May 27, 1917.
We received your interesting letter yesterday and needless to say were very, very glad to hear from you. In fact you told us far more about trench life than we have ever heard from the front yet. Some parts were obliterated by the censor but for all that it was most interesting.
I am very glad to know that you received the parcel alright. No thanks is coming to us at all; that is all due to you boys who are doing what we can't.
We saw you name in the casualty lists for the second time. I trust the wound was not serious and that by the time you receive this letter you have recovered your good health again.
I thought of giving you some of the news of Sidney but really our little town is so quiet that scarcely anything ever happens.
Erroll, May and Reta Babb are all teaching as you probably have heard. Ralph is going to High School. Quite a number of the boys who used to attend school here are in the army. I saw in the casualty lists a few days ago Jack Lauder's name as “missing”. I am not sure whether you knew him or not.
Sidney still drags out its humble existence “far from the maddening crowds”. I do not believe it is even as lively as when you wandered around its cloisters.
Do you know Markle, I have often and often wondered what became of Mr. Grace. Somehow I think he must be in the army somewhere. Do you remember how he used to talk to us about a possibility of a war between the nations and how much more serious it would be than of yore because of the big ships, etc. I have often thought about it since this war started.
Neither John nor Les Manion have enlisted. They both work in the Grain Exchange in Winnipeg. I heard that each of them owned an auto, but one must not always believe what he hears. The last time I saw John (last winter) he had a cigar extending horizontally from between his lips. My! I was surprised for he used to say he never, never would smoke. Alas! for some of our fine resolutions, how quickly they vanish.
In fact I am going to break one of my early resolutions. I resolved when young never to get married but have changed my mind (a woman's privilege) and have decided to teach just one pupil in the future and I hope he proves a very apt one.
Laura and I have heard several times from Gilbert Williams. Doubtless you know he has been a prisoner for nearly a year now. It has been quite a while though now since we last heard from him.
Your writing has changed altogether from the time you left Sidney school. When I received you card I could hardly believe it was your own hand-writing. I compared it with some of your writing in one of my books and there was not the faintest resemblance. However when we received you letter my opinion was changed. I will send your letter on to Laura as you requested.
I am afraid you will be tired and I am sure you must be yawning after reading all this stuff so I will not bore you any longer.
Trusting to hear again from you I remain
Your sincere friend