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SBButler Letters, January 1919
I heard today and the year ushered in with the greatest shrieking of whistles, of all sorts and descriptions, you ever heard. All the whistles in the city, and every boat in the harbor must have joined in, which makes somewhat of a mix up, if you know the variety of whistles on these steamers. some are like a low moo of a cow others like the great roar of a bull or a lion, others like the screech of the catbird. Every time I hear them it makes me think of getting on the ocean again, westward. For last July, during over two long weeks those weird blasts of the ships in our group coming over, penetrated the mind so as to connect them forever with an ocean voyage.
Well, 1919 has started. It doesn't seem much different than 1918 yet, but then, it will. There is always a certain pleasure, just the pleasure one always has of something new, in writing a new year where you have occasion to use it. Only I'm afraid pretty soon it will remind me that I'm getting old. I haven't started the New Year with a great deal of hard work, I must admit. I never have had less to do than since I came here, which is one of the reasons I dislike it so.
Here is starting with you, sweetheart, a message by wireless which I hope you will get, that I love you a million times over.
Goodnight, and a kiss.
I haven't worked any harder today than yesterday. When I get back you may find I'll be a lazy, good-for-nothing husband. But I trust not.
We've got the largest order yet for a convoy of trucks to-day and tomorrow. Fitts and Bates leave for the interior with a hundred of them. Inside of a month the fort ought to be pretty well cleared out, and then I hope there's a boat which will want to take us home. I think there's a pretty good chance of it, but mustn't allow myself to be too hopeful.
We have gotten some Boston papers today of the middle of December giving details of Hdqrs. and Hdqrs. Troop of the 76th Division arriving in America at New York, with a picture of two lieutenants I knew well, and used to see most everyday around St. Amand, coming off the gangplank. My friend Ralph Gabriel went back with the same party.
This evening I have gotten quite buried in Dumas' The Three Musketeers, which is a fascinating tale. Story telling is a great art. I think it's not half so much the subject matter as it is the manner in which it is told that makes a good story.
I met a second lieutenant of the Signal Corps today who, it developed, comes from Colorado. About the first question he asked was "What part of God's country do you come from?" It has become second nature to the AEF to call America "God's Country." It's always said with such a sort of fervour, too, which carries with it the profound appreciation we have all acquired for our own great country after seeing and experiencing the limitations and what we look on as backwardness of Europe; and the longing to get back where things are "like Mother used to make." I love the expression for all the pride of country it has in it, for I too have learned much deeper appreciation of America for having seen Europe. We are indeed fortunate to be Americans. The expression does amuse the Europeans, especially the English; they don't resent it, they are just indulgently amused for the tinge of fervour with which we always utter it.
Sweetheart, it's past time for lights to be out - such a ridiculous thing I never heard of in officers' barracks until came here - but I suppose I should be getting to bed anyway.
Good-night, my own dear girl, I love you always.
This writing paper is somewhat soiled, the letter is came in was out in the rain or something. Thought perhaps with this explanation you would forgive me for Hooverizing a bit.
It is tremendously amusing to read some of the American newspapers which reach here, with accounts of the AEF's activities all jumbled to pieces. The latest, which I have seen today, is another account of the arrival of the Headquarters, Hdqrs. Troop, and men two small units of the 76th Division at camp Devens; the account told how the only unit of the 76th still accounted for overseas was the 301 Supply Train, which had gone to a coast town for new trucks, and from there 4 companies were going up to Germany to join the Third Army. Incidentally the reporter got it Third Army corps instead of Third Army. I cannot see how they can get things so twisted. A better one yet is one of our officers, Lieut. Anderson. He got word from some of his friends in Springfield, Mass that they had gone to New York to meet the Kroonland, which the newspapers advertised was bringing home the 76th Division, but which only had those few units I mentioned above. I finished the Three Musketeers tonight, after reading the last half with considerable rapidity. I have enjoyed the tale very much. It is located in France at about the year 1628, and I presume is a very faithful reproduction of life at the time, with its court intrigues and love affairs of royal families with their attendant jealousies, causing constant wars between nations. You could surely go about with a chip on you shoulder those days, and get what you wanted - let a man step on your toe, and ring him into a sword fight.
I love you dear, and I send you a goodnight kiss.
Today is Saturday and there's been less doing than ever. The chief thing I'm having done now around our own outfit is getting a good mess hall put up. What I have had surely couldn't ascend above the dignity of a quick lunch counter, but with the addition of seats, floor, and regular roof instead of canvas. I think the men can eat with a bit more relish.
Tonight several of us have been down town for supper for the first time in a long while. Now I'm sorry we went, for we didn't run into a very good supper, and I have just seen Costine, who told me what he had, which would have beaten the other altogether.
I wish you could come and kiss me goodnight now. Next best, I send you one. I love you always.
I have just discovered a letter in my pocket which I haven't posted to you. I think it's only three days old to-day, though.
I have finally succeeded in getting hold of copies of the AEF paper. "Stars and Stripes" back to August, and tonight I am cutting out clippings from them, with which to make an AEF scrapbook. Would you like to help me make it? I should like to have you.
I should like to have you by me tonight. I am so glad it is going to be always soon. Will you sit by me times when I'm working? I know it will help, for because there is You, blessed You, there is that much more incentive to be ambitious, to work hard to as well. You will share my ambitions with me, won't you, sweetheart, and help me to attain them?
I love you every minute of every day.
I happened to get hold of a collection of Robert W. Service this evening, and that's where my evening has gone to. I believe him a splendid interpreter of the passion, joys, hopes, and sorrows of all sorts of men, particularly the rolling-stone, rover type. I dislike most his overdoses of alliteration. "Sunshine" is particularly beautiful, I think, though sorrowful. Do you know that little "Just Think"? If so, don't you think it very clever? Especially the last two lines.
"A little blame, a little fame
A star-gleam on a stone."
I think I've quoted correctly. The thud at the end of the stirring tale of "Athabasca Dick" is done remarkably well - "Thank God, the whiskeys saved!" Do you know it? Oh, and do you remember the bit of poetic narrative I ventured on, the morning under the willows by the Schuyskill - the narrative of our escapades of the previous afternoon, ending up with "We atavists," partly to puzzle you I must confess, for I had never seen the word, but believed there must be such a one; I was successful, anyway, for after waiting two weeks without saying a word, you wrote me finally to ask me what it meant. At any rate, to come to what I was going to say, there is a poem in the collection called "The Atavist", and it is the first time I have ever seen the word. I find my use of it was not at all incorrect.
Write me some new verse pretty soon, will you, sweetheart? I should like some very much. Of course I know you are as busy as can be with your school, but can you steal me a little time some day?
I surely shall be glad when we leave this place. I never felt so cooped up. These four walls drive me near crazy sometimes of an evening, yet an evening downtown seldom yields an enjoyable enough time to leave the four walls for.
I want a change, more interests, music, love, and You.
I love you, and send you a goodnight kiss.
I looked especially for the sunset today. Why, do you suppose? But it didn't light up for the anniversary. However, perhaps it did on the Sunset Trail. I have looked thru my sweetheart mementoes this evening for something on sunsets, and found one you sent me a year ago last fall, about a sunset you had seen and a "star like a coal at white heat." Isn't it fine when you have a collection in which you can find anything you want for all occasions?
Most all evening I have been clipping, clipping, clipping, and now I have finished, and everything is already for the AEF scrapbook.
