things that only home, and love, can possible give. If sometimes a man is sick, or has a severe toothache, or headache, or any little thing like that, who can he turn to for sympathy? Who is there to help you, comfort you here? Nobody. Not a soul. Think of the days when we were home, and had any ailment - wasn't there somebody to offer sympathy, help you and comfort you? (As soldiers) one mustn't look for those things but just carry on as tho' everything is OK. Never did I realize how dear a home is to a man as I did yesterday morning. I stayed with a poor chap that was dying in one of our posts. He was badly wounded about 3 o'clock in the morning while on patrol in front of our barb wire entanglement. When we brought him down on a stretcher about 5:45 he was almost done for. We dressed his wound altho' we knew it would be to no avail because he was unconscious by then, and he only lived for another half hour. Then I began to think of those he left at home. He was a married man, and I wondered if his wife loved him as you love me. And, as he had only been in France for nine days, his wife will not even know he has left England when she will get news of his death at the front. I could imagine the poor girl stricken down with grief. I thought of you, Budsie Girl, and wondered how you would feel had anything happened to me after I had written that letter to you and not had a chance to explain my feelings to you, and ask your forgiveness. And, I also made a resolution. Whatever you may think about me, and whatever you may say - whether it is said or written in a fit of temper, or a fit of lonliness, I shall let it pass and say no word whatever about it when writing to you. If I do think and worry about it a little, it won't matter as long as you don't know. Because we must always be good pals while we are apart. Nothing can shake the foundation of love I have built for you. I can only see you as you have always been in our married life together, and can never imagine you as being anything different. But your imagination is more vivid than mine, and you think I am forgetting my home ties. (pages missing) I have to go to the Dentist again tomorrow. I seem to have been there a terrible lot lately. I had toothache so badly up the line last week I came down about 8 o'clock at night and got the Capt. to pull it for me. I'm getting a wisdom tooth filled tomorrow. I want to keep that because I believe it may be the only part of my body that has any wisdom left to it. Oh, I had a nice letter from Bob and he tells me that you are thinking of going West some time next fall. Why do you always let some one else tell me of your plans Bud? I'll tell you what I'll do. As soon as I have $50. to my credit, I'll send it to you - and more if I can get it. Now that I have assigned $20 to you, there is only $5. left after I received my pay. I don't think the fare (to Vancouver) is much more than $25. But the only trouble is this; will you get the P.A.T. money OK? You never mention these things when you move. The Paymaster asked me yesterday if the old address (727 Ave N. Saskatoon) was still correct. I said yes, because I presumed it was, as you have not told me anything diff. ... Fritz just dropped a bomb and put all the candles out... And so, I am wondering if you go West, will you still be able to draw the September allowance (in Vancouver) or, perhaps it would be best to have it sent to Saskatoon at all times, and forwarded from there. I would love you to move around so you don't get lonely again. I've had two holidays, now it's YOUR turn to take one, so I'm going to save up and send you all I can. Let me know when when you plan to go. Bob wrote and told me he would be delighted to see you. But just let me know when you are going. You don't know how much happier I've been the last few weeks Darling, to know that you are happy. Your letters are ever so much more cheery, and consequently so very dear. Who could ever forget you, or be untrue to you little girl. Your generous and upright character demands constant and never failing devotion. Rest assured Budsie Dear that wherever I may be, or whatever I may be doing you, and you only, always are first in my thoughts. You shall never have any cause to be in any way ashamed of me. It's rather late Dear and I haven't had a night's sleep in quite a while, so I must turn in. I was so glad to get your letter today I thought I would write again altho' it is only 3 days since my last letter. Kiss my boy for me Girlie, and remember me to Ree and Eugene. All my love to you, and a soul kiss, Ever yours, Cis.