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Date: April 21st 1917

April 21, 1917

Dear Mother,

A great feast of letters reached me yesterday - Marjorie's of March 16, Frances's of the 18th, Father's of the 19th, yours of the 22nd, also one from Rex at Ottawa, and one from Dorothy Harrington accompanied by a box of taffy. The little parcel from the church came to-day.

Marjorie's news budget was full of interest as usual. I see the chairman of the music committee still finds scope for his tact and patience, and will, I expect, to the end of the story.

I am so sorry to hear of the O'Brien's trouble. I shall drop Chester a line at his office. I suppose it will reach him. It is lovely for them to be able to go south.

Hope Mrs. Grimshaw is well and away north with the girls when this reaches you. Come to think of it, I suppose Kate will have been and gone and graduated when this arrives. Wish I could be there to congratulate her; but Marjorie will have to do it for me.

I was much interested in Frances's account of her day in the world of labour. Reminds me of my boot-salesmanship at Simpson's. Stamping letters would hardly be worthy of her intellectual qualities as a permanent occupation; but it would be good for her to get a glimpse of how a great many girls earn their living.

Most of her letters must have come, I think. I seem to have had them fairly often; and I do appreciate them for I know just how hard it is to write letters when you're full up with study, and haven't much surplus fat to come and go on. Bless her heart! I think I must have mentioned how much Alf likes her letters. I send most of my home letters to Leicester - if there's nothing really private in them. Louie loves to see them, and of course, she keeps them for me, which I couldn't do out here.

Father's speculations as to my whereabouts were rather amusingly inaccurate, making me feel as though I must have overdone myself in strict adherence to the censorship regulations. As you know by this time I've really been away from the line altogether most of the time since the push began. The less you trouble yourselves as to my movements the better. It could not matter in the least if I told you everywhere I'd been; but rules are rules, and I can't see my way to treating them as loosely as I know some people do. When I am away from my unit of course I needn't be so particular.

Of course here really is ended. We may get orders to report to the E.T.O. to-morrow or they may be delayed. It has been a very pleasant and profitable three weeks, even if I am never called on for transport duties.

We have had a good deal of rain; but it has not been unduly cold, considering our comfortable quarters. Spring is very late, though; only here and there to the buds show any sign of life. I saw the first leaves coming out to-day. Have seen few birds except magpies and sparrows of the John Bull variety. Yesterday, however, I saw some little birds on the ground which I guessed to be gold-finches. They didn't fly, so I couldn't be sure. Speaking of birds - what a charming interpretation of the mocking-bird and his song that was quoted in the "Globe" book review Father sent!

I always enjoy the little clippings - even the "Keeping up with the Jonses." They seem to bring a bit of home; though I must confess that the picture they bring is of our little cubby-hole dining-room at 71 Bismarck, and the couch, decorated with some airing underwear - and the "Star" and "Globe". Quite away from reality, I daresay, but a pleasant picture none the less. It is about as difficult, I believe, for me to make a picture of the actual lay of things at Kendal Ave. as it is for you to image my surroundings.

I had a dear letter from Dorothy Harrington - not as slangy as usual; but full of her whimsical individuality. What a brave little soul she is! trying to put the best face on life, and not getting much encouragement I fancy. Things must loom a bit depressingly at times to one with her nurture and upbringing. She's always been a favourite of mine, you know, since the Wolfville days. But in spite of her (as I think) warped standards of life, as a friend she is true-blue, born-to-the-purple. I know Marj. will agree.

Well, this has been quite a ramble, hasn't it? But I've rather shirked writing this week, until your batch of letters set me going. Don't know where I'll be at next writing; wherever it is, I'll be after loving you every minute of the time and every foot of the way as I do now. Till then, and forever,


P.S. I enclose a bit of a "pome" evolved by spasms extending over a considerable period, though for poetical reasons we call it an hour. ["Ici Repose"]