It was a sudden shock to hear of Roosevelt's death today. I have guessed for some time that his health was in somewhat more precarious condition than was apparent from anything made known to the public. It changes the political complexion of things for the 1920 campaign, I believe, for I am sure he would have been the Republican nominee for President, and if so, I'm sure Wilson would have run again. As it is, I think Pres. Wilson will not consent to a third nomination. He has surely received a tremendous ovation over here from every country; I should think he would be tired to death of making speeches and attending state dinners.
You don't need to pity me going without chocolate any more. Any officer or soldier here can now buy one pound of chocolates per day from the US Sales Comissary. They are quite good chocolates, too. They come in tin cans of a pound each - 2 francs 70 centimes (about 54 cents) each. Spalding and I have a sort of a Jack Sprat arrangement on them for he takes the hard ones and I the soft, that is he likes the caramels and I like the creams. Which makes a very amiable arrangement. (Much more amicable than two people I know who both always want the lavender Jordan almonds.)
Sweetheart, I love you and want you and think of you always. Goodnight.
Four letters from you tonight, really eight, that is certainly a nice reward for a hard working day.
I have been working hard. I cleaned four rooms and got a delicious dinner tonight - Raspberry tarts, meat pie, french fried potatoes and grapefruit. Hungry?
It's been raining all day. I wonder -
I'm still cross. I wonder -
But I did get four letters from you today. Now, I'm happy.
March 1st you say you think you'll be home. It's a long while but better than March end. I can hardly wait.
Your "Stars and Stripes poem" was in it and I like it very much. It might have been written just for me.
I just do believe you are enjoying those "thrillers." the one you tell me about sounds terribly exciting. I believe you better bring it home for me to read. I said "home" did you notice?
Marian just came in.
It's pretty late. Dearest, I love you.
It is now Sunday night and 'most bedtime.
Marion was up this morning and I made some fudge, mint and plain and had bushels of fun developing the muscle of my arm beating it.
Tomorrow school starts again. Somehow I am not at all thrilled by the prospect. I'm just disgusted the way we have been "off again, on again." I suppose when I get started I will soon get thrills enough.
Forna is 'most packed and I suppose will have moved to Hammonton by Tuesday. I don't believe I mentioned before that she was going there to live since most of her work now on would be in and around there.
I read a whole book thru yesterday "Josselyn's Wife" by Kathleen Norris and I'll match it against "Where Your Treasure Lies" someday. I suppose by this time you have arrived at Dumas and Kingsley, maybe passed them and arrived at Scott and Dickens. I read "Guy Mannering" once and about seven hundred pages of the introduction of another book. I wish you as much success. I like Dickens real well. Really I have read lots of his books.
Well, I had my new opening of school today and a wonderful time as the first thing I discovered this morning was that we had had a real snow during the night. It was, at least one half inch thick and actually lasted most all day.
The school victrola was working today so we listened to John McCormick sing the "Berceuse" and then finished up with "Looby loo" and "Keep the Home Fires Burning" and the "Stars and Stripes Forever". Wouldn't you say we had a real good concert?
Tonight I went visiting with some of the kiddies to see their trees? and every one of them took me in thru the back door. I suppose their mothers thanked them very much for doing that.
I taught them some folk dances today and they certainly enjoyed them.
We also made snow by cutting up paper and pasted the flakes all over the windows. Tomorrow we are going to make something esquimoish and build up a picture little by little on each window.
We took down our Christmas tree tonight and tomorrow night we are to have the dance of the pine tree fairies as all the sparks wave farewell. I just love to burn a Christmas tree. It really is mystical.
Do you know the paper didn't come today and I feel rather incomplete as I have had no news. I didn't even get a single solitary letter today.
Well, dearest, I'll say goodnight. I love you.
We did some more interior decorating today and added a sled to the igloos and snow on the windows.
One of the upstairs boys sprained his ankle while wrestling today and we were all quite excited for a time.
Forna left this morning and I'm sure we are going to miss her very much. She says she will write once every so often and come and visit us and maybe stay to dinner some time.
I wish I would get some mail. I haven't had on single letter for ages.
All our snow has about disappeared except what we have glued to our windows. We are going to keep that there for ages and ages.
Marian C. was in for a little while this evening. she has another position and a good one too as far as money is concerned.
It is most bedtime so I'll kiss you goodnight.
I love you.
I have had the bestest day today First one of my boys who made his appearance for the first time today, said "Here." and stuck a package in my hand. It was a beautiful handkerchief. One of my girls also brot me a little sachet bag.
We made the esquimo dogs and hitched them to the sleds today and also strung up some of our Christmas chains. We really look very nice and happy like.
Our checks came in at last so you can imagine they helped a lot.
Not a single letter again today. I am beginning to fear I owe letters.
There is a slender moon tonight, in fact, there has been for several nights. It's quite a cheerful talkative one... Telling mystic rhymes and stories and making wondrous promises.
I dreamed of you last night, dearest, and you seemed so real I could hardly believe it was a dream.
Dearest, I love you. Here is a goodnight kiss.
Tonight Daido and I took a tiny walk and then came back on the car.
I am really tired because last night I stayed up awful late, I skated a lot today and then I play games at noon and recesses with the kiddies.
I received a letter from Katie today. The joke is she received the letter I wrote yesterday morning, yesterday afternoon, wrote last night and I received it this morning and here I owe another letter again. I thot she was good for a week at least but she said in her letter she had been afraid I was sick as it had been almost a week since she had written to me before she got my answer so I don't know just what to do. I s'pose I'll have to write.
Dearest, I love you. Here is a goodnight kiss.
Oh, Eva, my own sweetheart, you have given me such a delightful surprise today! My Christmas package came, just two weeks late, today and of course you know what that means. I don't know how to ever tell you how pleased I am with the lovely photograph, nor how ever to thank you. I love it and love you oceans and oceans. I have had a special shelf made in my room for you, and have also put up there the cute little fireplace, tree, and stocking.
Fred Leviseur happened to see your picture and paid it a very sincere compliment; but then he added, "what can she ever see in a fellow like you?"
Fred is going to leave us in a couple of days, also Andy Anderson. An order just came thru tonight transferring them up to a Supply Train in the Army of Occupation. I shall miss Fred especially, shall miss him tremendously because as Supply Officer for the Train he is very live [sic] and very efficient, and then in a personal way I have grown to be very fond of him. He says he never had such mixed feelings about anything that has ever happened to him, as this, of course, he is glad to get up where it will be more interesting, but it is always hard to break old ties; and surely in our organization every officer is very much attached to it.
It seems as though I could talk about that picture all the time to you. I have been beside myself with happiness all day over it, and to you I'll confess it, I have stolen three kisses.
Mother got a lot of things in the little 9x4x3 package - the socks which Lucinthia knitted (with purple stripes at the top); 2 handkerchiefs from Aunt Sarah and 1 from Cousin Eleanor, some stationary from Aunt Elizabeth, toothbrush and shoelaces from Dad, and a huge thick bar of chocolate from Aunt Lucy; beside my sweetheart present.
I am so happy that you're my sweetheart, that you love me, that you're waiting for me and that I can have you always when I get back. And now even more happy because I have the lovely reminder of you until I shall return to you and have your real, dear, golden, sunshiny, self for my very own.
Goodnight, dear girl,
Pretty soon I guess it will get around time when you will scold me for writing you in pencil so much. But you used to write once in a while that way, so that's my excuse. Together with the fact that my pen went on strike and I won't buy another. I'm trying be real saving [sic]. I did borrow a pen tonight from Deck and wrote a letter to Aunt Lucy, but find it doesn't write on this paper well.
