From 644539_ Pte. W J. Wood Virginia Water Camp. C.F.C.
To Mrs. W. J. Wood, Midland, Ont. Canada. Sept 9th, 1917
My Dear Little Wife:- Your 47th letter, dated Aug 13th to hand this morning. I am glad to hear that you are at home and found everything O.K. Yes, my darling, everyone has reason to welcome you back; and for the same reason I long to be near you; you make live more joyous and comfortable for everyone round you, indeed, I and the kids and all, are welcome anywhere, if you are with us as an offset.
I hope the framing of the etchings do not spoil their chances of being hung in the Exhibition. No doubt they look well, but not as well as they might with sufficient matt to make them more room in a frame. They will be easier to handle. I am really relieved to know he did not use the figured framing. I have learned to cut matts perfectly so that hereafter my framing will not cost a dollar each. I think I will go into a business of that kind on my own “when I get back”.
I love the verses of the Vesper thought they are full of poetry and Love: and I assure you I need neither chart or clue to find my way to you. The sun and moon and stars will guide me, for they know I love but you; as they bear Love’s mislives too and bring you hence in dreams for my embrace. From whence, when rapture waxes warm, your torn by ruthless space, whom, I hop in some sweet way, will cease to come between us too, either in dreams by night or other wise in facts by day.
Yesterday afternoon I took an hour or two, to go go into Holloway College, which is on the right of the road between here and Egham. I saw some great paintings there in the Art Gallery. As fine pictures as there are in the world. I must go again and see the rest of the building. We can sometimes hear the clock in the college tower striking from the camp here. I have not been to Windsor Castle yet nor to London lately, Too busy!
What is to hinder me starting a dance hall in Midland on similar lines to those in Egham? Nothing that I can see unless a heavy business tax. The fact is I’ve had enough experience on this trip to set many a man up in a line of his own, and with a family like ours, and a wife like you I should not envy the King, or fear the devil, but if I could work where I could live at home, why bother with responsibilities such as these?
The leaves are falling here, though no frost has touched them yet. A great Beechnut tree overhangs the hut I’m writing in, I hear the leaves tumbling down on the roof as I sit on my bunk and write. There is a crop of nuts on the tree this year. Chestnuts are abundant also in these woods.
I am sorry Mrs. Kettle’s parcel never came to hand. I would have been able to take care of it.
How are we to know if my etchings went on exhibition or how many?
The wife of the tailor who made my suit, heard from somewhere that I was an artist so she asked me to put something into her Album. I drew a big woman in a bathing suit standing with her back to the spectator looking out upon a scene such as you might see on Sparrow Lake on a perfect summer day – a hedland of woods – say Torey Miller’s, a bather on the beach say Margery Bennett. a girl in a red canoe alone: who might she be? Anyway the Col. was pleased with the picture. He said he had canoed thousands of miles and that to him my picture of the canoe was just right both in its cant up at the bow, caused by the figure near the stern, and in every other respect. I could have told him that courting the finest girl in the world by canoe would teach him more about canoes and canoeing than years and miles and miles. No wonder everyone was delighted with the little watercolor, it represented “The summer morn I’ve sighed for; the fair sweet morn awakes.” The morn of love it recalls for me.
Yesterday evening after seeing the College Gallery I walked down to the bank of the Thames, which is very like the Severn only very shallow. I watched the boating, the children at the water’s edge, the steamboat pass into a lock on its way up, and all the stir of wind and, water, trees and clouds and thought of you, Jessie!
Every little while I felt so lonely
Every little while I felt so blue. etc:
The the rain came on and I left the river.
Your loving Hubby. W. J. Wood