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Date: September 10th 1917
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

10 September, ’17.
V.A.D. Hospital,

My dearest Lal: —

I’m all alone practically, and it’s a lovely day. There were two “engagements” for this afternoon — a party to go to the pictures, and a tea afterwards. Also a tennis party at some big house near and a “feed.” I had my choice, but couldn’t go to either which is most decidedly rotten luck. Old Fritzie’s gas hasn’t altogether left me yet, and decides to come back every now and then. Last night it bothered me a bit and again today. I went for a ’bus ride to B. to take a note to the General Military Hosp. for the Commandant and have just got back. See! I’m glad I’m not there still. Just a sight of it, and its military system, its surly orderly room sergeants — cease-fire bums who have never seen France — got my goat at once. How I’ll ever cotton on to things military again, after this glorious freedom, I dunno’, though I guess it will have to be done.

Tomorrow the big exodus of Canucks takes place. Believe me they are a sore bunch, and they have my sympathy. I’d feel just awful if I was one of them. Out there, it amounts to being under sentence of death, and it’s foolish to figure it any other way. Again your mental state is abnormal; you don’t think in any way like the people who live in safety. Every time I have ever written you, I have been thinking I should not be able to finish the letter. No wonder it takes your mental breath away, so to speak, to turn into a place like this, knowing you can go to sleep and think of tomorrow. Strange too how quickly you fall back to your proper state; already it jars to sit next to a man who eats with his knife, and reaches in front of you. Out there, you are just an animal. To even think there’s a chance of continuing existence when you can live, and plan, and anticipate, staggers you. Yet — I am thinking there’s a chance.

I am still without any news from France — I sent my address to our Battalion Orderly Room and also to B. Co. Clerk. I thought he would forward mail on; but none has come. I wonder what they do with it. If F. had been alright, I feel sure he would have got mail through somehow. F. would take over my job: kit, supplies, etc. I guess I’ll know soon now. I wrote asking the Canadian Red Cross to get my mail; it appears they do that for you. I expect some, every mail. We have more than one a day here, but none comes.

I never cease to marvel at my amazing luck. Also to be thankful in a truly humble spirit for it.

Good-bye, Dearie,
Your boy,

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