I went over the Park today with my mind most made up tp start a fight, on account of some remarks which came back to my ears about our outfit, but I haven't started it. I dislike friction very much, it upsets me all over, but this has been kind of a last straw affair, and I might still start it tomorrow.
I made my first trip down town in a long time this afternoon, marked chiefly by the fact that every errand I went on was unsuccessful. I wanted to get return for certain expenses incurred by some of our men and the Quartermaster couldn't see his way clear to it; I wanted to get leave for a few of my men who live in Italy or England to go see their people and was told that it would be useless to forward any application; I wanted to get authority to appoint and hold summary courts martial within my own command and met with equal lack of success. Well, our motto is that you never can tell till you try.
I am going to send you my goodnight kiss now. I love you always.
I have been spending most of the evening talking to Fred, for he leaves tomorrow morning. He will be right up on the river Rhine and therefore I expect I shall be getting an interesting letter or two from up there soon. We have been talking about everything under the sun. I started talking about the cutlery business which I used to be in, and he talked a lot about the leather business in which he is in when in civilian life. And then of course we have talked about the Train and later Greene came in, which brought the conversation immediately around to politics. Politics has been quite rife here lately, with the Republicans decidedly in a back seat. Spalding thinks he's a Republican, but I don't believe has the slightest idea why. His ideas on political and social matters are quite scatter-brained. Freddy and Greene and I are the most interested parties in the discussions, however, and are especially interested of course now in Bolshevism in Russia and Germany and in the internal political strife in Germany. It is hard to make out just what's what and what's going on, and we are all devouring everything we can get hold of to enlighten ourselves.
I surely hate to see Fred go. It will be a lot more interesting for him, but I guess we shall beat him home by some little time. He is trying to kid Greene into believing that he will be able to come down to New York in civilian clothes to see him come by as we arrive home, but I don't believe there is much question but what it will be the other way around. Standing by in civilian clothes with derby across the chest as the boys go by is the favorite ambition of the outfit; that's what everyone says they are going to do in the next war, and shout to the boys how they wish they were with them. I know a Governor of a certain state who bought his way out of the Civil War, and has told the soldiers how much he wished he were with them in this.
I think I'll say goodnight, with a goodnight kiss, and my love, as always,
You see I am in a bit of a different place this evening, but just for a day. John Achorn and I came up here from Le Havre on a moto-cycle this afternoon, he driving and I'm in the sidecar. We made excellent time, 2 hours and a half, but were shivering to the bone when we arrived. It's the first time I've been really cold all winter. We got a room at an English hotel, got dinner up at a little restaurant under the shadow of an ancient clock made in 1511 on an arch over the quaint street; bought a guide to Rouen with a list of the places of interest and their history, then went back to the room and planned our itinerary thereby for the morning; following that we went to the Eden, the elite local movie house which was running among other pictures a Charlie Chaplin two-reel film. It's a boxing match, and one I think I've seen before. The French love Charlie Chaplin.
Rouen is up the Seine river from Le Havre, which is at its mouth. The country we came thru this afternoon is not striking in any particular, except for the prevailing thatched roofs of the barns and sheds of all the farms, and sometimes they are on the homes. I should think the roofs would hold all the dampness they ever get and keep the houses very uncomfortable. Rouen seems like a much pleasanter city than Le Havre. At first sight I should surely say it was much cleaner. There seems to be much that is modern and much that is old about it. I know tonight that John and I have both remarked how we could easily imagine ourselves walking the streets of Boston. Tomorrow we expect to see a number of interesting things, two especially which we came up for - the tower where Joan of Arc was imprisoned and the spot where she was burned at the stake. I'll tell you about tomorrow evening.
Till then, goodnight, lots of love and a kiss.
This has been a mighty interesting and worthwhile day. John and I took the little tour which the guide book said one should take if one only had a half-day to spend. This took us first to the old marketplace, in one corner of which the exact spot on which Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 is located and marked out. From there we walked to the great clock in the arch over the street; we found a store nearby which had the key to the entrance, and thus gained access to the interior of the arch and the workings of the clock. Before we went down we found a passage which took us up into a belfry tower, at a dizzy height, for me anyway. We went up by a winding stone stairway, saw the old bell and the clock work which has made the chimes ring regularly for centuries, and walked out onto the terrace at the top of the tower from which we could see the whole city. From the clock and the belfry tower we went to the magnificent cathedral Notre Dame, which was started in 1201 and not finished until three centuries later. It seems marvelous that a project could be kept up by so many generations and finally completed, and look like a piece of handiwork which was conceived and carried into execution by a single plan, to the average person. As a matter of fact it does show in its different parts, if one looks at them minutely, the characteristics of Gothic architecture in the different centuries while it was under construction. We went inside, which happened to be just at a mass, and so heard some stirring music. Inside and outside, is is tremendously imposing; it is indescribable, for my poor powers of description; one can just look and wonder - particularly at the carved work and realize how much could be done when there was so little to do with. From that cathedral, we went to another church, that of Saint Ouen, built between the 13 and 16 hundreds. We wandered from there over to the tower where Joan of Arc was imprisoned before her execution, from there to the Palace of Justice, a beautiful Gothic building around three sides of a court. It was built in 1499. There was a guide in there who took us around to the various rooms, most of which serve for courts of varying sizes and descriptions. Achorn got into a discussion of American and French law systems, from which, once started, our limited French took us some time to get out. By this time it was dinner hour and we fared quite sumptuously at the Grand Hotel de la Poste, after which we went back to our own hotel and prepared to return to Le Havre. We came back by a different way, along the banks of the Seine, and found it much better travelling road than that on which we came; also more interesting and more picturesque. The valley of the Seine is very wide but the hills when you come to them, are quite steep. Part of the road is in the valley, part on the hills, and we had much variety of scenery, one long stretch thru tall straight pines, other stretches by white rocked cliffs, others by series of bare rolling hills, and sometimes thru level stretches. Our road was usually toward the West, which was lighted up at its best today, and it made everything particularly beautiful when we went along on high ground and could see over the whole broad valley.
So, I have had a real tourist's day, but am back at the old four walls tonight. I have pictures of most everything I saw in Rouen, and hope you will find them interesting when I show them to you.
Goodbye for now, and a kiss for Love.
Tonight I have been lonesome, and you know what you gave me for such a time - two cards clipped together, and the one says, "I love you, and when you're lonesome I love you more, and just think, now I am with you, 'cause this is really me. I'm so happy you're my sweetheart, because I love you so." Isn't that enough to stop anyone from being lonesome? If not, just unclip the cards, and kiss the curl. But then, I don't really want not to be, because the cards say when I'm lonesome you love me more. So I just want to stay lonesome, and have you love me more and more and more. That's asking the most precious thing in the world to me. I ask a great deal sometimes. My, I stumped up courage enough once to ask you for yourself!
I think that's all I have to write you to-night. Just a love message, so you will know I never stop loving you, and think always of our reunion. A goodnight kiss.
