Original Letter

            France            31st Dec. 1917

My Dearest:–

Good luck hit me again with her old shoe last night – twice – two letters – and in one of them a picture of my own glorious Sweetheart. As true as I am sitting here you get more handsome every day that you live. It is great, Dear, and here she tells me that it is only an index of the one that is coming! I am not lucky! I have looked at that little picture, Dear, and just gave up trying to figure out how lucky I really am. You are [ink blot here] superb, Dear, and, while the picture is great, it can only show your outline. The true you the wonderful glorious loving clever witty loving sympathetic, you. Well its all indexed in your picture. I wish that I had known you for millions of years, you Maidie. You needn’t try to stop me, I may be incoherent and all that but my brain is in such a turmoil of love and admiration of you that I can’t write coherently. You are God’s own woman, Maidie, there never was such a one as you. If I were only able to tell you how much I love you and how wonderful you are how much better you are than anyone else you are [sic] – here I am at this very minute completely carried away, bewildered with love of you and I cannot begin to tell you about it. You do know that I worship you, Dearest? When I got that little picture last night this little hole in the ground became a wonderful place and ever since I am swimming in a sea of gorgeous dreams.

Poor devout little Mary ambling off to Mass in the clouds of the night. [big ink blot here] Drat that pen – it won’t do any thing, but blot, this one is an inch high and it will drown the whole page. I want to go to mass with you, Dear, I don’t care whether its night or noon, nor if it were miles through a blizzard. If I were in church with you now I would pray very fervently. I am afraid though that I would have to hold your hand the while. But of course you wouldn’t tolerate any such goings on right in the church.

Its quite all right about the parcel, Dear, I shall be glad to get it whenever it comes. You are a beautiful baby always thinking of me. And anyway I did get a beauty of a Christmas parcel from you. This one will be extra and I always have honed for a cigarette case. but above everything I am *“sweating” for  your picture. For I must tell you that I have fallen in love with you all over again.  [The following in smaller letters:] *To sweat. French verb meaning to be dam anxious.

I think Madame Batchelor is a mighty fine dame but you must do whatever you like, you know. Personally I think that it is a grand place where you are but sometimes I wonder if you are happy enough there, if perhaps it is too quiet. Perhaps after all you would have liked better to live in England. Tell me about these things, Dear. I did write Madame Batchelor but I expect that it wasn’t much of a letter.

About coming to you soon, Sweet, well I am pretty average positive that it will be this coming month. And Bowknots, I’m wild over the prospect!

Isn’t it funny, in a few hours it will be New Years Eve and I’m just reading your letter of Christmas Eve. – it came last night but there is no harm in reading it again is there? But a week is [blot here] a long time for a letter to come isn’t it? Sometimes it’s nearer twelve days so I should be and am glad. What made me think of it was thinking of your rambling off to the church at 10. and not getting back until 2. But its all over a week ago isn’t it. Anyway you had my sympathy.

I enjoyed the dope on the Caillaux affair. Every Frenchman I ever [ink blot here] knew cursed his very name. I hope he is “for it” this time. (Isn’t this the blottiest letter!)

Turk has just wakened up and asked for his rum issue. (The HQ rum is dispensed from here and Turk gets his share of it). I slipped him a little drink and he flopped back sighed contentedly and said “If this isn’t a swell place you’re a better man than me”. He can polish off more rum than any man in the allied armies. And this stuff is awful “rough licker” as Mac used to say. Last night while I was asleep Turkey made some cocoa on a Tommy cooker of his own fashioning put in a good slop of rum and was slopping it up. I wakened up – some seventh sense, I suppose – and he gave me a jolt of it. I didn’t waken up any more until seven this morning. This morning he asked me if I remembered the present from “Brandy Kate” that he had given me in the night. I did. “Brandy Kate’s” was his name for some estaminet he used to visit where he could get cafe cognacs. She was a great favourite with Turk because she did not bother about the law respecting the sale of cognac to the troops and she did not insist on his leaving at 8.00 p.m. So long as he had francs he could stay and lap up coffee and cognacs.

Well, Dearest, I have some work to do that [switch from ink to pencil here] there goes my pen no ink left so I shall finish with a pencil. You must imagine this letter punctuated with little bits of work – lunch – a very bright affair – I wakened Turk for it – and chasing casuals who dropped in on important errands and wanted rum. The thirsts that some of these people have is shocking.

Monsieur l’Adjutant has returned and my poor services are in demand.

So if you don’t mind, Dear, I shall leave you for to-day. I am afraid that you will be fed up reading this letter – if you have read so far as this – but I have been and am too excited over your picture to be rational. I want to take you in my arms, Dearest, and just hug and love you to pieces. Angel!

            Your own