A.A. Laporte Payne letter 16 December 1916.
December 16th 1916
Again I have lost the post through putting off whiting to you because I want time to collect my thoughts and things have interrupted so lately. I deserve every hard thing you can say of me. Even now I have so much to say and there are so many ways of saying it that I am stuck before I begin. Your note of the 12th deserves a frivolous reply but the one written on the 13th ought to have another. Needless to say both were delightful and just what I wanted although even now I feel I shall have to wait until I see you to learn what I really want to know.
So my letter to you was censored. I hope nothing was cut out. None of yours have ever been opened so don’t be frightened. I hope you did not take that silly letter of mine which you called a ‘scolding one’ seriously. I am sure you couldn’t so I don’t mind. Of course, I always take things in the wrong way. Surely you have not just found that out.
How is your lip now? I hope much better. You will have to be careful in future.
So you have come to the conclusion that I am getting spoilt. Really, and what helped you to come to that conclusion. Do you think I am one of fortunes favoured ones? Perhaps I am in one way – in fact I know I am the favoured one – but that was your fault not mine and I don’t see why I should be punished for your faults. I wish I were with you to complete my arguments with kisses. I wonder if you would be very firm then! I suppose you would, you are so very strong willed, I know.
Thank you so very much for your Christmas letter. It was the best one I have ever had. But why write it at 7 a.m. You must have been frightfully cold. I could not write a letter like that at that early hour. Thank you for your wishes and love which you send. You are a darling. I wish to goodness I could be in Finchley at Christmas and see you again, which alone can satisfy me now. Yes I believe you could kiss a Happy Xmas much better than you can write it – and your letters are very nice. What delight there is in store for me perhaps if the gods are good to a wretched creature like me. You say we are fairly original in one respect in that we neither of us meant to do anything of the sort. Please speak for yourself madam. I may not have meant to, but I wanted to. I hope I can be original in other ways – not that.
I hope you are keeping well and that Mrs. Cross is alright and has recovered from the death of the cat. I have received her kind letter and box of cigarettes.
I hope to be able to write a note to her tonight. Please forgive my last gloomy letter. I feel better now. If you will receive letters from me you will have to put up with my moody temperament. – That sounds rude but it is not meant to be – only an apology.
At present I am a semi-invalid. I was inoculated again this morning – anti-typhoid stuff. My arm is very stiff and I am not in the best of tempers – but your letters keep me going alright.
What on earth can I send you for Christmas – I must mark the occasion with something this year of all years. You see you have been such a dear faithful correspondent all this year. Do let me know. I can’t think of anything. Perhaps a lot of lip salve would be suitable.
Oh! Heavens, they have just turned on the ‘phone – the ‘grama’ – one – and are playing rag times – such old ones too. I hope the men break them at Christmas. We are giving the men pork, Christmas Puddings and beer at Christmas. I am afraid they will be very ill.
What’s the secret which you won’t tell me. I am most anxious to know. Why raise my easily excited curiosity? Am I ever to know? I am actually getting curious but it is only because it is connected with you.
The best of wishes for Christmas for you and yours, darling,
And all my love