Finally some mail has got to coming again and I have your letter from Dec. 15 - 18, lovely letters, including of course Our Day, which I am so happy you did so much to keep. They also included the first installment of the package which Rev. Mr. Hildreth sent me from the Endeavor Society of his church; also Mr Hildreth's letter. It is not my fault that he speaks of my "fellow Endeavorers". I mention it because it might have given you the suspicion I was sailing under false colors with him or others at my home. I used to belong to the society when I was in my teens but do not now; my views as to the church can be secret to no one, and I sail under no false colors anywhere. I have frankly told them to Mr. Hildreth on more than one occasion, but he blandly ignores them whenever he writes. However I appreciate being remembered none the less. (I just got up to poke the fire, put in a little more soft coal. Spalding says I ought to keep up the fire in the evening as he keeps it all day - but he doesn't speak the truth, our orderly keeps it up in the day. and at that he pokes fun at me every time I fix up and says I'm all kinds of an uncomplimentary janitor. But that isn't true either, for I can make a better fire even than our experienced Creek orderly).
It was most amusing to get that clipping telling about the 301st Supply Train going up into Germany. You know by now just how far we have been toward the Rhine.
Dearest I have been chiding myself for one thing a great deal since getting your letter today, and I must ask your forgiveness. It is this: you wrote "I'm so happy when you say "good morning" to me in your letters", and think it has been a month or more since I have done it. I am terribly sorry, dear, to have left out something that could make you happy. I like the idea of the little morning message, which you started, very much. When I first came over I stopped doing it for a while because I was always in the same room with the Major, and I was afraid if he saw me writing night and morning he might think I was thinking too much of back home and not enough of work in hand. Then when we got to the tents, and I was near the office, I got to writing there again, sometimes in the office the first thing, sometimes in the tent, for I was usually up before the major, and finally I realized it wouldn't make any difference in what he thought, anyway. But in the meantime you stopped, too, and when you didn't start again after a while, I thought you must have been a bit angry because I stopped for awhile, and didn't want to start our custom again. I think you will understand now and I am sorry, dear girl, that I was wrong.
I am ever so happy always that you are my sweetheart, and oh, but I am longing to see you. I love you always.
Good morning again, dear Sweetheart. I never did start a day anyway without thinking of you first. I love you best in the world.
I managed to get the invalid Dorcas out of her house and over here today, by strategy and by holding up the car for a few minutes. It was pretty cold for her first outing in over two weeks but the car was pretty warm and we started the fireplace when we arrived.
Tonight Daido and I paid the Baileys and Marian a little visit, a real polite twenty minute call.
I'm sure that is all of importance that happened today except two letters from you. They were written December 4th and 5th and old letters considering I had already received them up to the 18th but there you told me you loved me so I welcomed them.
I love you dearest.
Well, I suppose school is going to start again Monday. I called up the Secretary of the B of E and he said he supposed it would. It sure is the limit that my first year of teaching should be like this.
Charles Penhallow was around to see Daido this afternoon. He has left home again, is working as a night clerk in a hotel in Atlantic and wants Daido to help him get in Atlantic High School.
Daido went over to Atlantic this afternoon and I didn't go because my goodest shoes were at the shoemakers. I finished a centerpiece for us tho.
I wish I could make lots of things for our home but really to tell the truth I think it would be better for me not to crochet much as most looks a tiny bit sort of crooked.
Well, dearest, I love you and I'll say goodnight. Here's a kiss for the toothaches and lots more for you. I love you.
Just a little note to say, I'm so happy. Three letters from you this morning. 18th, 19th and 20th of December. They were happy letters and that is what makes me so happy. then, too, I have a visitor here at school this morning, Mistress Prettyface, a beautiful tortoise shell cat and she is behaving so good now. She is tucked away on a drawer in a pile of raffia. She belongs to one of the girls in my room and was crying and crying in front of my door until I brot him in.
I'm just so happy now that I'm teaching again. I just love it. the children are really so good and sweet. I am home now.
Tonight I met Dorcas. She came home rather sooner than she expected because Mr. Davison was lonesome and came up and forceably carried them off.
I received a letter from your mother today. She said she had been down to Winnies's looking over her things in the Hope Chest and that Winnie had many beautiful things. She said Ralph and Winnie expected to be married as soon as Ralph was discharged but they didn't know just when that would be.
Dearest, I love you. I'll kiss you goodnight.
goodness you're a sound sleeper! I've said "Mornin'" at least three times . I love you.
I had a wonderful surprise today. A centerpiece from Uncle Bill, and the loveliest letter. I was so surprised and pleased.
Dorcas was around a little bit tonight. She was somewhat blue again as they had just received a letter from George's chaplain.
We had a wonderful time in school today. Mrs Keyport brot me a cardboard cutout camp set and today we have been cutting out and have turned the sand table into a regular army camp. Such enthusiasm! If they only would work as hard.
More tomorrow dearest. I love you.
Today Daido and I went to Atlantic. We shopped for shoes, for a fireplace and some magazines. I went to the post office but alas there was no mail for me and now we want to went [underlined] to bed. I love you.
This morning I went around to Dorcas' and together we went around to hunt Mrs. Shordy the first and best colored woman we have had. We found her and she has promised to come back and work for us. Reasons: higher wages and Forna gone - wasn't very fond of Forna.
I walked out to Dorcas' own home and then left her there.
Marian Campbell was here to dinner and I made some orange pudding but it was a failure. The milk curdled and before a guest too!
The three of us took a walk about five miles and we enjoyed a lacquer sunset. Really it was marvelous especially against the bare branches of the trees. It was enough to make one poetic.
We didn't get any paper today. I went to the paper store and found them sold out of all except the Philadelphia Press. It is a paper to be sure but 'most the last one on the face of the earth. I bot one but so far haven't had the courage to open it.
I have written to your mother, your Uncle Bill, Martha Warner, and Katie tonight and I'm pretty tired so I'll say goodnight.
I love you.
Tonight I have been up to school with Daido to hear the first practice for the proposed operetta "Princess Chrysanthemum." I believe it will be great.
I received a letter from Lucinthia today. She says they are all well. She wants one of the pictures such as I sent you and your mother. I really don't like them one bit myself.
School went off beautifully today and I have my birds now all either feeding or flying to be fed. They really make a very effective picture.
I learned there was skating today, in fact, there had been for two days. I really never dreamed of such a thing. It really has been very warm.
This seems to be the extent of what I have done today but here's a little reminder its just nine months and one day since you discovered dust on our fireplace.
I love you, dearest.
There are two children in my room whose father has gone off and left the mother with five children - a boy thirteen, a girl twelve, the two in my room and a baby between three and four. As the mother works all day the twelve year old girl has had to stay home and tend the baby. I had them bring her to school this afternoon. She is quite a baby but seems manageable so I told them to bring her for awhile so the twelve year old can come to school. I sent word to the board and as they know the circumstances they left it up to me so Mrs. Keyport is gong to help out and we are going to try and fix things.
I went skating up to the "Fingernail" Creek this noon and it was as small as its name so I didn't have much fun. After school I went up to Bargaintown and really had a fine time. I enjoyed it very much.
I am going to send you your fraternity flower tonight. I have really worn it too long. It still is fragrant. I love you.
Dearest, I have the wonderfulest idea. Let's be married at Hemlock Manor. Wouldn't that be one wonderful memory to combine with all our other happy memories of it? We could be married right by the falls or the fireplace or a million other happy memory places - our bridge over the waterless stream. Wouldn't you just love it?
Dearest, I'll say goodnight. I love you.
I was sort of hoping for more mail today, seeing that it had gotten started coming yesterday, but none came. I think there's quite a little hovering around somewhere for me, though.
