A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 Nov 1916
Nov 14th 1916
My dear Muriel,
On my return last night to this beastly place I found your letter on Nov 1st awaiting me, in which you say that I “may be in England before this gets to France”. What a wonderful person you are. How did you guess?
I was very glad to see your handwriting. It cheered me up a lot.
Leave seemed like a delicious dream now it is all over.
That is the worst of having such a good time. If people would only make it unpleasant then we should not mind coming back. Thank you so much for contributing in no small way to making the short time at home so delightful.
When you have existed for half a year solely for the purpose of living for one week you can realise that it must be an extraordinary good week not to fall flat. Anticipation is so often better than realisation; but it was not so this time.
Reg and I had breakfast on Sunday morning at 6.30 and he came to see me off at Victoria when I met a fellow I knew. We had a couple of hours at Folkestone which we spent on the Leas. It was very calm – not like the journey over. We left Boulogne at 4 am the next morning and arrived at the Wagon Line at noon, when I had a bath and a shave. I rode to the Gun Line in the evening. Everybody is in a very bad way and instead of being cheered up I was still more depressed. One Sub was in hospital with influenza. Another had rheumatism so badly that he could not ride his horse.
The remaining one was ‘fed up’ because he had nearly all the work to do. The Captain was in the dumps as he had fallen out rather badly with the Colonel.
So you see what a cheery crowd I joined, and I did not make matters better at all.
We are in the same place but may move at any time.
I tried to get this letter off by to-day’s post, but I am afraid it is too late now. We have been rather busy to-day.
How did the second rehearsal of the Strolling Players go off? It will be over by the time you get this. I wonder if you will arrive home at 10 pm this time!
My work is over for the day, I hope. I have just finished censoring letters and writing returns and intelligence reports which all takes time and is very boring. My occupation seems to have had a bad effect on my letter. This one is very flat I am afraid and have to apologise for the mad previous one but please remember it was written on Saturday night.
I hope you are keeping well
With best wishes
Yours very sincerely