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Date: November 11th 1915
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Beverly Watson

 9.45 A.M. 11 November, ’15.

My dearest girl.

. . .  Last night, Wednesday, was Zepp. night; but none came. It’s curious how methodical the Germans are, even in war. It seems they cannot get away from it. In the trenches in France, I am told they begin their morning and evening “Hate” in the shape of a tremendous artillery bombardment at exactly the same hour to the minute, morning and evening, and stop at the same time. It’s curious. You’d think they’d stand a better chance, if they varied it. Wednesday night, in London, is always Zepp. night. Last night, from the windows of the ward, we could see the searchlights, one talking continuously in code to the aeroplanes aloft. Sister said the planes, circling around all night, continuously dropped green rockets — apparently to say all was well.

London, of course, is almost quite dark now, at night. It’s a fearful undertaking, crossing a busy street after dark. All the trains have blinds down. The street cars and ’buses are dark inside. Clock faces are not lit up. Of course, there are no electric signs. All shop windows have blinds down.

London has adopted the German plan of displaying captured guns. It’s a good idea, I think. I wonder they haven’t done it before.

I don’t profess to understand the war news these days; I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. The only thing I do understand, is, that if it hadn’t been for the navy, we’d ’a’ been licked long ago.

As a matter of fact, I’m absolutely fed up with it all. When I read the American magazines — or rather read the ads. — I just ache to be back. I found some new “Penrod” stories, and also some “Wallingford” ones. Oh! Gee! but it’s fine to read something live again! I’ve got hold of a book called “Queed”; I’ve heard of it somewhere, but I can’t think where. I've only read two or three pages, but it looks promising.

No dearie, no England for mine, not without you! To live here in the same conditions as we would be living in the States — No, thank you! Mind you, I want to come back. There’s something will always drag me back; but always it will grow stale. I understand that’s how it affects all Englishmen who have travelled a bit. Doesn’t Kipling say something about it? Methinks —

“The breezes of England are stale
  And the sunshine of England is pale.”

I forget it. Anyhow it hits the spot, as all Kipling’s stuff does.

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