This evening Spalding and I got to the point where a relief from our own mess seemed absolutely necessary and took supper down town. We had a real good supper which just went to the spot. Then we went to one of the movie theatres, in which surely half of the program was American. In a great many of them, the explanatory paragraphs or conversations which are inserted in between pictures are written both in English and French. Charlie Chaplin wound up the evening in his "Dog's Life" picture, which I never happen to have seen in America, but I know I've seen it on movie handbills often. I know for some years it has been the fashion to say that one can't hear C. Chaplin, but I must confess to an overweening delight in his antics, even if such a confession puts one in the barbarian class, perhaps in some kind of a primary class. the French reels are most of them dull and uninteresting - the dramas are always some hideous melodrama about an unfaithful wife , and who on earth cares to see such a story acted out. Not me.
My luck is running poor in solitaire lately. Only about once in two days does it come out completely, and last evening there were two occasions when I didn't get a single card out. Greene says that's a sign of good luck somewhere else, and being always on the lookout for such omens, he figures it must mean were going to get orders to go home soon. Take it for what it's worth.
It's quite late, and somebody will be wanting to know how about the light, so I'd better say goodnight.
I love you always. A goodnight kiss.
I made a record for early rising this morning and here I am to greet you "Top o' the mornin'"
Sweetheart, I love you, and here's a nice good morning greeting, with a kiss, because I love you.
Such a beautiful moon as there is tonight! Just made for you and me, together, not separate. Every time moon time of the month comes around I wonder how many more there will be before it shines for us together. Who ever used, or rather, invented, I mean, the phrase "patiently waiting." Waiting is such an impatient sort of a task. But I am still sure, and see no reason to change my belief that we shall be back before spring. Some are trying not to think it, I suppose because they want our orders to be a pleasant surprise when they do come. But I see no use in that; there is pleasure in hoping and in having something to hope for, day by day, and when our orders do come it will be no less pleasant, even if we haven't kidded ourselves into making it a surprise. How is my philosophy, Miss Schoolmarm?
I took a jab of pneumonia vaccine in the arm this afternoon. You remember we were protected against typhoid and para-typhoid by similar jabs at Plattsburg. The pneumonia inoculation is a new discovery, I believe. The medical Department has just gotten some vaccine at this port, and Capt. Stuart, our Train doctor, got some for us. I thought it not a bad idea to take it, particularly as it costs nothing. The preventative would be rather expensive from a civilian doctor, I expect. The liquid which is injected into one contains 30 million dead bugs, pneumonia bugs, from which a poison is emitted destroying live pneumonia bugs in one's body. It is effective for a period of two years.
Management of the park is changing hands today and a new officer, a Capt. Phillips is now Park Commander. I thought the change would be a good one, and had somewhat of a talk with his nibs this afternoon to start our relations on a more pleasant basis than ours had been with his predecessor, incidentally reciting all the grievances I had stored up for weeks. I was a bit disappointed in his attitude, but hope he'll prove to be more satisfactory. Sometimes I get so disgusted with the people up there, their lack of co-operation with us, general attitude, and inefficiency, that it seems unendurable.
Some mournful Engineer's bugle is just blowing Taps. Goodnight, dear girl of mine, and all my love.
Good morning, sweetheart. I guess I'll have to play invalid today because that inoculation has put me on the Fritz. They usually do that. This is a brand new way to get an excuse for a rest.
A morning kiss and lots of love.
I can't write much of a letter tonight. The pneumonia preventative serum which I had injected into me yesterday, along with the rest of the officers, gave me an uncomfortable day of it today. It gives you a grippy feeling all over. I expect with a night's sleep, I'll feel OK again in the morning. It's just a day of discomfort for 2 years of protection, though I wouldn't have much fear of it in any case.
I wish you might have been here to read to me today. That would have made me forget everything.
Goodnight, Sweetheart, and lots of love.
19 Jan. morning
This is Sunday AM, and I am thinking how pleasant it would be if we were in our home, and the NY Times had just come, for us to look over together.
Good morning with a kiss, and all my love.
After spending all day indoors the Doc came around tonight and persuaded me I'd feel better for taking the air by walking down town to see some movies. So I've been, though I'm not especially convinced that I now feel the immense material benefit promised. The usual long picture was a bit better tonight than the usual French melodrama, and the customary unfaithful wife was altogether absent. The French comics are very different from the American, because the action in ours is very much quicker; the slowness of French comedy makes the action seem studied and stilted; the attempt being so apparent, the joke is half spoiled for us Americans. A trick violinist also attempted to amuse the audience, first by using such things as potatoes, knives, his fingers, et cetera, instead of his bow, then by playing imitations of various animals and birds, and then by playing in various sorts of distorted positions. He could really play the instrument well, but making tricks out of a violin seems much to me like sacrilege does to a religious person.
The chief result of today may be said to be that it was one day nearer the time when we shall be home.
Goodnight, dear. I love you.
20 Jan. AM
Monday morning. Blue Monday perhaps? A kiss to try make it not so. Sylvester
I have been at work a little time today during the morning only and have rested during the afternoon again. I don't seem to be able to eat much of anything yet without discomfort. The attitude of the new park commander, whom I tried so hard to establish an entente cordiale with at the beginning, last Thursday, is proving disappointing; and I feel as though a battle were impending, but it won't be of my starting.
You remember the last mail I got was Dec. 16-18. Well, today I got a letter covering Dec. 27-30. Did you ever see it come so crazy? All in ships now; nothing from 5th to 16th or 18th to 27th. I also had Mother's letter of Dec. 30th telling of their Christmas at home, incidentally how Aunt Elizabeth broke her arm just as she was going to leave the party. I surely was sorry to hear it.
Almost all the officers have crammed into my room tonight, and conversed the entire evening. Whether the Army had been a benefit or a setback inspired a lengthy discussion, enough to show there was plenty of difference of opinion. No less was evinced when civilian clothes became the prevailing topic; Spalding believes in expensive clothes, Greene in moderate priced and few - so it went.
Goodbye for now, and lots of love.
21 Jan. AM
This morning I start with the feeling something is going to happen. We'll see.
A good morning kiss and hope you'll be with me.
Things surely have happened. The ill feeling and hostility of two months came out in the open and to its climax today. I had an initial encounter this morning with the Park Commander, who is trying to get Capt. Stuart, my medical officer taken away from me, and other disagreeable things. I appealed to the Chief Motor Transport Officer, which brought about a three cornered conversation, an hour and a half, late this afternoon, with the last named gentleman, the Park Commander, and myself, all captains. There was a great deal of strong talking, and all past grievances of everyone were aired. The Chief Motor Transport Officer is a decent chap, but the other one I don't trust. He has played a sneaky trick on me, and if a man does that once, he's likely to do it again. However we shook hands all around on a proposition that the past was forgotten and the future would start on a basis of fair dealing and cooperation all around. I'll do my utmost, and hope I'll be met in the same spirit. But I have fears.
Jim Greene has been in to talk all evening. The conversation has taken channels far from our life here, to education, civilian prospects and plans of ours, and such. It has been refreshing to forget in the stimulation of such conversation and of contact with Jim's cantless, sure-seeing mind the details of the everyday life here which has become so annoying and ended in the nerve trying climax it's had today.
Goodnight, my sweetheart. I love you always.
22 Jan. AM
Good morning dear. Give me a kiss! That's a good girl. I love you more than life.
