Letter 62 From 644539- Pte. W J. Wood, Virginia Water Camp, C.F.C.
To Mrs. W. J. Wood, Box 639, Midland, Ont. Can. Oct 4th, 1917
My Dear Little Wife. Unless I get a letter in this morning’s mail I will have none to reply to in this to you. Two weeks and no word, though Canadian mail has been delivered several times, though in very small amounts.
It is raining this morning. We have had a fine spell of weather the past month; so that air raids have been frequent over London and the coast towns. The other night there were four attacks on London. We could hear the guns and see the Shrapnel bursting from here. Col. MacLaren was in the city that night but did not appear to know as much about it as we did. London, of course is a big city; the biggest in the world, so it is easy to hit it with a bomb.
Speaking of letters: I mentioned before a faithless hubby who could write to his wife, a letter in five minutes. I referred to him again in my 61st letter. Well I had just posted it and was back to the wood pile splitting wood when this chap came out and sat down on the sawhorse to read again a letter he had received from his wife, in which she apparently upbraided him for his change of feeling and strangeness. He thought that she would be stupid enough to take his hasty empty epistles for the real thing.
She must have hit him hard on the right spot. I did not make it any easier for him when he told me about it either. I had warned him before, when he boasted about how quickly he had polished of a letter to her, that they would not do. I told him he would unconsciously betray the fact that he was getting on very well without her since he is sleeping out with other women, married and single every night. Wheeling in every morning barely in time to save attracting attention to his affairs from the officers. Such a shameless wretch should and no doubt will meet with his just deserts. God is not mocked.
And love is God himself, undisguised; Therefore, if this man’s wife’s love for him is what I believe my wife’s love is for me, and if that man at the front is true to the wife that this cruelly dishonors him. This vile creature has God in two places to reckon with:- The Love in the wife to whom he denies a similar privilege (for this is the chap who said, if he caught his wife in a dance hall he would kick her out of there before the eyes of the whole assembly) and the Love in the man at the front, if it is true is no less a cry for justice. Love is being cheated, God is love. Can God be cheated? Let the fool say yes! And continue the practice or the attempting of it.
Well, my darling, the mail is in and some from Canada but not for me. However I feel that there is some on the way and that it will arrive and ring as true as ever.
Mr. Carey of Holloway College was here to see the Col’s picture etc. Monday last. The Col. gave him a print of my Virginia water etching: with my permission of course which, however, he took for granted, which was possibly the quickest way to get it. I am to go to the college this afternoon and sketch if I wish. I will see Mr. Carey there and arrange to visit his studio in Egham. I am not yet through with the work for Lt. Morse but will soon be.
In spare moments I practice pen & ink as a continuation of etching, since the light is poor for good work on a plate. Though I am thinking of doing it when I can. This has turned out to be a thoroughly wet day. It will be about a year ago that we had our last leave and I had the pleasure of working on the picture “Home Fires”, I hope they are burning yet. It will soon be a year since I kissed you goodbye on the train at camp Borden; Heaven’s how happy will be the day when I may greet you with a kiss again!
We are very much more comfortable here than we were at Camp Borden but the camp was nearer home and therefore dear to our hearts.
Sparrow Lake will be lovely though lonesome in its autumn hours. The hours of love we knew there: how sweet! How beautiful when the low water left the sedgy margins mellowing in the sun and autumn air. When we took the canoe and paddled away to visit the people who were too busy in Summer’s height to bid us the time of day. All the King’s palaces and pictures and places I’ve seen since will not live in such an atmosphere of beauty as memory has painted into these scenes of perfect Love. Who with any feeling for beauty would paint over them and obliterate them with any dreams of lesser if later pictures. I’ve nothing more worthy to replace them yet. I’ve no desire to lose them or my wee, wild, woodland flower – “Jessie”
W. J. Wood