A.A. Laporte Payne letter 16 Nov 16
Nov 16 1916
No letter has ever been waited for so anxiously by me as your this time – and I got two and they arrived both together so you had your wish.
Do you really think I want you to go back to copy books and exist as we did before? Did I mind your letter? It was nothing to what I should like to get from you; but still it is a delightful advance on what I used to get. But can’t you see that it is not for my own reasons but for your sake that I hesitate even now after your letters?
I should like to have a long talk with you now to explain things you can’t or won’t want to see. As I can’t write what I want to say I shall have to wait and what an awful time it will seem to me.
In the meantime what sort of modus vivandi shall there be? My letters hadn’t they better be proper ones? How can a fellow resist when you urge him to do what he wants to do. I don’t want to receive proper ones if you feel at all inclined to write the other sort.
At the end of one letter you say you were stuck though not for lack of ideas. Can’t you let me have some of those ideas? Let me know just what you think and feel. When I want you so much real letters will be something, and I shall get to know what you are really like – your real self which you say I shall hate. Shall I? (I must never be sarcastic again though must I?) You will only confirm what I know already.
You are a darling to think of me on Sunday last. It was a horrid day for me leaving you as I did, but perhaps it is just as well for you and everybody else that I had to go. You would probably get tired of me and I should certainly want to monopolise too much of you.
There is one sentence in your letter which I have read over and over again and which made me so happy. Can you guess which it is? My love, and I do love you, Muriel – didn’t you always know it? – It seemed such an insult to offer you.
Two attempts at writing this letter were interrupted first by the Colonel and then by the Captain. Your letters arrived here last night and I could not resist writing at once to thank you so very much for your three.
It is bitterly cold here now and with no fire and a wind blowing my hands are so cold that I can’t hold a pen properly – so please excuse writing. Last night I was down in the trenches and it was cold. I would have given anything to have been dining once more at Branchfield.
Doesn’t it seem strange after all this time to be writing like this. Will it make it easier or harder for you to write? I wonder. You will have to teach me how to write a love letter. I know I can’t do it yet. However much I could make love to your person writing is not so easy. It seems so cold and ordinary. Will you have a large photo taken of yourself and send it to me and then I can put it in front of me when I write?
You ask me if I am sure I have not made a mistake. I have no fear on that, but are you sure? I have real fears on that point. You are the first who has ever made me unselfish – so you see you have done some good already. One thing I do ask of you and that is to be honest with yourself and I shall be quite happy.
Shall want to talk about when I see you again. I wonder how you will treat me then.
I wonder if I shall get a letter tonight. How I shall long for the mail now. We had no English mail on Wednesday night you can imagine how furious I was . This is the third letter I have written to you in five days. I shall, like you, have to put the brake on.
I hope you and Mrs Cross and everybody are keeping well
With all my love