I gave the kiddies their party today and we certainly had a fine time. Of course, I couldn't provide plates enough so had each one make a gray basket and then paste a red cross on the top. I put on my white apron and cap and served marshmallow, chocolate, strawberry and sourball candy pills also popcorn and apples. We played the victrola also games and I gave three prizes, one to each of the winners.
I had each boy very gravely ask a girl if he might take her. Told her how to accept or refuse if she had promised someone else. The boys asked all right but at recess time when the hour for meandering the four feet distant to the party corner came most of the greetings were "come on" or simply a tug of the dress or arm. Very dignified.
Tonight we had a few members of the Alumni here and Mrs. Sullivan came to address us. Nothing really astounding about the address. Mostly talk about a banquet and eats and, of course, we really didn't need much information on such subjects, always looking out for the same ourselves.
Dearest, sweetheart, I'll say goodnight, I love you.
Elizabeth Lest and Armenia Risley have been here all afternoon preparing for a debate. We have been having rather an exciting time.
I read Mathew Arnold's "How to Live on 24 Hours a Day" today and like it very much. I also read some more of "A Child of Nature".
Daido and I got quite a lot of books at the library tonight and also some book and paper files at Beyers. I am just as pleased as can be with mine. I got some cards up at Penhallow's this morning and am going ahead and making my own rhyme cards as the board of education is too slow. I have ordered them and reordered them at least a dozen times, in fact I have gotten practically none of the supplies I have ordered, but I am really making out all right.
Dearest, I love you so much.
Dorcas has been here for dinner and honor bright I had orange pudding for dinner again. Solomon Fox was also unexpectedly in for dinner again. He has been discharged from the navy and is now making plans to get back into civil life again and wanted to talk with Daido.
I was down to see Mrs. Horton today and certainly did get a scolding as I haven't been there since some time in September. If I wait so long again she isn't going to let me in next time. She gave me a box of pink writing paper for a Christmas gift and as I didn't dare use it for you I am going to send it to Katie. She will use it as necessity demands some and that which costs her nothing is best, of course.
Well, dearest, it is late, so I will say goodnight. I love you.
Today has been a happy day. School was so interesting and lessons just flew, thanks to my terrible preparation last evening.
Mr. Butler visited me last evening - the one who was principal there formerly. He flattered me considerably about my work, observed that I had gone ahead and made things the board wouldn't furnish and made a few remarks about the board. Just now I had a thot. He had Mrs. Keyport's room. I wonder if he has heard that she is sick, that Miss Bristol is weak as a principal and I wonder if he thinks he could get back.
Something just lovely happened for me today. I asked the children to sit up and look happy and then asked one little girl what she was happy about and she said she was so happy because she loved me. I was just astounded because she is not at all affectionate toward me, and so quiet and unplayful. I don't ever remember seeing her smile. I was sure glad.
I love you dearest, and here is a goodnight kiss.
I received two letters from you this morning. One had three letters inside and the other three letters and a scold note. If I ever did write a twenty-eight word letter and sent it, I sure did deserve a scold. Sometimes I just can't write an interesting letter either because there is someone around or I can't think of anything to say and then sometimes I'm tired or sleepy [for] any goodness. When I begin to feel that way the really best thing for me to do is go to bed as I never accomplish anything by staying up. I just love to teach but I do get both physically and mentally tired some days and I just feel as if I have exhausted all the ideas I ever had or ever will have but, of course, I have to get more as the children exist on ideas.
Dearest, it is now night. I stopped in to Mrs. Stingers' to find out about the library scarf. Hers came already stamped so I guess I won't be able to use my material.
I really can't understand why you haven't gotten you Christmas box. Most of the boys I have heard about got theirs about a week before Christmas. I sent my picture and a teeny, meeny tree, and I did want you to get it for Christmas.
I started to make my scarf a daisy one and have already finished one daisy (brown-eyed susan), 'most.
Dearest, I'll say goodnight.
I love you best in the world.
I feel pretty much plumb disgusted again tonight with lots of people and lots of things. I surely wish we could get out of here. In the morning I made another attempt to keep Capt. Stuart by an appeal to the Chief Motor Transport Officer, but he, whom I referred to as a decent chap yesterday, won't even give me a fair hearing on it. And there I am. That's the first instance of the new spirit of cooperation, etc? Also I discovered another new double dealing trick in the Park Commander's office. How is one to trust anybody? Why can't everyone play open and above board?
The Commanding General of the Base gave quite a talk to all the organization commanders this afternoon, in regard to stricter discipline, and the prevention of certain evils. It needs constant watchfulness, particularly in a place like this, and with the natural mental tendency to let up since the Armistice.
At least one good thing has been coming about today. I have eaten almost all my meals and really have an appetite again tonight. But it's for food I can't get on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
I'll say goodnight, and hope I haven't burdened you with all this tale of woe. I guess I should be scolded for writing it.
I love you always, sweetheart.
Good morning, Sunshine Lady. A morning kiss, and my best love.
Taylor got back from a convoy today, and having stopped at St. Amand brought back some stray mail he found there, and I now have your in-between letters which cover Christmas. I am glad you and Miss Tolbert had a good Christmas and glad you were so well remembered.
I liked the little bit of home made mistletoe in one letter, and the late bit of goldenrod, which you had worn a day and then gave me. That's a good girl. I love you and the little sunshiny things you think to do.
Apparently when you met Elph Mitchell at the P.O. he sent me the card I got today, for it said in his simple frank way "I am at present with your friend Miss Lutz". I wonder if he didn't think of my getting a terribly jealous streak, with such a statement. He's a splendid boy, Elph is; his mother is a fine, high-minded, sensible woman, too; I am surely glad you met her. If you would like to, I would surely like us to go up there together when I am back with you. I shall try and write Elph very soon.
I guess my March 1st prediction was a bit early, but I think we'll be home before spring. If we are, we'll be a great deal luckier than many other chaps. The Westward orders can't come too soon for me, I'm sure of that. Keep the home fire burning for me and I'll be there soon to share it with you. I wonder if you have any of the original dust to put back on.
Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you always.
Being as I'm starting with an optimistic frame of mind, with a feeling that something good is going to happen today, I bid you an unusually cheery good morning. I LOVE YOU.
The optimistic presentiment which I had this morning couldn't have been a very good one, for nothing extraordinarily good has happened to us; nor otherwise, however. One thing, though, this week's Stars and Stripes, coming out today, published in its sailing list the 308th Supply Train. It's the first Supply Train which has gone home, and the presence of it on the sailing list is a sign that there is such a thing as a supply train going home. That is at least cheering news and our hopes are revived to that extent.
The last three days have been really cold. The ground has been frozen up in the morning, for the first time all winter. The days have been agreeably snappy and crisp, to put new life in one. Splendid skating weather it is, and would that I were with you and our skates and the pond at Bargaintown or English Creek or Cocoa Fill or anywhere. This evening I have wished it especially, when going out in the night air for a stretch up to the park and back.
It has been a quiet day, and no war. The volcano is dormant for the present. I trust it will die.
Sweetheart, I love you always and shall love till the end of time. Goodnight, and a kiss.
Nothing special has occurred today. One little annoyance this afternoon, but we're used to them.
Everybody practically had gone out this evening and I fully expected to stay around, but about eight-thirty the silence began to pall on me, and I had to go somewhere so I went all alone that late to the tail end of a movie, from which I have just returned.
I am getting more and more anxious to turn my hand again to civilian pursuits, now that it's all over, and as far as I can see, my usefulness in this man's army is over. We have all gotten in the habit of talking over the future, and thinking about , a great deal. I wish I could get out of this station more than anything. I never disliked a location and everything that goes with it worse. Sometimes I feel about ready for a lunatic asylum. I'm sure it wouldn't be a bit safe for my personal liberty if I were to appear right now before a lunacy commission.
Sometimes when a ray of hope hits the horizon, I'll write you a nice letter.
Goodnight and a kiss for love.
Just a bit of snow on the ground this morning to remind us that there used to be such a thing better days.
Good morning, I love you.
This morning we had a bit of an inspection, as usual Sundays, and at noon a Regular dinner, with Cookie at his best. In the afternoon Doc and I relieved the monotony of life by quite a long walk, the best part of which was on the boulevard along the sea. It was in the part of the city we visited when we came thru here last August, on our way from England. I think I mentioned then the long ridge, and the manner in which houses, gardens, terraces and all seemed carved into the hill, and how every bit of space seemed occupied. There is some wonderful terrace work done with hedge plants and so on. It is a very picturesque portion of the city.
I am staying in this evening and trying to get a few letters written, though I'm not a bit in the mood. Though it isn't quite as silent as last night, the four walls are scarcely less palling. It wouldn't be so evident if I didn't have on my nerves all the time the many unpleasantnesses in personal relations with people at the park. I used to be able to avoid Cruse, but here the offending parties are those with whom through force of circumstance I am thrown with daily, and under whose orders I and my whole organization perforce must act. If we are going to be here much longer I think I shall apply for a 7 day leave soon; I am entitled to one, and it would be a rest and a change. Probably I could go down to Nice and Monte Carlo in the South of France. Don't be scared at the mention of Monte Carlo. One can do other things than gamble away one's fortune there. Nice is THE big leave center for American Officers. However, I would more than cheerfully give up the projected trip for orders westward. I can see France again some other time, if I ever want to.
Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you always
Good morning, Sweetheart. Kiss me and tell me you love me. That's a good girl.
I have scraped up an ordinary pen about me belongings and bought me a new bottle of violet ink, so that now once in a while I shall write you with pen once more without going all over the house to borrow one.
I dropped downtown in the Ford this afternoon and visited the few men of the Train who are at the hospital. No one is real sick now but there is one chap who doesn't improve in health any, and I am afraid the influenza has left him with tuberculosis.
While downtown I got a few postcards to send to folks I must remember at least once while I am over here, or be reproached for it forever afterward. I am putting two or three in with this letter, which show it especially well in the Sainte Addresse section along by the sea, and show rather well how thickly houses, walls, streets, terraced gardens, and all are banked up against and carved into the hill, seemingly. I think I spoke about it a few days ago.
I have been down with Achorn to a terribly tedious movie this evening, though the orchestra played some delightful music which made up in large measure for the tedious pictures.
It's time to say goodnight, with lots of love and a kiss.
It has rained viciously all night but is coming out a splendid morning. I trust it is symbolic of good news. Good morning, dear, I LOVE YOU.
Just a little back mail from you today. I was surely sorry to hear of Mrs. Davison's brother's death.
Tonight I have been addressing a lot of postcards, finding I haven't half enough, and have written a letter to Fred, which I started out to do some nights ago. Aside from that I have accomplished nothing. I have bothered Greene and Fox by frequent visits accompanied by small talk and made life a bit more futile by wasting time talking of its present futileness. We are a cheerful lot when we go into these mourning sessions.
Now I'm going to bed without a single thing to look forward to. Even breakfast, which in darkest days of the past, seemed one thing to look forward too returning, holds no attraction in anticipation of the morn, for the negro cook is on, and it will surely be hominy, bacon, and fried potatoes, all being impossible as prepared by our estimable Ethiopian cuisinier.
I do like to be real nice and cheerful. I am simply a bubbling geyser of optimism.
My, I almost forgot, though, quite a ray of hope did appear on the horizon this morning. Capt. Moll returned the opinion that we wouldn't be here for very much longer. And the last ship to be unloaded at this port is docking with the full of the tide tonight.
My disposition is surely in a parlous state at present but I am sure you can cure it when I can put myself under your care.
Goodnight, Eva dear. I love you. Forgive my ill-humor, please.
The expected bacon and potatoes arrived and being inedible they have graced my fire. The smell of them has been somewhat more agreeable for it takes me in memory to a tin over a fire in the old chimney which is all that is left of an old Manor house. How I wish I could be there with you. Right Now!.
A kiss, dear sweetheart, and lots of love.
I love you.
I have all my daisies made and one butterfly on my scarf but I still have yards and yards of lace to make for it yet.
Armenia Risley and Elizabeth Lest are in the other room practicing for the debate and I can't help but half listen
I was around to Dorcas for a few minutes but when I discovered she was getting ready for church I trumped up a magnificent excuse and beat a hasty retreat.
Dorcas has heard that her husband sailed the 15th and she is certainly anxious.
I really feel about like a twenty-eight word letter tonight as nothing much has happened. It has been foggy all day and I almost didn't find my way up to the post office tonight.
Daido has another "chiud". Little Freddie Smith, who lives across the street goes to school with her every day. I really feel quite put out as they seem to have such congenial ideas.
Dearest, I do love you. I love you best in the world and saying that doesn't mean I'm not being patient, does it?
Miss Schaible was down this morning and she says I have improved wonderfully. She was so enthusiastic I have been just as happy as I could be. She is going to bring Mrs Scott, the assistant commissioner, down soon. I let the children lead in the gym work usually and she was so pleased about that. I am really just beginning to realize now what teaching really means.
I got a letter from your dad tonight thanking me for the card I sent him at Christmas and also saying that Ralph and Winnie expected to be married rather soon.
It is raining awful hard tonight and I didn't go to the post office, the first time I have missed a mail in ages, when it had been possible for me to get there. I got wet coming home from school and was almost sure there wouldn't be a foreign mail in so I took a chance and stayed away.
I just made a beanbag for the kiddies and that means we are to have some fun tomorrow. I do hope it means no broken windows, etc.
Dorcas' own father and mother leave for the South tomorrow and I didn't get to see her as she has been up to her own home today. I was around to her home tho and walked off with a monstrous sweet apple and an umbrella, so you can see I am quite popular even when she isn't there.
Well, sweetheart, here is lots of love and a goodnight kiss.
Well, we had another Alumni meeting up at the High School and really we accomplished a lot. We elected officers, arranged to initiate the new class next Tuesday and perfected plans for the recital Manny is to give Wednesday a week. We had a grand attendance and that helped out.
All of the members of the Class of '17 contributed a dollar and now we have about twelve dollars toward a picture. I am going to try and get it at Scull's in Atlantic and have it put up next week.
Last night I caught an early car and did not have time to see the kiddies home and today the room resounded with tales of the terrible umbrella, lunch-box word fight which took place. I was busy finding the real offenders.
Daido and I went to Atlantic to Keller's for dinner and had fried chicken a la Maryland. It was delicious.
On our way home I just felt I had to buy some sweetpeas and I did. They are simply beautiful.
It is past twelve and there is to be an all day teacher's institute in Atlantic tomorrow so I'll say I love you.
Now, "there is dawning another blue day". I love you.
The institute is over and I enjoyed most of it.
Dr. McMurry of Columbia, Miss Day of Columbia, Mr. Pourick of Westfield, Dr. Kendel, our Commissioner, and Dr. Meredith spoke.
We had a cafeteria lunch down in the High School lunch room at noon and at night Daido and I visited the Vienna.
We shopped after the meeting, Daido getting a beautiful new blue dress and I a new coat. My coat is a gray-brown winter one.
The best part of my day was a letter from you written January 6th. You had been reading Robert Service and seemed to have enjoyed him so much. You asked me to write you something. Perhaps in the spring I'll deluge you. I'm sure I'll make you beg for mercy then. I'm awfully prosy now. If I could see a robin under the locust trees of Hemlock Manor or hear the falls, or see you here, except in dreams, I know I could write a bushel.
I do love you.
Would you like to hear a story tonight? A very interesting story, all about a little girl who tried to snuff out a star?
Well, she got up terrible late this morning, in fact was just finishing breakfast at half past ten, and the fire was out and had to be built even tho wood was scarce and had to be chopped with the stove raker.
Well, she got the fire built eventually and then she sewed a bit, and swept a bit, sang a bit and wept a bit and even washed some as the washerlady hadn't come. Company came in the afternoon and stayed and stayed and, even now the dinner dishes aren't done as they came just as dinner was being finished.
After company had gone, just at twilight time, Daido and that girl went for a walk and it got darker and darker and just down by the golf ground it was darkest so they thot they would like to walk thru and they did and the stars were marvelous flaming points of light that tried to carry one up into the trees. And this bad girl sneezed and almost snuffed out a star. Isn't that a lovely story?
I love you. Here is a goodnight kiss.
A bushel of letters from you this morning and all so full of love and happy thots that I am dreadfully lonesome. I'm so anxious to hear you say "I love you" again.
I wore a spray of sweet peas to school this morning and am sending you one with all my love.
I often wonder, too, what our home will be like. We really must have a garden. A garden that we love and make part of us. I'm just hungry for a real garden, an old garden and much more so since Lucinthia gave me that delightful book on old gardens. I'm awfully lonesome but I'm being patient, too.
I think our school is due to close the 28th of May and maybe I'll wish away eighteen years about the 13th of June. I'm most sure I will. I'm sure there'll be some apple blossoms left at Hemlock Mansion. There will be some robins and whip-poor-wills I know.
It is noon and now my quiet has been interrupted, the kiddies want to hear the "funny graf".
Here goes "Stars and Stripes forever" in memory of the "atavists" and now the "Berceuse".
I'll have to stop now. I love you.
The debate came off tonight and, of course, the boys won.
Manny is staying with me all night. She played the piano up at the school tonight and really was a wonderful success.
I have just been displaying the THREE things in my hope chest to her and, of course, she has been duly complimentary.
I suppose I'll have to make half a million more bean bags for the kiddies. I don't believe they ever will be satisfied.
I have something to tell you. It will take quite a while and it is one already and Manny is here, I'll wait.
I love you. Here is a goodnight kiss.
1/28/19 A kiss for happiness.
'Most a million letters from you today. all happy ones too. I'm so sorry you are going to lose Lt. Leviseur but do hope you will beat him home.
We had an Alumni meeting tonight and initiated some of the other class. Fun? Yes, I suppose so but I'm afraid I'm getting too grown up to enjoy such things.
I was awful wicked today. I washed six boys mouths with soap and water because they had been swearing.
Dorcas got a lot of letters from Harry today. He is afraid he is going to be sent to Germany.
Here is a goodnight kiss, sweetheart. I love you.
I'm sleepy this morning but I love you.
For some unknown reason I have been almost light-hearted today. It has passed without incident that I can think of now. Just one more day nearer home. and home means lots of things.
I inveigled Fitts into trotting out this evening to the worthy Omnia motion picture establishment, and see with me the fifth or the sixth or whatever it was, installment of "The House of Hate" - another of those Pearl White pictures, with a mystery villain in a black cape and hood. They also displayed quite a picture which purported to depict one of the crusades for the deliverance of Jerusalem.
This is very short tonight, but think I shall say Goodnight, with lots of love and a kiss.
1/30 AM Good morning, Lady mine. I love you, I do, and want to send you a kiss to prove it. Sylvester
I got a hint this morning from a lieutenant in Base Headquarters that if I got my request today I could stand an excellent chance of getting in on the next allotment of leaves from this Base to Italy, which would be about Feb. 19. so I have spent some little time taking a request for myself and Lieut. Taylor thru the necessary channels, to go on leave at that time to Italy, stopping at Monte Carlo and Nice on return. The last thing this afternoon I got our requests down to Base Headquarters and am assured we shall be in the next allotment; only 10 can go from this Base at one time, so we shall be fortunate. Perhaps applying for this leave will be the way to get orders home - Fate intervening to prevent me getting the leave. However I can forego the leave for orders home quite cheerfully, and in any event, I now have something to look forward to. It surely would be pleasant to take a trip to Italy now that I'm over here and have the chance. Of course it couldn't be thorough in two weeks, still it would be something.
Greene has been in my room most of the evening. We have been arguing at great length on matters affecting public and private secondary school education, on which we fundamentally disagree, and on which we have to have a discussion every week or so from a little different angle. Later we touched very lightly on certain matters affecting religion, on which we always agree, and on estimates of the situation in Russia and the Bolshevist troubles in general and how they are being handled; on which also we are in substantial agreement. The newspapers all seem to be very adversely critical of the Allied handling of the situation, but I've seen hardly a single criticism yet which seems to me just.
Goodnight dear, always lovingly,
1/31 AM Dearest, today completes 6 months in Europe, which makes me a veteran with a service stripe. Mornin' and lots of love. Sylvester
Today being the six month's anniversary of our arrival in Europe, all men now in the Train who landed with us, are entitled to one V-shaped gold War Service chevron on the left forearm of coat and overcoat. One service chevron for each 6 months service is the rule. So this afternoon I have taken some clothes down to a tailor's to be adorned. It will seem good to have them, and at least marks us as not late arrivals.
I have also bought me today an Italian-English dictionary; I wish I could find a grammar too, so as to get some phrases in most common use, to help us get around on our leave. there is a soldier in the Train who I expect will get leave to go down to Italy at the same time we do, to visit his parents, and he should be of use to us until as far as Rome, and by that time we may have learned enough to get around.
Today's Stars and Stripes has an encouraging looking sailing list; it's size being the largest yet, for the past week. No more Supply Trains this time, though.
Time to say goodnight, and I love you.
1 Feb. AM
Dearest, this is my morning kiss, with all my love.
I'm so glad my Christmas package came at last and that you like the picture. I was afraid you wouldn't as I didn't realize until after it was taken that my hair was up high on my head.
Now, I'm going to tell you what I wanted to the other night. I love you. Here comes Daido. It is early but we both are tired so I'll say goodnight.
I love you.
Mr. Cressman as down today and I was out for a walk with the kiddies all noon not knowing he was there but came in to find him sitting at my desk eating his lunch. He said he had seen us start of for the walk and he was glad as he thot it was good for all concerned. He said he was pleased with my work.
Dearest, honestly, I am exhausted tonight and will have to write more tomorrow. I love you.
This week is over and I am glad. I am just back from Dorcas'. Her mother and dad have been to Philadelphia and I stayed until they came home on the 9:30. Stayed is the only word as I curled up on the couch and was asleep soon after I arrived. I have had indigestion most all week but feel that the climax was reached just before I fell asleep as I am much better now. I feel anything but good when I have it and so lazy. Today was a good day in school, and I am getting so much in the way of experience.
It is late, dearest. I love you.
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